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Gary Rotkop

Gary Rotkop’s Answers

5 total

  • Living Trust and related paperwork, where do I begin?

    I need to have a Living Trust and all that goes with this. I am a single woman, 55 years of age, I am legally divorced, I have two condos and my children are over the age of 18. Where do I begin? And, I have a few medical issues that I have bee...

    Gary’s Answer

    The first step is to take a deep breath to plan this out properly. Sounds like you are looking for a proper estate plan, this commonly involves a living trust, among other documents. An estate plan is a group of documents that work together to efficiently transfer assets to your family upon your death.

    There are many resources and templates available online. However, to help guide you around many potential pitfalls, you should hire a California attorney to walk you through the process.

    Typically your estate plan should include a living trust, a pour-over will, a backup will, a health care power of attorney, and a financial power of attorney. Some of these documents may be combined.

    Unfortunately, the rules of this website prohibit attorneys from providing you with a complete how-to. The best I can do is advise you to hire an attorney for the above reasons.

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  • We are a corporation. being sued for a workers comp case. If we lose are the officers of the corp. liable for judgment?

    We don't have workers comp.

    Gary’s Answer

    As a general rule, corporations create a shield protecting officers and shareholders from liability. However, this protection may be pierced if the corporation commingles its assets with personal funds, is not adequately insured/capitalized or does not follow corporate formalities. Piercing is rarely successful. However, you should be concerned, especially since you do not have workers compensation insurance. If possible, you need to retain an attorney to give you more specialized advice.

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  • In a contract I just received, it requests that all facsimile copies be treated as originals. Is that a typical request?

    The contract states: "This Agreement may be signed in counterparts, with each counterpart constituting an original document. All counterparts, when taken together, shall constitute one and the same instrument. The parties agree that facsimile copi...

    Gary’s Answer

    This language both as to facsimile and email is a standard clause that allows for faster execution of the contract so that you do not need to snail mail the original documents around from party to party. I cannot verify whether the language you want to add/replace will have the desired effect without looking to the entire document. It would be proper to ask the other party whether it is alright to add the email language prior to changing the clause. Also, the final executed copies should have the same language. Have you had an attorney look through your contract on your behalf? If not, it is probably worthwhile. A contract can provide you with many protections but it can also open you up to liabilities.

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  • How to determine if time is of the essence in a contract?

    I do graphic design work and I charge hourly. In a contract with a client, I provided an estimate of the date I would finish the project, a hourly rate and a $ cap, along with a line "this is only an estimate and timeframes are not set in stone." ...

    Gary’s Answer

    It is difficult to tell if time is of the essence in this contract based on the excerpts you provided. Often times, a time is of the essence clause states those words explicitly: "time is of the essence." Generally speaking, if a client has accepted work, you ought to get paid (at least in part) for the work done. Try and work out a resolution with your client that you both think is fair. If that does not work, it may be a good idea for you to hire an attorney to review your contract and contact your client on your behalf. If all else fails, you may consider filing a lawsuit against your client. I understand that many independent contractors are loathe to file a suit against their own clients. You are the best person to weigh your options and decide how to move forward. I wish you the best.

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  • How do I determine how many business are under a corporation in California and what the names of the corporate offices are?

    This Corporation / Inc (person who incorporated) owns multiple auto repair shops / franchises from my understanding and I want to look up cases against this person, his corp, etc. Is there a central location that lists this type of information?

    Gary’s Answer

    You can get some basic information about the corporation from the California Secretary of State website. The direct line for the page you are looking for is http://kepler.sos.ca.gov/

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