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A first step in forming the future

Before you sit down for an initial consultation with your St. George estate planning law firm, you might well be asked to fill out a form. The form is typically straightforward, seeking to get from you information about who you are, an overview of your assets, and most important, an idea of what you would like to do with those assets when you pass on.

In that way, when you and your attorney sit down to talk face-to-face, some of the preliminary fact-finding has been done and the two of you can begin to focus on your estate plan.

"I'm here to help"

The nine "most terrifying words in the English language," according to one of President Ronald Reagan's favorite jokes, were these: "I'm from the government and I'm here to help." The line never failed to get an appreciative laugh. Of course, few pointed out to the president that he, too, was from the government and was there to help.

When we recently looked at the U.S. Small Business Administration's website, we were reminded of the late president's humor. The site is a well-intentioned, neatly organized group of ideas, forms and information for those interested in launching a new business.

Utah commercial real estate surging

Over the last 10 years, Utah's commercial real estate has experienced above-average growth, experts say. Those same experts cite our perch atop Forbes' list of the best states in which to do business, as well as a number of economic indicators when they predict that Utah commercial real estate growth will continue for at least the next few years.

Our state's diverse, vibrant economy and educated, hard-working populace deserve all the credit, says the chairman of CBC Advisors.

Start-up owner: "it doesn't feel like work"

Imagine yourself strolling into a St. George coffee shop. You order and then sit down with your java, a bagel and your laptop to check email, the sports scores or Facebook. It's in that very moment immediately after you sit down that you realize you have to stand up and go and ask for the password for the shop's wi-fi system.

It's in that moment that a University of Utah student had an insight into a new product that would enable businesses to profitize wi-fi and enable customers to avoid the up-down password search. It's in that moment that a start-up was born.

Utah's determination to replicate success

Sometimes businesspeople eager for success choose to enter industries in which others have had noteworthy achievements and made fortunes. Sometimes those plans to replicate success are doomed because they focus on the industry rather than the types of innovations successful industries and successful entrepreneurs have in common.

However, according to a recent magazine article, a group at the Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program sought to identify traits that innovations share, and to look at places where innovative industries thrive. One of the places they found where innovation is encouraged and rewarded surprised them, but probably won't surprise you: Utah.

What can estate planning do for you?

There is a mistaken impression that many people have that estate planning is exclusively for wealthy or older folks. The reality is that any St. George resident with a child, a house or a business should have an estate plan that will take care of your family and assets should you die or become incapacitated.

Without an estate plan, a court decides what happens to your children, your assets and your business in the event that you die. With a plan, you’re the one making the decisions and taking care of your family.

Serving legal needs of businesses and community needs of St. George

Like every other business, law firms must decide which sectors of the community that they will serve. We focus on the innovative entrepreneurs who provide jobs and spur growth in St. George, while also serving individuals with estate planning and probate needs.

A full-service firm, we help our business clients with complex litigation and transactions in commercial law, real estate and property rights, land use, construction, banking and other matters.

Southwest Utah’s low unemployment to drive wages higher?

Good economic news often begets more good economic news. Here in southwest Utah, our unemployment rate has been slowly dropping over the past few years. A senior economist for the Utah Department of Workforce Services says most counties in this part of the state have recently experienced job creation and unemployment drops.

She said the downward pressure on unemployment might soon translate to good news for new hires, who might well see their wages rise in coming months.

What do I need to know before signing a contract?

Contracts can be among the most powerful resources companies can utilize to protect themselves and their product. These legal documents can be essential when it comes to setting terms for relationships with buyers, employees, vendors and other parties, and they can establish critical guidelines for how certain business transactions must be conducted.

However, these contracts may not always be effective or executable. In some cases, clauses in the contract may be unnecessarily limiting or unfavorable to the other party and a transaction can fall apart. There may also be terms set in an agreement which are unlawful and could result in challenges to a contract. In some cases, an agreement could be completely thrown out because it or certain clauses are unenforceable. Before asking anyone to sign a business contract or signing one yourself, you may want to first consider some important factors about the document.

Have you reviewed your company's employment contracts recently?

It may not seem that job mobility has been a major concern in the public media for some time. Business owners are aware that when the job market becomes more fluid, retaining key skilled workers is an important function. Moreover, as a job market becomes more dynamic, having appropriate agreements in place to protect trade secrets and proprietary information often raises to the top of a business operator’s mind.

The topic comes up today as news breaks that the job market continues to strengthen. The increasingly robust market led to 2.8 million workers handing in resignation letters to their employers in September. The amount of turnover has not occurred in a single month since early 2008. Paul D’Arcy, who is chief of marketing at Indeed.com told USA Today that skilled workers in the technology, engineering and health care fields are moving from job-to-job at a fierce rate – some leaving a job for a better offer in a mere matters of months.