fbpx

Father Knows Best: Avoiding Common Estate Planning Pitfalls

As a father, you’ve always strived to provide the best for your family, ensuring their well-being and securing their future. However, even the most well-intentioned plans can fail if you overlook the complexities of estate planning. Read more…

View Post
Share:

From Basement Beginnings to Business Brilliance: The Nitro Bar’s Story

The path to entrepreneurial success is paved with challenges and triumphs, often born from humble beginnings. One such business is The Nitro Bar. Audrey Finocchiaro and Sam Lancaster are the founders of this thriving company, and all entrepreneurs can learn from their story. Read more…

View Post
Share:

8 Tips to Help Secure Outside Funding for Your Business

As an entrepreneur, you can appreciate how difficult it may be to get outside investment funding for your business. But fret not! It’s possible to turn that “no” into a “yes” with these 8 tips. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Memorial Day Reflections: Crafting Your Lasting Legacy With Estate Planning

Memorial Day brings with it an opportunity to reflect on the concepts of mortality, remembrance, and legacy. But what is a legacy, really? And how does it apply to you? Read more…

View Post
Share:

Understanding Liability: How to Protect Your Business From Lawsuits

Managing a business comes with its own set of challenges, and one of the biggest is potential lawsuits. Lawsuits can drain your financial resources, consume precious time, and tarnish your company’s reputation. However, strategic planning and support from trusted advisor can significantly mitigate these risks. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Survival Strategies for Today’s New Entrepreneur: Part 2

In the first part of this series last week, we discussed 5 survival strategies for business success, including the importance of partnerships, preparedness, inclusivity, team support, and maintaining a unique business identity. In this second installment, we continue with 5 more strategies that are essential for modern entrepreneurs aiming to thrive in today’s competitive market. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Steps to Take Now to Secure a Comfortable Retirement: Part 2

In the first part of our series on practical steps to take to ensure a comfortable retirement, we discussed estate planning, passing on legacy, and planning for long-term care. This week, we continue with 5 more steps, from adapting your home for comfort and safety to harnessing technology for independence. Taking these steps will give you comfort in your later years. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Steps to Take Now to Secure a Comfortable Retirement: Part 1

Retirement is more than just an end to the working years; it’s an exciting new phase of life that requires thoughtful preparation and strategic planning. This Older Americans Awareness Month is the perfect opportunity to explore 5 practical steps you can take now to ensure a comfortable and fulfilling retirement. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Survival Strategies for Today’s New Entrepreneur: Part 1

Any successful entrepreneur will tell you that starting your own business is a thrilling endeavor that requires creativity, resilience, and strategic thinking. No matter what type of business you own, there are foundational strategies that will help you lay a strong groundwork for success. We discuss 5 of 10 strategies in this week’s article. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Estate Planning: A Gift of Peace and Power for Every Mother

Here’s a Mother’s Day gift that keeps on giving: the peace of mind and power that comes with thoughtful estate planning. Estate planning helps you protect yourself, your children and your financial stability so you’re prepared for anything. That’s the best gift a mom can get. Read more…

View Post
Share:

The FTC’s Non-Compete Ban: What It Means For Small Business

The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) recent decision to ban non-compete agreements marks a significant shift in how labor markets will operate across the United States, and small businesses need to be ready. Here’s how. Read more…

View Post
Share:

The Dark Side of the Internet: Protect Yourself From Online Scams and Digital Attacks

Sadly, online scams and digital attacks are becoming more common. In this week’s article, we discuss 7 practical steps you can take to secure your online data. It’s never been more important than it is now. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Avoid Accidentally Using Someone Else’s Trademark in 4 Practical Steps

Launching a new business or expanding an existing one brings the thrill of crafting a unique brand identity. This creative process is exhilarating, yet it’s fraught with hidden dangers, notably the risk of infringing on another company’s established trademark. Learn how to avoid costly mistakes with 4 practical steps. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Using Credit Cards to Fund Business Growth: What Entrepreneurs Need to Know

One way to secure business funding is with credit cards. But making an informed decision about business credit can be difficult. So let’s explore what you need to know about using credit cards to fund your business, so you can do so wisely and with as much ease as possible. Read more…

View Post
Share:

What Happens To Your Social Media Account When You Die?

Ever wondered what happens to your social media accounts after you pass away? Each social media platform has its own rules, so understanding these options is essential for managing your digital accounts responsibly. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Why Estate Planning Is the Best Use of Your Tax Refund

So you got a tax refund this year. Hooray! While you may be tempted to spend it on a vacation, or put it away for a rainy day, there’s an even better way to put that refund to work for you: estate planning. Here’s why. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Effective Communication for Effective Leadership: A Guide for Entrepreneurs

In the entrepreneurial world, where innovation and vision drive the future, the importance of effective communication is often overlooked. But the ability to convey your ideas clearly, persuade and inspire action can make or break a business. Luckily, you can learn how to communicate in a way that makes you a great leader and business owner. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Navigating the World of Cryptocurrency: A Guide for Parents and Teens

In an era where digital innovation shapes every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that our teenagers are drawn to the allure of cryptocurrency. But before they venture into these waters, parents should be prepared to help them navigate this new world.

View Post
Share:

Clash of Cash: Small Business Loans vs. Lines of Credit

When starting or expanding a small business, one of the most critical decisions an entrepreneur faces is how to fund the venture. Two popular options are business lines of credit and bank loans, but making the right decision without guidance can be daunting.

View Post
Share:

April Fools! How DIY Wills and Trusts Offer a False Sense of Security … and May Leave Your Family With an Expensive Mess

Do-it-yourself Wills and Trusts are all over the internet, with promises of saving you money and protecting your loved ones after you’re gone. But don’t be fooled! They’re often way more trouble than they’re worth. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Improve Your Financial Fitness and Grow Your Business With Confidence

Most people think “fitness” only relates to physical health. But that’s not the case! Financial fitness is important, too, especially for entrepreneurs. When you have strong financial fitness you can grow your business with confidence. Read more…

View Post
Share:

PARENTS, STEP-PARENTS AND CHILDREN, OH MY! BLENDED FAMILIES + DEATH = A POTENTIAL NIGHTMARE

This week we look at a real-life cautionary tale about what can happen in any blended family when the parents leave decisions about their children’s care and inheritance up to their surviving spouse and the state’s laws.

View Post
Share:

AN AI FUTURE IS COMING: MAKE SURE YOUR BUSINESS IS READY

Embracing an AI future for your business doesn’t require you to become a sci-fi protagonist like Tom Cruise in “Minority Report” or to understand what quantum computing is (though if you do, kudos!). It’s about making smart, pragmatic decisions to ensure your business thrives in an increasingly automated world. Let’s dive into how you can prepare your business for an AI future.

