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Estate planning helps individuals living in Hayward, California, to ensure that their assets and property are well taken care of if they die. Why? Because without proper estate planning, the properties may not be taken care of to the extent intended. Read below to learn more about the ins and outs of what is included in an estate plan.

An estate trust is the main component of an estate plan

When you write up an estate trust, you need to make sure that the trust is congruent with the way you pass on assets outside of the will. For example, you should not list your brother as a beneficiary for your life insurance policy, and place your mom as the beneficiary on your trust. If you accidentally do this, you could be subjecting both of these people to a costly and time-consuming court battle.

Draft up a beneficiary designation

It is possible that even if you do not create a trust, your heirs could receive many of your estate assets or 401k account. For this reason, it is important to maintain a beneficiary. Also, if you fail to maintain a beneficiary, the probate court can determine how your assets are allocated. In all likelihood, if a judge is left to make these decisions, they will make decisions that go against your situation or wishes.

The letter of intent is a good add-on to the beneficiary

The letter of intent is a significant addition to the beneficiary because it gives those same beneficiaries explicit instructions for how to care for your assets. You can also include instructions for your funeral plans. While letters of intent are not technically legal documents, they are useful because they show what you want to happen to your estate planning in the event that your trust is deemed invalid for whatever reason.

Do you need to write or rewrite your estate plan? You may want to do this as soon as possible because life is unpredictable. If you need help with writing your estate plan, reach out to an attorney near you.

When you see something wrong in the workplace, you should not face punishment if you step up to talk about it. This is what anti-retaliatory protections are here to do. As an employee, it is important to understand what your rights and protections are.

It is also important to understand what retaliation is, so you can take appropriate actions if this is what you currently face.

What is workplace retaliation?

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission examines workplace retaliation. These are any negative actions taken against an employee after they have asserted their right to freedom from discrimination and harassment. In other words, retaliation is an employer’s way of punishing someone for bringing attention to discriminatory or harassing behaviors at their workplace.

Retaliation can come in many forms, which you have protection from. This can include:

  • An increase in scrutiny at work
  • Reprimanding you or giving you a lower performance evaluation
  • Using physical or verbal abuse against you
  • Demoting you to a less desirable position
  • Threatening or making reports to authorities
  • Making your work life more difficult on purpose
  • Spreading false rumors or treating your family in a negative way

Your employers rights

Employers have the ability to discharge an employee for any reason. However, the EEO applies when the reasons for this discipline or discharge stems from discriminatory or retaliatory origins. Employers also cannot act in response to EEO activity that discourages complaints or resistance toward harassment in the future.

It is somewhat tricky to navigate these situations. Thus, if you want to learn more, you could contact legal help to guide you through.

Creating a will is a necessary part of putting together your estate plan. This document outlines how you want to distribute your assets after your death and who you want to care for any minor children.

But many people have yet to create a will – a survey conducted by Caring.com estimates only 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have made this legal document. Not only should you make creating a will a priority, but after you have this document, you should update it when certain life situations arise.

1. When you become a parent

After you become a parent, you should update your will to name a legal guardian. This person will become responsible for your child if you unexpectedly pass away.

2. When you experience changes in wealth

You may have experienced changes in your assets or wealth as the years have passed. When you experience a significant change in your wealth, such as receiving an inheritance, account for this alteration in your will.

3. When you want to change your executor or a beneficiary

You may not want to use the same executor or have the same beneficiaries as when you first made your will. If your circumstances have changed and you want to rename an executor or change the people who receive your assets, revise your will.

Your will is not a stagnant document and will change throughout your life. In addition to altering your will in these circumstances, plan on reviewing this legal document approximately once a year.

Avoiding litigation as a business owner is not only a good way to avoid headaches, but it is simply good business. Getting involved in litigation is expensive and time-consuming. In addition, it can cost you good business relationships.

This is why many in businesses turn to alternative means of resolving disputes. Two of the more common ways to resolve workplace disputes are mediation and arbitration. However, the role of a mediator and an arbitrator is different. Primarily, mediators make non-binding decisions and work to support collaboration and communication between feuding parties, whereas arbitrators act more like judges.

The role of a mediator

It is important to remember that mediators do not issue binding decisions or rulings. It is possible that if you go through the mediation process you may still end up in court if you cannot negotiate a favorable outcome with the other party. However, an experienced mediator can help you create a solution that pleases both you and the other party.

Even though the mediator may not be able to help you and the other party reconcile entirely, even settling minor problems can lead to common goals and quicker overall resolution.

The role of an arbitrator

On the other hand, arbitrators do issue binding decisions. In fact, in some instances it can be more difficult to overturn the decision of an arbitrator as compared to a judge. Arbitrators are very similar to judges, only that you have the ability to choose an arbitrator. You do not have the ability to choose which judge oversees your case in a court of law.