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Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 2

In part 1, we discussed the importance of knowing how to negotiate business deals and mitigate conflict whenever possible. Besides being a financial drain, business disputes can also create conflicts that require precious time and energy to resolve. Setting clear boundaries and realistic expectations when making professional agreements is essential in setting yourself up for…

Business Conflict: Tips for Settling Business Disputes Part 1

A large part of being a successful business owner is knowing how to make deals and facilitate conflict when it arises. When in a dispute over a deal or an agreement that has been made, the potential costs are endless. The potential cost of litigation, the potential cost of loss of reputation, the potential cost…

The Surprising Secret to Keeping Good Records in Your Small Business

Keeping good records relieves stress and makes running your business easier and more enjoyable. But it may not look like what you think if you’ve run your business by saving receipts all year long and then trying to handle your bookkeeping all at once at tax time. First and foremost, don’t handle your bookkeeping yourself….

When Duty Calls: Navigating the Sandwich Generation with Ease

The average age of parents raising children in the US continues to rise, leaving many middle-aged Americans in a category commonly referred to as the “sandwich” generation. This growing population of professionals are often still raising kids at home when they become responsible for the care of their own aging parents. The stress and financial…

Pets in Your Will

For those of us who have pets that would be left behind after we die, there may be a desire to make arrangements for their well-being. Making provisions for pets in your will can only be done through the establishment of a trust. Pets are considered property and, as such, cannot be left money or…

How to Protect Family Heirlooms From a Family Feud

The passing of family heirlooms from one generation to another should be welcome tradition in most families, but unfortunately, this process can cause long-lasting family rifts if not done properly. There are many stories of families that have split over a silver tea service or a portrait of a long-dead ancestor. In fact, you may…

What Is a Trust?

A trust is a legal creation set up to benefit someone or something. For example, some people set up trusts to benefit their children, their grandchildren, or even charities. It is easiest to understand if you think about three separate people being involved. One person, called the grantor, funds the trust somehow, by placing money…

Why Everyone Needs an Agent

Everyone needs an agent – and not the Hollywood type. An agent is someone you designate to handle your estate after you’ve gone or who can make decisions for you if you cannot make them for yourself. Here are the kinds of agents everyone needs: Executor – an executor is the person you designate to carry…

Reasons to Establish a Trust (and Being Rich Isn’t One of Them)

When you hear the words, “trust fund,” do you conjure up images of stately mansions and party yachts? A trust fund – or trust – is actually a great estate planning tool for many people with a wide range of incomes who want to accomplish a specific purpose with their money. Simply put, a trust…

The Perfect Solution for Choosing Your Child’s Guardian

If you have minor children and have not yet selected a guardian, you are not unlike many parents who put off this critically important task while waiting for the perfect solution to present itself. Or perhaps you and your spouse/partner cannot agree on who would be the ideal guardian for your kids. Here is your…

What Every Single Parent Needs to Know About Estate Planning

If you are a single parent, life for you right now probably couldn’t get any busier. You are likely being pulled between work, school activities, sports teams and the inevitable emergencies that fill the lives of single parents everywhere. Being a single parent is a huge responsibility. You may have taken it on willingly or…

Does Your Trustee Need to be a U.S. citizen?

Selecting a trustee to manage and distribute trust assets to beneficiaries upon your death just became a little more complicated.  If you are deciding whether to name an individual who is not a U.S. citizen or U.S. permanent resident as a successor trustee, there are a number of factors to consider. To begin with, a trust…

What You Can Learn From the Estate Planning Mistakes of Others

There is much to be learned from the mistakes of others and the celebrity world abounds with cautionary tales when it comes to estate planning. Even with all the financial resources available to them, celebrities can neglect the basics when it comes to protecting assets. We come across sad tales all the time of “regular”…

Is Your Small Business Being Audited? Stay Calm and Read On

Audits can happen to any business. Small businesses are no exception. The IRS can conduct an audit on your business when your tax filing contains questionable deductions, your business is of particular interest to the IRS or by random selection. Contrary to popular belief, being audited doesn’t necessarily mean you did anything wrong. And for…

Talking with Your Family About Your Estate Plan

Is it time to have “the talk” with your kids? We’re not talking about a “birds and bees” talk but one that is equally important, perhaps more so.  Everyone has concerns about what will happen when they die. Some people worry about their homes, cars, or money. Others worry about their children. Rare, however, is…

How to Use Estate Planning Strategies to Transfer Business Interests

Planning for the transfer or liquidation of your business when you are ready to retire or when you die is just as important as the planning you did in starting up your small business. Here are some tips from a Creative Business Lawyer™ on how to use estate planning strategies to transfer your business interests:…

For Estate Planning, There is No Fix –It-And-Forget-It

It’s hard to believe that people who spend a lifetime working hard to accumulate wealth spend little or no time planning for what will happen to it after they pass, especially if children are in the picture.  Yet a recent Consumer Reports survey tells us that 86% of people have not reviewed or updated our estate documents…

What We Can Learn From Downton Abbey About Estate Planning

Downton Abbey – the PBS drama about the fortunes and misfortunes of an aristocratic British family in the early 20th century that has taken American audiences by storm – gets most of its gripping plot twists as the result of a number of bad estate planning moves.  For example (Spoiler Alert: these include references to…

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