Friday, April 22, 2016

Legal Representation For Your HOA

Homeowners' associations (HOAs) are common organizations at the Lake Area and around the rest of the country. Homeowners' associations may consist of a variety of different types of dwellings, including townhouses and single-family homes. Condominium owners' associations are particularly common here at the Lake, but there are several HOAs consisting of single-family homes as well. As with most corporations, HOAs are sometimes in need of legal representation to protect their interests. When these situations arise, our attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks will be here to help.

About Homeowners' Associations

Property owners within HOAs are required to pay for dues for the association, which are typically referred to as "assessments." Depending on the HOA's needs, these assessments may be charged annually, biannually, or monthly. The exact costs covered by the assessments vary from association to association, but they typically include items such as:
  • Landscaping
  • Snow removal
  • Security
  • Maintenance and repairs for community facilities, such as:
    • Clubhouses
    • Pools
    • Tennis courts
    • Playgrounds
    • Exercise facilities
  • Salaries for the HOA employees (if applicable)

These types of expenses are generally covered in the homeowners' associations set fees, which they may adjust every year or so to reflect the current costs the association. If necessary, the HOA may ask for special assessments at various intervals to cover atypical major improvement or repairs.

Collecting On Unpaid Assessments

Unfortunately, sometimes homeowners fail to pay their assessments in a timely manner (or at all). When this happens, the board members and/or trustees of the HOA must take steps to ensure that they get the monies owed to them, or else the other property owners may have to take on the brunt of the cost. 

Each homeowners' association has different terms and regulations. Depending on how their bylaws are written, the HOA may be able to hold the delinquent property owner liable for several different expenses, such as:
  • Late fees
  • Unpaid assessments
  • Fines (if applicable)
  • Interest (if applicable)
  • Costs of collecting (i.e., attorney's fees)

Contact O'Donnell Law Center To Protect Your HOA

If the property owners are unable or refuse to pay, the homeowners' association may be able to utilize a delinquent assessment lien to protect the association's interests. Our law center in Osage Beach MO has a great deal of experience representing both condo and homeowners' associations in this capacity. If you are struggling with a property owner who is neglecting to pay his/her assessments, contact O'Donnell Law Center for the representation you need. We promise to do everything we can to take the burden off of your shoulders.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, April 15, 2016

Your Estate Planning Resource At The Lake

Our estate planning division is one of the most active divisions at our Lake of the Ozarks general practice law firm. This is a good thing, because it means people are recognizing the importance of making end of life decisions and getting those wishes in writing.

There are several different situations in life that may trigger the need to develop or revise your estate plan. We have talked before about some of them, such as buying your first home or car, receiving an inheritance, and/or starting a business. This week, your estate planning professionals in Osage Beach MO are here to discuss a few other situations that may motivate people to make important end of life decisions.

When To Draft (Or Revise) Your Estate Plan

Starting A Family
Starting a family is a life-changing experience. Your kids will become your whole world - the first people you think about when you wake up in the morning and the last people you think about before going to sleep at night. As parents, you will want to be confident that your children will be well cared for in the event that something happens to you. We can help you set up an estate plan nominating a new legal guardian for your children in the event of your death.

Losing A Spouse
Whether by death or divorce, losing a spouse is a life-changing event. If you set up an estate plan while you were married, it should be updated to reflect your current situation. You may also need to update the beneficiary information on your life insurance and retirement accounts.

Going On An Overseas Vacation
Traveling abroad is wonderfully exciting, but it comes with its fair share of risk. Hopefully you will return home safely after your trip, but life is notoriously unpredictable. If you are planning to travel abroad soon, it may be wise to consider your end of life wishes and make sure your affairs are in order before your departure. 

Believe it or not, your plans for retirement can impact your estate planning needs rather significantly. As people retire they tend to become more aware that their time on this earth is limited, and they may become motivated to get their end of life directives in order while they are still capable of doing so.

O'Donnell Law Center:
Your Estate Planning Resource At The Lake

End of life can be an unpleasant topic, but it doesn't have to be.  Our team is here to support you through this important planning process. We create a comfortable environment that facilitates dialogue about difficult topics, and we work diligently to craft the estate plan that will best meet each client's unique needs. After a brief, private signing ceremony, our clients leave our law office in Osage Beach with their original estate plan, and an electronic copy follows shortly thereafter. 

If you are unable to travel to our Center, we can come to you or take much of your information over the phone or through electronic communications.

To learn more about how we can help you with estate planning at the Lake of the Ozarks, call our Center at 573-552-0324 or visit our website:

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, April 8, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions About Setting Up An LLC

If you plan to start a business at the Lake of the Ozarks, one of the first things you will have to do is determine what business entity you would like to use. Because of its many distinct advantages, more and more entrepreneurs are choosing to incorporate their businesses as limited liability companies (LLCs). If you are an aspiring entrepreneur, you probably have several questions about the process. Here are the answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about setting up an LLC, courtesy of your business attorney in Osage Beach MO.

What Does It Take To Set Up An LLC?
In order to set up a legally recognized LLC, you will have to check with the Secretary of State's office to ensure that your proposed business name has not already been claimed by someone else, and if not, then you will prepare and submit your Articles of Organization. Unless you are registering a fictitious name, you do not have to take separate steps to register the business name.

