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Companion piece: Create a “road map” for your estate plan

No matter how much effort you’ve invested in designing your estate plan, your will, trusts and other official documents may not be enough. Consider creating a “road map” — an informal letter or other document that guides your family in understanding and executing your plan and ensuring that your wishes are carried out.  Navigating your world

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There’s still time for small business owners to set up a SEP retirement plan for last year

If you own a business and don’t have a tax-advantaged retirement plan, it’s not too late to establish one and reduce your 2018 tax bill. A Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) can still be set up for 2018, and you can make contributions to it that you can deduct on your 2018 income tax return.  Contribution deadlines

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Older employees present a hiring opportunity and challenge

It’s in every employer’s best interest to keep an open mind about where the right talent for an open position may lie. Of course, in some industries, minds couldn’t be more open because skilled labor shortages are driving organizations to look everywhere for new hires.

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Moving a trust over state lines can offer tax savings and other benefits

People who live in states with high income taxes sometimes relocate to a state with a more favorable tax climate. A similar strategy can be available for trusts. If a trust is subject to high state income taxes, you may be able to change its residence — or “situs” — to a state with low or no income taxes. What can a “trust-friendly” state offer?

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Using knowledge management to develop your succession plan

As the old saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” This certainly rings true in business, as those who best understand their industries and markets tend to have a knack for staying on top. If that person is a company’s owner, however, great knowledge can turn into a vulnerability when he or she decides to retire or otherwise leave the business.

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Will leasing equipment or buying it be more tax efficient for your business?

Recent changes to federal tax law and accounting rules could affect whether you decide to lease or buy equipment or other fixed assets. Although there’s no universal “right” choice, many businesses that formerly leased assets are now deciding to buy them. Pros and cons of leasing

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Beware the Ides of March — if you own a pass-through entity

Shakespeare’s words don’t apply just to Julius Caesar; they also apply to calendar-year partnerships, S corporations and limited liability companies (LLCs) treated as partnerships or S corporations for tax purposes. Why? The Ides of March, more commonly known as March 15, is the federal income tax filing deadline for these “pass-through” entities. 

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Blow the dust off your employee handbook

It’s probably safe to say that most employers have created some form of an employee handbook. But just because your organization has one, that doesn’t mean it’s functional.

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Have you properly substantiated your 2018 charitable gifts?

Donating to charity is a key estate planning strategy for many people. It reduces the size of your taxable estate and it can help you leave a lasting legacy with organizations you care about. 

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