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Gig Harbor Estate Planning And Probate Blog

5 steps to starting your first business

Starting a business is the American dream. As your own boss, you get to call all the shots. Not to mention the fact that you have more control of your personal growth, professional growth and income.

It's critical to take these five steps when starting your first business:

  • Do your research: From your local market to the industry as a whole, make sure you understand what you're getting into if you start a business. For example, you may find that your local market is saturated with similar businesses, which may cause you to shift gears.
  • Review your finances: Regardless of the type of business you're starting, it's going to cost you money. Review your finances to better understand how you'll pay for startup costs, as well as the expenses you may run into in the future. Also, consider if you'll need to take out a loan or raise money in a different manner.
  • Create a business plan: It doesn't sound exciting, but many entrepreneurs find themselves enjoying the process. This gives you the opportunity to plan out the finer details of your business, ranging from your responsibilities to who you need to hire to how you'll spend your money.
  • Choose a business structure: Will you incorporate? Is an LLC the right structure? How about a partnership? Will you remain a sole proprietor for the time being? There are pros and cons of each type of business structure, so compare all the necessary details.
  • Choose a location: Depending on the type of business, you may decide to work from home. If that doesn't suit you, it's time to work with a local real estate agent or broker to find office space in your desired area.

How to fund a trust as part of your estate plan in Washington

The creation of a trust is usually the first step toward structuring your legacy or protecting your loved ones from estate taxes after you die. A trust can offer tax benefits, as well as more control over how people in your family use the assets that you leave for them.

However, simply creating the legal structure of a trust is only the first step. You will also need to put assets in the trust, a process known as funding the trust. You have many options available for the exact form of your trust and for the way that you fund it.

Should you write your neighbor a letter about a disputed fence?

You always hoped you could be a "good" neighbor and get along with the people who lived near you. For a while, it worked. You loved your neighborhood and you seemed to click with everyone. It made your life fairly stress-free, which you enjoyed.

Then a family next door moved out and you got new neighbors. They hadn't been there a month before you had a serious problem on your hands: They built a fence on your property.

Business owners can't overlook having an estate plan

Business owners in Washington have a lot to think about as they run their companies. When the business is dependent on the owner to make daily decisions, it can be difficult to think about what will happen if that owner passes away.

Without having a proper plan in place, it might mean that the company dissolves. This can leave employees out of work and the family members who were depending on the business' income left without any support.

Divorcing parents: Estate planning for special needs children

Caring for a special needs child is challenging for all parents. Unfortunately, this sometimes means that the parents will divorce. As difficult as ending a marriage is in even the best of circumstances, it is even worse when the parents have a child who has complex emotional and physical challenges.

Financial planning and medical care planning are challenging for parents of special needs children. When you create an estate plan, these matters must be covered to help the individuals who care for your kids when you aren't able to.

Was your contract with your real estate agent breached?

You're a busy individual who depends upon your real estate agent to sell your home. But lately you've begun to believe that your agent isn't making selling your home a priority. In fact, you think the agent may even be in breach of the contract for services that you both signed.

Before you take any action to legally sever your business ties with your real estate agent, ask yourself if any of the following apply:

4 common estate planning errors to avoid

Adults should ensure they have a valid estate plan that accurately reflects their wishes. This plan must be handled in a way that complies with applicable laws so that it is fully enforceable when the time comes for your loved ones to use it.

There are several mistakes that people make when they are creating their estate plan. Reviewing some of the common errors might help you to avoid making them in your plan.

Know when to review your estate plan

One mistake that many people make is failing to update their estate plan. This isn't something that you can create once and then forget about forever. Instead, you need to look at the plan periodically so that you can assure it still represents your wishes.

There are certain times when you should check your plan. Major life changes might affect the terms of the plan, such as what assets need to be covered and whom you want those to go to. Making sure that your plan is up to date can help you to feel less stress and will provide guidance for your family members when you pass away.

Don't rush into purchasing a home without evaluating everything

Purchasing a home is a big step for anyone. Making sure that you've taken the steps necessary to get everything in order is important. You don't need to rush the process or you might make mistakes.

For many adults, buying a home is the biggest purchase they will ever make. It should be a place of refuge and not a source of major stress. Making sure you can afford the home and that you buy one that meets your needs are both essential.

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