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Using Real Estate Deeds in Estate Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 15, 2022 | 0 Comments

An important question arises regarding the type of deed that should be used for transferring real property into the trust's name. There are several types of deeds that can be used, one of which is a general warranty deed. The other types of deeds commonly used in the United States for transferring property are quitclaim deeds and special warranty deeds. Read this blog to gain a better understanding of the impact the type of deed has on your estate plan.

Hobby or Business: What Factors Does the IRS Consider?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 12, 2022 | 0 Comments

There are some activities we engage in outside of work strictly for personal reasons, with no thought of ever profiting from them. Then there are pastimes that we do not consider to be a job or primary income source but that enable us to earn some additional money. Even though you are making a bit of money on the side, you still think of your activity as a hobby, not as a business. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however, has its own rules for determining whether an activity is a business or a hobby. Understanding these rules can help you take advantage of tax breaks and avoid adverse action by the IRS. Read this blog for a better understanding of the hobby vs. business rules.

Qualified Personal Residence Trust: What Is It and When Should You Consider One?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 10, 2022 | 0 Comments

For individuals and families whose wealth is significant enough that their estates could be subject to estate taxes, it can be important to be aware of some of the tried-and-true strategies for reducing their taxable estate’s value to avoid paying more tax at death than absolutely necessary. One strategy is the qualified personal residence trust (QPRT). A QPRT is a specific type of irrevocable trust that is designed to own a taxpayer’s personal residence. If a QPRT is designed and implemented correctly, it offers the taxpayer a number of benefits. However, as with most things tax related, whenever you get a tax benefit, there are going to be trade-offs that must be considered, and the same holds true for QPRTs. Read this blog to develop a better understanding of QPRTs.

Slayer Statutes: Preventing Killers from Profiting from Their Crimes

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 07, 2022 | 0 Comments

Most states have laws that prevent someone who has intentionally killed another individual from being able to inherit any property from their victim. In general, these laws are referred to as “slayer statutes” and are designed to prevent the patently unjust outcome of a killer inheriting property as the result of such a heinous crime. Read this blog to develop a better understanding of some states' slayer statutees.

How to Start Your Business Year Strong

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 05, 2022 | 0 Comments

Small businesses that survived the challenges of 2020 and 2021 are heading into 2022 with fresh hope. While a healthy dose of optimism can help business owners persevere through hard times, your business needs an actionable plan to truly move forward. The beginning of the year is a great time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t in the prior year. Read this blog for more information to help your business succeed in 2022!

Untangling Tangled Titles: Homeownership, Property Deeds, and Estate Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jan 03, 2022 | 0 Comments

If you are currently living in a property that you inherited but the deed has not been transferred into your name, you may be surprised to learn that, under the law, you are technically not the owner. This legal situation is known as “tangled title.” A tangled title negatively impacts a property’s current occupant in a number of ways. It can also harm generational wealth and even contribute to fraud.

What Happens to Your Social Media Accounts at Your Death?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 20, 2021 | 0 Comments

Have you ever thought about what will happen to your social media accounts when you die? If you have spent time creating, uploading, and sharing content, it is important to take a look now at what will happen after you pass away so you can determine your content's future. Read this blog for a quick summary of the options available for various social media accounts.

All Good Things Must Come to an End: Reasons a Trust Might Terminate

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 17, 2021 | 0 Comments

While trusts can stretch across generations and keep valuable money and property within a family, every trust will end at some point. The reasons why a trust might terminate can vary, but termination generally occurs because the trust has accomplished its purpose, is no longer economically feasible, has distributed all of its property, is revoked, or is dissolved by the court because of a dispute or an illegality. Click to read more about the termination of a trust or call our office if you need assistance.

Complying With Estimated Quarterly Taxes

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 15, 2021 | 0 Comments

Tax day is one of the most important—and one of the most dreaded—days on the calendar for Americans. You must pay income on income earned through your full-time job, as well as any part-time job, side job or self-employed role, which means that you may need to make quarterly estimated tax payments. If you need to make estimated tax payments, you need to know the payment deadlines for both federal and state withholdings, as well as some additional rules. Read this blog to gain a greater understanding of quarterly estimated tax payments before you contact your tax accountant.

Common Considerations for Using a Liability Waiver in Your Business

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 11, 2021 | 0 Comments

Exposure to lawsuits involving injury and loss claims is among the biggest risks that businesses face. Courts in most US jurisdictions have ruled that liability waivers are legally enforceable as long as they are drafted in a way that makes it clear to customers what risks they face and what rights they are agreeing to waive. If you are considering using one, you will need to ensure that it will hold up if tested. Read this blog for additional information on liability waivers.

How Do I Start a Home-Based Business?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

The number of people working from home has never been higher. Accustomed to the freedom and flexibility of remote work during the pandemic, some workers have quit their jobs to pursue more flexible work arrangements. As a result, Americans are starting new businesses at an unprecedented rate, and a large percentage of them are home-based businesses. Launching a home-based business requires much of the same preparation needed to start any new business. However, home-based businesses also have their own challenges and considerations. Before making a move to home-based entrepreneurship, you need to lay the groundwork. Read this blog for a better understanding of the rewards and the challenges presented to a home-based business owner!

Protecting the New Athletic Superstars

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 03, 2021 | 0 Comments

It is a new era for college student athletes, who can now (as of July 1, 2021) profit from their name, image, and likeness (NIL). The NCAA has long been criticized for generating billions in annual revenue from athletic programs while barring athletes from sharing the profits. Student athletes have not wasted time profiting under the new rules, with many already cashing in. NIL agreements will undoubtedly benefit athletes and their families, but it also adds a fresh wrinkle to the old problem of athletes’ financial planning. Most athletic careers are short, and athletes go bankrupt at an alarming rate. In light of the updated NIL policies, estate planning is more essential than ever for student athletes. For help with estate planning for student athletes, read this blog and then contact our office to schedule an appointment to discuss in more detail.

Mental Health Considerations in Estate Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Dec 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Removing the stigma of mental health starts with realizing that many people are affected by mental illness. Understanding this fact can lead to more people getting the help they require, not only by seeking guidance from a mental health expert, but also by planning for the future with mental health considerations in mind. Estate planning is a sensitive subject and it can be even more sensitive when the issue of mental health is involved. If you need to set up an estate plan, or revise an existing estate plan, around mental health concerns, please read this blog for guidance on why estate planning is so important and to begin taking the next steps. We are here to help!

Are Family Limited Partnerships under Attack?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 29, 2021 | 0 Comments

The family limited partnership (FLP) is an estate planning tool that allows families not only to transfer significant amounts of their wealth to succeeding generations while reducing estate, gift, and income tax liabilities but also to achieve several other important estate planning goals. But the FLP is under attack with the Biden Administration. But there are also some exclusions. Read this blog to develop a better understanding of FLPs and to see if such a structure would be beneficial in your own estate plan.

What Is HEMS and Why Is It Included in So Many Trusts?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 22, 2021 | 0 Comments

You may come across the acronym HEMS from time to time when looking at your estate planning documents. HEMS stands for “health, education, maintenance, or support” and is frequently included in trust agreements to guide a trustee on the types of distributions they may make to a trust beneficiary. Used properly, not only can it be a powerful and effective tool to reduce the risk of unnecessary taxation at each generation as wealth passes through the family, but it can also protect trust property from people who should not have access to it, such as creditors, divorcing spouses, and predators. Read this blog for a better understanding HEMS use in the distribution to your loved ones.

What Can First Responders Do To Protect Their Loved Ones?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 12, 2021 | 0 Comments

We rely upon our first responders to provide aid and/or assistance to us during emergencies. O'Connor Law Offices thanks you for everything you do every day and we understand that being the first one on the scene can come with many different risks. And we are dedicated to protecting you and your loved ones from the different types of emergencies that may pop up during your own life. This blog addresses some important questions any first responder should consider to prevent your own family emergency.

What Is a Non-Solicitation Agreement, and Should I Use One?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 10, 2021 | 0 Comments

Non-solicitation agreements are contractual provisions that restrict an employee’s ability to "poach" your customers or other employees for a specified period of time after they leave their job and are commonly used with key employees. It is important to avoid sending the wrong message so read this blog for some insight into the key points that you need to address with your business attorney when drafting these agreements.

Should You Consider a Life Estate for Your Home?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 08, 2021 | 0 Comments

A life estate is a property law concept that allows a property owner to split their interest in real estate and other types of property into different types of ownership that can exist simultaneously. Although a life estate may accomplish your goal, there are several disadvantages associated with a life estate that you need to carefully consider before executing a deed with such language in it. Read this blog for a better understanding of a life estate and when they are best utilized.

Trust Funding: Is Everything Titled Correctly?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 05, 2021 | 0 Comments

Having an attorney draft a trust as part of your estate plan is an important step. But just getting the document drafted and signed is not enough. For a trust to be effective, you must complete the process of "funding your trust" as soon as you can. Not sure what "funding your trust" means? This blog summarizes the steps you need to complete in order to fund your trust.

Myths We Tell Ourselves about Estate Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Nov 01, 2021 | 0 Comments

Making the decision to move forward with an estate plan requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. Frequently, this thought stops many people in their tracks; they become paralyzed by having to think about their own demise and to make the "hard" decisions. Other people talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to create an estate plan because of various myths that they tell themselves and therefore believe. I invite you to read this blog if you've been "dragging your feet" in preparing your estate plan!

Considerations for Hiring Your Child as an Employee

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Oct 27, 2021 | 0 Comments

Running a small business is a big responsibility. You wear many hats in your business, but being a legal professional or tax accountant is probably not one of them. Hiring your child to work in the family business can be a win-win situation for both you and your child as there are tax advantages not available with other employees. If you are thinking about hiring your child as a part-time worker or a full-time employee, you need to be aware of the applicable laws to reap the greatest benefits—and to avoid running afoul of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Read this blog for a summary of the laws and benefits.

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