Indianapolis, Indiana Legal Blog | Dale & Eke
Dale & Eke A Professional Corporation of Attorneys at Law

Indianapolis, Indiana Legal Blog

Seek the help of an attorney when starting a business

Whether you are going into business as a sole proprietor or are creating a partnership, you should always seek the help of an attorney when starting a business. There's so much at stake, including your financial wellbeing, that you should not enter into such a venture on your own. Starting a business takes a lot of hard work and know-how. Here's how an attorney can help you move the process forward correctly.

One of the most important reasons you need to work with an attorney when starting a business is because he or she will be able to find problems with your legal documents. You don't want to miss certain laws your company must follow, which could land you in hot water. An attorney has the knowledge to thoroughly review your documents to ensure accuracy and compliance.

Provide for your children if something happens to you

When you have a new baby, you have a lot of life changes to make. Most parents quickly adjust, but there is one major action that they might forget they need to take care of. This is estate planning. You may think that you have plenty of time to handle this matter, but the fact is that you don't know what can happen.

Your estate plan is a way that you can help to protect your child if something does happen to you. New parents have several things to think about that when they are creating the estate plan. Together, these points outline your child's life if you aren't here to oversee it.

Important events that trigger an estate plan review

Many people create an estate plan when they are hired for their first job. Others wait until they have their first child. Some wait until they are about to retire. Then, some people die without having an estate plan in place, leaving their family to fight with the state and the courts for assets. Today, we will examine the important life events that trigger an estate plan review.

First and foremost, it is in your best interest to create an estate plan once you reach adulthood, even if you barely have anything to your name. You can then begin the review process from there.

Why use a charitable remainder trust?

As you plan how to distribute your assets in your estate plan, you may choose to set aside some of your estate for charity. While you can take money and give it directly to a charity, you may want to take advantage of tax benefits that a charitable remainder trust can offer.

A charitable remainder trust can help you save on taxes while continuing to receive an annual income. Here are a few benefits of a charitable remainder trust:

Keeping an estate plan updated after a divorce

Divorce can be tricky in all sorts of ways from arranging the custody of shared children to determining how assets will be divided between spouses. However, one factor that could be complicated by a divorce that can easily be overlooked by couples in Indiana is their estate plan. Determining that all clauses remain functional despite the change in relationship is critical to making sure that their original desires are still honored. 

One misstep that people should be aware of is that if they choose to remarry in the future, they run the risk of accidentally disinheriting their children unless they are proactive about updating their estate plan to reflect the changes. As soon as a divorce is finalized, people should immediately remove their ex as a beneficiary. This will guarantee that their ex will not be receiving any portion of their estate which is especially important if people plan to remarry. 

Make sure to classify workers correctly

Businesses that hire workers in Indiana have a lot to consider. Options for hire typically include employees and independent contractors, and there are benefits to each depending on the specific company or project. Employers must ensure they classify the workers correctly or else they can face strict penalties.

According to the IRS, there are three categories to consider when deciding how to classify a worker. One is financial control. An employee receives an agreed-upon hourly wage or salary, and the employer pays for supplies, equipment and other expenses related to performing the job. The employer is also responsible for certain taxes and insurance coverage. In contrast, an independent contractor is responsible for paying for their own supplies, equipment and expenses. Their pay is often a flat fee with no taxes taken out, and an IC must pay his or own taxes at tax time.

The legality of non-compete agreements

If you find yourself in a non-compete agreement dispute with an employer, it would often help to look at the situation from both sides. While many of these agreements are overly restrictive, that is not always the case. At Dale & Eke, we represent businesses and individuals alike in these types of cases. That provides valuable insight into the interests of both parties and their rights under Indiana law.

We understand that many of these disputes are emotionally charged. An entrepreneur or independent contractor feels completely justified in using his or her skills to make a living. A business owner may feel a sense of betrayal or a partial responsibility for the other party's success. 

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. 

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