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Gianelli Nielsen News Blog

Monday, March 28, 2016

Would transferring your home to your children help avoid estate taxes?


Before transferring your home to your children, there are several issues that should be considered. Some are tax-related issues and some are none-tax issues that can have grave consequences on your livelihood. 

The first thing to keep in mind is that the current federal estate tax exemption is currently over $5 million and thus it is likely that you may not have an estate tax issue anyway. If you are married you and your spouse can double that exemption to over $10 million. So, make sure the federal estate tax is truly an issue for you before proceeding.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 21, 2016

Are employees owed overtime for checking and answering email after hours?


Technology is a double-edged sword. It allows us to work remotely and to have greater flexibility as to where and when we work, but the freedom it affords can also be a burden. When you can work from anywhere, and at any time, it often feels like you should be doing so!

Studies suggest people are caving under the pressure - whether explicit or implicit - to work while technically off the clock. According to the Pew Research Center, approximately 44% of Internet users regularly perform some job tasks outside the workplace.

All the work that is being done outside of work hours is creating a compliance problem for many businesses.
Read more . . .


Monday, March 14, 2016

Selecting An Executor Post Mortem


The death of a loved one is a difficult experience no matter the circumstances.  It can be especially difficult when a person dies without a will.  If a person dies without a will and there are assets that need to be distributed, the estate will be subject to the process of administration instead of probate proceedings.

In this case, the decedent’s heirs can select someone to manage the estate, called an administrator instead of executor.  State law will provide who has priority to be appointed as the administrator.
Read more . . .


Monday, February 29, 2016

When Is It OK to Fire an At-Will Employee?


The overwhelming majority of employees are considered to be at-will employees. If an employee works without a contract stating otherwise, that person’s employment is considered at- will for its duration. This means that the person serves at-will and either party may terminate the employment at any time. Even though an explanation is not always given as to why an employee is being fired, there are still some reasons for termination that are unacceptable in the eyes of the law. It is important to be aware of these instances to avoid the appearance of improper behavior and the potential for economic repercussions  as a result.
Read more . . .


Thursday, February 18, 2016

Justice Antonin Scalia: The Legacy and Aftermath


With political candidates lighting up the newsfeeds and the impending Presidential election at the forefront of American consciousness, it is indisputable that our country is at a crossroads. Add to this the monumental passing of Justice Antonin Scalia, and it is clear that we are facing a critical time in American history.

Justice Scalia was appointed in 1986 by President Ronald Reagan and stood out on the bench for many reasons including his position against abortion, his goal to create a closer relationship between government and religion, his views on criminal executions and his desire to limit lawsuits. He was also well known for his commitment to originalism, the method of constitutional interpretation that looks to the meaning of words and concepts as they were understood by the Founding Fathers. "Justice Scalia did more to advance originalism and judicial restraint than anyone in our time, and it all started with just two words: 'I dissent,' " said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

It's Tax Time!


Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015

The only difference between death and taxes is that death doesn't get worse every time Congress meets"
- Will Rogers

Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the entire case this year. As you gather financial information this Tax Season, you may want to take note of the following Read more . . .


Monday, February 15, 2016

Protecting Your Legacy with Estate Tax Planning


You spend your whole life building your legacy but sadly, that is not always enough. Without careful estate tax planning, much of it could be lost to taxes or misdirected. While a will or living trust is essential for dividing your estate as you wish, an estate tax plan ensures you pass on as much of your legacy as possible.

Understanding estate tax laws

For the past decade, estate tax laws have been a sort of political football with significant changes occurring every few years.  The good news is that the 2013 tax act made the basic $5 million estate tax exemption “permanent,” but at a higher rate of 40%, though the law continues to adjust the exemption level for inflation.
Read more . . .


Monday, February 8, 2016

Disaster DIY: Business Law Edition


Have you ever watched the TV show Disaster DIY on HGTV? The premise of the show is that many people have no idea what they are doing when it comes to home remodeling, but they try the “do it yourself” (DIY) approach  anyway. The host of the show then comes in to save the day, repairing what the DIYers have messed up, and teaching them how to do perform certain tasks.

This show has many parallels to the world of business law.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 25, 2016

California's Newly Enacted Right to Die Law


What You Should Know...

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, the decisions ahead may feel overwhelming. Emotional and physical struggles likely compete with legal affairs and the complexity of it all can feel unbearable.
Read more . . .


Monday, January 25, 2016

At-will Employment: Does it Apply to You?


It may seem unfair, but an employer can fire an “at-will” employee at any time, without good cause – or even without any cause at all. It is a bitter pill, and one that many American workers must swallow. Under the law, you are generally deemed to be employed at-will, unless you can prove otherwise.

Workers who are employed at-will can be fired for no reason, but they cannot be fired for a bad reason. Some reasons are illegal under federal or state law, exceptions to the general doctrine of at-will employment.
Read more . . .


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