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James Ryland Miller
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James Miller’s Answers

326 total


  • Do I need a Lawyer to file Guardianship papers for our son with disabilities?

    Our son is DownSyndrome with heart issues and will need another surgery in the future. He does not speak.

    James’s Answer

    You'll likely need to what's called an "age-out" guardianship case when your son turns 18. Yes, you'll need a lawyer, or you may be able to get the local county involved.

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  • HELLO I HAVE A FORGIEN GIRL CLAIMING THAT HER FATHER HAS A LOT OF MONEY AND NEEDS TO TRANSFER IT TO AMERICA

    SHE IS LIVING IN A ORPHANAGE WHICH IS WHY SHE CANT TOUCH THAT AMOUNT OF MONEY WITHOUT A TRUSTEE.. SHE HAS GIVEN ME ALL THE BANK INFORMATION AND WANTS ME TO CALL THEM TO FIND OUT HOW TO TRANSFER THE MONEY. I BELIEVE THAT I WILL NEED A LAWYER PR...

    James’s Answer

    Likely a scam, typically called a "419 scam" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/419_scams .

    Eventually, you'll get 'really' close to getting that large sum of money, and they'll say that they need a 'small' deposit of $2,000 to verify that you are really who you say you are. And "poof" your money is gone.

    Even worse, they trick you into giving them your account details because you think they're wiring you money, except they withdraw the money in your account. "Poof" it's gone.

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  • Does auto dealership have a claim against the estate of a deceased person other than to repossess the cars?

    Elderly person with possible dementia wound up buying 2 cars during the same calendar month on credit. The person passed away several months later. He has no will. His only estate is an approximately $60,000 house that is paid off. The house is in...

    James’s Answer

    You need consult a probate lawyer ASAP to discuss your options. You may have claims against the dealer, but the dealer may very well also have claims against the estate. There are just too many variables for any of the lawyers here to give you a 100% answer.

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  • How long does it take to file mediation orders after agreement?

    My ex and I went to mediation almost 2 months ago for modification of child custody/possession. We came to an agreement, all signed, and my attorney was required to type up final orders. The first draft only needed two minor corrections, then 3 we...

    James’s Answer

    I like Mr. White's approach. A Motion to Enter Order usually lights a fire under the other side if they are dragging their feet.

    Another issue is do you owe your own lawyer money? Some lawyers will slow down the final order process until they are paid.

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  • LLCs and Federal Tax. Do we only pay taxes on what is distributed? Are taxes paid on the amount held within the LLC?

    Hello, In the event of a Single member LLC, I understand that the sole member is taxed as self employed. Are taxes paid by the single member based on the amount distributed to him or does it include assets still held within the LLC for ...

    James’s Answer

    Unless a single member LLC made an election to be taxed as a corporation, a single member LLC is taxed just the same as a sole proprietor. Meaning, you're taxed as if the LLC doesn't exist.

    This means that you're taxed on your gross income, less allowed deductions/allowed expenses, *regardless* of distributions.

    Two or more members changes you to a partnership taxation under Subchapter-K of the Code. Multi-member LLCs may elect S-Corp or C-Corp taxation as well.

    You ought to go sit down with a CPA to discuss your tax situation. A CPA will almost certainly have a lower hourly than a tax-attorney.

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  • I WANT TO START MY OWN LLC. HOW DO I GO ABOUT DRAWING UP AN AGREEMENT OR A SUB AGREEMENT?

    I CURRENTLY HAVE A 2 YEAR NON-COMPETE AND CANNOT START MY OWN LLC. ONCE I HIRE AN ATTORNEY TO HAVE MY NONCOMPETE VOIDED, I WILL DO SO. MEANWHILE, I WOULD LIKE 2 FAMILY MEMBERS TO DO START THE LLC. HOW WOULD I GO ABOUT DRAWING A CONTRACT UP FOR THIS?

    James’s Answer

    You should hire a lawyer to (a) review your non-compete as most are overly broad, and (b) to form the LLC.

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  • Real estate investment LLC structure

    I have been researching setting up some LLCs to hold and operate some real estate property. I am a little confused on the structure and would like some clarification. I know each property should hold title apart from each other (123 Main St LLC, 4...

    James’s Answer

    I know you said "please do not just say speak to an attorney" but that IS the correct answer. Each situation is different, and if you are relying on internet advice over a Q&A forum, that's not smart.

    With that said, I would never advise for a property management company to own the holding companies. That defeats the purposes of having a management company. The management company is meant to bet the "target" of any litigation. It's also meant to not own anything. If it owned the holding LLCs, then the holding LLCs may be included in a future charging order (you don't want that).

    You also want to look into regulation of property management, most times they require the use of a licensed real-estate broker.

    You really, really, really, don't want to set up a multi-LLC structure without using a lawyer. And in fact, may actually be cheaper to use a lawyer than on your own as there are newer structures that can reduce the number of traditional LLCs required to maintain separation between each income property.

    Doing a bare-bones filing as the Secretary of State is doing you a real disservice from an asset protection standpoint.

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  • I own 3 bus, real estate, person assets. is putting it in my Corp better than trust act to provide for 3 adult children

    Corp was formed 15 years ago but nothing formally done with it

    James’s Answer

    I recommend discussing your situation with an estate planning lawyer who also does business entity formations and asset protection. There's just not enough information in your question to give you a good answer.

    Trusts typically don't provide any asset protection, other than some trusts can protect the trust corpus from a "beneficiary's" creditors. But not a self-settled trustor's creditors (the person who gives the property to the trust).

    I typically advise against running multiple businesses under a single entity. If the businesses are producing enough profits to offset needing to pay for an extra tax return each year, I find it a no-brainer to keep things separate. Texas also has a newer kind of LLC called a series LLC that may apply to your situation, particularly with real estate.

    Also, taxes need to be considered. Many times S-Corp taxation (probably what your corporation is taxed under) is not good for owning title to real estate unless you're in the active home flipping / building business.

    A good estate plan should intertwine with your business and asset protection planning. More than just a trust is needed to take care of your estate for your 3 adult children.

    I hope Cedar Creek is finally full; I haven't made it out to my parent's place in Trinidad in awhile.

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  • How to collect if I win Summary Judgment against a two Defendants?

    if 2 defendants were found equally liable for $1500 for breach of contract. How do I collect? can I collect $500 from one and the rest from the other? or should it be exactly an equal amount? Can I hit their bank with a levy of $1500 each and get...

    James’s Answer

    Mr. Walton is right. You can't collect double.

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  • Can a lawyer be held accountable for an estate going to probate because she failed to ensure anything ever was put in the trust?

    A lawyer was hired to draft a trust for my parents. Nothing was ever put in the trust. Upon my latest parent passing, his will was probated which ended up costing the estate about $20,000 more than the trust would have and has caused a four year d...

    James’s Answer

    First, $20,000 to probate an estate in TX is pretty high if there was no contest. And a four year delay makes no sense either. You might want to check to see if your attorney's hourly rate is reasonable. Probate hourly rates are usually lower than other litigation areas.

    Second: it's very common for people to not properly fund the trust, usually because they want to do it themselves instead of paying the lawyer to do it. Any lawyer worth half his salt doing a living trust will have built into the fee agreement or a closing letter that property has to be funded into the trust for the trust to do anything. So, my guess is that no, you won't be able to go after the other lawyer. But, you should hire your own probate lawyer to review the facts and see what's going on.

    I'm worried that the current probate lawyer is doing something wrong or strange.

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