FAQ: Trusts

Trusts are a great way to put conditions on how, when, and to whom your assets will be distributed after you pass away. However, there are several options and specific terms to know when it comes to setting up a trust, and many people aren't sure of the best path forward.

To help explain, I've put together some frequently asked questions and answers on the subject.

Acquisition Due Diligence - 3 Key Areas to Investigate

Due diligence is a vital step in the process of acquiring a business. As a buyer, you’ll want to ensure that you know exactly what you’re purchasing prior to agreeing to the transaction—this not only includes assets and future sales forecasts, but also liabilities, contracts, employee agreements, litigation risks, intellectual property, and much more.

By doing your homework in advance, you’ll not only be prepared to deal with any potential issues, you will also have a better sense of the value of the company you’re hoping to purchase. Your due diligence will vary depending on the type of company you’re purchasing, and the type of industry you’re in, but in general, here are some of the key areas you’ll want to investigate:

How to Handle a Financial Windfall - 8 Tips from a Financial Planner

With every news story about the latest Powerball jackpot, it's only natural to wonder, "What would I do if I won the lottery?" Although your chances of hitting the jackpot may be slim, a financial windfall could come to you through more ordinary means, such as the settlement of a lawsuit, a severance package, a family inheritance, or simply a larger-than-expected tax refund. Unfortunately, along with the obvious rewards, a windfall can be accompanied by plenty of potential problems.

FAQ: Massachusetts Millionaire's Tax

You may have heard that lawmakers recently voted to push forward a proposed "Millionaire's Tax" in the state of Massachusetts. Wondering what this means, and when it could possibly impact Massachusetts residents?

To shed some light on the topic, I've put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers:

Employee Benefit Plan Audits 101

Employee benefit plans have their own set of complex laws and regulations. But did you know that even small plans can be subject to audits?

Generally, if you have 100 eligible participants in your plan at the start of the year, your plan will require an audit. Note that this number includes all participants who are eligible—not just those who are enrolled.

Emergency Funds: 4 Ways to Prepare for the Unexpected

You've probably heard how important it is to establish and maintain an emergency fund. Unfortunately, most people don't fully realize this until a money emergency is upon them. Are you financially prepared for a leaky roof? How about a broken-down car? If you lost your job, how long would you be able to support yourself and your family until you got a new one?

An emergency fund is money that you've set aside to be used in these critical situations, be it to handle a minor home repair or to pay for something more serious, like medical bills. Despite the clear importance of having an emergency fund, however, more than three in five Americans have accumulated no savings for unforeseen expenses, according to a recent Bankrate report.

If you are one of the 60% who don't have an emergency fund, I've outined 4 easy ways that you can prepare for the unexpected:

Estate Tax Portability - 5 Things You Need to Know

The IRS recently released an update to its federal estate tax regulations, relaxing the rules on making a late portability election to a descendant's estate.

Currently, the federal estate tax exemption is $5.4 million, meaning that when a person dies, they will only pay federal estate tax (up to 40%) if the value of their estate exceeds $5.4 million. In 2011, the IRS introduced a concept called 'portability' to the federal estate tax exemption, and has now added an additional rule to allow for a late portability election. Here's what you should know:

Selling Your Business - 4 Things to Know about EBITDA

You may not be quite ready to sell your business yet, but if you're considering the possibility, now is the right time to start planning. As I've discussed in previous blog posts, selling your business is a process, not an event. One of the most important parts of that process is determining the value of your company.

So how do you know what your company is worth? Many deal values are simply multiples of Adjusted EBITDA, so it's critical to understand what this number is, and how to arrive at it. Here are the top 4 things you should know about EBITDA and how it relates to the sale of your business:

3 Financial Considerations for Retirees Planning to Relocate

You've worked long and hard and are nearing retirement age. Like many other baby boomers, with your kids out of the house and a surplus of empty space and time, you may be thinking about moving. To help you make up your mindor make your transition go as smoothly as possible—we've compiled this list of tips.

4 Things Your Construction Financial Manager Should Be Doing

The Construction Financial Manager, or CFM, plays a vital role in the success of any construction company. In an industry where competition is high and margins are small, it's critical to monitor, report on, and make decisions around accurate financials.

Wondering if your CFM is contributing to your profitability? Here are 4 things a good CFM should be doing: