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Don't put off drafting a comprehensive estate plan

Many adults think that they have plenty of time to create an estate plan. However, you just never know when something is going to happen that will require your loved ones to follow the plan. If you've been putting off setting the plan, think carefully about how much peace of mind having these plans will give you.

We know that thinking about all these decisions isn't easy, but once you have made them, you will be able to relax some. Remember that your estate plan can be useful long before you pass away. You have to think about things like who is going to make decisions for you if you're incapacitated. The individuals you choose will be named as the powers of attorney over either health care, finances or both.

Working with your attorney is smart when you're making contracts

As a business owner, one of the things you have to do is to work with third parties. To protect yourself, you always need to have contracts in place.

Creating contracts can be more complex than you think, though. A foolproof contract is hard to make, but with your attorney's help, you can get a strong contract for whatever situation you're in.

Recalled sanitizer a problem for consumers

There is one product that people use often, especially when it's cold and flu season. Hand sanitizer, which is generally made with alcohol, helps kill viruses and bacteria.

Recently, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported that there are several brands of sanitizer that had methanol mixed in. Methanol is toxic, and it can be absorbed through the skin. When it is absorbed, it can lead to seizures, death and permanent blindness.

3 tips for taking over an existing business

You have always loved one of the businesses in town, and when it went up for sale, you were sad it was going to shut down. Then, you found out that the owner was willing to sell the business with its name and branding. The business is very popular in the local area, so you're thinking about taking it over and making a bid.

Before you buy an existing business, there are a few things you should think about. Here are three tips to remember as you consider taking over.

Review these 3 sections of your estate plan after life changes

You've already set up an estate plan, but it's been years since you looked it over. You have gone through many changes in your life, losing a parent, getting married and having children.

At this point, it's a good time to review your estate plan. Since time has passed, laws may have changed. Additionally, there may be new beneficiaries you want to add, guardianship to discuss and other issues that need to be addressed. Here are three things to address now in your estate plan.

As a victim of product defects, you have options

When a product you purchase is defective, it could pose a hazard to your health. As a consumer, you have the right to pursue compensation if you've been harmed because of a defective product or because the manufacturer or seller did appropriately warn you of the risks of using the product.

There are dozens of kinds of defective products, including things like:

  • Sporting equipment
  • Cribs
  • Furniture
  • Vehicles
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Foods
  • Toys

What should you do about a breach of contract?

When a contract is breached, you may feel like you're stuck in a difficult position. On one hand, you can take the other party to arbitration or court, depending on the requirements of the contract. On the other hand, you may still want to keep a positive business relationship with the other party.

Unfortunately, when a contract has been broken, it may be difficult to make up for losses that resulted from the breach. In that case, it only makes sense to seek out legal support and to pursue compensation for your business's losses.

Questions to answer before buying a business

Maybe you're looking to buy a business because you've always wanted to work for yourself, or to diversify or expand your current operation. Regardless of the reason, this is a big decision that will impact you personally, financially, and professionally.

Here are some questions you should answer before buying a business, as doing so will put you on the right path to making an informed decision:

  • Why do you want to buy the business? Above all else, you must be clear on why you want to make the purchase. If you can't clearly answer this question, it's time to take a step back.
  • What are the financial implications? Buying a business can be (and typically is) an expensive endeavor. You should know how much it will cost, which includes more than the asking price. It is essential to calculate all of the costs of purchase in order to properly value the business.
  • Have you reviewed the company's financial statements? Without this, you're taking the company's word in regard to its financial circumstances. Never do that. Before making a final decision, look carefully at the numbers. This financial analysis may prompt you to walk away or restructure the purchase.
  • What does the company's workforce look like? In most cases, a company's workforce is its most valuable asset. Get a good feel for the value of these human assets before buying.

    Recently married? Turn your attention to estate planning

    After tying the knot and settling in with your new spouse, it's important to learn about and initiate the estate planning process. While you may have plenty of time to plan in the future, you never know what may happen in the interim.

    Here are some of the things to keep in mind as you create an estate plan together with your new spouse:

    • Beneficiaries: Now that you're married, you probably want to make sure that your spouse is in line to receive everything in the event of your death.
    • Healthcare power of attorney: For example, if you're incapacitated and unable to make medical decisions on your own, you want your spouse to have the power to do so on your behalf.
    • Children: If you already have children together, make sure you name a guardian (or tutor in Louisiana) in your will. This is the person that you believe will best care for them if the two of you pass on before they reach the legal age of 18.
    • Life insurance: If you have life insurance or are buying a policy in the future, it's critical that you name the proper person as your beneficiary. After getting married, this person is probably your spouse.

      Consider a spendthrift trust to protect against overspending

      You want to leave behind assets for your children, but something that you're concerned about is that your children don't always have the best habits. One may like to gamble a lot. Another one may tend to donate almost all of her money to others, which leaves them in poor financial circumstances time and time again. They're young, but they need to know that their actions have consequences that could leave them in dire financial straits.

      Your goal is to leave them money that they can't spend without thinking about the consequences. One thing you might be interested in is the spendthrift trust. A spendthrift trust is fantastic, because it's designed to protect your children from themselves. You know that getting a sudden inheritance can be a big shock, and you also know that your children may rush to spend what they receive.

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