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Cincinnati Law Blog

What are spendthrift trusts?

There are many options when it comes to trusts, but creating one that is appropriate under your own personal circumstances is essential. From revocable trusts to irrevocable trusts, there are an array of choices people have. Depending on your situation, a spendthrift trust may be the ideal path forward. In Cincinnati, and all over the state of Ohio, these trusts have helped many people ensure that their assets are distributed according to their wishes.

Spendthrift trusts allow trust creators to designate an independent trustee and who will be able to control how and when assets from the trust are used by a beneficiary. Often, these trusts are ideal for beneficiaries who may struggle with managing their finances well. For example, if someone has a problem with gambling, a spendthrift trust could help prevent them from squandering trust funds in a very short period of time or for an illegitimate reasons.

Holiday Party Liability Prevention

The holidays are often a time where employers sponsor or cover some costs associated with company holiday parties. While many employers view these as an opportunity to enhance morale or to build comradery in the workplace, there are a number of potential pitfalls that can make these events an opportunity for inappropriate behavior that can lead to employment claims or claims by third parties due to injuries suffered during or after such an event. When planning and managing the event, business owners should be wary of the following:

Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig Congratulates its Shareholder Members for Inclusion in the 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers List.

Buechner Haffer Meyers & Koenig, Co. LPA congratulates its Shareholder Members Robert W. Buechner, Robert J. Gehring, Robert J. Meyers, and Brian R. Redden for their inclusion in the 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers List. All four have been selected for this honor in previous years, with Mr. Redden previously receiving a selection to the Ohio Rising Stars List in 2010 and 2011. This recognition is reserved for the top 5% of practicing attorneys in Ohio.

Mr. Buechner continues to focus his practice on Estate Planning and Probate issues, Taxation issues, and Business transactions. Mr. Meyers continues his focus on Family Law and Domestic Relations issues. Mr. Gehring concentrates his practice in Civil Litigation. This is Mr. Redden's first selection to the Super Lawyers' List in the area of Civil Litigation, where he spends most of his time, while also maintaining a significant amount of work in the Employment Law and closely held business/family business advising areas.

Beneficiary disputes and holiday gatherings

We have addressed many facets of estate planning and probate administration in this blog, but there are far more issues that people working through such issues may have to face. Whether you are a beneficiary or have been given the responsibility of serving as an executor of an estate, disagreements may arise and cause serious tension in the family. Our lawyers also know how these strains can become even more difficult to work through during the holiday season, when many families come together to celebrate.

Perhaps you got into an argument with a family member during Thanksgiving who may have disagreed with you on some aspect of the way the estate is being handled or was handled in the past. Perhaps one of your relatives is bitter about the way in which the decedent decided to distribute his or her assets. Regardless, it is crucial to aim to reduce conflict between family members, as difficult as this can be.

Business litigation and social media

Our law firm has covered several different topics when it comes to business lawsuits in this blog. However, there are far more issues to consider, such as the many ways that social media activity can impact a case, or even result in litigation. Whether you run a large corporation or own a small business, you should be mindful of your company's online presence and social media activity - both on the business page and on employee pages that may be connected to the business page. Moreover, you may not even handle your company's online posts, placing these responsibilities on an employee or a third party contractor, in which case you must discuss content, form, and boundaries with them in advance of any posting. As a business owner, it is pivotal for you to understand the wide-reaching implications of social media activity and protect your business. As we often tell clients, if you are actively in business, it is highly likely that you will be sued at some time during the life of the business.

There are various aspects of social media that may lead to legal action against your business or that may lead to claims that your business may need to pursue. As examples, another business may libeled your company online, or your business may be accused of such behavior, resulting in litigation. Or, perhaps your business is already involved in a lawsuit and certain details were posted to social media and can be used as evidence against your company. Further, a party that your business is pursuing may have made social media posts that are damaging to their claims against your business. These examples underline how essential it is to avoid sharing potentially damaging details on the internet, whether the information is shared via video, pictures, or text.

