10 Tasks, Tips and Traps for Business/Commercial Leases

Business/commercial leases can be dangerous territory for a company or business client's legal counsel. I have encountered many requests from business clients like, "If you have a few minutes, can you look over a new lease I am thinking of entering into for new or existing leased space?" and "I don't need a complete review, just the basics."

Don't Overestimate Legal Self-Help Sites

While legal self-help websites may be useful in some instances, there can be problems that arise in relying on legal self-help websites in the place of real expert advice. Self-help websites are not able to provide specific advice about your company and they won't be able to point out ongoing legal problems. Many business owners who try and save money by avoiding lawyers often face difficulties later.

Estate Planning Opportunities for Families with Special Needs Individuals

Unfortunately, too many families overlook the importance of carefully crafting legal and financial safeguards to protect their special needs children as they grow into adulthood. Many times, families have simply entered into a “pact” with one or more of the siblings of the special needs child whereby those children have “promised” their parents that they will take care of their special needs sibling.

There Are Challenges for Estate Planning Involving Special Needs Children

April Is Autism Awareness Month

On April 2, 2015, President Barack Obama issued a White House proclamation recognizing World Autism Awareness Day, declaring that “… everyone deserves a fair shot at opportunity” and celebrating the work of “… advocates, professionals, family members and all who work to build brighter tomorrows alongside those with autism.”

We Have Come a Long Way

Flood Insurance Policies - Hard Lessons

In the month of August of this year and even early September, many areas in Michigan saw historic flooding and sewer backups after quick and intense storms blanketed various areas of the state. Based on several conversations I have had with clients regarding their homeowners insurance policies, many have learned the hard way about storm insurance coverage.

Succession Planning with Life Insurance for the Family Business, Cottage or Farm

In my experience assisting families with succession planning for legacy assets such as their family business, cottage or farm, the biggest challenge I’ve found is making sure there is enough money to pay for the immediate obligations after the current owner’s death. These obligations can be in the form of taxes, possible interruptions to business operations, and revenue and debt service. The obligations also may extend to longer-term capital needs such as paying the bills for these assets. 

Should Your Business Have a Domestic Abuse Policy?

Domestic violence has been making news headlines lately, mainly because of the high-profile cases of the National Football League players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and others. This publicity has drawn attention to the ambiguity surrounding the NFL’s established policy on domestic violence and other off-the-field transgressions by players.

Factors to Consider

Planning with Life Insurance

People view life insurance as a contingency plan if something bad happens in life. That view, however, is not the whole picture when it comes to considering life insurance as a planning tool. Life insurance can be a solution to several challenges in estate, business and cottage planning situations. As such, it is not only a contingency plan, but it can be a primary tool to serve a specific purpose in a person's overall succession plan.

Dan Penning on WTCM News Talk 580 AM with Dennis Prout and Shea Petaja – Digital Assets

Periodically Dan Penning will appear in the local media to discuss various matters relating to Cottage Law, Estate Planning, Business Succession Planning and Asset Protection.

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.