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March 2013 Archives

Estate planning - writing a will

When it comes to estate planning, many are intimidated by the idea of having a will because getting a will is an acknowledgment of our own mortality. However, a will provides peace of mind—not only in that your money will be handled as you wish when the time comes, but that your wishes in general will be known. This is especially important with dependents.  Our discussion today will focus on why you should have a will, and some elements you might want to consider before meeting with a legal professional to draft the document itself.

Making Arrangements for Your Dependents


In the event of your death, who would you want to look after your dependents? If you have minor children or someone else who relies upon you, your will is the best place to make your wishes regarding care of those person(s) known. Without specifying in a will who will look after your dependents in your stead, it is left up to a judge to assign guardianship.

Making Funeral Arrangements


Again, this is often a topic no one really wants to think about. However, if you want your wishes to be known, you must think about them before the need for a funeral arises, and your will is the first place your family and friends will look to find out what your wishes are. Do you want to be cremated? Buried in a family plot? Maybe you don’t want a funeral service. All of these considerations can be your choice, and you can communicate those choices in your will. When you work with a legal professional to draft your will, he or she will help you consider all the options that lay before you.

Money and Gifts


Is there a family heirloom that you want to go to a particular descendant? Your will is the best place to announce this wish so that there is no question left for your family. Likewise, your will carries your wishes for the monetary value of your estate. Who will be responsible for settling your debts? Who will inherit from you? Are you going to set up a trust for your dependents?

Estate planning part 1

How do you know when it’s time to start planning your estate? Certain life events, such as marriage, having children, etc… can be triggers to begin or update your estate plan, but it’s never too soon to begin considering how you want your estate handled.

BBB: A Tarnished Business Reputation?

What happens when an entity's business reputation is cracked? Much like a cracked foundation in a house, damage can seep in. We've mentioned the importance of keeping your business' reputation polished in previous posts, but it bears mentioning again, particularly in light of the latest expose on the Better Business Bureau in Los Angeles. You can read the full article here. The Los Angeles branch was reported to have issued an A- rating back in 2010 to the Hamas terror group.

The Sequester and Small Business

When it comes to the effects the sequester can have on your business, your bottom line won't be affected by who started it, who is responsible for it, who should have negotiated and who shouldn't have (though this may or may not influence your voting choices in the next elections). What matters to the bottom line in your business is how the budget cuts can change the way your company operates. To help you not only wade through the proliferation of blame-game news reports, but also to help you plan for the future (or adjust your pre-existing plans as necessary), we're providing you with some resources that outline some of the changes the sequester either has caused or will cause.