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Robert Donald Estes
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Robert Estes’s Answers

17 total


  • Inheritance from my father 45k from sales house about to take place can I giv the $ to my son R there any taxes to him 22yr old

    total estate 315k divided by 6 kids my portion I like to give to my son, we live in western new york

    Robert’s Answer

    As shown above, I agree with Steve, however, I have a question for you. Will your son appreciate having that money now at a time when it will likely get further away or would you like to have it as a down payment for home and he might buy in the future? My experience has been that money of this order gets frittered away on trips and tires. The beneficiaries look back when it comes time for a house purchase and regret what they did with the money. The one thing that they learned is that it's very easy to spend but difficult to say that amount of money.

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  • Taking shares (or warrants) as compensation from a startup and what limits to set on the services I would provide?

    I'm a small digital marketing agency (web, creative, and business admin) being offered shares (warrants) in exchange for IT, creative (photography, etc) website work for a start-up that seems not to have money. The person whom I have most of the i...

    Robert’s Answer

    Unless you have so much time on your hands that you are willing to throw it away, I wouldn't go near this deal. It's easy to negotiate terms and limits on your contribution if everyone is above board, but it doesn't sound like that is the situation here. If you proceed anyway, you should see a lawyer. Without a lawyer you are going to get yourself into a terrible mess.

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  • In my separation agreement and release it states that I wish to voluntarily resign my employment.

    When in fact my employer could not accommodate my restriction any longer, can get this reading changed? Or would it be better to leave it alone? It also states that the employer accepts my voluntary resignation! But I didn't resign! Does/could th...

    Robert’s Answer

    ADA claims are usually so fuzzy and filled with answers that fall into gray areas. The entire area is almost one of mystique, an art form that requires a skilled lawyer. As others have said--this is fact specific. Hopefully you have not yet signed that separation agreement. If you did, there may be a question of whether you received any consideration for it--that potentially could lead to undoing it. But again, this is all fact specific.

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  • I would like to offer equity to one of my excellent employees to retain them for the future.

    I would like someone to draw up paperwork for this

    Robert’s Answer

    I agree with the answers offered above, except with the point about needing a Texas lawyer. Typically business lawyers do business all over the country. (Check with legalzoom.com as an example.) You need to look at a "Phantom Stock Plan" or "Stock Appreciation Rights" (SAR) plan. You really don't want to get into a situation wherein your valued employee is now in a position to assert minority shareholder rights, which may include, among other things an obligation on your part to always treat him/her fairly and equitably. That obligation would typically attach whether he/she is an employee or not. The two plans that I refer to above would avoid those minority rights and only provide a benefit if the company does well. Another thing that you should consider is attaching a vesting schedule to the benefits, so that you have a 3 year or longer forward rolling vesting period; that will make it so that your employee will wind up leaving something on the table if they leave voluntarily or involuntarily. (In the event of death or disability they would be fully vested.)
    My answer above is simply an opinion and not legal advice since you are not a client.

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  • I hold a business note, the owner is over four months in default, how do I reposes my restaurant equipment?

    I hold a business note, he is over four months delinquent, I have a servicing company, and if he defaults i have the right to foreclose on him per my note agreement and reposes all my equipment and goods from the building. I have sent a letter i...

    Robert’s Answer

    Deciding to stay with current counsel or getting another lawyer is your first step. YOU KNOW BEST. Hypothetically, you may have fallen into a common trap, i.e., lending money on an unsecured basis. Unless you have a security interest, your debtor could proceed to sell the property (which you want to be returned to you) and simply leaving town with the money. There is not much to prevent that. Perhaps you have a receivership statute in your state that would permit you to proceed against an insolvent company/individual and have a receiver appointed to take possession of the assets. I cannot answer that for you. Look to your counsel for answers. Ask your counsel what recourse you have, IF ANY, WITHOUT a perfected judgment. Right now you only have a piece of paper that says the borrower owes you money. The borrower may have defenses, e.g., you may have violated your state's usury laws by charging too much interest. In some statues that invalidates the note altogether. You are truly in an unenviable position where qualified counsel is going to make all the difference in the world. THIS MESSAGE IS NOT INTENDED TO NOR DOES IT CREATE AN ATTORNEY CLIENT RELATIONSHIP. YOU MUST RELY UPON YOUR OWN COUNSEL.

