27July
2017
The Duties and Liabilities of a Trustee

Let’s say you are asked by a family member or loved one to be a trustee. Or perhaps you are setting up a trust and are considering who to name as the trustee(s). It is an honor to be asked since it shows the grantor has a high degree of trust in the potential trustee. However, before an individual accepts, he or she should be aware of all the responsibilities and liabilities involved. A trustee must manage the trust assets as set forth in the trust document. Here are five important steps for trustees to take: 1. Realize you have…

27July
2017
Meal Deductions: Tax Rest for the Weary

In one significant case, the U.S. Tax Court allowed a taxpayer to claim deductions for meals that stretch the limits of the traditional “sleep-or-rest” rule for business travelers. (Bissonnette, 127 TC No. 10) Background: Generally, you can deduct 50% of your meals and all incidental expenses when you are away from home on business. The IRS considers you to be “away from home” if business duties require you to leave the general area of your tax home substantially longer than an ordinary work day and you need to sleep or rest in order to meet the demands of the job….

27July
2017
What’s Involved in Being an Estate Executor?

If you’re asked to serve as the executor of an estate, think carefully about the decision before accepting the position. Acting as an executor or administrator of an estate can involve a great deal of work, depending on assets and the complexity of the estate. Q. Who Can Be an Executor? A. It depends on state law, but you generally must be over the age of 18 or 21. ┬áIn most states, to be an executor a person cannot have been convicted of a felony or be considered “unsuitable” by the court. For example, an estate with a large investment…

13July
2017
Tips for Saving on Business Travel

A business trip is meant to solidify relationships with clients and customers or to gain new ones. Or perhaps it’s a time for sales calls and “meets and greets” with suppliers. In any event, the goal of business travel is generally to make money — not to fritter it away on needless expenses. Businesses have to keep a close tab on the costs of being “on the road.” While it might be tempting to cut back on travel costs to save money — especially during tough times — the result could be a drop-off in sales, leads or damage to…

13July
2017
Arbitration Agreements Save Headaches and Dollars

If an employee accuses your company of discrimination and takes you to court, the ensuing battle could take years and cost thousands of dollars. When it’s all over, neither side may have much to show for it. That’s why it’s a good idea to ask employees to agree in advance to binding arbitration if such a dispute ever arises. Arbitration takes one-quarter of the time and costs one-tenth as much as going to court. It allows your company to avoid jury trials and makes large damage awards unlikely. Your employees benefit, as well, because arbitration gets them a hearing and…

13July
2017
Keeping Family Businesses Harmonious

Running a family business was probably easier back in 1786, when John Molson founded the Canadian brewery. In those days, eldest sons usually took over the reins, a company’s primary role was to provide for the family and disagreements were commonly resolved with the “my-way-or-the-highway” tactic. Since that time, family-run businesses have been an important segment of the economy — and internal conflict is common at many of them. Take Molson Inc., for example. Discord reportedly set in back during the 1970s when one side of the family sold the Montreal Canadiens hockey team to the Bronfmans, a rival Canadian…