22October
2015
Can a Trustee Be Held Personally Liable?

If you are ever appointed a trustee, you will have a fiduciary duty to act on behalf of the beneficiaries. If you breach that duty, you may find yourself in court. Being a trustee is not an easy job. Trustees must follow the terms of the trust and are accountable to the beneficiaries for their actions. They may be held personally liable if they: Are found to be self-dealing, or using trust assets for their own benefit; Cause damage to a third party to the same extent as if the property was their own; and/or Become subject to criminal changes…

22October
2015
Value Your Business Internally and Externally

While preparing your succession or estate plan, it can be helpful to value your family business both internally and externally. You might wonder what that means — because you think your company has just one value. In fact, it can have multiple values depending on the valuation standard used. The different results can help you determine whether to keep the family business, pass it on to the next generation or sell it to an outsider. Two common standards used in valuing a family business are: Investment value. This gauges internal value, which represents the value to a particular investor based on individual investment requirements…

22October
2015
Cybersecurity Awareness Month: Protect Valuable and Vulnerable Assets

Our world is more interconnected than ever before. The Internet has become an integral part of everyone’s business and personal lives. But along with Web-based opportunities come risks of breaches and associated losses. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has launched a series of education seminars this October as part of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. The goals are to raise awareness about cybersecurity and to increase the U.S. resiliency against the threat of a cyber incident. Here, we reveal findings from two recent studies that underscore the importance of protecting your business against data breaches. Sobering Statistics The second-quarter 2015…

08October
2015
Investigate Zoning Laws Before Committing to a Location

Location, location, location. You know how important it is for your business. So when choosing a location, you probably research foot traffic, car traffic and the occupancy rates of the neighboring buildings. But if you don’t research zoning laws, all your good business judgment could go to waste. Before you sign a lease or buy a commercial property, make sure you can legally house the business you want to run in that location. Otherwise, make sure your lease or contract has a contingency clause stating that the lease won’t be binding or the sale final if you don’t get zoning…

08October
2015
Workplace Retaliation: Reduce the Chances of a Claim

In order to prevent illegal retaliation from occurring in your workplace, you have to understand some basic definitions. Retaliation occurs when an employer takes an adverse action against a covered individual because he or she engaged in a protected activity. An adverse action is taken to keep someone from opposing a discriminatory or harassing practice or participating in an employment discrimination proceeding. Examples of adverse actions include terminating an employee, denying a promotion and giving an unjustified negative performance evaluation. For purposes of federal employment laws administered by the EEOC, covered individuals are people who have opposed unlawful practices, participated…

08October
2015
Seasonal IRS Announcements: Stop To Reflect on Taxes

Now that fall has begun, it’s time to start your year-end tax planning for 2015 — and to tie up loose ends that remain from the 2014 tax season. Here are some reminders that the IRS has sent out recently and related federal income tax-savings opportunities for individuals and businesses. 1. October 15 Extension Reminder About a quarter of the 13 million taxpayers who requested an automatic six-month extension for their 2014 tax returns have yet to file. The IRS recently urged individuals whose tax-filing extension runs out on October 15 to double check their returns for often-overlooked tax benefits,…