Avoiding probate is one of the major reasons (and often the only reason) that my clients give for wanting to establish an estate plan. Most of them have heard that a Living Trust can avoid the cost and delays associated with probate and allow assets to transfer to the beneficiaries without court intervention. In most cases, if the trust is properly drafted and funded (many trusts that I review are not), this is correct.
An informal survey of business owners conducted last week provided some interesting lessons learned that might be applicable to most anyone who owns or runs a business.
The current financial crisis has owners, managers and employees worried about their companies, their jobs and their futures.
Despite some recent reforms, federal and state taxes can still take a big bite out of inherited assets, including retirement plans, but there are some special circumstances.
Some people were born organized and then there are those of us who struggle with organizing every year at this time. It seems that it's always at the end of the year when that little annoying bug begins nudging you to clear things up and start the new year organized.
The credit and financial market is definitely not in good shape, so entrepreneurs may find that they must dip into their personal finances to keep the business running.
Who should have grandma's dining room table or diamond ring? How should family photos be distributed?
A cursory review of media reports nationwide in recent months revealed an alarming number of instances of costly damages to buildings due to negligence or procrastination with roof repairs. Consider:
The answer: Not likely if government doesn't overreact.
Over the long Thanksgiving weekend I thought about those things that make the translation from school days to the working world. I did a simple compare and contrast analysis to see what tools were used in school as they related to business ownership.
When the Green Bay Packers football team hired Vince Lombardi as its new coach, he was intrigued with the challenge of turning the franchise around. Naturally, Lombardi being Lombardi, was all pumped up about it.
As a follow up to the previous article about couples' retirement strategies, following are some points in planning and protecting your retirement plans should you wish to consider variable annuities and their special income guarantees not offered by any other investment.
With the normal challenges of retirement planning and the current financial crisis adding pressure to your planning, will your retirement portfolio be able to maintain your current lifestyle?
The holiday season can be a frantic time, both personally and professionally, but here are a few tips to help you.
It's hard to believe that anything that takes nearly 800 pages to describe could be time sensitive, however, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was recently enacted and, for many, it may provide the incentive needed to act now, and finally buy a home of their own. A new $7,500 tax credit for first-time home buyers is a temporary incentive from the government to boost interest in real estate - but the time frame to take advantage of the credit is limited.
Do you remember when Google was just a cool and reliable Internet search engine? PC Magazine recognized the company as the search engine of choice in the top 100 Web Sites for 1998.
Books like "Built to Last," "The Breakthrough Company," and "Good to Great" were written to help business people improve the companies they own, lead and run.
The housing market in the Santa Clarita Valley started the New Year tentatively, yet encouraging news abounds as the traditional Spring home buying season approaches.
If you wonder why your sales people aren't more productive, aren't making enough presentations and are slow to close deals, it might not be the industry you are in, your location or the economy not cooperating.
According to the recent news release from the Bureau of Labor Statistics the US economy added 113,000 jobs in January 2014 and, "…job gains occurred in construction, manufacturing, wholesale trade, and mining…Employment in manufacturing increased in January (+21,000)…Manufacturing added an average of 7,000 jobs per month in 2013."
Years ago a major manufacturer hired a research firm to conduct a survey of the cultural climate of the company.
Under the federal Ability-to-Repay rules that went into effect Jan. 10, lenders received guidelines on the type of financial information homebuyers must provide lenders when seeking a loan.
Research suggests that employees do not leave because of the company they work for, but they quit because of their manager.
What is our fascination with forecasts? Are they really helpful and how can we use them for planning purposes?
At the end of the first month of the year, are your objectives for 2014 being met? Have the results versus your goals left a gap? Are you worried that what happened or what didn't happen in January can spread to February? Or March?
In May, 1976 I had just finished what I first thought was my junior year of college. When I put a pencil to things, I discovered I was not 12 months away from graduation, but closer to two years.