topical-news

Cottage Planning - It's About the Memories

Families Preserve Their Best Memories of the Family Cottage Through Succession Planning

Spring triggers the annual migration of cottage/cabin owners back to their summer homes after the long, cold winter – or, for those more fortunate, spending time at warm climate retreats. Spring also brings the excitement and anticipation for a new season of warm, muggy nights, fishing, watersports, campfires, and the constant coming and going of family members and guests at the family cottage.

Beware of Liability Risks on Publically Owned Land/Parks/Recreation Venues

As you plan this summer’s family vacation or trip, beware of the fact that most publically owned land, parks, attractions and recreation facilities are exempt from typical premises liability laws, providing a basis for injured persons to pursue damage claims against negligent property owners.

Selling Your Home This Spring? Back-to-Basics Review for Tax-Free Gains from Home Sales

One of the most significant tax advantages to owning a home comes at the back end of ownership, when you decide to sell it for a profit. A homeowner can exclude up to $250,000 of such profit from their federal capital gains tax. For married couples filing a joint tax return, the exclusion jumps to $500,000. This big tax break, however, does come with some basic requirements. It applies to the sale of only a “principal residence,” not a vacation home or investment property.

Have You Included Your “Digital Assets” in Your Estate Plan? Part 2 -- Does Your Estate Plan Include Provisions Regarding Your "Digital Assets"?

In last week's blog, I introduced the concept of including digital assets in your estate plan. Today's blog is a follow-up providing additional substantive information regarding estate planning issues and planning for digital assets.

Why Think About Digital Assets?

Have You Included Your “Digital Assets” in Your Estate Plan? -- If You Die, What Happens to Your Computer and All the Information Stored on it Or That’s Accessible Through Internet Access to Third-Party Sites?

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.

Common Mistakes When Naming Beneficiaries

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.

Is Your Business Vulnerable to a Civil Rights Violation Complaint?

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.

Are You A Great Leader? How Effective Are You as a Business Owner, Executive, Manager, Employee Or Even a Parent in Leading Those Closest to You?

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.

Firing A Family Member Employee - Can You Fire A Family Member Employee and Still Keep the Family Together?

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.

The Winter of 2014 – Slip Sliding Away ... How Accumulations of Ice and Snow Affect Property Owners' Liabilities to Third Parties

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