Communication and your estate plan

If you are in the process of setting up an estate plan, many different concerns may be on the table. For example, you may be having a hard time deciding whether a trust or will is more appropriate, or you could be having difficulty naming an executor or figuring out how to divide your assets among beneficiaries. Often, you can develop a better understanding of the right decisions by talking with loved ones and those affected by your estate plan. Our law firm knows that effective communication is an important part of successful estate planning.

Not only can communication provide a sense of peace, but it may result in less confusion and a better understanding of what to expect for beneficiaries, executors, and those creating the plan. If your loved ones have any questions, you might be able to help provide them with answers. Moreover, the chances of a bitter dispute arising in the future may be reduced by carefully talking with beneficiaries beforehand. In some instances, there may be barriers that prevent you from talking to loved ones. For example, you may not be able to get ahold of an estranged family member, which could result in uncertainty.

The importance of estate planning

When a resident of Ohio dies, matters of estate planning often need to be dealt with long before the grieving process is underway. As stated by the Summit County Probate Court, bills and taxes will be taken from the estate upon death, and then the rest is dispersed and executed based upon the will. Unfortunately, many people put off their estate planning or updates, leaving loved ones to try to figure out what the person would have wanted posthumously, which can lead to confusion, legal headaches and bitterness between the parties involved.

While estate planning does include identification of the beneficiaries of items such as bank accounts, real estate, automobiles and personal items, it also includes much more. This related process is where a person can designate a health care power of attorney, which means another individual will be trusted to make decisions should the person filing become incapable of making decisions for him or herself. A durable power of attorney can also be named, allowing a person to perform certain transactions and handle the estate should the estate holder not be able to perform such duties. If there are children or others who will need care or may require assistance down the road, this is the time for a person to clearly outline who will have guardianship or be caregivers.

Handling international business litigation

Whenever a lawsuit arises, businesses of all sizes may face different challenges. In Cincinnati and in other cities across the state of Ohio, litigation can be complicated and may have a significant impact on a business' future. Moreover, when an international business lawsuit comes up, moving forward can be even more tricky for business owners. Our firm knows how business owners can feel stressed out and uncertain of which steps to take, but it is crucial to handle these cases properly.

As if business litigation does not present enough challenges, lawsuits which cross country lines can present additional complications. For example, a business owner may have difficulty understanding the laws in another country or they may be unable to appear in court. Moreover, there are other matters that can create difficulties, such as language barriers. Although it can seem overwhelming to handle an international business lawsuit, carefully working through these issues could increase the likelihood of an end result that is more favorable.

Preventing a contract dispute

If you run a business, you may encounter a number of challenges. However, we know that contract disputes can be especially difficult and may present serious consequences for a business, from financial penalties to damaged business relationships. In Cincinatti and across the whole state of Ohio, it is vital for business owners who are in the process of drafting a contract to make sure that they do what they can to prevent a contract dispute from arising in the future.

There are a number of ways that you could be able to take steps to reduce the likelihood of a contract dispute. First of all, it is essential to carefully draft an agreement and make sure that all parties involved thoroughly understand the terms of the agreement. The language should be clear and you should ensure that the agreement will be valid. During the creation of a business contract, it is vital for you to protect your interests as well.

Summary Judgment Granted to Texas Business Groups Challenging the Obama Administration's Revised Overtime Rule

By Brian R. Redden with Robert G. Hyland

On August 31, 2017, a Texas federal court judge declared that the Revised Overtime Rule issued in 2016 by the Obama Administration that would have altered the landscape with respect to non-exempt employee and overtime regulations for employers throughout the United States is invalid. United States District Court Judge Amos Mazzant granted summary judgment to the various business groups who had challenged the new 2016 FLSA Overtime Rule. This rule would have doubled the minimum salary required to qualify for the white collar/executive exemption from $23,660.00 to nearly $47,500.00. This new Overtime rule, covered in this Blog in November, 2016, was expected to have significant impact on numerous industries and a negative impact on middle income earners' ability to earn overtime or compensatory time. The rule would have impacted many administrative, middle management, and sales personnel. The Trump Department of Justice is not expected to appeal the Judge's decision.

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