Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Estate Planning for Business Owners – 3 Things to Think About

At Gibbons Law Firm in Lake Ozark, we have a lot of respect for small business owners.  We have helped numerous business owners with legal advice on starting and structuring their businesses and have provided guidance on estate planning for their businesses as well.  There is a lot to consider when it comes to deciding what will happen to your business if you were no longer around to run it. We know when you own a business, you put your heart and soul into it.  Quite possibly, your family’s financial well-being depends on its success. That is why we wanted to dedicate this week’s blog to estate planning for business owners at the Lake of Ozarks.  If you are a business owner and want to know what you should be thinking about in order to determine what will happen to the company you worked so hard to create, keep reading this blog!  

1) Who will own your business

The first thing to think about is who do you want to own your business.  Without an estate plan, it will most likely go to a close relative or spouse.  But if your family is not very involved in the business or would not know how to run it or sell it for a good price, that may be more of a burden for them. You have the option of naming an executor or trustee who is more knowledgeable about how to handle the finances of the business. Or, if you have business partners, you may want them to buy out your part of the business.  If so, it may be advisable for the partners to have life insurance on the other partners to provide funds for such a buy-out if one partner dies.  Either way, it will be important for you to have your wishes legally documented.

2) Who will run your business

If you do not have partners who will buy out your portion of the company, and you do not have a family member who is willing or able to run your business, you will want to choose a potential successor.  You will want to communicate with that person and include them in the decision, of course.  You will also want to create a plan for that person to follow for a smooth transition.  They will need access to important documents and accounts, insurance policies, financial information, access to online accounts, etc. and all that information should be well organized and in a convenient location.  In addition, providing training for that successor will be key to helping them successfully navigate their new role.

3) Probate & Estate Taxes

It is well worth the planning to avoid having your business go through probate.  Many businesses don’t survive the loss of an owner because of the estate tax burden that is incurred when the estate is inherited by a family member.  Sometimes the business must be liquidated to pay that tax liability in time.  With proper tax and legal considerations, there are ways to give the business more time to pay that tax and potentially avoid a quick and pressured sale.

Have the Peace of Mind that a Business Estate Plan Can Bring!

If you are ready to get started creating your business estate plan, then call our Lake Ozark law firm today to schedule your first consultation.  It is free!  Your business has always been a top priority for you, protecting it in the event that something unexpected happens to you should be a priority as well.  Just as you are intimately familiar with running your business, GibbonsLaw Firm is very familiar with how to protect your company with a comprehensive business estate plan.  Let us bring our expertise to the table for you.  Speak with one of our experienced Lake Ozark estate planning attorneys right away!  To stay up to date on our latest announcements, please follow us on our social media channels below.  


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 18, 2021

7 Tips for Staying Safe on the Roads During the Holiday Season

As we are approaching the holiday season, more people will be out on the roads traveling to see family or to take care of holiday errands.  As personal injury attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks, we know how devastating car accidents can be. At Gibbons Law Firm,  we want the 2021 holiday season to be a safe and festive time for you, so we thought we would share a few tips with you to stay safer on the roads as you are traveling.  If you are interested in ways to stay safe this holiday season, keep reading this blog! 

1) Plan Ahead and Slow Down

It is so easy to get into a rush during this time of the year, but it is just not worth it.  Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of time in case you run into construction or other delays.  Avoid the urge to speed as it can not only increase your chances of being in an accident, it can cause the damage from an accident to be exponentially worse.

2) Look Around

It is important to always pay attention when driving. Sometimes you even have to pay attention for the other drivers on the road.  Be aware of your surroundings including blind spots, what’s behind you, and even what's on the sides of the road. Remember to stay out of other drivers’ blind spots as well. 

3) Defensive Driving

Just because you have the right of way does not necessarily mean the other driver knows or will respect that.  So, while you are paying attention and looking around, be thinking about how to react if other drivers don’t do what they are supposed to e.g. signal, yield, stop.  Having that in your mind will allow you to respond more quickly if something unexpected happens.

4) Keep Your Distance

Leaving stopping distance between you and the car ahead of you can give you just enough buffer time to avoid an accident.  It is recommended to leave 3 seconds of time between you and the other car.  While you are driving, pick a tree or sign or another object, and when the car in front of you passes it, start counting.  See how long it takes for you to pass it, and then adjust until you have 3 seconds of distance.

5) No Distractions

Not allowing yourself to be distracted can be extra challenging this time of the year. Everyone knows the dangers of texting or using your phone while driving.  Yet people do it anyway.  It is easy to underestimate the risks of eating or adjusting the radio or heat behind the wheel, but it only takes a few seconds of taking our eye off the road to cause a collision. Even talkative passengers or things going on outside of your vehicle can cause distractions.  Your safety is worth the discipline, so just stay focused.

6) Adjust to Weather Conditions

Weather conditions like rain or snow and ice can cause your car to handle very differently.  You may lose traction on curves or slide when braking more easily in such conditions.  By recognizing changing weather conditions and making mental adjustments you increase your stopping distance and slow your speeds when appropriate.  Also, consider having an emergency kit in case you get stranded in bad weather. 

7) Don’t Drink and Drive

We know this is a festive time and you want to celebrate with your loved ones.  But we cannot overemphasize the importance of drinking responsibly.  If you cannot find a designated driver, opt for an Uber or taxi.  With the days getting shorter, the deer hazards, and the fact that many people will be driving in unfamiliar areas, drinking and driving is a terrible mix.

Have a Safe and Happy Thanksgiving from Gibbons Law Firm!

Our Mid-Missouri personal injury attorneys want this to be a happy and safe time for you and your family.  We hope you find these tips helpful as you travel during the holidays.  If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a car accident because of another driver’s negligence, call our attorneys in LakeOzark. We can help them get the compensation they deserve and need to recover.  You can reach Gibbons Law Firm at (573)348-2211 and your initial consultation is free. To keep up with the latest news and tips, be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below!


