How Can an Attorney Help Your Agribusiness?
If you own a farm or ranch, you know you have to run it like a business in order to maintain a successful enterprise. Like any business owner, farmers and ranchers can benefit from the counsel of an experienced business lawyer, especially one who is well-versed in agricultural law. An agribusiness attorney in Wichita will serve your interests by offering legal advice on government programs and regulations, property matters, and agribusiness planning.
While there are government programs available to financially assist farmers and ranchers, there are also environmental, labor, and regulatory policies that can restrict day-to-day operations and ultimately affect the bottom line. An agricultural lawyer will ensure that you remain in compliance with the law and will pursue any government benefits that may be available to you. Farmers must also protect their real property, as the land is their livelihood. You can rely on an agribusiness attorney to handle such property issues as farm and mineral leases, collateralization, liens, water rights, property taxes, and more. A lawyer with experience in both agriculture and business can also assist with financial planning, succession planning, and tax filing to preserve the ongoing health of your agricultural enterprise.
What Are Distressed Assets?
If you’re thinking of investing in distressed assets or selling them, you need the experience of a business attorney . A distressed asset is a piece of property that is sold at a significantly reduced price because the owner is under pressure to sell. A distressed asset could be personal property, real property, or equity ownership in a business. An owner might sell a distressed asset because of bankruptcy, foreclosure, or other financial calamity.
Distressed assets can offer opportunities for investors. However, there are some potential downsides, which your business lawyer in Wichita can explain to you. For example, your business lawyer can explore whether there may be creditors who can lay claim to the property. A lawyer who specializes in business law can also verify that the seller is the actual owner of the property and that the property is indeed being sold below its face value. If you fail to work with a business attorney to explore these issues, you could be subject to damage claims.
What Are the Benefits of Working with an Estate Attorney?
When it’s time to protect your assets through estate planning , it’s essential to work with a family lawyer who has experience in this area of the law. Your family lawyer can ensure that your estate is maximized, which helps secure your beneficiaries’ financial future. Your family lawyer in Wichita can execute a number of functions for you, including revising an existing will, creating a trust agreement, and establishing healthcare directives.
You can hear more about the benefits of working with an estate lawyer by watching this video. This financial advisor discusses some of the drawbacks of creating trusts solely with the help of a broker, rather than an estate lawyer.
How to Ensure Smooth Family Business Operations with the Right Legal Support
Family businesses hold a unique role in the U.S. economy. Its owners and employees enjoy certain benefits, such as an in-depth understanding of each other and a fierce dedication to the success of the company. However, family businesses also face unique challenges associated with the presence of family relationships within a business environment. For a family business to maintain its success, outside counsel is often necessary. Your family business may wish to retain the services of a business attorney. A lawyer with experience in business law can recommend strategies for success, offer succession planning advice, and provide recommendations for avoiding conflict or dealing with conflict.
Separate Business Issues from Family Issues
It’s often challenging to separate family matters from business issues. However, doing so is crucial not only for the success of the company, but for the well-being of the family. Your business attorney is likely to recommend that you separate business from family by defining clear roles within the company, establishing a hierarchy, and making business decisions solely for the good of the company, rather than in deference to familial ties. Each employee should understand and accept his or her job description and role within the company. Likewise, each employee should understand and support the company’s mission and business plan. Additionally, clear communication is a must.
Plan for Succession in Advance
Succession planning is often not considered until the owner of the company begins to think about retirement. However, it’s advantageous to plan for succession well in advance of the transition. By working with business lawyers in Wichita, you can define your family’s goals for the future, establish the plans for the next generation of business owners, and develop new roles for other employees. It’s best to involve your business attorney in the early stages of succession planning, since there will be many legal issues to deal with regarding the transfer of ownership.
Consider Exit Strategies
Transferring ownership to the next generation is one way to plan your exit strategy. But what happens if no one else in the family has the desire or ability to take control of the company? You can consult a business attorney regarding other exit strategies, such as selling to a non-family member or considering liquidation.
Tips for Making a Solid, Enforceable Business Contract
A man may be as good as his word, but only a written business contract is enforceable in court. Should a dispute arise with a client, vendor, or business partner, having a legal contract will help your Wichita business lawyer defend you in court or seek compensation on your behalf. Here are some tips for making a solid business contract. For help drafting a clear and enforceable contract, contact your business attorney.
Keep it Simple
Filling a contract with legal jargon doesn’t make it any more enforceable than a contract written in plain English. In fact, clear sentences with simple, numbered paragraph headings will make it easier to point out any breaches of contract. Vendors, clients, and partners can sometimes hide behind the gray areas of complex contracts, so keep everything as straightforward as possible.
Identify Each Party Correctly
In order to enter into a contractually binding agreement , the contract needs to include the correct legal names of the parties involved so it’s clear who is responsible for performing the obligations and who you have legal rights against if things go wrong. If you are entering into an agreement with a business organized as an LLC or corporation, identify it by its correct legal name, not by the names of the individuals who are signing the agreement.
Don’t Leave Anything Out
Any good business attorney in Wichita will tell you to include anything that was verbally agreed upon in the written contract. If it’s not in writing, a verbal agreement will be next to impossible to enforce. In business and corporate law, judges usually only interpret a contract as it is, not from what the parties said to each other or agreed to without signing. If changes are made or need to be made, a business law firm can help make the changes legal and binding.