View Post
Share:

Till Death or Divorce: Why You Need to Plan Now for Your Relationship’s End

Whether it’s a breakup, divorce, or the death of a loved one, every relationship eventually comes to an end. Whether you have planned for that ending or not will have a real impact on you, your partner, and your assets. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Avoid These 3 Mistakes When Choosing a Successor for Your Business

Are you planning for the future of your company? Make sure to avoid these 3 mistakes when choosing your successor. Read more…

View Post
Share:

3 Estate Planning Documents Your Parents Need Right Now

As your parents navigate their golden years, ensuring their peace of mind (and yours!) becomes a top priority. To make sure your parents can always get the help they need, make sure they have these 3 documents in place right now. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Purpose Over Profit: Elevate Your Business Above Your Competitors

This week we explore how infusing your brand with authenticity, empathy, and a commitment to making a difference can elevate your company above the competition. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Don’t Let Your Secrets Leave With Your Employees: How To Protect Your Trade Secrets When Team Members Depart

You depend on your employees to learn your business, your systems, and the inner workings that keep your business a step ahead of the competition. But how do you protect your business secrets when an employee leaves? Find out here…

View Post
Share:

3 Business Tax Mistakes to Avoid This Tax Season

As a small business owner, there are extra pieces of your tax filing puzzle you need to watch out for to make sure you’re not only following the law but also getting the most tax savings for your business. Read more here…

View Post
Share:

14 Ways to Show Your Finances Some Love This Year – Part 1

February is the month of love – but there’s a different kind of love that deserves our attention: the love we show ourselves, our family, and our pocketbook through thoughtful financial planning. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Think Your Kids Will Automatically Be Cared For In the Way You Want? They Might Not Be Unless You Do This

Many assume that in the event of their untimely passing, their children will automatically be cared for and inherit their assets. However, the reality is far more complex and potentially unsettling.
Let’s unpack why relying on assumptions alone could leave your children’s future in uncertain hands…

View Post
Share:

Why Relying on Legal Templates Instead of Lawyers Will Leave You With a Mess

In today’s digital age, it’s tempting for entrepreneurs to turn to online legal templates or services in an attempt to streamline their legal processes and cut costs.
However, the allure of convenience can mask a multitude of pitfalls. Relying on generic templates or online services to address your company’s legal needs is akin to navigating treacherous waters without a compass. Here’s why startup businesses need lawyers, not templates, to ensure their success and longevity…

View Post
Share:

Love Your Business? Love Your Family? Then You Need a Succession Plan

Like most entrepreneurs, your business and your family are your greatest loves. Show them just how much you care for them by making sure there’s a plan in place for their care, and the management of your business, when you’re no longer at the helm. Read more…

View Post
Share:

This New Law Makes It Easier to Save for Retirement and Pay Off School Loans At The Same Time

The SECURE 2.0 Act aims to make it easier for people to pay off student loans while also saving for retirement. Want to know if this applies to you? Read this week’s blog to find out…

View Post
Share:

Want to Show Your Partner How Much You Love Them? Put Them In Your Will

In this blog, we’ll explore why adding your partner to your Will and estate plan isn’t just a romantic gesture but the ultimate act of love. Read now…

View Post
Share:

Elevating Your Small Business: How to Attract Serious Clients Through Professional Branding and Business Structures

Your clients are the heartbeat of your business, and establishing a deep sense of trust with them is the cornerstone of growth and success. In a world where skepticism and misinformation prevail, nurturing authenticity and reliability in your brand is essential to building and keeping your client base. Read more…

View Post
Share:

2 Conversations About Money and Death You Need to Have With Your Parents Right Now

In this week’s blog, we take the conversation about money and death to a deeper level with your parents and family to truly understand your family’s financial picture and your plan for the future. Read now…

View Post
Share:

How Sharpening Your Emotional Intelligence Can Improve Your Business

Emotional intelligence is a key skill needed to attain the business success you desire. Find out why…

View Post
Share:

Protecting Your Family’s Safety Net: How to Set Up Your Life Insurance Policy The Right Way

Life insurance is an important part of protecting your family, but if you don’t set it up the right way, there’s a good chance it won’t help your loved ones the way you want it to. Here’s what to do instead…

View Post
Share:

Got Intellectual Property? Include It In Your Estate Plan

If you create music, own a business, write stories, or build gadgets in your garage, you almost certainly have intellectual property. However, because intellectual property is intangible, it’s often overlooked in estate planning. Read more…

View Post
Share:

You Have IP! Be Sure Not to Lose It … Here’s How

You don’t have to own a large company to own intellectual property, but because intellectual property is intangible, it’s often overlooked in your business’s succession plan and your own personal estate plan. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Paying It Forward: How to Build Your Legacy Through Mentorship

As a business owner, it can be easy to see an opportunity to mentor a young professional as a purely charitable experience. But mentorship can play a pivotal role in shaping your legacy when you approach it with the right mindset. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Help Your Parents Avoid These New Financial Scams – Part 2

In part one of this series, we explored two popular scams that are targeting older adults this year. In this week’s blog, I’m sharing two more scams that you and your parents need to be aware of, plus tips for staying protected. Read more…

View Post
Share:

AARP and The Red Cross Celebrate Make-A-Will Month, But Here’s What They Didn’t Tell You

AARP and the Red Cross celebrate Make-A-Will Month by encouraging you to make a Will for free online, but what they aren’t sharing could leave your family with a mess. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Embracing Abundance: Liberating Your Business from Money Dysmorphia and Fear

There’s an often unspoken challenge that many entrepreneurs face – the distortion of one’s perception of money. This week, I’m exploring how your mindset around money and abundance can hinder or grow your business. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Help Your Parents Avoid These New Financial Scams – Part 1

In this two-part series, we’ll explore four of the most recent and insidious financial scams that have surfaced, shed light on their tactics, and provide you with practical steps to shield your aging parents from potential harm. Read more…

View Post
Share:

4 Red Flags That Signal It’s Time to Part With a Bad Client

To grow your business and increase efficiency, it’s crucial to acknowledge that not every client is an ideal fit for your business. If any of your clients are exhibiting these red flags, it may be time to consider ending that client relationship. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Can You Rely on Legal Insurance for Your Estate Plan?

Group legal insurance might seem like a good way to save on your estate planning needs, but will a plan created through legal insurance work for your family when they need it? Read more…

View Post
Share:

Can You Use Your Employer’s Group Legal Insurance for Your Startup’s Legal Needs?

If you’re looking to turn your side hustle into your full-time career, you might be wondering if you can use your current employer’s group legal insurance to take care of your startup’s legal needs. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Don’t Send Your Kids Back to School Without These Documents

As summer comes to a close, and back-to-school excitement fills the air, there is one crucial task that is often overlooked: designating legal guardians for your minor children. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Is Your Business Making Any of These Simple Employment Mistakes?

To make sure your business is compliant with employment laws and that your team members are happy and focused, make sure you aren’t making any of these simple employment mistakes. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Building Client Connection and Trust Through Your Legal Agreements

In this week’s blog, we’ll explain ways your legal agreements may cause you to lose business and how we can set up your contracts to build lasting client relationships that generate consistent revenue. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Life Events That Signal It’s Time to Review Your Estate Plan – Part 2

Last week, we started to explore 10 life changes that might affect your estate plan. This week, we’re covering five more life events that mean it’s time to review your plan. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Should I Operate as a Sole Proprietor or a Corporation?

If you’re wondering how your selected business entity affects your taxes and income, it’s a good idea to consider converting your business to a corporation. In this week’s blog, I’m breaking down the benefits of incorporating your business and considerations for the best time of the year to make the switch. Read more…

View Post
Share:

10 Life Events That Signal It’s Time to Review Your Estate Plan – Part 1

Common life events can drastically affect your estate plan and even cause your plan not to work in the way you intended. If any of these events have happened in your life, it’s time to review your plan. Read more…

View Post
Share:

What the Debt Ceiling Extension Means for Small Business Owners

What exactly is the national debt ceiling and what does it mean for you and your business? This week, we’re covering ways the debt ceiling extension may affect your business operations. Read more…

View Post
Share:

What the National Debt Ceiling Extension Means for Your Family

While it may seem like a distant matter, the national debt ceiling extension can have a significant impact on your family’s financial well-being and future planning. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Master the Art of Hiring: Interview Techniques to Find Team Members That Last – Part 2

Last week, we looked at three interview techniques to find the right people for your company. This week, I’m covering more unique hiring methods to help you find and keep the best help. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Awakened Planning: How to Talk About Estate Planning at Your Family Reunion

July is National Family Reunion Month. If you’re getting together with family this month, it’s also a perfect time to talk to your loved ones about estate planning and the legacy you want to leave behind for the next generation.