How Many People Do You Need To Set Up An LLC?
There is no requirement as to the number of people needed in an LLC. You can have as many members (owners) as you want, or you can set one up as a sole member LLC.

What Is The Difference Between A Member And A Manager?
You will need to choose if your LLC will be member managed or managed by a member. Members are co-owners of the company, as are stockholders in a corporation. The manager is the individual responsible for handling the day-to-day legal aspects of running a business. The manager can also be a member, but does not have to be.

Are There Any Limits On What I Can Name My Company?
Your company name may not be the same as (or too similar to) an existing LLC already registered within your state. You must also include something at the end of your business name to identify it as a limited liability company, such as LLC, L.L.C., LC, or L.C.

What Is An Operating Agreement?
While operating agreements are not mandatory, the are important to have, even if you only have one member in your LLC. As its name suggests, this agreement outlines key aspects of how you plan to operate your business, and it will pre-determine what steps to take if a member leaves the company or dies. Like a prenuptial agreement prepared prior to marriage, a well-drafted operating agreement can save time, energy, and conflict down the road.

What Is An EIN? Do I Need One?
An EIN is an Employer Identification Number, which is obtained through the state for tax purposes. It is usually a good idea to obtain an EIN at the time of LLC formation.

Who Can Act As Registered Agent For My LLC?
LLCs require a register agent for purposes of accepting service of process in the event the LLC gets sued. When meeting certain requirements, an owner can act as registered agent for the LLC. A registered agent must have a permanent physical address, as service of process cannot be made upon a post office box. The designated agent must be in the same state as the LLC. Sometimes it is appropriate to designate an attorney or other professional as registered agent.

Do I Have To Have An Attorney To Set Up An LLC?
No, but engaging a business attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks to assist with the creation of your LLC will provide valuable peace of mind knowing that everything has been handled correctly and accurately.

Contact O'Donnell Law Center For Help Setting Up Your LLC!
If you are considering starting your own business and would like more information about the process, contact our business lawyer at the Lake of the Ozarks. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have and guide you through the process to ensure that everything is handled appropriately. For more information about our business law services in Osage Beach MO, call our Center at 573-552-0317 or visit our website.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3

Osage Beach, MO  65065

Friday, April 1, 2016

Wills vs Revocable Living Trusts: Which Is Right For You?

While no one wants to think about it, none of us will live forever. Effective end of life discussions go beyond a simple "who gets my stuff?" - in order to properly plan your estate at the Lake of the Ozarks, it's important to identify what you want people to remember about you and what makes you comfortable. O'Donnell Law Center will be here to help facilitate these types of conversations.

Setting Up Your Estate Plan
No two estate plans are exactly alike. A proper estate plan is completely customized to meet you and your family's unique needs. Different financial and familial situations require the use of different estate planning documents. Today, we're going to look specifically at wills and revocable living trusts.

Revocable Living Trusts
Revocable living trusts are valuable estate planning documents that offer several unique advantages. For example, with a revocable living trust, you can:
  • Designate a successor trustee to be in charge of your estate if you become incapacitated.
  • Keep your estate private even after you have passed away.
  • Transfer property to your heirs.
  • Eliminate the need for your estate to have to pass through probate.

Their "revocable" nature allows you to update and change these estate planning documents down the road, as your needs change. One drawback presented by revocable living trusts is that they are typically a bit more expensive than other estate planning documents (such as wills) and there is a bit of work to do after you have created the trust in order to transfer your assets into the trust.

Wills are not as all-encompassing as revocable living trusts, but there are a few key things you can accomplish with a will that cannot be done using a revocable living trust. For example, wills enable you to:
  • Nominate a legal guardian for your minor children.

A major advantage of wills is that they allow you to nominate a legal guardian for your minor children. While Wills are often less costly during your lifetime to establish, they do not eliminate the need for probate, which can be costly and time-consuming after you are gone. Once they are filed with the court, they become public record.

Most of the time, a revocable living trust is accompanied by a specific kind of Will called a "pour over Will" to make sure that all of the assets you intended to put into your trust during your lifetime, but didn't, get transferred into your trust after your death. Our attorney at the Lake of the Ozarks can help you design an estate plan that is right for you.

O'Donnell Law Center Can Help You Set Up Your Estate Plan
Hopefully we will all go on to lead happy, healthy lives for many many years to come, but unfortunately it is impossible to predict exactly where our lives will lead. It is always good to evaluate your estate planning needs as soon as you have children, purchase a home, start a business, or your marital status changes. Our estate planning attorney in Osage Beach MO can help you evaluate your situation to determine which estate planning document(s) will best meet your needs. Visit our website or call our center at 573-552-0317 to learn more.

We Carry Your Burden ~ You Carry On With Life.

Disclaimer: No attorney-client relationship is created by the publication of this blog.

The choice of a lawyer is an important decision and should not be based solely on advertising.

Phone: (573) 552-0317

O'Donnell Law Center, LLC
1026 Palisades Blvd. Suite 3
Osage Beach, MO  65065