Benefits of a Non-Compete Agreement
Every year, businesses across the U.S. spend billions of dollars training new employees. It would be a shame if employees used this training (or the confidential information acquired during employment) to compete against the employer after they leave. This is why most businesses have new hires sign a non-compete agreement. Non-compete agreements are enforced by the courts, but usually have to be reasonable in terms of geographic location and time frame.
Watch this video to learn more about non-compete agreements and the benefits of having your employees sign such an agreement. For help drafting a non-compete agreement, contact a Wichita business attorney . Your business lawyer can also help enforce a non-compete agreement after an employee leaves. If you don’t already have a corporate attorney protecting your business interests, get one before it’s too late.
What Can and Can’t be Included in Your Property Tax Deduction?
The property tax system in the United States is incredibly complicated, and most taxpayers are unable to understand or decipher why their property taxes increase every year. Ballooning property taxes are often the result of errors and inaccuracies on the part of county appraisers, which can be addressed with the help of a property tax attorney in Wichita . Still, you’ll have property taxes to pay each year. Fortunately, that means you’ll have property tax deductions as well. Read over this brief list of items that can be included in your property tax deduction and then consult with a property attorney to handle your property tax issues.
If you took out a mortgage to finance the purchase of your home, your house payments may include several other costs in addition to paying off the loan, many of which you can deduct from your income taxes at the end of the year. You can deduct real estate taxes paid to the taxing authority, interest that qualifies as home mortgage interest, and mortgage insurance premiums. If you receive a housing minister’s or military housing allowance, you can still deduct your real estate taxes and your home mortgage interest without needing to reduce deductions based on your non-taxable allowance.
As many deductions as you can take, there are even more costs that you cannot deduct as part of your property tax deductions . You cannot deduct insurance, including fire and comprehensive coverage. Depreciation is also not deductible, at least not on an individual tax return for private property. The cost of utilities such as gas, electricity, and water cannot be deducted, nor can most settlement costs or forfeited deposits or down payments. Contact a property tax attorney in Wichita for help maximizing your property tax deductions this year.
Filing a Property Tax Appeal in Kansas
According to the National Taxpayers Union, approximately 40% of tax appeals in the U.S. result in a reduction. That’s because ad valoreum valuation and assessment systems are an inexact science
and county appraisers are prone to mistakes just like anyone else. If you are appealing the valuation or classification assigned by your local county appraiser, you will need to file Equalization Appeal Forms (provided by your county appraiser along with the county’s hearing result letter) and a Payment Under Protest Form. A filing fee is assessed for property tax appeals except those involving single-family residential properties.
A Wichita property attorney can help with your property tax appeal, including informal appeals at county-level and state appeals. As the former Chairman of the Kansas Real Estate Appraisal Board, property attorney Scott B. Poor has the skill set and knowledge to make sure that your property’s valuation and assessment is fair.
A Look at Property Taxes in Kansas
Did you know that the property tax is widely considered to be the most reviled type of tax levied upon Americans? Aside from the tendency of property taxes to rise year after year, this is likely because many homeowners feel that their homes have an excessively high appraised value. Fortunately, there are options available to homeowners and those who own commercial, industrial, agricultural, and mineral properties. A tax lawyer near Wichita can help Kansas property owners by filing a property tax appeal. As your property attorney is likely to inform you, almost half of all property tax appeals result in a reduction.
Appraisals of Properties
Your property attorney can answer any questions you have about the appraisal of your property. In Kansas, the county appraiser is required to view the exterior of all properties in the county every six years. The purpose is to determine the market value of your home . If your home’s appraised value goes up, you could be responsible for paying more in property taxes, depending on the budgetary needs of your municipality.
Factors that Determine Market Value
Your tax lawyer can help you understand the various factors that an appraiser considers when determining market value. These factors include the age, location, condition, quality, size, and style of the property. Then, the appraiser uses at least one method to determine market value. The first method is by comparing sales of properties that are similar to yours. The second is by considering the age of your property and what it would cost to replace it. The third applies to income-producing properties. It involves considering income from rent.
Methods of Protesting Home Values
If you feel that the appraised value of your home is too high and that you’re paying too much in property taxes, your tax attorney can file an appeal on your behalf. Within 30 days of receiving the notice of your property’s appraised value, your attorney can submit a protest to the county appraiser’s office. Or, your attorney may help you fill out a “payment under protest” form when you pay your property taxes.
Asset Division During Divorce
The division of assets during a divorce is often among the most contentious aspects of this particular legal proceeding. It’s highly advisable to contact a family lawyer in Wichita, rather than trying to handle the divorce yourself. An expert in family law can help you understand your state’s specific laws concerning asset division. Often, ex-spouses will retain ownership of items or assets, including inheritances, which they owned independently prior to marriage.
As you’ll learn by watching this video, a family lawyer will advise you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse to create a comprehensive list of all possessions and assets, including savings accounts, CDs, and tangible items. When ownership of an item is in contention, the family lawyer can negotiate with the other party to reach a resolution.