As we approach the end of 2005 and anticipate the new year, it is an appropriate time to organize our thoughts and resolve to contact attorneys regarding matters that need to be attended to annually.
For our corporate clients, this is a good time to review the past year and plan for 2006. Corporate attorney, Jennifer Chadwick has provided this list of questions businesses should ask themselves as the end of the year approaches.
- Have you had your annual meeting to elect officers and directors?
- Have you updated your corporate book to reflect any changes in your business?
- Do you have an employee handbook? If so, has it been reviewed or revised as needed?
- Do you have a shareholder’s agreement and has it been updated?
- Do you need to work on any transfer of your business assets in or prior to the coming year?
- Do you need to look into bank financing to expand your business?
- Have you thought of succession planning for your business?
It has been a busy year in real estate, and for our clients who have either purchased or sold a home this year, it is important to get your paperwork in order. Here is a checklist to help you prepare:
- Contact your tax advisor to discuss how the transaction may affect your tax liability for 2005
- If you purchased a home, you may be eligible for a School Property Tax Savings (STAR) exemption
- Contact the tax assessor in the municipality where the property is located to ensure that you will receive any exemption you may entitled to
- If you paid off a mortgage you should have received a satisfaction or discharge of mortgage from your lender verifying receipt of the payoff amount. If you are holding the original satisfaction or discharge please make sure that the document has been recorded in the County Clerk’s office where the property is located. If you have any questions please contact our real estate department for assistance.
Your new year’s resolutions should also include Estate Planning. Use this checklist as a guide:
- Do you have a will? If so, has it been updated recently?
- Are all beneficiary designations on your life insurance policies and qualified IRA or 401K accounts consistent with your will?
- Do you have a health care proxy? Do you know where it is?
- Have you named a durable power of attorney?
If you need help or have questions in any of these areas please contact us. We at Lacy Katzen are committed to providing all of our clients with the counsel they need to be prepared in both their personal and professional lives. We welcome the opportunity to be of service to you.