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 11, 2021

When Should You Consider Getting a Prenup? 3 Examples to Consider

Talking about prenups or prenuptial agreements can be uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have to mean that the couple getting married doubts the marriage.  It is more of a way to eliminate the fear of the unknown.  As lawyers in the Lake of the Ozarks, we cannot forget that 50% of marriages end in divorce.  While prenups are not necessary for all situations, there are some specific situations when it might be a good idea to consider them.  If you are engaged to be married and would like to know your options and seek advice for your situation, call Gibbons Law firm today to schedule a free consultation.  If you are interested in learning 5 reasons why someone may want to get a prenuptial agreement, keep reading this blog.

1) Do You Have Children from a Previous Marriage?

It can bring a lot of peace of mind to your kids to know their interests are being protected as well.  You may have preexisting assets or family heirlooms that you want to go to your children, and that may not happen without a prenuptial agreement that specifies what assets will go directly to your children (rather than your spouse e.g.) if you were to pass away.  Our experienced lawyers at Lake of the Ozarks can help guide you in the options you have for looking out for your children with a prenuptial agreement.

2) Will Your Fiance Be Bringing a Lot of Debt to the Marriage?

If your significant other has accumulated a lot of debt prior to you getting together, you might consider a prenup to establish that they are responsible for that debt, and not you.  Without a formal agreement, you may be taking on all the debt that your fiancé has as soon as you are legally married. 

3) Do you Own a Business?

Someone who has spent years of their life creating a business and establishing a livelihood and reputation as a business person may be reluctant to risk losing half of what they have worked for.  A prenup can provide some security in that situation.

4) Do you Expect to Receive a Large Inheritance or Have a Retirement Plan?

If you know that you are likely to receive a valuable inheritance of money or assets, it is likely the person leaving that to you would only include your fiancé in the event you were together.  Getting a prenup is a way to protect their wishes.

5) Do you Earn Significantly More Money Than Your Fiance?

Of course, you are willing to bring your financial assets to the marriage as a partner, but if you were no longer with your fiancé, would you be prepared to give up part of your income to him/her for life if you divorce and are required to pay alimony?  That is another example of how a prenuptial agreement can be used to safeguard your current and future money and/or assets.

Have Questions About Prenups?  

At Gibbons Law Firm, we are here to help.  Our mid-Missouri attorneys can help make the conversation easier and walk you through the process.  When it comes to whether or not to get a prenuptial, it is a personal decision and an important decision that should be made with the proper information. In so many ways in life, we think it is best to hope for the best and prepare for the worst.  If you would like to talk with an attorney at our Lake Ozark Law Firm, call the number below to schedule a free consultation.  


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

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Thursday, November 4, 2021

Estate Planning – A Basic Checklist

While it may seem uncomfortable to think about what will happen when you pass, perhaps it is better to consider the question “In what ways can I still be there for my loved ones even after I am gone?”  At Gibbons Law Firm we know that having a good estate plan in place is an act of love.  But far too many people put it off … not because they think it is not important, they know it is.  But they put it off because they think it is going to be too awkward.  

Our estate planning attorneys at the Lake of the Ozarks are familiar with the estate planning process and skilled at guiding our clients through with comfort and ease.  We are here to help make the idea of estate planning a little less intimidating for you.  So, we want to share a short checklist of things you will need for your estate plan, so you don’t feel overwhelmed, or delay any longer.  If you do not yet have an estate plan, keep reading this blog to learn how to get started gathering the things you will need!



1) Assets

You will want to start a list of your assets.  Think about properties like your house, and car(s), bank accounts, life insurance policies, retirement plans, etc.  Also consider valuables like jewelry, guns, coin collections, and such.  But keep in mind, some families have more conflict over personal items like photographs or sentimental things so it can be good to include those in your estate plan as well.  The less you leave open for debate the more peaceful it may be.



2) Liabilities

Having a list of your liabilities is also helpful.  Include any mortgage(s) or lines of credit, and other loans or debts that you are responsible for.

 

3) Needs

What are the needs of your family now and in the future?  That will be an important question to direct where your assets will go.  For example, how much will be needed to cover your children’s care and educational needs?  Does your life insurance policy reflect those needs?   Who will be a guardian to your children?  You will want to name someone who you have talked to and is in agreement; and have a backup if possible.

 

4) Beneficiaries

Who do you wish to inherit your assets?  Designating who gets what, or how things will be distributed, can save your family a lot of time, money, frustration (and potential conflict). 

 

5) Directives

Outlining your wishes and naming the people who will represent you if you are unable is another key part of estate planning.  Your Mid-Missouri estate planning attorney will help you document your medical wishes with a medical care directive, and help you assign power of attorney or limited power of attorney based on your needs and wishes. Your attorney will know and guide you if there are other directives needed for your personal situation and can advise you as you decide on who these important representatives should be.


Call Gibbons Law Firm to Schedule an Appointment!

Getting an estate plan in place is not as daunting as it may seem.  If you have been avoiding the conversation about what will happen when you pass away, but know it is something you really should get taken care of, Gibbons Law Firm understands.  It is our goal to make the entire experience easy and stress free and we know just how to do it with the right team of legal experts to walk you through the process.    If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our law firm in Lake Ozark for a free consultation.  Be sure to follow us on our social media channels listed below for more tips and helpful information! 


Remember, your initial consultation with Gibbons Law Firm is always free.


Your Trusted Legal Resource

Gibbons Law Firm
2820 Bagnell Dam Blvd, Suite B4
Lake Ozark, MO 65049


(573) 348-2211

Follow us on...