Could your estate benefit from a conservation easement? A conservation easement limits the amount of development that can be done on land. For the property owner, gifting or selling an easement can provide certain financial and business advantages. An easement can also benefit the larger community by conserving the property’s scenic and natural attributes, and ensuring that the property is preserved for open space, agricultural or passive recreational uses.
Small businesses can sometimes face significant liability under employment laws because they aren’t aware of the rules that regulate certain employment activities. Even where employers and employees agree to certain employment practices, these practices may nonetheless be illegal if the employer does not comply with applicable regulations. In a previous post, we discussed minimum wage and overtime regulations. Additional areas of concern to business owners include the following:
New York labor law regulates employers of all sizes. However, while large employers typically have experienced HR managers or in-house attorneys to keep them informed of these rules, smaller businesses often lack those resources. The result is that small businesses may run afoul of employment laws and face significant liability. Many situations which commonly arise in smaller businesses don’t seem like they would require a consultation with counsel, but in fact they are governed by regulations and formalities that owners need to know. Some of the top areas which owners should give special attention to include the following:
According to a Gallup Poll earlier this year, only 44% of Americans say they have a will. Unfortunately, from new parents, to one of the world’s biggest music stars, many people believe they don’t need a will; don’t understand why it’s so important; or simply do not take the time to meet with an estate attorney to prepare one.
When it comes to tax planning, business owners should learn the difference between a C and an S corp trust.
The letters refer to the subchapter of the federal tax code relating to the income taxation of corporate structures. For businesses, S corporations can provide a way to avoid the kind of double taxation that C corporations incur.
Under New York state law, business owners who form a limited liability company are required to create an operating agreement which details the procedures by which the LLC will operate.
Despite the requirement, many companies don’t have an agreement in place, or have created a document using boilerplate language without advice from an attorney.
For many high-wealth individuals, effective estate planning is largely motivated by the desire to minimize the estate and income taxes their heirs may pay. Reducing estate taxes often means maximizing the benefits of the unified credit amount through the use of valuation discounts.