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How Do I Add a Member to My LLC? And More Free Legal Advice – Free Joe 3/2/12

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On Tuesdays and Fridays, attorney Joe Escalante answers legal questions for free on the LegalZoom Facebook Page. Did you miss the last Free Joe? Don’t worry. We’ve got it all right here.

Jon: What steps need to be taken when a single-member LLC adds a member. Are there any forms that need to be filed with the IRS for this?

Joe Escalante: This changes your tax situation so you need to speak to your tax pro before you do it. Rules governing these entities vary by state, but you probably don’t have to change your articles of organization unless you are changing from a member managed to a manager managed form, or vice versa.

Darenda: My spouse abandoned our marriage over 18 months ago we never argued and I was led to believe we were best friends and totally committed. Together 7 years unfortunately he had taken multiple payday cash advances, failed to have federal or state taxes deducted repossession of our vehicle and failed to disclose very serious issues, I was working full time as a nurse and have always been confident and responsible very light hearted. He has refused any form of communication and I became so despondent serious emotional suffering to the extent of severe depression and hospitalization. His tax liabilities caused wage garnishment and a lien on my bank account I have lost my home and had to apply for disability and nursing practice requires we not practice until fully recovered. Recently a woman text me as his lover and shared explicit sexual details causing such distress my diagnosis is Post traumatic stress disorder Can i proceed with a tort case based on intention and how can I find my spouse as I have nothing but a cell phone number D in North Carolina

Joe Escalante: Intentional infliction of emotional distress is a tort. People are found guilty of it all the time, but it is very difficult to establish the requisite intent. This is the kind of lawsuit that takes tens of thousands of dollars to get underway. Without cash, it’s not going to happen. A more doable plan is to file for divorce, present your case to the court and get a judgment against him to pay the bills he caused. Your divorce attorney will tell you what tort options you have, and what they will cost, but first get the divorce underway.

If the lady lover has any assets, and she’s tormenting you, you could go after her. It sounds like your ex has no assets so you will be lucky to garnish enough of his wages to pay the extra bills he caused.

To find him, use one of the search services like

Carolyn: My husband & I are seperated. He is retired from the Va. Hospital and has the federal employees insurance. My question is regarding if we divorce will I loss the insurance. I have been told I needed to be on his insurance for five years before he retired how do I find out the stipulations for this? Is this correct? I was on his policy two years before he retired.

Joe Escalante: This is something you need to have addressed in the divorce decree. The court can continue your health insurance. You need a divorce lawyer. Click below and get started:

LegalZoom: Here you go, Carolyn:

Leslynn: Question: I would like to be able to buy wholesale products for resale on ebay but I understand I need a sellers permit to do so. Other than a sellers permit, what other paperwork do I need? Do I need a DBA? I will be the only business owner and I would also like to form a LLC. Thank you

Joe Escalante: DBA is first and easy to get. (hint: Legalzoom) Talk to an insurance agent as well, there’s a fair amount of liability you are exposed to in any business. Your city or county may require a business license as well. The agency issuing the seller’s permit will tell you how to file required reports and pay sales tax, etc.


Frances: Besides power of attorney, what is needed to change my parents name to mine, I am already on her living will, on the ownership of the home we reside in?

Joe Escalante: In varies by state, but in my state you file a preliminary change of ownership report with the County Registrar, and follow the process to have the title changed on the deed.

Marty: how long does a debt written in a divorce agreement last? my husband was given a note secured by a house in his divorce in 1978. he passed in 1998…is it still valid and could be part of his estate?

Joe Escalante: This would depend on a lot of facts. If he has a valid lien on the house, they wont be able to sell it without satisfying the debt, ever. However, they could argue that some other arrangement was made in this 20 years and challenge it.

Michael: I am one of several parners of a pro wrestling company based in Southern, Indiana. One of the partners recently left the company. He registered our domain name using his personal info and will not surrender it to one of the remaining partners. Is there anything that can be done to have the domain returned to us?

Joe Escalante: That depends. You have to be able to prove that you are the rightful owner of that domain. This could be done in a few ways, the best of which would be showing your validly registered trademark of the business. If you don’t have that, it’s not going to be as easy. Here’s some cyber squatter resources:

Clarence: iff i create a LLC, can i put the vahicles and property under it without using my name? can i create aLLC without using my name as propitier? bank accounts? if so can my son be set up to recive the property of the llc(takeover)? he is 8 yrs old.

Joe Escalante: Someone has to be on the hook with the Secretary of State in case the LLC pulls any shenanigans. You can’t do this anonymously.

Linda: My husband went into a diabetic coma. We live in Laurens, SC but Greenwoood SC is closer. EMS was asked to take my husband to Self Reg. Hosp. in Greenwood but they took him to Laurens. Why should we have to pay the EMS or Laurens Hosp.? Was that not kiddnapping him? Laurens Hosp is 23 miles -Greenwood is 12 one way and 13 miles another way.

Joe Escalante: Kidnapping is a federal offense. When the bill comes, figure out how much less it would have cost to be transported to Greenwood, and offer them that.

Carload: Does the words “PATENT PENDING” have to be on the product itself or can it just be on the package that the product comes in?

