By Associate Attorney Danielle Nodar
Thanksgiving is one of the best opportunities of the year to slow down before the rush of the holiday season and spend quality time with our loved ones. During this time of relaxation and reflection, many people also think about how to they want to plan for their future and the impact it may have on their loved ones. The holiday provides a chance to catch up with loved ones we may not see during the year and open the door to discussing important topics as a family.
While the majority of adults consider having an estate plan important, nearly half of all Americans do not have a will, and even fewer have other documents that plan for incapacity. Unfortunately, there are countless issues that could arise without proper estate planning.
Without a will or living trust, your assets would pass according to the intestacy laws of North Carolina. This takes away the control you have over who inherits what when you pass away and could have huge implications on your loved ones. Additionally, in North Carolina, a will is the only way to name a guardian for your minor children in the event that both parents pass away.
Furthermore, some people may require more complex estate planning depending on their family situation (such as second marriages, a child with special needs, or care of minor children) and the type and amount of their assets. Estate planning through devices such as living trusts allows you to put plans in place to address the specific needs of your beneficiaries, avoid the probate process, and address more complex tax issues depending on your assets.
Finally, a comprehensive estate plan not only plans for what happens after death, but also addresses who would be responsible for making decisions on your behalf if you became incapacitated during your lifetime. This includes naming someone to make financial decisions on your behalf and someone to make medical decisions on your behalf. Without such a plan, your family may have to go through more drastic and expensive court proceeding to have you deemed legally incompetent by a judge.
While most people think of turkey, football, shopping, and the inevitable food coma when Thanksgiving comes to mind, it’s an opportunity to discuss planning for the future while everyone is gathered together in the spirit of family and gratitude. If you approach the topic with honesty, care, and thoughtfulness, it could help you get the ball rolling on making important decisions for your estate plan that will have a positive impact on your family for years to come.
By Attorney Kelly Rains Jesson
Back in July of 2016, we wrote about the Department of Labor’s dramatic new proposed overtime rule, which frightened a lot of business owners. A few months later, a judge invalidated the law, and the 2004 law has been in place ever since.
The new law is back, but a little less dramatic.
Everyone is somewhat familiar with the law that requires overtime to be paid to employees who work over 40 hours per week. However, the law exempts any employee employed in a bona fide executive, administrative, or professional capacity. This exemption is premised on the belief that these types of salaried employees generally earn higher salaries and enjoy other benefits.
The change in the 2020 law applies to the exception to this exemption – if a person is a salaried employee and employed in an executive, administrative, or professional capacity, they will still be entitled to overtime under federal law if they earn a “low” salary. Currently, an employee in this category who earns less than $455/week or $23,660 is entitled to overtime if they work more than 40 hours per week.
Starting January 1, 2020, these figures will increase. If an employee in this category earns less than $684 per week (equivalent to $35,568 per year for a full-year worker), they will be entitled to overtime if they work over 40 hours per week.
If you are a business owner and employ employees who may be affected by the change in the new law, we encourage you to contact an attorney or other human resource professional to ensure you comply with the law. There are other changes in the overtime law that may affect you and your business. More information can be found here.
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