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Snow Jensen & Reece Law Blog

Factors to consider when choosing a guardian for your kids

Most adults finally get around to handling estate planning once they start having children. An important step parents have to take when doing this is to appoint a guardian for their minor children. There are some factors that you should keep in mind when you start thinking about who you're going to select.

The age of a prospective guardian can be important. If you select an older person for this role, then they may be in poor health or nearing death by the time that they're called upon to assume their duties. Their approach to parenting may be a bit dated as well.

Why going into business with your family can be a good thing

There are many reasons for choosing to go into business with family members. After all, many of us believe that blood is thicker than water. Many people tend to feel as if they can trust those that they're related to more than others with whom they share no blood ties. By setting up a business with your loved ones, you can create a legacy that can be carried on by future generations. Working with family requires some pre-planning, though.

One of the steps that you'll want to take if you're planning to go into business in Utah with family members is to draft a business plan. It's there that you'll document who owns your St. George company and what stake each of the owners maintains. Make sure that you clearly define each of the family members' different roles and how much compensation each will receive.

Is now a good time to invest in real estate?

The topic of real estate investment has made people nervous ever since the market went bust in 2008. It sent property prices tumbling and put a lot of people below water on their mortgages. Could we be headed that way again?

Experts are saying that there are signs in certain areas that a real estate bubble is starting to form once more. Utah, for example, is seeing a big boom in real estate thanks to the Silicon Slopes. California is having a housing crisis that's driving property prices higher and higher.

The 29th Annual St. George Area Parade of Homes is a success

The St. George Area Parade of Homes just wrapped up earlier this week. This year marked the 29th anniversary of the annual open-house, innovative home technology and charitable event.

This years' parade, which got underway starting Feb. 15, featured 30 different new construction homes. This represents the largest number of houses that have ever been featured as part of this event.

Women entrepreneurs are offered venture capital far less than men

A researcher with the University of Utah's Department of Entrepreneurship and Strategy noticed a gender gap when she looked at how many women business owners there are compared with male ones in the state. She set out learn why that's the case by conducting a detailed study on the topic.

What she ultimately found is that a female entrepreneur's experience in finding a venture capitalist willing to invest in her start-up or a banks willing to extend her loans is much different from what men have to deal with.

What taxes are due in Utah when a testator dies?

In some states, there's an estate tax that is tacked on to the money or assets that an individual leaves behind before they are distributed to their beneficiaries. Utah is one of 39 states that doesn't collect estate taxes, though. There's no gift or inheritance tax that you're responsible for paying here either. There is a federal estate tax that you're responsible for paying, though.

While Utah doesn't have estate, inheritance or gift taxes that must be paid before or after money or assets are distributed, individuals living out-of-state may be taxed if there are laws that exist allowing them to be in their own jurisdiction.

What is a promissory note and how should it be written?

If you've taken out student loans before, then you've likely heard the terminology "promissory note" thrown around. You may not have heard of it used in the context of business operations though, but it operates much the same as it does in any other situation. Put quite simply, a promissory note is simply an "IOU" or a signed promise to pay someone that lended you money back.

Before any lender, whether it's a bank or a private investor, offers you any money, they'll have you sign a document outlining how much that you owe them, when payments are, what interest rates are and any penalties that may exist if you pay early or late. It may also list whether you had to put up anything as collateral to secure the loan.

Zoning at the heart of a Utah medical center dispute

Over the past several months, a group of Salt Lake City residents has been leading a drive to attempt to force a medical care center for seriously ill and dying homeless people to leave their neighborhood or at least limit the expansion of its number of beds.

They have been worried that crime and traffic would increase, contending the center would be a gathering spot for other homeless people.

Should I store my estate planning documents online?

There's no disputing how important it is for you to keep all your estate planning documents together. By doing this, you will help ensure that the executor of your estate is easily able to find them when you pass away.

If you're considering storing them in an online dropbox though, you'll want to first check into how secure it is. If you plan to store passwords or financial data in it, you'll want to make sure that it encrypts the information. If you're planning to include health data there, you'll want to check to see if the tool is Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant.

Understanding the benefits of publicly-held corporations

Many companies in the state of Utah decide to keep their shares private between owners, and there are many potential benefits to this. These companies are often referred to as closely held companies.

Other companies, however, come to the conclusion that it will be beneficial for them to open up their company in order to make it possible for public individuals to purchase shares. This can increase the potential for external investment; however, it also means that the company will be subject to very stringent requirements when it comes to reporting. This is to ensure that public buyers are not misled or coerced by inaccurate information.