View Post
Share:

Master the Art of Hiring: Interview Techniques to Find Team Members That Last – Part 1

If you’re looking to expand your business or free up your time, the best thing you can do is hire help. But hiring the wrong person can be a huge drain on your time, resources, and energy. Make sure you hire the right people the first time with these need-to-know interview techniques. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Estate Planning Pitfalls – 3 Mistakes That Could Make Your Estate Plan Worthless

Did you forget any of these critical financial steps when you created a Trust? Be sure to read this week’s blog to learn why proper funding of your Trust is essential to making it work! Read more…

View Post
Share:

Passing the Torch: How to Inspire Your Kids to Take Over the Family Business

The dream of passing on your business to your children and witnessing the legacy you’ve built continue to flourish is a powerful one. However, inspiring your children to embrace the idea of taking over the family business can present its challenges. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Vacation Ready: Essential Legal Preparations for a Worry-Free Getaway

Vacations are a time to relax, unwind, and create beautiful memories with your loved ones. But before you set off on your adventure, it’s essential to ensure that your legal affairs are in order. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Small Businesses Will Need to Report Under New Corporate Transparency Act

Beginning January 1, 2024, the Corporate Transparency Act will require small businesses to file an annual report on the majority owners of the business, and failing to file the report comes with real consequences. So what exactly does this mean for you and your business? Keep reading to learn more.

View Post
Share:

Have a Trust? How the Corporate Transparency Act Affects You

If you have a Trust that is a partial or full owner of a business, the business may be required to disclose certain information about your Trust in an annual report under the new Corporate Transparency Act. So how do you know if the new rule applies to you? Keep reading to find out more.

View Post
Share:

5 Types of Insurance No Business Owner Should Go Without – Part 2

While buying insurance coverage may seem low on your to-do list, making sure you and your business are protected from lawsuits is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Keep reading to learn about two more essential types of insurance you need for your business. Read more…

View Post
Share:

The Importance of Customized Estate Planning for LGBTQ+ Relationships – Part 2

Cookie-cutter plans just don’t cut it for LGBTQIA+ families. This week, we’re exploring two more reasons why it’s essential for LGBTQ+ families to have custom estate planning. Read more…

View Post
Share:

5 Types of Insurance No Business Owner Should Go Without – Part 1

Insurance is a powerful tool that can provide you with peace of mind and safeguard the hard work you’ve put into your business. In this blog post, we’ll explore five types of insurance that no business owner should go without. Read more…

View Post
Share:

The Importance of Customized Estate Planning for LGBTQ+ Relationships – Part 1

While the legalization of same-gender marriage and increased recognition of LGBTQ+ families has made LGBTQ+ rights more visible than ever before, there is still a large gap in estate planning for LGBTQ+ individuals that could leave your loved ones with a big mess. Read more…

View Post
Share:

3 Ways to Manage Workplace Conflict

If left unchecked, minor workplace disputes can escalate into major conflicts that can significantly affect the morale and productivity of your entire company. Therefore, it is essential to have a solid process in place for effectively managing staff conflict. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Capturing the Stories of Aging Loved Ones: The Power of a Family Wealth Legacy Interview

May is Senior Citizen’s Month, a time to reflect and appreciate all the things the seniors in our lives have done for us. Whether they are our parents, grandparents, or elderly friends, our seniors have given us so much over the years. While no one can predict how many more years we’ll have with our elderly loved ones, there is an easy way to capture their stories, wisdom, and love for future generations. Read more…

View Post
Share:

How to Love Your Business Again

Owning a business is always a labor of love, and you may naturally be more emotionally invested in your business and work longer days than you would if you worked for someone else. But if you feel like you’re spending all of your time working in your business instead of your business working for you, it’s time to reassess whether your business is aligned with your desired lifestyle so you can get back to loving what you do.

View Post
Share:

Want to Grow Wealth? Warren Buffet’s Unexpected Investment Advice

If you are going to take investment and estate planning advice from anyone, Warren Buffett is likely one you want to consider. At this year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, Buffett shared several pieces of financial advice but also provided insights on the importance of personal growth and estate planning when seeking to grow wealth. While many of us may feel overwhelmed by the thought of estate planning or building our wealth, Buffett’s advice reminds us of two key but simple steps we can take to create financial and generational wealth.

View Post
Share:

How to Leverage Debt to Grow Your Business

For many entrepreneurs, the idea of taking on debt can feel counterproductive and even taboo. After all, debt means owing someone money rather than saving or pocketing the money yourself. But leveraging debt can be a powerful tool for growing your small business faster than you’d be able to just by saving your funds. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Why “Just a Will” Is Never Enough

When you think of estate planning, a Will is usually the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, most people who contact me tell me they don’t need anything complicated for their estate- just a Will. But although they are a key part of your estate plan, relying on only a Will leaves huge gaps in your estate and actually guarantees that your family will need to go to court when you die. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Embrace the Future: 5 Ways to Use AI for Your Small Business – Part 2

Last week, we explored two real-world ways you can use an AI language model to improve your small business from building efficiency to marketing your brand. This week I’m continuing the discussion to bring you three more ways to use AI to support your business. Plus, I’ll explain when to bring in professional (human) business guidance that a machine can never replace. Read more…

View Post
Share:

Create a Stronger Blended Family Through Estate Planning

If you have a blended family, estate planning is critical if you want your loved ones to avoid court and conflict in the event you die or become incapacitated. But planning for your blended family is also a great opportunity to strengthen your family bond through open conversations about your wishes and goals for your family and the love you have for them. Read more here …

View Post
Share:

Embrace the Future: 5 Ways to Use AI for Your Small Business – Part 1

As a small business owner, you wear a lot of hats and probably work a lot of hours to get it all done… and you still have a lot left on your plate. Until you’re ready to hire on more help (let’s talk about that soon!), you can leverage simple-to-use, free online AI tools to take some of that work off of your plate or get it done faster.

I know what you’re probably thinking… Isn’t AI going to take over all of our jobs, overthrow humanity, and plug us all into the Matrix so we can fuel their machines? Fret not. AI is here to provide time-saving benefits that you can use right now. Read more…

View Post
Share:

4 Ways to Use AI to Make Life Easier for You and Your Family

AI technology is here, but don’t worry, you don’t need to be a techie to make AI work for you (or fear that it will lead to a revolution of Schwarzenegger-esque cyborgs). This week, I’m exploring 4 ways you can use AI language model software to make your family’s life easier. I’ll share real-world examples of the software in use, so you can free up more time for the things and people you love. Read it here…

View Post
Share:

The Small Business Partner You Didn’t Know You Wanted: Comprehensive Legal Support that Won’t Break the Bank 

As a small business owner, you may feel as if you’re facing the world alone at times. Unlike a large company would, I’m willing to bet you don’t have a team of lawyers or an in-house general counsel to support you as you navigate the complexities of running a business. But just because you don’t have the budget of a big business, doesn’t mean you don’t have the same challenges or need the same level of support that large companies enjoy. In-house business lawyers are responsible for proactively seeking opportunities for their company, identifying potential risks, and helping to create… View Post
Share:

Leaving Your Pet in Your Will Won’t Protect Them – Do This Instead

If you’re a pet owner, you know the special bond that exists between you and your pets, and to many pet owners, our furry friends aren’t just a pet – they’re a loved and important part of our families. So if you’re thinking about how best to provide for your family after you die or if you become incapacitated, it makes sense for your beloved pet to be a part of the plan. You want your pet to continue to have the kind of love and care you provided during your life, but estate planning for furry friends requires a… View Post
Share:

Leading Your Business with Heart

You’ve likely read dozens of articles on how to manage your business, what payroll service to use, and how to take advantage of tax deductions. While these are all important components of keeping your business running efficiently and profitably, I want to take this week’s blog to focus on something equally, if not more, important for your business – your legacy as a leader of your business. While building a legacy for you and your business sounds like something that has more to do with what happens way off in the future, the key to establishing a legacy worth passing… View Post
Share:

Stephen “tWitch” Boss Dies Without a Will

Stephen Laurel Boss, also known as “tWitch,” was an American DJ, hip-hop dancer, choreographer, television producer, and actor whose personality lit up the stage on So You Think You Can Dance and as a producer and frequent guest host on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Boss also co-hosted the TV show Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings alongside his wife and fellow dancer, Allison Holkers.   Boss and Holkers shared a seemingly extremely happy life together in Los Angeles, California where they were raising their three children, ages 3, 7, and 14. Sadly, on December 13, 2022, Boss died by suicide at the age… View Post
Share:

Shielding Your Personal Assets: How to Create an LLC

If you’re a business owner and have been operating your business as a Sole Proprietor, you’re leaving the personal assets of your family at risk. From a creative side hustle to a tech startup, owning a business always comes with some level of financial investment and risk, whether you’re purchasing supplies, leasing office space, or hiring help. Without the proper protections in place, any debts, lawsuits, or liabilities your business incurs could be leveraged against your family’s personal assets. And with fifty-five percent of businesses not surviving more than five years, having that protection in place is essential.  Even if… View Post
Share:

3 Simple Mistakes That Can Derail Your Estate Plan

If you’re tempted to use a DIY estate planning service or have already created a plan you aren’t 100% confident in, be sure to read how these three simple mistakes can derail your estate plan and leave your family with an expensive mess. We regularly meet with clients who ask us to review an estate plan that they created online or with an attorney who isn’t experienced with estate planning. You see, these clients usually think they found a faster and cheaper solution to estate planning, but once the plan is signed and done, they’re often left wondering whether this… View Post
Share:

4 Reasons Why Estate Planning Is Critical For Business Owners

If you are running a business, it’s easy to prioritize estate planning less than your other business matters. After all, if you’re facing challenges meeting next month’s payroll or your goals for growth over the coming quarter, concerns over your potential incapacity or death can seem far less urgent. But the reality is considering what would happen to your business in the event of your incapacity or when you die is one of your most pressing responsibilities as a business owner. Although estate planning and business planning may seem like separate tasks, they’re inexorably linked. And given that your business… View Post
Share:

Top 5 Questions To Consider Before Hiring A Lawyer For Your Estate Planning Needs

I know discussing topics like death, incapacity, and other potentially frightening life events, with someone like me,  an estate planning lawyer, may feel intimidating or even morbid. Take a  deep breath and relax… it doesn’t have to and shouldn’t be that way. Hiring a lawyer to help you make wise decisions for life and death can be the most empowering choice you ever make for yourself and your loved ones. The way I explain it to my friends and family is, “estate planning isnt about planning for your death, it’s about planning for your life.” So, with that frame in… View Post
Share:

Why Every Business Owner Should Consider A Trust

Trusts are often underused or misused tools for business owners, as they can provide a range of tax, asset protection, and succession planning benefits, when established and maintained in the right way. As a Creative Business Counselor with family business planning expertise focusing on serving business owners, I can help you choose the right Trust strategy for protecting your assets, managing your income taxes and ensuring your family doesn’t get stuck with a big estate tax bill or in an unnecessary court process, if you become incapacitated or die.  Protect Your Personal & Business Assets One key benefit of a… View Post
Share:

Estate Planning Before You Travel: Why It’s Critically Important

Vacations can be the perfect opportunity to relax, disconnect from work and responsibilities, and enjoy your spouse, partner, kids’ or friend’s  company. But before you head off on your next getaway, there’s something else you should consider doing that might not sound quite as fun—creating an estate plan. While it may not sound like the most thrilling way to spend a day, here are some reasons why you need to think about your estate plans before you travel.  Yes, Even Married Couples Need an Estate Plan You might think that because you are married, you don’t need an estate plan.… View Post
Share:

10 Small Business Bookkeeping Mistakes

Keeping your finances in order is crucial for the success of your business. Even if you’re running a small operation, bookkeeping is a critical component that cannot be overlooked. While it may not be the most exciting task, it’s important to ensure accuracy to avoid costly mistakes that could hurt your business in the long run. As the person responsible for completing these tasks, it’s important to recognize that you may not have the same level of accounting expertise as larger businesses that can afford to hire specialized professionals. That’s why it’s crucial for you to educate yourself on the… View Post
Share:

Why Everyone Needs to Keep Their Estate Plan Updated

As the world and its laws continue to evolve, everyone needs to keep their estate plans up to date. An estate plan is a set of documents, such as a will or trust, that dictate how assets will be distributed upon death or incapacity. An individual’s current legal and financial situation should be considered to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored specifically to their needs. Ensure Your Wishes Are Respected The primary reason to update an estate plan is to ensure that an individual’s wishes are respected upon death. For example, suppose an individual has recently acquired valuable property or… View Post
Share:

Protecting Your Privacy: Understanding Nominee Services for Business Owners

As a business owner, you may want to keep your personal information private and out of the public record. Luckily, if you want to run your own business but prefer to stay out of the spotlight, there’s a solution to this problem that many business owners use – nominee services. Nominee services allow you to use the personal information of a nominee on your business’s records, such as articles of incorporation and annual financial reports, instead of using your own personal information. By doing so, you can keep your identity confidential while still complying with legal requirements. What Is a… View Post
Share:

Obtaining A Power Of Attorney For Elderly Parents

Making important decisions for aging parents can be a challenging task, but power of attorney (POA) can provide peace of mind and clarity in times of need. POA enables individuals to make crucial decisions on behalf of their parents, such as managing their finances or making medical decisions, when they are unable to do so themselves due to age or illness. While it may be difficult to approach this topic with your parents, having these discussions early on can help ensure that you follow their wishes if their health changes over time. Starting the conversation with empathy and understanding can… View Post
Share:

Understanding The Difference Between A Cash Flow Statement And A Profit And Loss Statement

To run a business successfully, it is necessary to create various financial documents, including cash flow and profit and loss (P&L) statements. Doing this enables business owners to understand their business’s current financial health and make appropriate changes to improve company performance. Many business owners hire accountants to create these documents. Still, it can be beneficial for these individuals to learn how to do this themselves, as this can help them reduce their costs and gain a greater understanding of their businesses. For business owners to create these documents, knowing the differences between them is essential. What Is a Cash… View Post
Share:

Your Rights As The Parent Of A Young Adult — What You Need To Know When A Medical Crisis Hits

As a parent, you are quite accustomed to managing your children’s legal and medical affairs, as circumstances require. If your child requires urgent medical attention while away from you, a simple phone call authorizing care can do the trick. But what happens when those “children” turn 18, now adults in the eyes of the law, and need urgent medical attention far from home? The simple fact is that the day your child turns 18, he or she becomes an adult and has the legal rights of an adult. This means that you lose your prior held rights to make medical… View Post
Share:

What Needs To Be Included In A Client Contract

Client contracts, or agreements, refer to legal agreements between businesses and consumers. They help establish expectations for the individuals who use a business’s products or services. Additionally, they outline what customers can do if they have an issue with the product or service, including how they can complain. Businesses typically use client contracts to ensure their customers remain satisfied while also protecting the business’s interests. Understanding the essentials to include in a client contract can help business owners achieve this and develop clear, binding agreements. Client and Company Details Client contracts typically begin by outlining the parties involved in the… View Post
Share:

Keep the Government and Lawsuit Happy Opportunists Away From Your Children’s Inheritance

If you have a current estate plan, I’ll bet you plan to leave your assets to your children outright and unprotected by age 35, or maybe a little later. Go take a look at your estate plan, and see what it does right now. And, if you don’t have an estate plan, and you have kids or other people you care about, contact us today and let’s get that handled for you.  If you do have a plan and it distributes your assets outright to your kids — even in stages, over time, some at 25, then half of what’s… View Post
Share:

What Every Business Owner Needs Now… Live Every Day As If It Could Be Your Last

If you dream of one day retiring from your business, selling it, or leaving your company to your family, there are essential planning steps to take care of today, no matter how far away you think that time may be. Even if you are just starting, beginning with the end in mind will set your business up for a lifetime of success and leave your heirs, clients or customers, and team with a valuable asset when you are gone.  Perhaps surprisingly, properly planning for what would happen to your business upon your death or incapacity is one of the most… View Post
Share:

5 Reasons Why Shopping For The Cheapest Estate Plan Could Leave Your Family With An Unintended Mess

In most cases, from the most sophisticated business people with the highest net worth to those just starting in the workforce and on their path to adulthood, you very likely do not know how to evaluate estimates when shopping for an estate plan. Shopping for an estate plan based on getting the lowest cost plan possible is often the fastest path to leaving your family with an empty set of documents (maybe in a beautiful binder, but not worth the paper they are written on) that won’t work for your family when they need it. Unfortunately, we see the negative… View Post
Share:

How To Choose The Right Entity Structure For Your Company—Part 2

Of all the different choices you have to make when starting a new business, arguably none is more critical or has a more significant impact on your success or failure than your choice of business entity structure. The entity you choose will affect everything from the amount of taxes you pay and the type of records you are required to keep to how vulnerable your personal assets are to the legal and financial liabilities incurred by your company, and even your ability to finance your venture. When choosing between the different entity types, you will be considering one of the… View Post
Share:

3 Reasons Why Transferring Ownership Of Your Home To Your Child Is A Bad Idea

Whether it’s to qualify for Medicaid, avoid probate, or reduce your tax burden, transferring ownership of your home to your adult child during your lifetime may seem like a smart move. But in nearly all cases, it’s actually a huge mistake, which can lead to dire consequences for everyone involved. With this in mind, before you sign over the title to your family’s beloved homestead, consider the following potential risks.   1. Your Eligibility For Medicaid Could Be Jeopardized With the cost of long-term care skyrocketing, you may be worried about your (or your senior parents’) ability to pay for lengthy… View Post
Share:

 How To Choose The Right Entity Structure For Your Company—Part 1

Of all the different choices you have to make when starting a new business, arguably none is more critical or has a more significant impact on your success or failure than your choice of business entity structure. The entity you choose will affect everything from the amount of taxes you pay and the type of records you are required to keep to how vulnerable your personal assets are to the legal and financial liabilities incurred by your company, and even your ability to finance your venture. When choosing between the different entity types, you will be considering one of the… View Post
Share:

How Naming Guardians For Your Kids In Your Will Can Leave Them At Risk

If you are a mom or dad with children under the age of 18 at home, your number-one estate planning priority should be selecting and legally documenting both long and short-term guardians for your kids. Guardians are the people legally named to care for your children in the event something happens to you. And if you’ve named guardians for your children in your will—even with the help of another lawyer—your kids could still be at risk of being taken into the care of strangers!  One of the most disturbing aspects of this situation is that you probably have no idea… View Post
Share:

The Legal Issues Involved With Developing A Mobile App

Along with websites, e-newsletters, and social media, in today’s digital-everything world, many companies now have their own mobile apps. In fact, some companies’ primary digital platform is their mobile app. And as smartphones, iPads, e-tablets, and other mobile devices become more popular, having an app may soon become as ubiquitous for businesses as having an email account. While coming up with a unique idea for your company’s app and finding a developer who can bring that idea to life are among the most crucial aspects of app development, creating an app also involves several critical legal issues. Indeed, many of… View Post
Share:

Does Your Family Need Umbrella Insurance?

In today’s highly litigious society you are at near-constant risk for costly lawsuits—even if you’ve done nothing wrong. This is especially true if you have substantial wealth, but even those with relatively few assets can find themselves in court facing a potentially devastating lawsuit. If you are sued, your traditional homeowners or auto insurance will likely offer you some liability coverage, but those policies only cover you up to a certain dollar amount before they max out, and you can be held personally liable for anything beyond that limit. For this reason, you should consider adding an extra layer of… View Post
Share:

Ensure Your Intellectual Property Is Fully Protected & Leveraged With An IP/Brand  Audit For Your Business

Although intellectual property (IP) has always been an essential part of most companies’ overall value, with the rapid rise of internet-based technology and e-commerce over the last few decades, IP is increasingly becoming the primary source of value for businesses both large and small. In fact, studies show that today up to 80% of the value of a typical business is IP. And as of 2020, more than 84%—$19 trillion—of the S&P 500’s market cap is represented by intangible assets like IP. https://www.wipo.int/wipo_magazine/en/2016/01/article_0002.html] https://theonebrief.com/whats-your-intellectual-property-worth-chances-are-you-dont-know/] Despite the critical importance of these assets, even the largest corporations aren’t always properly valuing or… View Post
Share:

Protect Your Children’s Inheritance With A Lifetime Asset Protection Trust

As a parent, you’re likely hoping to leave your children an inheritance. In fact, doing so may be one of the primary factors motivating your life’s work. But without taking the proper precautions, the wealth you pass on is at serious risk of being accidentally lost or squandered due to common life events, such as divorce, serious debt, devastating illness, and unfortunate accidents.  In some cases, a sudden inheritance windfall can even wind up doing your kids more harm than good. Creating a will or a revocable living trust offers some protection for your kid’s inheritance, but in most cases,… View Post
Share:

6 Ways You Can Still Save On Your Company’s Tax Bill For 2021

In light of the pandemic, the rules and programs governing income taxes for businesses have changed numerous times over the last two years, which has caused confusion and headaches for more than a few business owners. And while many of the pandemic-inspired programs and tax breaks have already ended or will end soon, a few of these programs still stand to impact your taxes in 2021. The good news is that even though many of these programs are ending, the impact on the overall taxes paid by most small businesses is not expected to be all that significant. Moreover, in… View Post
Share:

7 Last-Minute Moves To Save On Your Taxes For 2021

Although many strategies to save on your income taxes must be locked in before the end of the year, there are still numerous ways you can reduce your tax bill right up until the filing deadline, which has been pushed back to Monday April 18th due to a holiday on April 15th. Some of these strategies are time tested and available every year, but with all of the legislative changes made during the past two years to deal with the pandemic, there are also a few opportunities that won’t be around much longer, with some only available this year. While… View Post
Share:

Must-Have Business Insurance For Startups

When you are just starting your business, it’s easy to lose sight of just how many potential risks your company faces. Yet a single accident or lawsuit can wipe out your company before it even has the chance to get off the ground. While setting up a business entity like a limited liability company (LLC) or corporation can protect your personal assets from liabilities incurred by your business, it won’t protect your business assets—that’s where business insurance comes in.  You can’t protect your business 100% from every single threat, but you can greatly improve your chances of surviving by having… View Post
Share:

Probate: What It Is & How To Avoid It—Part 2

Unless you’ve created an estate plan that works to keep your family out of court, when you die (or become incapacitated) many of your assets must go through probate before those assets can be distributed to your heirs. Like most court proceedings, probate can be time-consuming, costly, and open to the public, and because of this, avoiding probate—and keeping your family out of court—is often a central goal of estate planning.  To spare your loved one’s the time, cost, and stress inherent to probate, last week in part one of this series, we explained how the probate process works and… View Post
Share:

4 Risk-Management Strategies To Protect Your Business and Personal Assets

No matter what line of business you are in, the reality of being a successful business owner is that you open yourself up to a number of different risks—and the more successful you get, the more risks you face. Asset-protection planning is intended to reduce or eliminate the risks of being in business by shielding your business and personal assets from litigants, creditors, and other potential threats to the fullest extent legally possible. And it’s crucial to have these strategies in place from the moment you open your doors, because once a claim or lawsuit is filed, it’s too late.… View Post
Share:

Updating Your Estate Plan For Divorce: 5 Changes To Make

Even if the process is amicable, divorce can be one of life’s most stressful events. With so many major changes taking place, it’s easy to forget to update your estate plan—or simply put it off until it’s too late. After all, dealing with yet another lawyer is probably the last thing you want to do. However, neglecting to update your estate plan for divorce can have potentially tragic consequences. And you shouldn’t wait until the divorce is final to rework your plan—you should update it as soon as you realize the split is inevitable. Here’s why: Your marriage is legally… View Post
Share:

Probate: What It Is & How To Avoid It—Part 1

Unless you’ve created a proper estate plan, when you die many of your assets must first pass through the court process known as probate before those assets can be distributed to your heirs. Like most court proceedings, probate can be time-consuming, costly, and open to the public, and because of this, avoiding probate—and keeping your family out of court—is a central goal of most estate plans.  During probate, the court supervises a number of different legal actions, all of which are aimed at finalizing your affairs and settling your estate. Although we’ll discuss them more in-depth below, probate typically consists… View Post
Share:

5 Strategies For Boosting Your Startup’s Cash Flow

Although cash is the lifeblood that sustains every business, far too many business owners fail to properly manage their cash flow. And this is despite the fact that statistics consistently show that running out of money is one of the main reasons new businesses go under. Trying to run a business without carefully managing your cash flow is like fighting a rising tide: Sooner or later you’re going to find yourself underwater. And even if your business generates healthy revenue, you can still experience the occasional cash crunch—which is especially true during your first few years of operation. To avoid… View Post
Share:

3 Red Flags To Watch For When Dealing With Problem Clients

If you’ve ever had clients who were more trouble than they were worth, you know how stressful such toxic relationships can be. Yet, it can be difficult to drop a client, especially if your business is just getting off the ground or cash is tight. That said, when dealing with certain problem clients, sometimes the best thing you can do is end the relationship. Keep in mind, not every client is actually worth working with. In the worst cases, you’d be better off having never done business with some clients at all. With this in mind, if you’ve experienced one… View Post
Share:

Protect Your Home, Family, & Assets From The Growing Threat Of Natural Disasters

Over just the last two years, we’ve seen historic levels of damage caused by natural disasters in the U.S. From blizzards in Texas and wildfires in California to hurricanes in Louisiana and tornados in the Midwest, few regions of the country are immune to such catastrophes. And based on the latest data from the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO), things are only going to get worse. The WMO found that climate change has helped drive a five-fold increase in the number of weather-related disasters in the last 50 years, and these calamities are getting more severe each year. As… View Post
Share:

What To Expect From Your Initial Meeting With Us Your Personal Creative Lawyer

Whether you’ve met with an estate planning lawyer before or it’s your first time, it’s important to understand how working with us, your Personal  Creative Lawyer® is different from meeting with a traditional lawyer.  Here we will explain what’s involved with our process, in hopes that it will inspire you to meet with us, your Personal Creative Lawyer® and get clear on what your family needs you to have in place, so you don’t leave behind a mess if you become incapacitated or when you die. We promise to help you make the wisest, most affordable, most effective, time-saving plan… View Post
Share:

Understanding The Limits of Limited Liability

One of the main reasons for setting up your business as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC) is to shield your personal assets from debts and other liabilities incurred by your business. Corporations and LLCs exist as separate legal entities from their owners, which allows the business itself to acquire assets, enter into contracts, and take on debt.  In turn, if your business is unable to pay its debts, creditors are typically allowed to only go after your company’s assets, not your personal assets. However, there are several circumstances in which business owners can be held personally liable, and… View Post
Share:

3 Best Practices To Avoid Misclassifying Employees As Independent Contractors

In the last decade, the rise of the gig economy has fueled an unprecedented increase in the number of independent contractors (ICs) in the U.S. workforce. And that growth has only accelerated in the wake of the pandemic, with more companies relying on remote work arrangements, and many workers laid off during the shutdowns and forced to go solopreneur choosing to remain independent. In fact, the number of independent contractors in the U.S. workforce rose by 34% in 2021, according to MBO Partners’ 11th Annual State of Independence in America report. As a business owner, using independent contractors in lieu… View Post
Share:

4 Reasons Why Estate Planning Is So Essential For Business Owners

If you are running a business, it’s easy to give estate planning less priority than your other business matters. After all, if you’re facing challenges meeting next month’s payroll or your goals for growth over the coming quarter, concerns over your potential incapacity or death can seem far less urgent. But the reality is considering what would happen to your business in the event of your incapacity or when you die is one of your most pressing responsibilities as a business owner. Although estate planning and business planning may seem like two separate tasks, they’re actually inexorably linked. And given… View Post
Share:

9 Topics To Cover In Your Employee Handbook

If your company has (or plans to have) employees, a well-written employee handbook is an essential communication resource between you and your team. An effective handbook can set expectations for new hires, outline company policies, simplify onboarding, as well as enhance training and enforcement. Ultimately, your handbook ensures that your team is not only aware of your rules and policies, but also the federal and state laws governing their employment. You can use your employee handbook to introduce your team to your company and its culture, explaining what’s expected of them—and what they can expect from you. Though it should… View Post
Share:

Purchasing Life Insurance For Your Family: What You Need To Know

Life insurance is a key component of your family’s estate plan, offering those who depend on you for their financial security a safety net in the event of your death. Whether those dependents include your spouse, children, aging parents, business associates, or all of the above, investing in life insurance is a way to say “I love you” and make certain that when you pass away, the people you love will have a reliable source of financial support to count on. Although purchasing life insurance may seem fairly straightforward, it can actually be quite complex, especially given all of the… View Post
Share:

Protect Your Business and Family With a Buy-Sell Agreement

Whenever you have a partner or multiple owners in a business, one of the most important—but often overlooked—aspects of the relationship is planning for how it will end. It’s crucial that you come up with a clear exit strategy, and do so at the start of your relationship when things are going well, and not wait until you encounter problems down the road. Indeed, the more thought you put into your exit plan ahead of time, the smoother things will be when one of you finally does move on. Formally documenting your exit strategy is done with what’s called a… View Post
Share:

