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Rochester Business & Commercial Law Blog

Maintaining the satisfaction of your investors

Finding people to invest in your company can make a considerable difference in how accessible important qualities of success become for your organization. Investors can bring powerful support to your business and contribute knowledge, experience and stability in helping you establish your initiative. At Dunlap & Seeger, we have been able to successfully help business owners in Minnesota to protect what is most important to them. 

One of the most critical aspects of having investors is the ability to maintain them. Keeping them around is dependent on your ability to show continual progress in your company, as well as maintain their overall satisfaction with the actions you are taking. According to Inc.com, the metrics you use to establish and monitor the progress of your company will vary from other organizations depending on the industry you are in and what your product or service is. Identifying the metrics that are most telling of your progress is a start. Being able to run regular numbers and provide these statistics to your investors is a great way to keep them informed and involved.

The basics of trusts

Many people in Minnesota might have heard others talk about creating a trust instead of a will when making an estate plan but they might not really understand what a trust is or how it works. The fact of the matter is that a trust may be even used in conjunction with a will but the trust has some very specific uses and benefits. 

As explained by The Motley Fool, one benefit to a trust is that it is almost always private whereas the contents of a will and the probate process are publicly accessible. With a trust, a person who creates the trust is called the grantor or the settlor. This person transfers assets into the trust that is then managed by a trustee. Assets are distributed to one or more beneficiaries per the instructions and type of trust.

Filing a small estate affidavit

A common question we receive here at Dunlap & Seeger PA is exactly how long does it take to probate an estate. If you share the same question, you might not like hearing the answer we give that every estate case is different, and thus placing a standard expectation on how long probate might take is difficult. Yet before you begin worrying about the length of time it might take to complete the probate process, a better question might be whether the estate you are party to needs to be probated at all. 

Probate court officials do not want to see small estates have their assets depleted through probate costs. Thus the state has provided a way by which small estates can essentially bypass the process altogether. This is done by filing a small estate affidavit. The requirements for filing for this benefit can be found in Section 524.3-201 of Minnesota's Probate Code. These include: 

  • 30 days having passed since the death of the decedent
  • The entire value of the estate not exceeding $75,000 dollars
  • No previous application for the appointment of a personal representative be pending 

Divorce and your revocable trust

When it comes to both estate planning and divorce, there are a plethora of legal issues to consider and many ways in which you may be impacted. In this post, we will examine some of the different factors that you may need to take into consideration if you are in the middle of ending your marriage and you have a revocable trust. Although the divorce process can be very overwhelming at times, you should not neglect other important responsibilities that may arise as a result of this major life event, such as taking a look at your estate plan.

First of all, it is essential to recognize that property division laws vary from state to state, so you should examine how the laws in your state may impact your property and the assets that are included in your trust. In fact, if one of your beneficiaries decides to end their marriage, a revocable trust may be a good way to prevent their ex from gaining access to the assets that you have passed down.

Don’t miss out on the severance pay that’s due to you

Severance pay, also known as a severance agreement or severance package, is compensation you receive upon termination of your employment.

When negotiating terms of your employment, pay close attention to any language associated with the future potential to receive severance pay in Rochester. For example, you may only qualify to receive severance pay under certain conditions, such as a layoff related to company downsizing.

Finding time in your busy schedule to create an estate plan

Estate planning can be tough for a number of reasons, from uncertainty over which type of trust or will is ideal to making decisions regarding beneficiaries. For some people, such as business owners, CEOs, those with children, and workers with demanding jobs, setting up an estate plan can be challenging because they do not have a lot of free time. If you have a busy schedule, it is imperative to set aside enough time to create an estate plan for a number of reasons. With an estate plan in place, you can know that your assets will be protected in the future and this plan could be very helpful if something unexpected takes place.

Many people have become incapacitated due to an unexpected crisis, such as a health problem or a motor vehicle collision. With an estate plan in place, some have had an easier time working through these hardships because they know that they have already accounted for some of these serious difficulties. You may have a lot of anxiety on a daily basis, and your schedule may not allow you very much free time. However, having a solid estate plan set up could allow you to enjoy your life even more and reduce some of the stress that you are struggling with.

How to create a good estate plan for a blended family

Many people in Minnesota are able to find a new love after previously getting divorced. If you are one of these people, you should be able to feel positive about your future but you should also know that it is important to take clear steps to outline your wishes for your estate after you die. Estate planning with a blended family can be more complex than estate planning in a first marriage.

You will likely want to provide for both your new spouse and your biological children and how you set up your estate plan will make a big difference in your ability to do this. As explained by Fidelity Investments, you should consider all of the types of assets you have and how you may assign inheritance rights for each. For example, your retirement account and life insurance policies will have beneficiary designations. Other assets may need to be addressed via a will or a trust.

Building brand awareness and strengthening rapport

One of the biggest challenges for many companies in Minnesota is the quest to build and advertise a brand that is uniquely different from all of the other competing companies in their industry. This aspect of growing an organization requires time, assessment of objectives, research and risk-taking for leaders to discover how to create a brand that is effective at both informing and motivating consumers to choose their product or service. 

Part of a company's efforts to build brand awareness requires them to simultaneously build rapport with their customers. Once trust and admiration are gained, a company must continually work to strengthen and reiterate their brand's dependability. According to Sandler Training, one of the most effective ways for businesses to establish rapport with their customers is to provide information about themselves, their brand and their products that are transparent and honest. This should be done with attention to detail and a genuine desire to inform and educate. When customers are confident that they can trust a brand and the company that is advertising it, they will be much more loyal and their chances of repeating business will be significantly higher.

What to know about general liability policy

One of the keys to making a new business last in Rochester is to build in protections so that the company does not fall prey to lawsuits that could deplete its resources or drive it into bankruptcy. Investing your company with general commercial liability insurance is one way you can shield your business in the event another party brings a suit against your company for damages. If you are considering buying insurance for your business, here are some important things you should know.

According to FitSmallBusiness, general liability insurance for businesses may take different forms. Bodily injury policy covers you when a person suffers injury from one of your products or from your company’s negligence. Property damage coverage will cover damage done to a property by your business. If a third party is injured on your company property, medical payment coverage will handle the party’s medical bills. In the event a third party endures loss due to copyright infringement or defamation committed by someone working for your company, a personal and advertising injury policy can go into effect.

When are non-compete agreements in contracts valid?

Both employers and workers in Minnesota have good reason to wonder about the legal validity of non-compete agreements. For those unfamiliar with the term, a non-compete agreement is a clause in an employment contract or sometimes a free-standing separate document that protects employers at the end of an employment relationship.

Non-compete agreements help ensure that employees cannot take business secrets, client lists and proprietary information to a competitor. Essentially, a non-compete agreement protects the intellectual property and business practices of employers in the event that they must terminate someone's employment or a staff member chooses to quit.

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Dunlap & Seeger, P.A.
30 3rd Street SE
Rochester, MN 55904

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