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Steps you can take now to protect your estate from challenges

Creating an estate plan or a last will gives you control over what happens with your assets when you die. The same process also helps provide you with peace of mind by making it easier for you to know that your family will have the resources they need when you die.

You will probably put a lot of careful thought into who gets what and why. If you have a trust as part of your estate plan, you may even choose to put rules in place about when a beneficiary accesses those assets and how much they can withdraw at any given time. You can prevent people from using estate assets wastefully or while they are too young to appreciate their value.

Growing your business can mean changing employee positions

It is common for people who start a small business to initially perform the vast majority of work on their own. When you start developing a reputation for excellence, people will begin to seek you out, eventually leading to higher numbers of clients or customers, which means you may not be able to do everything on your own anymore.

It is a testament to your determination and commitment to the business that you could grow it to the point where you would require help with daily tasks. It is likely that you hired someone you already knew or had a previously existing professional relationship with. Quite a few businesses initially hire new staff through informal arrangements.

Important considerations if you start a business with your spouse

You and your spouse trust and respect one another, so it's no surprise that you might think of your spouse as the ideal candidate for a business partner. While you may work well together as spouses, it's important to consider how a business partnership could impact your family life and vice versa.

You need to make certain you have your own space, as well as plans for handling the conflicts that will inevitably arise. With a little planning and foresight, it may be possible for you to successfully start a business with your spouse, provided that you address some key issues as soon as possible.

Treat the end of a business partnership like an amicable divorce

Taking on a business partner is quite a bit like getting married. You pool your resources and work jointly for a specific goal, probably spending a lot of time together in the process. The business that you build up is a lot like the children you could share with a spouse. It is something that you both love, work hard for and have pride in.

Still, like any relationship, it is possible for a business partnership to falter and fail. Sometimes, business partners grow apart over time. It is also possible for there to be a breach of trust or a divergence of wishes between the partners that leads to problems in the relationship and then in the business. Maybe one of you falls ill or needs to move across the country.

How do you transfer your family home into a trust?

There are many reasons that people want to create a trust and fund it with their home. Maybe you work in a risky profession and worry about the potential for a lawsuit that could leave your family vulnerable if someone comes after your personal assets. Perhaps it is part of a broader estate planning strategy to mitigate estate taxes and reduce the risk of your heirs abusing the assets you leave behind. There are many potential benefits to such a transfer.

Regardless of why you have decided to transfer your Pennsylvania home into a trust, you need to make sure that you do so properly. As with any estate planning or real estate efforts, it is almost always beneficial to seek legal counsel throughout the process to avoid making mistakes that could lead you and other people you care about financially and legally vulnerable.

Succession planning is a critical step for business owners

Many people begin their own business because they want to provide a good standard of living for their families. That motivation is why responsible adults also create an estate plan to ensure the smooth transition of their assets in the event that they become incapacitated or die.

All too often, business owners planning their estates overlook succession planning for their business as part of their comprehensive estate plan. Succession planning involves creating a legal framework for someone to take over your role and an explanation of the duties that they must fulfill.

Have you considered creating a living trust?

There are many ways to control how your property is managed and distributed upon your death. While a will is a popular estate planning tool, you may want to consider combining it with the power of a living trust.

There are many benefits of a living trust, including:

  • Avoid probate: If you only have a will, your assets are required to go through probate before reaching your heirs. With a living trust, however, the assets in the trust are not subject to probate. This allows for a more efficient transfer of property.
  • Important for incapacity planning: There is more to an estate plan that what happens upon your death. You must also have a plan for protecting yourself in the event of incapacity. With a living trust in place, your trustee can step in to manage your affairs.
  • Privacy protection: Do you have concerns about you privacy once you're gone? A will is public record, which allows anyone and everyone to review your assets and where they ended up. A living trust is not public record, thus allowing you to distribute your assets with complete privacy.
  • More control over your estate: For example, maybe you want to leave assets to a child who may have difficulty managing money early in their life. With a living trust, you can designate that they don't receive their inheritance until they reach a specific age or milestone (such as graduating college).
  • Easy to create: A living trust is more detailed than a will, but with the help of a Philadelphia estate planning attorney it's easy to create. Furthermore, with a revocable living trust, you can make adjustments as necessary in the future.

Why digital estate planning is more important than ever

Almost all of us have some form of digital footprint. This means that some of our personal data, ranging from administrative data to nostalgic memories, is stored online. We should be able to decide what happens to all of this data at the end of our lives, and in order to do this, we will need to address it on our estate plan.

There are many reasons why making a digital estate plan is so important. However, many people do not understand the full extent to which planning digital asset management can help their beneficiaries. The following are just some of the reasons why you should consider investing time in creating a digital estate plan in Pennsylvania.

When can your business sue someone else for defamation?

Building a business takes a substantial investment of both time and money. Even if you have experience in the field and connections, it can take months or even years before you have actual income from the business. Most businesses rely on a combination of word-of-mouth recommendations and brand recognition by consumers to build their client or customer base.

Unfortunately, that means that a person or organization with a chip on their shoulder could cause serious issues for your company's financial bottom line. It only takes one person spreading misinformation to damage your reputation and cost you customers. Online review systems like Yelp and social media have made it easier than ever for one person to ignite a firestorm of backlash against a business.

Your estate plan should address your needs first

When you first begin to put together your estate plan, your primary goals may have more to do with leaving something to the ones you love than caring for your own needs. Unfortunately, this can cause major problems if you don't include some important documents about your own personal preferences.

Some estate planning documents deal directly with your end-of-life choices and establishing a plan to care for your needs if you suffer a disability or long-term illness. For your own sake and for the sake of those who love you, be sure to include these documents in your plan, so that you don't waste valuable time and resources if you do suffer a serious injury.


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