Winter is for Planning

Happy New Year! And welcome to "planning season."

Businesses plan for investment, hiring, expansion, and growth. Personally, we all make resolutions, and since winter nights are so dark, perhaps we take a little more time to dream.

Here, we offer a few articles to stimulate your planning for your best year yet.

Ideas To Protect Your Family

Estate Planning Resolutions for 2018

Another holiday season will have come and gone before we know it. For many, the start of 2018 will be a time of empty commitment to self-improvement because meaningful New Year's resolutions are frequently made but rarely kept. Instead of purchasing a stationary bike or pretending to enjoy salad as an entree this year, you should resolve to secure your family's future better through planning for incapacity and death. There is no time like the present to evaluate the planning that you have or have not undertaken. MORE

Asset Protection Planning: Steps You Should Consider Now

Tax laws may change but the litigious nature of our society is not going away.  Asset protection planning is a key motivator for many of our estate planning clients. 

We hear scenarios over and over again in which a client has injured someone in an accident, is being sued for malpractice, is involved in a business dispute, owns rental property where someone was injured, or has a child in the middle of a divorce and custody dispute.  What can you do to protect your or your family's assets if you become one of those unfortunate people? MORE

Do I Need An Estate Plan?

  • Do you care who will receive your assets upon your death?
  • Do you have a minor child or children and want to have a say in who takes care of them if something happens to you?
  • Do you care who will take care of you if you become incapacitated?
  • Are you interested in minimizing taxes and other expenses for your family?

If the answer to any of these questions is "Yes," then YOU NEED AN ESTATE PLAN. MORE

Ideas To Protect Your Business

Tax Reform – What Does it Mean for You and Your Business?

Let's face it—the Internal Revenue code (the "Code") and the reams of regulations that implement the Code can be very complex. However, most individuals and business owners want to take advantage of every tax maneuver they can to minimize the amount of taxes they pay to the federal government. Against this backdrop, the President and the United States Congress have been working for most of 2017 to implement a tax reform package with the goal of simplifying the Code. While reasonable minds can disagree on whether it actually simplifies the Code, Congress passed its tax reform package (called the "Tax Cuts and Jobs Act") on Wednesday, December 20, and the President signed the tax reform package into law on Friday, December 22, with most of the provisions set to take effect on January 1, 2018. Thus, the changes made in the law will, for the most part, not have an impact on taxes due for the 2017 tax year.

This article provides an overview of the key changes to the income tax provisions that impact individuals and businesses, as well as the key changes to the estate and gift tax provisions. MORE

Insights from the Family Business Symposium

Deana Labriola and Matt Thompson, along with Mark Phillips, managing director of Jacobs Capital, recently participated in the Triangle Business Journal's Family Business Symposium. Reporter Caroline Barnhill provided a recap of the discussion which was published in the September 15, 2017, print edition.

Q: When’s the right time to sell your business and how can you tell how much it’s worth?

LABRIOLA: “I’ll let you know when the wrong time to sell is: when you have to. When that’s the case, the sale price will be impacted as a result. Usually some external event creates a need to sell, but it can be internal. If you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t thought this through, it impacts the price and process. We want you to be proactive so you can maximize your visions for a liquidity event or transitioning to another generation.” MORE

Wrapping Your Privacy Practices Up with a Bow

For many companies, the "hap-happiest season of all" coincides with the busiest season of all. Business owners and employees are racing to fill customer orders in time for the holidays, which also means an avalanche of new personal information that must be protected, including customer names, shipping addresses, email addresses, and credit card numbers.  To avoid the privacy and data security holiday blues, and instead enjoy the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, consider these data privacy and security tips. MORE

New Bankruptcy Rules that Creditors Need to Know and Follow

On December 1, 2017, several changes to the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure took effect. The changes involve consumer cases under Chapter 13 and affect creditors with secured claims, unsecured claims, and judgment liens against customers in bankruptcy. The changes require creditors to give heightened attention to Chapter 13 plans to protect their rights. Here are some of the most significant changes: MORE

Why Do You Need a Buy-Sell Agreement for Your Closely Held Company?

Why do you need a Buy-Sell Agreement for your closely held company?  In a nutshell, your business partner might die, become disagreeable, or just simply lose his or her mind, and you need a set of rules to resolve the matter.  Disputes among business owners can be as intense and ugly as the worst divorce case, especially when the owners are family, and a good Buy-Sell Agreement can avoid some of this difficulty. A Buy-Sell Agreement is an agreement among two or more business owners that establishes rules restricting, and sometime forcing, the transfer of ownership interests in the company or corporation.  Buy-Sell Agreements ordinarily appear in shareholder agreements for corporations, operating agreements for limited liability companies, and partnership agreements for partnerships.  MORE

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© 2018 Ward and Smith, P.A. For further information regarding the issues described above, please contact Deana A. Labriola.

This article is not intended to give, and should not be relied upon for, legal advice in any particular circumstance or fact situation. No action should be taken in reliance upon the information contained in this article without obtaining the advice of an attorney.

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