24March
2016
Consider Deploying a Red Team at Your Business

Protecting a company from attack by third parties intent on stealing money, data — or both — is a constant challenge. Companies must anticipate where the threat is the most severe and defenses are the weakest and dedicate the appropriate resources there. However, given the complexity of a company’s information technology environment, as well as its physical footprint, it is often a challenge to identify and prioritize which areas in the organization pose the greatest threat. Understanding how the enemy views your company’s infrastructure is critical to deploying a robust defense. Companies of all sizes are asking “red teams” —…

24March
2016
Getting Married? Issues to Consider When Purchasing Property Before the Wedding

Let’s say a couple is engaged to be married. However, before the marriage ceremony, the couple decides to purchase a marital home. Possibly, they want to buy a first house, condominium or cooperative apartment. Prior to doing so, there are certain potential concerns to address. The options for purchasing the property vary: One party may want to provide the down payment. The couple may decide to buy the home with title in one name only. They may decide to purchase it together with both names on the title but one person out the mortgage. With these and other scenarios, the couple…

24March
2016
Succeeding At Business Succession

Inc magazine reported that sixty-six percent of small-business owners have no formal succession plan.1 While the number may shock you, it probably doesn’t surprise you since so many small business owners are consumed by the myriad responsibilities of running their businesses. Nevertheless, owners ignore succession planning at their peril, and possibly at the peril of their heirs. There a number of reasons for business owners to consider a business succession plan sooner rather than later. Let’s take a look at two of them. Estate Tax Bill The first reason is taxes. Upon the owner’s death, estate taxes may be due…

10March
2016
Transferring Investment Property to a Trust: What You Need to Know

Suppose you own real estate properties for investment purposes. Further assume that you would like to achieve the following: 1. You no longer want to manage the real estate properties. 2. You want your heirs to avoid probate after you die. 3. You want to save on taxes, if possible. One option to consider is transferring the property to a trust — either revocable or irrevocable Achieving Your Goals If you transfer the real estate to a revocable trust and list one of your children or a trusted adviser as the trustee, you achieve two of your goals — avoiding…

10March
2016
What Can Employers Do with Forfeited Employee FSA Balances?

When unused flexible spending account (FSA) balances are forfeited back to employers under the “use-it-or-lose-it” rule, employers have several options for what they can do with the money. Here is what employers need to know after first covering some necessary background information. Flexible Spending Account Basics Under an employer-sponsored flexible spending account (FSA) plan, employees can elect to contribute a designated amount of their annual salary to their personal health care FSA or dependent-care FSA or both. For a health care FSA, the maximum amount that an employee can contribute for the 2017 tax year is $2,600 (up from $2,550…