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Snow Jensen & Reece Law Blog

You can avoid property rights disputes by doing due diligence

If you're considering buying commercial real estate, then you've likely discovered that doing so is very different from buying a home. Many of the regulations and procedures that exist to help protect homeowners from being taken advantage of don't exist in the commercial real estate world. This is why it's important that you do your due diligence when buying a commercial building.

The first step that you should take in the due diligence process is to verify property information. You should confirm that the building and lot size and parking options are accurately reflected on any documents that you're provided with. You should also make sure that the correct number of units and floors are also listed there. You'll also want to confirm that the property is properly zoned for the type of business you're looking to operate.

What should be included in a living will?

While it's likely that you've heard of drafting a will, you may not have heard of a living will. It's an important part of your estate planning arsenal though.

A living will is a legal document that an individual can use to detail the medical treatments that they'd like to receive if they became unable to voice their own wishes.

St. George ranks as the second-best small city to open a business

A report published by the personal finance website WalletHub on April 22 gave St. George another title to boast about. The southern Utah city has been designated as the second-best small city to set up a new business. Cedar City ranks 19th. Five other cities in the state made an appearance among the top 30 locales listed.

For the purposes of this study, WalletHub only evaluated cities across the United States that had a population of under 100,000. They ended up evaluating a total of 1,200 municipalities in terms of the ease of access to resources, business costs and the overall business climate.

St. George's home prices are fast outpacing residents' salaries

Many who travel to St. George find themselves immediately attracted to the area's scenic views and sunny weather. These are two reasons that the southern Utah city has become one fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country. Data published by both the U.S. Census Bureau and HomeArea shows that St. George's home prices have been increasing more quickly than residents' incomes though.

The HomeArea report outlines how the city has been successful in attracting new industries to the area. This has created new jobs. Even still, the rise in pay that these new work opportunities have brought haven't helped residents keep pace with the ever-increasing home costs in the area. They're currently on an upward trend much more than incomes are.

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.