Joe Escalante: Some products cannot support any markings, so the packaging is the only way. If you can do both, do both. If not, it’s got to be somewhere to supply what is called “constructive notice.”

Alicia: Can an LLC be operated as such where multiple DBAs are form to conduct different types of business? Or is it best to form LLCs for each company?

Joe Escalante: Multiple DBAs are OK.

Constance: In 2005 I paid 1500.00 for a divorce through my attorney she took my money and still didn’t grant me the divorce… Is there anything I can do about this? She (my attorney) is a Public Defender now.

Joe Escalante: You can file a claim with the state bar if she dropped the ball on your case.

Tabitha: I have a question? My husband passed away about 8 years ago and his belongings were with me (most of them) his dad asked for his guitar (that my husband bought) being the nice person I am I allowed him to have but said when he passed I wanted it back for our children. well now his sister has it and wont give it back until my children are an appropriate age she said that it was legally hers and was left in the Dads estate does she have a legal stand? Very upset my children are being kept from this..:(

Joe Escalante: When your father in law died, there was a period where creditors can make claims on the estate. It’s arguable that if you didn’t do that, all the stuff in his possession was legally declared his. In that case, it passes to his heirs who may have had no reason to believe the stuff they received was not legally their fathers’. The law doesn’t favor people who “sit” on their rights. It requires diligence. It’s the only way.

Lynn: I was in a car accident 2 weeks ago tomorrow. I was making a left turn on a GREEN ARROW. A guy came through the red light in a Big Silverado truck and totalled my F-150 truck. He had to have been going 50+. I had just started moving to make my turn. I have an attorney. The guys insurance people called and left me a message saying that I was making a left turn and ran into HER INSURED….my attorney said not to talk to them, so I haven’t, even though I would love to tell them a thing or two. Anyway, at this time, I’m WITHOUT a car and I’m wondering should things be moving along faster than this ? I have turned in the accident statement early this week and I could really use a rental car…..also, my attorney says the police report could take up to 4 months to arrive. Is there any way to speed things up ? Thank you, Lynn PS There were injuries, and my Niece and I are currently going for treatments to the Chiropractor. Thanks again.

Joe Escalante: If you have full coverage, tell your rep you need a car. They will cover whatever is in your policy. If you only have liability coverage, and you are found at fault, your insurance won’t cover a car, or anything for you, they will only cover the other guy. So there is some risk involved until fault is determined.

Jason: What options does a person have to reduce a garnishment amount (currently at 25% = $1200/mo) if a judge denied our appeal for a more suitable payment plan. The debt is for a real estate def.

Joe Escalante: A judgment is determined by the court. There’s no where else for you to go.

Cindy: Hi Joe, my son was arrested on a buglary charge. His PD has been totally useless in fighting for him. Can my husband (his step-dad) represent him in court? He is not a lawyer, but he is a retired CID agent. I know that you can represent yourself, but can someone else that’s not a lawyer represent you???

Joe Escalante: No, it’s called the Unauthorized Practice of Law. Check out “Legally Blonde” for more info.

Samantha: Yeah, I have sole physical custody of my son and my ex husband is trying to take custody when he doesn’t even want to take our child on his weekend visits. He’s filing tons of papers and served me with a motion which I have already responded to but he responded to my response, will that look bad for him because he’s going overboard and trying to be very argumentative? He’s falsely accusing me of things trying to make me look like a bad parent just because we’re in a bad living situation due to job losses, we’ve been stuck in a motel room for three months now. If my son were to be put with him he would be sharing a bed with him and here he has his whole own queen sized bed. He has food in his tummy and a roof over his head. We are unfortunately victims of circumstance. What can I do to make sure I can keep custody of my son????

Joe Escalante: Sorry you are caught up in this system but this is how it works. He will say horrible things about you, and you about him, and the court will have to decide what is in the best interest of the child. You sound like you have the right priorities so keep this up and present a logical argument to the court in connection with your son’s best interests. Good luck.

Laurie: Three months ago, a homeowner rented a room out to a disabled person. Today he decides he wants to change his lifestyle and provides tenant with a written 30 days notice to move. Is the landlord required to do anything additional and will the 30 day notice be sufficient? The CAR month to month rental agreement was used and a blank piece of paper was used to type the 30 day move out notice.

Joe Escalante: Property owners that lease to tenants on a month to month basis have the right to recover possession of the property in 30 days with proper notice. Notice can be typed on anything, as long as the message is communicated. If he denied renting due to a disability, that would be illegal, but if he’s honoring the lease terms, and it has nothing to do with the disability, then he’s on pretty solid ground to change his lifestyle.

Ted: If I am in custody can the police go through my bag and take my house key then go and search my house without telling me?

Joe Escalante: They would need probable cause to search your house. They can get a warrant from a judge; happens all the time. Without a warrant, what they recover would not be admissible as evidence against you in court. If they have probable cause, or a warrant, be glad they took your house key. They could have busted your door down.

LegalZoom: That’s it for today’s Free Joe. Joe will be back next week to answer more legal questions. Join us then!

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March 6th, 2012 at 6:00 am