Don’t Leave Your Children With The Babysitter Until You Read This

As we head into the third year of the pandemic, we are coming to terms with just how fragile our lives and health really are. If you haven’t gotten sick yourself, it’s almost certain you know someone who has, and many of us even know of one or more individuals who have died in the past two years.  Although serious illness and death are something we are always at risk for—and should plan for—the pandemic has forced many of us to face our own mortality like no other event in recent memory. Some of those worst-case scenarios we thought would… View Post
Share:

7 Tips For Creating A Winning Business Plan

Far too many aspiring entrepreneurs jumpstart their businesses without taking the time to properly plan. Just as a builder uses a blueprint to ensure a new construction project will be structurally sound, a carefully researched and well-thought-out business plan allows you to determine whether or not your business concept will actually succeed and make money. A solid business plan can not only serve as a roadmap to guide your company’s progress, but it can also give you an opportunity to test the validity of your business model, research the market, understand your competition, and avoid potential pitfalls. And if you… View Post
Share:

Preventing Family Conflict And Disputes Over Your Estate Plan

No matter how well you think you know your loved ones, it’s impossible to predict exactly how they’ll behave when you die or if you become incapacitated. No one wants to believe that their family members would ever end up fighting one another in court over inheritance issues or a loved one’s life-saving medical treatment, but the fact is, we see it all the time. Family dynamics are extremely complicated and prone to conflict even during the best of times. But when tragedy strikes a member of the household, even minor tensions and disagreements can explode into bitter conflict. And… View Post
Share:

Is It Time To Rethink Your Company’s Cybersecurity?

As a small business owner, you may not consider cybersecurity as one of your top priorities, especially if you have a limited online presence. However, that kind of thinking can leave your company seriously vulnerable to hackers and a rapidly increasing number of online threats. And the threat against small businesses is at an all-time high. In fact, more than half of all small businesses suffered a breach of client data within the last year, according to a recent study by Hiscox insurance. The pandemic has only added to the risk. With more and more employees working remotely, where they… View Post
Share:

5 Ways DIY Estate Plans Can Fail & Leave Your Family At Risk—Part 2

Do a Google search for “digital wills” or “online estate planning,” and you’ll find dozens of different websites offering low-cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) and sometimes even free estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. From LegalZoom® and Rocket Lawyer® to TrustandWill.com and FreeWill.com, these DIY legal documents may seem like a cheap and easy way to finally cross estate planning off your to-do list—and do so without having to pay a lawyer big bucks to assist you. After all, you’ve been able to prepare and file your taxes online for years, is estate planning really… View Post
Share:

Putting Your Kids On The Payroll Can Benefit Your Business AND Help You Save Big Money On Your Taxes

Paying your children—whether they’re tweens, teens, or young adults—to work for your company is one of the greatest advantages of running a family business. By hiring your kids, you can help them develop a strong work ethic, give them experience managing money, and jumpstart their ability to save for their future, all while keeping more wealth in your family. In return, you get employees who have a built-in sense of commitment, teamwork, loyalty, and you may even end up with a long-term succession plan. This sense of dedication is why so many business owners like to claim that their team… View Post
Share:

5 Ways DIY Estate Plans Can Fail & Leave Your Family At Risk—Part 1

Do a Google search for “digital wills” or “online estate planning,” and you’ll find dozens of different websites offering low-cost, do-it-yourself (DIY) and sometimes even free estate planning documents, such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives. From LegalZoom® and Rocket Lawyer® to TrustandWill.com and FreeWill.com, these DIY legal documents may seem like a cheap and easy way to finally cross estate planning off your to-do list—and do so without having to pay a lawyer big bucks to assist you. After all, you’ve been able to prepare and file your taxes online for years, is estate planning really… View Post
Share:

How to Grow Your Business for Sustainable Success in 2022

Business growth is a dream that sparkles in the eyes of many small business owners. But bigger is only better when your business is set up to support the life you want. Bigger is not necessarily better. Best is a business that supports you to have a life you love, with an income to match, providing services or products you are proud to deliver. So, how do you get there for sustainable success in 2022 and beyond? Let’s take a look together.  First and foremost, don’t worry about “scale” unless you are building a business that actually needs to scale.… View Post
Share:

One of The Greatest Gifts To Your Family Is The Plan For Incapacity

When it comes to estate planning, most people automatically think about taking legal steps to ensure the right people inherit their stuff when they die. Although that thought is not wrong, it also leaves out a very important piece of planning for life, and perhaps the most critical part of planning. Planning that’s focused solely on who gets what when you die is ignoring the fact that death isn’t the only thing you must prepare for. Rather,  consider that at some point before your eventual death, you could be incapacitated by accident or illness. Like death, each of us is… View Post
Share:

8 Critical Steps For Hiring Your First Employee

If you’ve been working as a true solo entrepreneur up until now, it’s time to consider hiring support to leverage to your next level. The moment when a small business owner decides to hire their first employee is one of triumph. Conversely, knowing how to start the hiring process can also be a moment of confusion that either results in more business enjoyment and income and free time, or that can create trauma and make you want to quit your business altogether. We can help you hire your first employee the right way, and turn the experience into just one… View Post
Share:

Why Putting Your Family Home In A Trust Is A Smart Move—Part 2

If you are like many homeowners, your home is likely your family’s most valuable and treasured asset. In light of this, you want to plan wisely to ensure your home will pass to your heirs in the most efficient and safe manner possible when you die or in the event you become incapacitated by illness or injury.  Indeed, proper estate planning is as much a part of responsible homeownership as having homeowners insurance or keeping your home’s roof well maintained. When it comes to including your home in your estate plan, you have a variety of different planning vehicles to… View Post
Share:

4 Ways A Business Lawyer Can Support Your Startup

The constant whirlwind of excitement and activity surrounding the launch of your startup can leave you feeling overwhelmed. You can get so focused on the day-to-day tasks and responsibilities involved with getting your operation up and running that you neglect some of your company’s most vital legal components. Because you are so busy and likely not generating much revenue during the startup phase, it may be tempting to try to handle everything on your own, and not seek out the support and advice of an experienced business lawyer. This is especially true today when you can access just about every… View Post
Share:

How to Pass Down Your Family Wealth Legacy During The Holidays

As you likely already know, but may not have given much thought about, the most important inheritance you provide is so much more than the money you’ll leave behind, but also includes your values, insights, stories, and experience. And, while those things are being passed on happenstance on the daily, we know that intentionally creating a Family Wealth Legacy requires more than happenstance. That’s why as a Personal Family Lawyer®, part of our unique planning process is to capture your legacy in recorded form through something we call a Family Wealth Legacy Interview.  What we’ve discovered is that we can… View Post
Share:

The Advantages of Launching Your LLC in the New Year

You may be wondering why so many business owners choose January 1 as the start date for their company. Surely, it’s not because everyone has the same New Year’s resolution, right?  The fact is, there are a number of distinct advantages to launching your Limited Liability Company (LLC) at the beginning of the new year, rather than during the middle or end of the year. And the good news is that in most states you don’t have to wait until the new year to actually file your paperwork to create your entity.  In fact, one of the best times of… View Post
Share:

Why Putting Your Family Home In A Trust Is A Smart Move—Part 1

If you are like many homeowners, your home is likely your family’s most valuable and treasured asset. In light of this, you want to plan wisely to ensure your home will pass to your heirs in the most efficient and safe manner possible when you die or in the event you become incapacitated by illness or injury.  Indeed, proper estate planning is as much a part of responsible homeownership as having homeowners insurance or keeping your home’s roof well maintained. When it comes to including your home in your estate plan, you have a variety of different planning vehicles to… View Post
Share:

