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DIY LOUISIANA WILL EXECUTION BACKFIRES (Notary Stamp Completely Invalidates Will)
“The views expressed by Me are in no way endorsed by CBS any of its allied companies or in fact Me.” ~Craig Ferguson Ms. Sandra Dale lived in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana.  She loved East Feliciana Parish so much that she named her first born, Felicia Dale.  Sandra later had two more children, namely Christopher Dale and ...

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How Incomplete Nongrantor Trusts Can Help Avoid State Income Taxes
With the federal gift and estate tax exemption at $11.40 million for 2019, people whose estates are below the exemption amount are shifting their focus to income tax reduction. High-income taxpayers — particularly those who live in high-income-tax states — may want to consider incomplete nongrantor trusts, which make it possible to eliminate state taxes on ...

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Family Businesses Need Succession Plans, Too
Those who run family-owned businesses often underestimate the need for a succession plan. After all, they say, we’re a family business — there will always be a family member here to keep the company going and no one will stand in the way. Not necessarily. In one all-too-common scenario, two of the owner’s children inherit ...

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Bad Faith: When Insurers Wrongfully Deny Claims
You pay your company’s insurance premiums faithfully, secure in the knowledge you’re covered if something goes wrong. Most of the time, such thinking will be right. Not only is it good business practice for insurers to cover legitimate claims, but it’s illegal for them to deny them. Unfortunately, not all insurers are good businesspeople, and ...

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Devote Some Time to Internal Leadership Development
Many factors go into the success of a company. You’ve got to offer high-quality products or services, provide outstanding customer service, and manage your inventory or supply chain. But there’s at least one other success factor that many business owners often overlook: internal leadership training and development. Even if all your executive and management positions ...

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Consider an Intrafamily Loan to Cover Estate Taxes
Sometimes estates that are large enough for estate taxes to be a concern are asset rich but cash poor, without the liquidity needed to pay those taxes. An intrafamily loan is one option. While a life insurance policy can be used to cover taxes and other estate expenses, a benefit of using an intrafamily loan ...

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Steering Clear of Abusive Tax Shelters
As the year comes to a close, many businesses look for ways to save on taxes. Purveyors of abusive tax shelters know this and are ready to take advantage of unwitting owners. Abusive tax shelters are complex transactions that have no legitimate business purpose and are used solely to reduce or eliminate tax liability. However ...

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Unleash the Power of a Nonspringing Power of Attorney
Estate planning typically focuses on what happens to your children and your assets when you die. But it’s equally important to have a plan for making critical financial and medical decisions if you’re unable to make those decisions yourself. A crucial component of this plan is the power of attorney (POA) • specifically, a nonspringing ...

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Estimates vs. Actuals: Was Your 2018 Budget Reasonable?
As the year winds down, business owners can be thankful for the gift of perspective (among other things, we hope). Assuming you created a budget for the calendar year, you should now be able to accurately assess that budget by comparing its estimates to actual results. Your objective is to determine whether your budget was ...

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How Nonprofits Can Prevent Fraud During the Busy Holiday Season
Charities typically receive most of their donations during the holidays and at year end. It’s critical for these organizations to be on the lookout for fraud throughout the year, but even more so during the busy season. Here are some fraud schemes nonprofits should watch out for and how they can use internal controls to ...

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Should You Name a Trust as IRA Beneficiary?
An IRA is a popular vehicle to save for retirement, and it can also be a powerful estate planning tool. Some people designate a trust as beneficiary of their IRAs, but is that a good idea? The answer: possibly. IRA Benefits The benefit of an IRA is that your contributions can grow and compound on ...

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3 Ways to Get More From Your Marketing Dollars
A strong economy leads some company owners to cut back on marketing. Why spend the money if business is so good? Others see it differently — a robust economy means more sales opportunities, so pouring dollars into marketing is the way to go. The right approach for your company depends on many factors, but one ...

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Is Your Business Prepared for a Fraud Disaster?
Your company probably has a contingency plan for such potential calamities as fires and natural disasters. But what about a fraud contingency plan? Even if you don’t believe that one of your trusted employees would ever steal from you, it pays to be prepared. A comprehensive fraud contingency plan can help facilitate an investigation and ...

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Taking the Hybrid Approach to Cloud Computing
For several years now, cloud computing has been touted as the perfect way for companies large and small to meet their software and data storage needs. But, when it comes to choosing and deploying a solution, one size doesn’t fit all. Many businesses have found it difficult to fully commit to the cloud for a ...

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Review and Revise Your Estate Plan to Reflect Life Changes During the Past Year
Your estate plan shouldn’t be a static document. It needs to change as your life changes. Year end is the perfect time to check whether any life events have taken place in the past 12 months or so that affect your estate plan. And the plan should be reviewed periodically anyway to ensure that it ...

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