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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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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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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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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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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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Intellectual Property Requires Careful Estate Planning
If your estate includes forms of intellectual property (IP), such as patents and copyrights, it’s important to know how to address them in your estate plan. Although these intangible assets can have great value, in many ways they’re treated differently from other property types. 2 Estate Planning Questions For estate planning purposes, IP raises two ...

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Change Management Doesn’t Have to be Scary
Business owners are constantly bombarded with terminology and buzzwords. Although you probably feel a need to keep up with the latest trends, you also may find that many of these ideas induce more anxiety than relief. One example is change management. This term is used to describe the philosophies and processes an organization uses to ...

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Take Caution When Including Employees in Your Estate Plan
If you’re the owner of a small business, you may think of your tight-knit group of employees as a family. If you wish to include them as beneficiaries in your estate plan, it’s critical to be aware of possible unintended tax consequences. Unraveling the (Tax) Code Generally, money or other property received by gift or ...

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Reduce Insurance Costs by Encouraging Employee Wellness
Protecting your company through the purchase of various forms of insurance is a risk-management necessity. But just because you must buy coverage doesn’t mean you can’t manage the cost of doing so. Obviously, the safer your workplace, the less likely you’ll incur costly claims and high workers’ compensation premiums. There are, however, bigger-picture issues that ...

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Following the ABCs of Customer Assessment
When a business is launched, its owners typically welcome every customer through the door with a sigh of relief. But after the company has established itself, those same owners might start looking at their buying constituency a little more critically. If your business has reached this point, regularly assessing your customer base is indeed an ...

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Tenancy-in-Common: A Versatile Estate Planning Tool
If you hold significant real estate investments, tenancy-in-common (TIC) ownership can be a powerful, versatile estate planning tool. A TIC interest is an undivided fractional interest in property. The property isn’t split into separate parcels. Rather, each TIC owner has the right to use and enjoy the entire property. TIC in Action An individual TIC ...

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