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  • Should I start an LLC or S-corp for my Yoga Business in california

    I just become a Certified Yoga teacher and I want to provide private classes out of my home in California. I would like to own a Yoga Studio in the future but I am unsure if it will be in California as for now I only want to offer classes out of m...

    Robert’s Answer

    You have a number of choices, i.e., sole proprietorship, LLC or corporation. The main thing that I think you need to be concerned about is liability. Accordingly, check to see what, if any, coverage is provided under your homeowner's coverage for business activities within your home--probably none. Ask them about a rider or additional coverage to insure against the risks of injury in your home. The foregoing advice applies no matter what type of entity you use. Next question is sole proprietorship and reporting on your schedule C; that's simple, doesn't require an additional return, but it does leave you more exposed to liability, which may, in part be provided if you employ an LLC or corporation. Bear in mind that there is no such thing as an S corporation. Subchapter S treatment is simply a tax election that you can make for an LLC or a corporation; you cannot incorporate an S corp in California. You incorporate a corporation in CA or form an LLC and then ELECT Subchapter S treatment. An LLC is more flexible than a corporation in general. You need to check with your CPA as to which of the two offers you the least initial and ongoing filing fees. My advice, if you were a client (WHICH YOU ARE NOT) would be to see a lawyer; I would be predisposed to using an LLC. Remember that if you personally are the one who created the liability, e.g., you played a personal role in hurting someone through your instruction, YOU ARE GOING TO BE PERSONALLY LIABLE AND NOT JUST YOUR LLC OR CORPORATION. If someone working for you created the liability as opposed to yourself, then your LLC or corporation would be liable. I WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT A CLIENT OF MINE. YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL ASSISTANCE FROM SOMEONE LICENSED TO PRACTICE IN YOUR JURISDICTION.

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  • I am interested in finding a way to reduce risk in a startup by, for example, creating a holding and an operating company.

    Hello, Our startup that has invested about $500k in developing a product that will be sold to consumers worldwide (ecommerce). The product has not been released so there are no revenues yet. The company is a corporation incorporated in De...

    Robert’s Answer

    Your question is so basic and so easily done that I have to wonder if you are really serious. Your fact situation is an everyday occurrence. Disregard the previous comment about "fraud on your creditors". As long as you completed an affidavit of solvency and the lawyer helping you diligently looked into your current financial situation, you would not have to worry about a "fraudulent conveyance". Without taking sufficient care to address issues like that, you could get yourself into a lot of trouble. and all of your planning could easily be undone. Consider more than one holding company depending upon the nature of the asset. Consider a state like Delaware to be the home of an LLC owning the intellectual property. Don't think of doing this yourself. You need counsel. NONE OF THE FOREGOING COMMENTARY IS INTENDED TO CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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  • Will my parent have to pay inherit tax if on title of my house?

    Hi I just bought a house and my mother lives with me. I don't if I should put her on the title on the house. God for bid, I die, will she have to pay inherit taxes if she is not on the title or on the title? Need advise to put my mom on the title ...

    Robert’s Answer

    The answer to your question largely depends upon what other assets you and she have. There are, no doubt, some exemptions available to you and to her in computing the inheritance taxes which might be due in the case of the death of either of you. If the two of you have very modest net worths, you likely have nothing to worry about EXCEPT that if you put her on title the state may ultimately be coming after the house to reimburse it for expenses advanced to care for her. You really need to see counsel to discuss further. Counsel will draft up the deed if needed. Go to your state's Department of Revenue and look up "inheritance tax" to determine exemptions. It is likely that the $5.25MM estate tax exemption is enough to protect you from federal tax, but again this is for your counsel to advise you. Don't let my answer suggest that we are create an attorney client relationship here. We are not. I do enjoy getting your thinking going, however.

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  • I'm purchasing a car for $10,000 from my father's estate.

    I have 2 siblings, I understand that the $10,000 goes into the estate. Does it then get divided and distributed equally among the 3 siblings?

    Robert’s Answer

    Assuming that the estate is insolvent, I totally concur with the previous answer. You are likely in good shape as long as you are not the black sheep in the family and you are paying FMV for the car.

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  • How many days do I have until I am charged a late fee for rent?

    I singed a contract that states that if I don't pay rent by the fourth day, I will incur late penalties from my landlord. I have heard from friends that in Minnesota, legally, I can not be charged late fees until after the seventh date. Is that tr...

    Robert’s Answer

    Read your lease.

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