Now Is Your Last Chance To Save On Your 2021 Taxes

When you first realize that your biggest personal and business expense—bar none—is taxes, it can come as quite a shock. Seeing so much of your hard-earned money wind up in the government’s hands can feel like a shakedown. That said, focusing a relatively small amount of time and effort into strategically reducing your taxes can pay major dividends. Some people resist implementing creative tax strategies because they’re worried it’s going to get them in trouble with the IRS. However, as long as you do things properly, there’s absolutely nothing illegal—or even risky—about strategizing to pay the least amount of taxes… View Post
Share:

The Basics On NFTs: The Newest Cryptoverse Craze

NFTs, or “non-fungible tokens,” are the latest sensation in the cryptocurrency universe, or as we like to call it the “Cryptoverse.” And if you haven’t heard about NFTs yet, now is a great time to learn because they are likely to be a big part of our collective future.  So what is an NFT? In the most basic terms, an NFT is a cryptographic token that exists on a blockchain and is used to establish proof of ownership of digital artwork, videos, GIFs, collectibles, and other digital assets. While NFTs use the same blockchain technology that underpins cryptocurrency, NFTs themselves… View Post
Share:

5 Tips From A Lawyer For Keeping Your LLC Compliant

Many entrepreneurs structure their business as a limited liability company (LLC), because like corporations, LLCs offer personal liability protection for their owners. But unlike corporations, LLCs are not legally required to adhere to many of the same corporate formalities required of corporations. Given that LLCs offer the liability protection of a corporation, without all of the administrative hassles, this business entity might seem like the best of both worlds—and in many ways it can be. However, things aren’t nearly as cut and dry as they might seem when it comes to abiding by an LLC’s administrative formalities. Although the administrative… View Post
Share:

10 Things You Should Know About Living Wills

When it comes to estate planning, you’ve most likely heard people mention a couple of different types of wills. The most common is a “last will and testament,” which is also known simply as a “will.” But you may have also heard people talk about what’s called a “living will.” Both terms describe important legal documents used in estate planning, but their purpose and the way in which they work is very different. Here we are going to discuss some of the most critical things you should know about living wills, and explain why having one is an essential part… View Post
Share:

Before You Sell Your Business (Or Any Other Appreciated Asset), Read This!

Although paying taxes is a largely unavoidable part of running a business, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that there is one common type of tax you can often avoid paying—capital gains taxes. That said, the only way you can avoid paying capital gains taxes (at least legally) is if you plan in advance. Since we are only a few weeks away from the end of the year, it might seem like it’s too late to save on capital gains taxes in 2021, but you may still have time if you act immediately. And if it does end up… View Post
Share:

FAQs About Long-Term Care Insurance

Our nation’s population is aging at a faster rate than ever before, and collectively we are living much longer than in the past. In fact, by 2034, seniors (age 65 and older) will outnumber children under age 18 for the first time in U.S. history, according to Census Bureau projections. Moreover, many people mistakenly believe that their health insurance or the government will pay for their long-term care needs. But the fact is, traditional health insurance doesn’t cover long-term care. And though Medicare does pay for some long-term care, it’s typically limited (covering a maximum of 100 days), difficult to… View Post
Share:

Think You Are Too Young to Need An Estate Plan? Think Again

The pandemic has caused Americans to change their behavior in a number of different ways, and one of the most positive of these changes is related to estate planning. For the first time since the study’s inception, Caring.com’s 2021 Wills and Estate Planning Study found that young adults are now more likely to have an estate plan than middle-aged adults. Specifically, the study found that in 2020 only 16% of Americans aged 18 to 34 reported having a will or another estate planning document, but in 2021, that percentage rose by 10 points to 26%—a 63% increase in just one… View Post
Share:

How to Protect Your Intellectual Property and Trade Secrets With Agreements (Non-Disclosure and Work for Hire Agreements)

The employment landscape has changed over the last few years and many small and mid-size companies today operate with outside help – contractors or freelancers who perform important tasks but who are not full-time employees on your payroll, or even third-party companies who consult on a new product or service. While companies that contract with these outside resources can gain access to top-tier talent without having to increase headcount, there can be pitfalls to this approach in terms of properly protecting company secrets and intellectual property assets. Here’s what you need to know before you bring on a new team… View Post
Share:

Legal Advice When Settling Business Disputes

A large part of being a successful business owner is knowing how to consciously manage relationships and facilitate conflict when it arises in a healthy and productive way.  When business owners and managers find themselves in a disagreement or misalignment of expectations, the potential costs are endless. For starters, the energetic drain from the conflict, possible loss of personnel, and of course your reputation as a trustworthy business.  First and foremost, remember that conflict most often arises because an agreement or process was not properly handled at the start.  It’s important as a business owner that at the beginning of… View Post
Share:

Estate Planning Must Haves for Parents – Even If You Have Legal Documents

A comprehensive estate plan can protect the things that matter most. For many, this means their property and their family. Including provisions for the care of your children in your estate plan is essential for peace of mind. But many parents struggle with including such provisions as naming a legal guardian for their child in their plan. Indeed, even the fictional parents in the popular television sitcom Modern Family struggled with this issue in a recent episode. While Jay and his new and much younger wife Gloria agonized and argued about who they should name as a legal guardian for… View Post
Share:

House Democrats Propose Sweeping New Changes To Tax Laws That Stand To Have Major Impact On Estate Planning and Business—Part 1

On September 13, 2021, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a new $3.5 trillion proposed spending plan that includes a wide array of changes to federal tax laws. Specifically, the Democrats have proposed a number of significant tax increases and other changes to fund the plan, including increases to personal income tax rates and the capital gains tax rate, along with a major reduction to the federal estate and gift tax exclusion and new restrictions on qualified business income (QBI) deductions. While the proposed legislation is still under consideration and far from being finalized, given the broad-reaching impact these… View Post
Share:

3 Ways To Benefit By Incorporating Charitable Giving Into Your Estate Plan

You are likely well aware of the tax benefits that come from donating to charity during your lifetime—donations to charity are tax-deductible. But you may be surprised to learn about the numerous benefits that are available when you incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan. As with donating to charity during your lifetime, dedicating a portion of your estate to a charitable cause can reduce the taxable value of your estate. You can also receive significant tax savings by naming your favorite charity as the beneficiary of your IRA, 401(k), or other retirement accounts. And if you have highly appreciated… View Post
Share:

Billionaire Banking Heir’s Cryptocurrency Fortune Disappears After His Death

In April 2018, billionaire Matthew Mellon flew by private jet to Cancun Mexico to check himself into drug rehab to deal with his addiction to opioid pain pills. But the 54-year-old heir to the Mellon Bank dynasty never made it to the rehab facility and was found dead in his hotel room after suffering an apparent heart attack days before he was due to check into the clinic. In addition to leaving behind three children, Matthew also left behind an estimated $500 million in XRP, a cryptocurrency. Problem is, at the time of his death, Mellon apparently had never bothered… View Post
Share:

Achieve Rapid, Sustainable Growth Using Outsourcing, Processes, and Technology

Growing your small business can be tricky. In fact, rapid growth can actually harm your company if you don’t plan properly. When you are first starting out, for instance, you may not have the revenue to hire the staff needed to handle the increased business that rapid growth brings, and trying to do everything on your own is neither effective nor efficient. At the same time, if your operation isn’t scaled properly, rapid growth can cause your costs and workload to quickly reach unmanageable levels, making growth unsustainable and even causing your company to implode. Fortunately, using a combination of… View Post
Share: