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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Avoiding probate is a common goal for individuals who are going through the estate planning process. However, probate is not an inherently bad process and does not always need to be avoided. This blog will provide a better understanding of the circumstances when probate may be the best option.
During our initial meeting with clients, we frequently hear that they have named their spouse and/or children as the beneficiary of their life insurance policy so that the death benefits are available to the beneficiary when they die. Life insurance is an important financial and estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there is no guarantee that your beneficiary will receive, or keep, the benefit from your insurance. To learn more, read our blog to ensure that you adequately protect your beneficiaries.
Financing is the lifeblood of a business and owners seek business funding for many reasons. But without access to the money they need when they need it, even the best business plan can fail. With myriad funding options available, businesses have their work cut out for them when deciding which option is the best for their needs. This blog contains some basic information about business financing for owners.
Congress has designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. However, according to a Caring.com survey, more than 50% of people do not have an estate plan! Many people have the mistaken belief that estate planning is not necessary because they do not have many assets but an estate plan deals with much more than your assets after death. This blog contains a detailed list of essential estate planning documents, why you should have them and how to talk with your loved ones about the need for an estate plan.
Asking someone to serve as your trustee or executor is not something that you should take lightly. Serving as a fiduciary is a heavy responsibility that requires significant time and effort. You need to consider the fiduciary's compensation for the services they provide to the trust beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. But what is the customary amount of compensation for these types of services? Read this article to understand the issues surrounding fiduciary compensation so that you know how to handle this important element of your estate planning.
Is flexibility less important in estate planning than in other areas of life? If your planning could be changed on a whim, there is a risk that your intent can be defeated by someone who does not understand or respect it. But what happens when, after a trust has become irrevocable, a situation arises that appears to undermine or conflict with your intent as the trustmaker? Are you stuck? Thankfully, no. This article discusses how and when a trust can be decanted to adapt the trust rules to circumstances that occur after death.
As a single individual, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about who will step in and make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself and who will receive your money and property when you die. You may consider your parents or siblings, but depending on whether they are living and the nature of your relationship, they may not be an option. Having an estate plan is important to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your life and after your death. Read this blog to develop an understanding of the decision makers you need to select.
Small business owners are no strangers to risk management. Owning and operating a small business entails a certain level of unpredictability. Despite your best efforts to stay on top of supply chains, marketing, sales, competitors, employees, and cash flow, unexpected issues can knock you for a loop. You have survived plenty of bumps in the road and emerged stronger than ever. But are you prepared for the financial hit—not to mention the stress and emotional impact—of a lawsuit? Read this blog for a better understanding of the legal challenges facing small business and the steps the owners need to take to address and reduce those risks.
For some people, choosing trusted decision makers is easy; for others, it may be more difficult due to tense family circumstances, geography, or the lack of living family members. While most advisors and attorneys counsel clients to choose family members or close friends, this may not always be an option. This blog contains a listing of some of the important decision makers you may need to select, options for whom to consider if you do not have a family member or friend who can fill the role, and questions to ask the prospective decision maker.
Estate planning is not as scary as so many people think it is. For most people, their fear is the result of the unknown. Not knowing what you are going to encounter at an attorney’s office frequently leads people to imagine all kinds of horrible scenarios and ultimately refuse to pull the trigger and set up an appointment. This blog has some of the common questions you might encounter when you meet with an estate planning attorney; which will help you prepare for your first estate planning meeting and may alleviate some of the fear and anxiety that accompanies it.
Conflicts are inevitable within businesses and families. Resolving conflicts in both settings is a delicate matter that requires balancing what is best for one person with what is best for the group. When family members are in business together, the balancing act can be harder and missteps can have a significant impact.