Indianapolis, Indiana Legal Blog | Dale & Eke
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Indianapolis, Indiana Legal Blog

What happens to business debt when the owner passes away?

If you have been in business in Indiana for a while, then you realize that debt is often part of success. The money you owe is as important as the money you make when it comes to your company's finances. 

Your estate plan may need to address how your business stats will be handled when you are no longer there to manage them. While there may be separate agreements and succession plans in place for certain types of companies, you may want to incorporate these terms into your estate strategy in other cases.

2 common estate planning mistakes and how to avoid them

No matter how big or small your estate plan is, there are common mistakes that impact many plans. These mistakes can lead to expensive taxes, complex legal battles and having your inheritance go to people you didn’t intend.

It’s useful to educate yourself on common areas of confusion regarding estate planning. This way you will be better prepared to make an estate plan you feel confident about.

Can you better protect your assets for the long-term?

The assets you have accumulated over the course of your lifetime in Indiana have been carefully selected, maintained and utilized in order to maximize their benefit for your long-term use. One of the biggest challenges you may face is how to protect these assets against unwanted use. Adequately shielding your assets from premature or unauthorized use is imperative to your ability to continue to enjoy them for many years to come. 

One way that you can protect the assets you have is to be well informed about their purpose and the penalties you may face if you mishandle them. Your education about various types of assets and the best way to add to them while maintaining them is crucial to your effort to optimize their success and longevity. According to Money Crashers, one way to keep your assets safe is to keep them separate from each other. Find effective ways to manage your various assets without combining them because each may have their own contingencies and their own benefits. 

Supported decision-making and guardianship

Establishing guardianship in Indiana has the potential to be a complicated and contentious process. However, recent laws have added other options for people caring for those with disabilities. This could include individuals of any age and at any station in thier lives.

One of these less serious alternatives to guardianship is known as supported decision-making. This could be a good option for those who are willing to accept some help making important choices. For example, a small-business owner who recently suffered a stroke might enter into a supported decision-making agreement with a spouse, an adult child or another similarly trusted party.

How do you include a business in an Indiana estate plan?

If you own a small or medium business in Indiana, then you probably have some concerns as to how it should factor into your estate plan. There would probably be two major categories of considerations you would have to make: the future leadership of your company and the allocation of its assets.

Because other people's lives and livelihoods are likely involved with these decisions, they may not be as simple as the choices you make about your personal property. You may have to consider not only your own family's wishes but also what is best for the future of the company as a whole.

What is a health proxy?

There are many things to consider about estate planning in Indiana. One part of the process is to name a health proxy or power of attorney regarding healthcare decisions. Some people may not think this is important, but there are numerous reasons why someone should have a health proxy.

According to the Mayo Clinic, a health proxy is a type of advance directive that allows for someone else to make medical decisions when a patient is unable to. All adults should have one, as an emergency situation can come along at any time. Other names for a proxy include agent, patient advocate, surrogate, representative and attorney-in-fact. Once named, a health care proxy cannot make any decisions for the patient unless the doctor provides written proof the patient is unable to decide for him or herself.

Employee loyalty may reduce legal problems

For many business owners in Indiana, their employees play an invaluable role in seeing that they are able to successfully reach their goals and effectively serve their customers. Employees are the detailed parts of the machine that are overall responsible for keeping the entire endeavor moving forward. Companies that are committed to helping their employees recognize their value and feel their value, may be more effective at reducing costly legal problems. 

When businesses are facing a lawsuit from one of their employees there could be a variety of reasons why including discrimination, unfair labor practices or even fraud. In some of these circumstances, the entire incident could have stemmed from a growing misunderstanding that may have been prevented if it was appropriately dealt with from the onset. Effective communication is imperative in any business's effort to help their employees feel heard and appreciated. 

What every farmer needs to know about estate planning

Indiana is full of family farms. In fact, the Hoosier state has more than 50,000 family-owned farms. Even in the 21st century, many family farms are passed down from one generation to the next. So, it’s crucial that farmers have a good estate plan and succession plan so that those who want to keep up the family tradition of farming get ownership of that land.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) estimates that the average value of larger family farms was about $4.5 million in 2014. That’s a significant amount of money when it comes to estate planning. Many times some siblings are more interested in keeping the farm than others.

Handling a real estate dispute

When it comes to selling, buying or leasing real estate (residential or commercial), there are many challenges that people may encounter. Sometimes, these transactions result in unexpected hurdles, such as a disagreement. In some instances, seemingly minor disagreements may lead to much larger disputes and even legal action. Whether you are buying a family home, looking for commercial property for your business or leasing residential property, it is vital to do everything in your power to resolve a dispute successfully. For some people in Indiana, these disputes can become very costly, time-consuming and stressful.

There are many factors that may need to be reviewed when a real estate dispute arises. The details surrounding the dispute should be carefully examined and an individualized approach is crucial since there are unique factors surrounding every situation. You may be able to resolve a dispute without heading to court, but litigation cannot be avoided all of the time. If a dispute between parties is inevitably going to the courtroom, you should be prepared for the case and have a good understanding of your rights.

Resolving disputes with staff members

Business owners face countless challenges every single day, such as issues involving customers, seasonal business fluctuation, disagreements with business partners and all sorts of financial concerns related to running a business. For some business owners, disputes involving staff members arise, and these can be especially tough to handle. Whether your business is accused of wrongdoing due to wage and hour violations (denied overtime, etc.), or you have been accused of discriminating against a job applicant or an employee, these disputes can be incredibly tough to deal with. Furthermore, the consequences can disrupt your business in many ways.

When disputes arise with current employees, the outcome of the situation could affect their employment and it may prompt other workers to quit or take action as well. As a result, it is crucial to handle these disputes as smoothly as possible. Sometimes, the right approach can prevent a dispute from making its way to the courtroom. In other instances, an employee may be determined to move ahead with a lawsuit against their employer.

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