Blog — Topical News

Friday, February 7, 2014

One of the biggest challenges in managing a family-owned business is firing an underperforming family member. Ideally, all of the family members working in the business recognize and agree to the need for firing a family member. I have found in these situations that it is difficult to engage in a process that can be accomplished in a way that relationships are maintained and where everyone can still attend family functions in the future with no underlying ill will or bitterness remaining between family members. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that rarely is everyone emotionally and capable of getting to a place where terminating a family member is accepted and doesn’t negatively...

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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Under most states’ premises liability laws, a landowner owes duty to use reasonable care to protect individuals from unreasonable risks of harm posed by dangerous conditions on the owner’s land. This duty is breached when the owner knows or should know of a dangerous condition on the premises of which the third party is unaware and failed to fix the defect, guard against the defect or warn the third party of the defect.

The “Status” of a Third-Party Visitor to the Premises Dictates the Landowner’s Duty

There are three classifications of third-party visitors that impact the landowner’s duty, and the landowner’s duty is different with respect to each of the...

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Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!

 

As you know, most provisions of the Affordable Care Act went into effect as of January 1, 2014. The Small Business Association of Michigan has produced an excellent checklist and overview of the requirements of the new law. Although the checklist is geared toward educating small businesses on the law, individuals who review...

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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Tax Planning is critical at the end of the year. Here are some ideas to contemplate, along with the tried and true year-end tax savings techniques.

Individual Tax Strategies:

1) Game – The Standard Deduction

If your total itemized deductions are usually close to the standard deduction amount, consider the strategy of bunching together expenditures for itemized deduction items every other year, itemizing those years to deduct more...

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Like most attorneys, I was taught Estate Planning either by direct tutoring from my partners or by the traditions of those attorneys teaching seminars and speaking in related educational-type programs. The answer to the question of who should serve as a successor trustee in a trust for the individuals forming the trust (trust makers) is almost always an afterthought – it defaults to the kids, of course.

Parents hand out nominations of successor trustee to children and other family members as if they were a prize. While the nomination is certainly honorable, as estate planning attorneys, we should look beyond the “feel-good moment” and counsel the client about the...

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