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Freya A Shoffner

Freya Shoffner’s Answers

99 total


  • Who owns the computer files my company generates?

    I have a business where I prepare drawings and specification books for electrical systems. One of my contractors is demanding my computer files before they pay me. I have never signed any contract stating that they own these files. Who owns the...

    Freya’s Answer

    In order to answer your question more facts are necessary. It seems that your contractor is claiming a proprietary interest in the files themselves and that he believes that the contract between you grants that interest.

    You should consult with a licensed attorney in your area who deals with intellectual property and contract issues. Many attorneys offer an initial consultation without cost and then will outline exactly what steps should be taken and what the expected legal costs will be.

    Seeking competent advice now could well save you thousands of dollars later.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • My wife and I have been separated more than ten years. Do I need a lawyer to do an uncontested divorce?

    any advice will help

    Freya’s Answer

    Attorney Haber is right. While you may not need an attorney to obtain a divorce, you will probably be much better off with legal help. If you and your wife agree on all of the aspects of property division (including division of your retirement assets,) support, child custody, and child support, then you might well be able to work with a mediator who will help you to refine the details of your agreement.

    Keep in mind that once you divorce, you should also execute a new estate plan including a Will and Advance Directive.

    I strongly recommend that before you attempt to do the divorce on your own, you consult with an experienced family law attorney who is licensed in New York. Initial consultations are often provided without charge, and it will give you the opportunity to understand the process and your options.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • I need to hand write a motion for divorce to set a court date

    I'm representing myself but I need to hand write a motion but I don't know how, or what should be included. This is a simple divorce no assets/no children

    Freya’s Answer

    The Local Rules for Grant County give basic instructions for how to file motions with the court. The link to the local rules is given below. If you still have questions, the best approach is to ask the Clerk of Court to assist you. The Grant County clerk's office telephone number is 859-824-4467.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • Is there a federal law or state law that would make it illegal to declare a beneficiary for accounts a common law husband has?

    Specifically, 401k, cs, or bank accounts? If it is illegal, what is the law so that I may look up the statute?

    Freya’s Answer

    Your first step should be to contact an attorney who is licensed in Illinois and who has a substantial practice in family law. Please be aware that it is most likely that you do not have a common law marriage.

    A common law marriage traditionally was recognized when a man and a woman lived together and held themselves out to the world as being husband and wife for a specified period of time (usually 7 or 14 years) and the law of the state where they lived recognized such marriages as being valid. However, the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act (750 ILCS 5/214) states that common law marriages contracted in Illinois after June 30, 1905 are invalid.

    Therefore, you must first determine whether a common law marriage exists in your situation. Then your attorney can answer the rest of your questions.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • Wife & I separated 5 years. She won't settle & been keeping me away from my children. Will child provider affect equit dist.?

    I gave up high paying career to be stay at home dad for 8 years of our marriage. We separated 5 yrs ago. I never went after alimony (pen-dete). I had children 3 days a week up until 2 years ago. In my care, medical issue. Wife filed a CYS repo...

    Freya’s Answer

    It seems that you are asking whether the fact that you have had the sole financial responsibility for the children will have a negative impact on the amount of marital property you receive through equitable distribution. Please keep in mind that “equitable” means “fair” not “equal, and that property division is made only at or after the time of the entry of divorce. Equitable division of marital property is defined by Pennsylvania statute (the Divorce Code) § 3502:

    In summary:
    (a) General rule.-In an action for divorce or annulment, the court shall, upon request of either party, equitably divide, distribute or assign, in kind or otherwise, the marital property between the parties without regard to marital misconduct in such proportions and in such manner as the court deems just after considering all relevant factors, including:
    1. The length of the marriage.
    2. Any prior marriage of either party.
    3. The age, health, station, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities and needs of each of the parties.
    4. The contribution by one party to the education, training or increased earning power of the other party.
    5. The opportunity of each party for future acquisitions of capital assets and income.
    6. The sources of income of both parties, including, but not limited to, medical, retirement, insurance or other benefits.
    7. The contribution or dissipation of each party in the acquisition, preservation, depreciation or appreciation of the marital property, including the contribution of a party as homemaker.
    8. The value of the property set apart to each party.
    9. The standard of living of the parties established during the marriage.
    10. The economic circumstances of each party, including Federal, State and local tax ramifications, at the time the division of property is to become effective.
    11. Whether the party will be serving as the custodian of any dependent minor children.
    23 Pa. C.S.A. § 3502(a)

    Your best next step is to consult an attorney who is not only licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, but who has a substantial practice in family law and who is experienced in dealing with situations where the father has been the primary caregiver.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • My husband who is 72 yrs old had a major stroke and filed for divorce. I am on my 2nd lawyer and have not been able to obtain h

    his medical records after 2 mos. Final court date is in a mo. His daughters have taken him and he won't or can't talk to me. Does the court have to let me determine if he is competent? Thks

    Freya’s Answer

    Your question does not quite tell me your goal. However, in many states a spouse is still considered to be a spouse with all of the rights and responsibilities of a spouse until there is a divorce judgment. Your status as a spouse, however does not give you the right to determine whether your husband is competent. That is a decision that is made by a court after reviewing all of the facts (evidence.)

    The best thing to do is to make an appointment to see your attorney for a comprehensive status update. Be sure to write down all of the questions that you have - and to write down the answers while you are in the meeting. Be sure that your attorney is competent in both divorce and guardianship law and be sure to ask that he or she provide you with a written summary of all of your discussions after the meeting.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • What form do I need to sell my retail business at less than cost of inventory?

    established retail business is a few years old with established customer base, reputation, etc. Start up, build out, admin and inventory all exceed selling price. What form is suggested if the buyers are paying less than cost of inventory for ev...

    Freya’s Answer

    I'm not quite sure what you mean by the word "form." It seems that you are selling your business at a loss, and I assume that there will be creditors that you will not be able to satisfy with the proceeds of the sale. My strong recommendation is that you engage an attorney in your area who is qualified in the area of business law, particularly the sale of businesses and creditor issues, and an accountant in your area who can advise you accurately on the tax issues that will arise.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • Am I entitled to see the 1120 information as a minority shareholder in a subchapter S corporation?

    I am a minority shareholder in a subchapter S corporation. The manager of this corporation will not release the 1120 information to me. Am I entitled under the law to see the 1120? I have a K-1 and would like to verify it by seeing the 1120.

    Freya’s Answer

    I agree with Attorney Naegele. A corporation, even a subchapter S corporation, is run for the benefit of the shareholders, and you have a right to inspect the books and records of the corporation. I recommend that you make a formal request to the manager and that you do so in writing. The letter should include a specific date for performance, and you must be sure to sign and date the letter. Send it to the manager by certified and regular mail. Be sure to send a copy to the officers of the corporation as well.

    If your written demand does not result in a satisfactory response by the specified date, you should consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction, who is qualified in business law practice, for more specific advice.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • I have been married for just under a year. my husband was married before....should something happen to him........

    My huusband is 60 and has been married before. We have been married a little under a year. should something happen to him? who is entitled to his benefits if any? me or his ex inculding social security? also credit cards in his name? would i be re...

    Freya’s Answer

    Second marriages can raise many questions regarding debts, benefits, and inheritance, which are best answered by a qualified attorney in your geographic area. Assuming your husband and his first wife were legally divorced, you have no worries about his first wife inheriting from his estate. The distribution of his private retirement benefits (pension, 401K,etc) will depend upon what beneficiary he named and what provisions are in his divorce decree. And, should he pass away, his debts and assets will be distributed according to the laws of probate in your jurisdiction.

    To obtain precise answers to your questions, I strongly suggest that you consult a qualified estate planning attorney in your area.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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  • What is reasonable fee to draw up a Codicil to an already existing will?

    I just needed my will updated so that my daughter instead of brother in law is the executor of the will. What is a reasonable fee?

    Freya’s Answer

    Attorneys Myers and Cross have given you a good basic discussion about the fees that might be charged. Please be careful about deciding what you need before your consult with an attorney. Many times clients have asked me to only "do a Codicil" when in fact their entire estate plan needs revision. Just as it is never a good idea to diagnose yourself before you see a doctor, you should take the time to meet with your attorney and make a complete analysis of your existing plan. Then you can decide on the best course of action.

    If your original Will was drawn up by an attorney here in Massachusetts, make a call to that office. As Attorney Cross pointed out, attorneys often charge very little to update plans that they wrote in the first place. However, if you wrote your Will while you were living in another jurisdiction, you should make an appointment for a consultation with a Massachusetts attorney who can ensure that your estate plan meets the requirements here in the Commonwealth.

    If you have additional questions, please feel free to call the office at 617-369-0111.

    This answer is not intended to provide specific legal advice. No attorney client relationship between you and Shoffner & Associates or any of its attorneys is established, intended ,or implied. This answer should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney in your jurisdiction regarding your particular situation. Any advice contained in this communication is not intended to be used and cannot be used by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding Federal tax penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

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