Showing posts from August, 2017

Merit-Based Immigration Visas and the Trump Administration

Family-based immigrant visas could become much more difficult to acquire if the “merit based immigration bill” proposed by Donald Trump and the Republican Party were to become law. Under the proposed merit-based visa category, an alien would accrue points based on age, education, work experience, family ties in the United States and other attributes. Alien applicants with the highest overall points in a year would be given Green Cards. The merit-based system divides applicants evenly between two tiers: Tier 1:  Skilled workers—those who qualify for jobs that require extensive training and education. Tier 2:  Medium to low-skilled workers—those who qualify for jobs that require a medium to low amount of preparation. The new merit-based immigration system is designed for those who can quickly adapt to life in the US, find well-paying jobs to support themselves and their families and pay taxes. It will weed out those who require extensive assistance with housing and language an

Green Card 2017: Requirements and Benefits for Family-Based Immigrant Visas

Unfortunately, immigration in 2017 has become a highly contentious issue. We are constantly confronted with tragic stories about roundups–those who have lived in the US for many years, holding steady jobs, owning businesses, paying taxes and raising their families—who are now being deported. Those competing for the highly prized H-1B visas may be finding their opportunities threatened or curtailed. Now, as never before, a US  Green Card  is a prized commodity. We don’t yet know the extent of  immigration  reform, but there’s no question that it is more difficult to gain entry into the US and to obtain a coveted Green Card. Immediate family members: visa numbers available, yet the process remains lengthy At DP Legal Solutions, we work primarily with families who sponsor their immediate family members to come to the US.  The US government believes in uniting families . To that end, they make visa numbers available for immediate relatives of US citizens or  Green Card holders . “

Without Deed’s Joint Tenancy, Estate Ends up in Probate

We help many clients  transfer Deeds —it’s generally a simple process that we can accomplish quickly, sometimes in a day. The following example highlights the importance of what is called  vesting , or the way in which title to a Deed is held. It seems like a small thing, but a  Deed  is the legal document that identifies the property owner. Without the title, it is impossible to buy or sell a home. And as our client discovered, she also couldn’t update her  Living Trust.  This is a  cautionary tale , and unfortunately, we see this kind of situation all too often. “Sandra” came in to our office to update her Living Trust—something we recommend that people do periodically, with important life events. A physical therapist, Sandra had moved to the Bay Area from Boston ten years earlier to be closer to her mother, her daughter and grandchildren. She and her mother had bought a cottage in Oakland together, and she was delighted to be there for both her mother and daughter at this poin

Transfer on Death Deed: Streamlining Succession Planning

We’ve been getting a lot of questions lately about the new Transfer on Death Deed (TOD). This statute went into effect in early 2016. The TOD Deed allows Californians to sign a deed transferring real property to another individual upon their death. The deed is revocable until the transferor’s death. Eligible property includes: Condominiums. One to four residential dwelling units. A single tract of agricultural land consisting of 40 acres or fewer that is improved with a single-family house. Upon the death of the transferor, the TOD Deed transfers all of the transferor’s interest in the real property to the beneficiary. If there are multiple beneficiaries, the beneficiaries take the property as tenants in common (TIC), in equal shares. What’s to like about the TOD Many people are creating a TOD Deed for their homes or other real property and circumventing having to create a  Living Trust . In these cases, their home represents the biggest share of their assets, so by cre