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William F. Bernard

William Bernard’s Answers

276 total


  • I run a real estate photography company. I need help deciding to either form an LLC or an S-Corp.

    Sales are around $75,000 and expected to go up. Currently it's only me working but my wife helps out a lot and I plan to maybe hire help here and there.

    William’s Answer

    Profits can generally be divided in a manner that LLC members see fit, whereas profits in the S-Corp. are always distributed according to the value of shares held. For example, an operating agreement may state that all dividends or money offered to members throughout an accounting year must be equal, and the profits at accounting year end must be divided by the percentage of units owned by the member. Furthermore, ownership interests may be changed pursuant to an LLC operating agreement if members decide that contributions from certain members are different from what was originally conceptualized.

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  • What is the time frame to file a lawsuit after being fired from an employer?

    It has been 5 months since being fired.

    William’s Answer

    If the claim was based on discrimination based on a protected class and an EEOC or DFEH claim was filed first as it should be, it would be 1 year from the receipt of a "right to sue" letter from said agency(s).

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  • If I live in California, are noncompete agreements still illegal if the other party is in a state where they're legal?

    I'm assuming not but had to check.

    William’s Answer

    A proprietary rights agreement dealing with trade secrets would be enforceable, however much depends upon the state of governance in the contract with regard to non-competition agreements. Non-Competes are many times not enforceable against employees and independent contractors, but rather only against individuals possessing an ownership interest in the business, with some exceptions. Consult a lawyer with regard to your specific situation for the best guidance.

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  • Should I get a lawyer?

    I gave my job 2 weeks notice and seem like they were mad, they told me I can leave before the first week was up, and gave me a check. But didn't pay 2 full weeks !! They always discriminated me for speaking up about the wrong things they do at work.

    William’s Answer

    Mr. Kirshbaum is dead on target. An employer's obligation is to pay an employee wages they have earned. They do not have to pay wages not earned. Discrimination, by the way, is based on protected classes--not solely on being treated "unfairly".

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  • Are there any circumstances in which an irrevocable trust can be revoked?

    I am the successor trustee of an irrevocable trust. Circumstances have changed whereby the original maker of the trust wishes to dissolve the trust due to a deteriorated and hostile relationship with some of the intended beneficiaries.

    William’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    If you would like to pass wealth from one generation to the next while incurring a minimal amount of tax, you may have set up an irrevocable trust, or you may be considering doing so. However, irrevocable trusts are, by their nature, restrictive. The ultimate beneficiaries of your irrevocable trust will face restrictions on how much and when assets can be pulled from the trust. In addition, if you or the beneficiaries later need to change the irrevocable trust's trustee, it can be very difficult to do so.
    "Decanting" a trust is a way to get around some of the restrictions that come with an irrevocable trust. To decant a trust, you set up a new irrevocable trust that is set up with the desired provisions. Then, you "pour" (transfer) the old trust into the new trust.
    Unfortunately, California does not generally allow for trust decanting. Under some circumstances, however, it is possible to transfer the irrevocable trust from California to a state that allows decanting. Once the trust is registered in the new state, the decanting process can take place. When the decanting is complete, the trust can then be transferred back to California. Be very cautious and only proceed with an attorney's advice specific to your situation.
    DISCLAIMER: The information provided by WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. is disseminated for educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not take any action, postpone any action, or decline to take any proposed action based on this information without first engaging the representation of a licensed attorney at law in your State of residence.

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  • Employment contract not allow work for competitor or outside employment during employment enforceable in California?

    I am employee for Employer. I signed employment contract that doesn't allow me to do similar work, work for a competitor, or have outside employment while employed with Employer. I did some independent contractor work for competitor or company t...

    William’s Answer

    Often an illegal non-compete against an employee is mis-classified as an enforceable proprietary rights agreement. A true non-compete would only be enforceable against individuals with an ownership interest in the company they are leaving. Review the agreement with an attorney please. as to former employees of a company, every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind is to that extent void.

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  • What legal rights do I have to protect myself from harassment at work from management due to whistle blowing?

    Every time my manager hears from HR, or get a call from her manager concerning me, I get a write up or a negative performance evaluation. This has been going on for months and nothing has been done despite calling HR and my district manager. I hav...

    William’s Answer

    If you reported an issue that violates public policy such as: waste, fraud, abuse of authority, violation of law, or a threat to the public safety. You must then suffer the following: termination, demotion, threats, coercion, or any other act of reprisal by the employer. These are adverse employment actions amounting to retaliation for which you can recover damages consisting of lost wages and benefits, and potentially even punitive damages..

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  • Do private sector wage and hour laws in Calif. re. frequency of pay extend to public employees not represented by a union?

    I am employed by a Calif. public school district as a substitute teacher. Substitute teachers in the district are not represented by a union. Substitutes have recently been informed that for the 2015-2016 school year, pay will be delayed an entire...

    William’s Answer

    Persons employed in a professional capacity may be paid once a month on or before the 26th day of the month during which the labor was performed if the entire month's salary, including the unearned portion between the date of payment and the last day of the month, is paid at that time. Such employees may be paid more frequently, however. A person employed in a professional capacity means any employee who meets all of the following requirements: Who is licensed or certified by the State of California and is primarily engaged in the practice of one of the following recognized professions: law, medicine, dentistry, optometry, architecture, engineering, teaching, or accounting,

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  • How much will it cost for an attorney to review a Civil Summons served on me and give me advice? and also how much to reply?

    I have a LLC company and it got served with a Summons in Civil Action in a federal court and I'm passed the deadline to respond.

    William’s Answer

    Well that depends upon the attorney's hourly fee. Look up competent business lawyers on AVVO site please.

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  • My mom passed away in June and her tax return was set back to IRS how do i claim the refund money in my name

    I received a letter in the mail stating that it was returned to sender and that my mother needed to sign and return the letter back to the IRS with a different address for them to send it back to her . i have her death certificate i don't know wha...

    William’s Answer

    Use form 1310 at the link provided:
    http://www.irs.gov/uac/Form-1310,-Statement-of-Person-Claiming-Refund-Due-a-Deceased-Taxpayer

    DISCLAMER: The information provided by WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. is disseminated for educational purposes only, and is not to be construed as legal advice. Do not take any action, postpone any action, or decline to take any proposed action based on this information without first engaging the representation of a licensed attorney at law in your State of residence.

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