Blog — Family Business

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Most all of us have “digital assets” of one type or another. A digital asset is a computing device (computer, smartphone or tablet); data storage device or medium, or all electronically stored information (data) like user accounts; or domain names and perhaps even intellectual property rights for someone engaged in a digital-type business, such as designing websites, applications or similar digital resources.

These digital assets cannot be forgotten when planning for one’s disability or death. Failure to include digital assets in your estate planning could lead to an expensive and time-consuming process for anyone trying to recover your digital assets or access data stored by you...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

As part of a recent series, I wrote an article about various issues involved with making sure beneficiary designations on such matters as Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), 401(k) accounts, life insurance policies and other similar retirement benefit accounts. Since writing the original article, I have encountered at least three different situations with respect to new clients where the beneficiary designations that were made by an individual during his/her lifetime were not changed after a significant event like the death of a spouse or a divorce, which eventually led to an unintended consequence of individuals receiving proceeds as a beneficiary who the descendant would not have...

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Over the past 20 years, many individuals established Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT) whereby an individual transferred title of his/her real estate to a QPRT, which essentially leveraged the value of the gift made to the trust by deducting the value of the transferor retaining use and enjoyment of the property for the term of years of the QPRT. For example, this mechanism allowed someone to transfer ownership of a million-dollar home to a QPRT, and the value of the actual gift after 20 years to the QPRT beneficiaries, depending on the facts of a particular case, may have been as low as $600,000.

Now that we have experienced an increase in the federal estate and gift tax...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits the creation of a hostile work environment based on the prohibited forms of discrimination, such as discrimination based on sex or race. To hold an employer liable for the harassment, the plaintiff must show that the work environment was so pervaded by discrimination that the terms of employment were altered. Isolated or trivial occurrences are not likely to be sufficient.

Recently, the Supreme Court clarified the issue of when a harassing fellow worker is a “supervisor” and not merely a co-worker for purposes of making the employer entity liable for that harassment.

Conduct of Co-Workers

If the...

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

It is an honor to introduce my friend and colleague Dr. Tim Irwin’s latest book, Impact: Great Leadership Changes Everything.

Dr. Irwin and I have worked together on behalf of common clients and collaborated on many projects together. Tim is one of the smartest people I know and has developed keen insights into the subject of leadership through his 25 years of experience and work with leaders of global companies.

Working for more than 25 years as an organizational psychologist and management consultant, Tim has worked with thousands of leaders and well-known global companies. He knows most leaders work for recognition and advancement, and that they want more...

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