We Help Entrepreneurs and Families
Keep the Skies Clear and the Future Bright
Sky Unlimited Legal Advisory offers you the perfect combination of trusted advisor, problem solver, keeper of secrets and deep listener.
Our attorneys are specifically trained to help you keep more money in your business and personal accounts, watch out for pitfalls, handle sticky situations (ideally before they even get sticky) and effectively tend to the parts of your business that are especially challenging.
At the same time, we work as your trusted advisor who helps you make the very best personal, financial, legal, and business decisions for your family throughout your lifetime.
You always said you wanted someone who could do all “that” stuff - the tasks that you’d rather not handle.
That's precisely where we step in - protecting your business and your family!
Notes from Our Chief Counsel's Desk
But one major change that you might not have noticed is the way the law altered the potential tax consequences of divorce.
Unlike child support, alimony payments have long been tax-deductible for the ex-spouse making the payments and taxed as income for the recipient. And alimony payments were an above-the-line deduction, meaning that the payor did not need to itemize in order to benefit from the tax advantage.
Because the spouse making payments was typically in a higher tax bracket than the recipient, shifting the income to the recipient’s lower tax bracket could result in significant overall tax savings. Indeed, this tax savings was often an important factor when negotiating divorce settlements, and it often led to larger alimony payments.
However, the TCJA repealed the alimony deduction and totally reversed the tax obligation: For divorce or separation agreements executed on or after January 1st, 2019, alimony payments are no longer tax deductible for the paying spouse, and alimony is no longer considered taxable income for the recipient.
Divorce or separation agreements executed before January 1, 2019 are grandfathered in under the law, meaning alimony will remain tax-deductible for the paying spouse and taxed to the recipient. That said, pre-2019, divorce agreements can be modified to apply the new rules to future alimony payments, provided the modification expressly states that the TCJA new tax treatment should apply.
If you have included original written content such as blog posts, articles, or FAQs on your website as part of your efforts to draw people to your site and engage with new and existing customers, this is a valuable intellectual property you should take steps to protect.
Register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Although your written content is under copyright protection from the moment it is created and can be perceived directly or using a device such as a computer or mobile phone, you cannot bring a lawsuit for copyright infringement, i.e., theft or unauthorized use, unless you have registered your work with the U.S. Copyright Office. Registration also makes it easier for you to be successful in a lawsuit against an infringer. If you register your work within five years after it is published, the copyright and the facts contained in the certificate of registration the Copyright Office places in the public record will be presumed to be valid unless the person you are suing for infringement can provide evidence refuting them.
If you register your work within three months after you publish it or before an infringement of your work occurs, you will not have to prove the actual damages you have suffered as a result of the infringement in a lawsuit against the infringer. Rather, you will be able to recover an amount set by the federal copyright law (currently $750 to $30,000 per infringement, depending upon the court’s discretion) as well as costs incurred as a result of the lawsuit, including attorneys’ fees.
Damages may be difficult, if not impossible, to prove. For example, it is nearly impossible to show how many customers purchased the infringer’s product instead of yours because of the infringement. Thus, the ability to obtain the damages set by statute is crucial to ensuring you are compensated if someone uses your work without your permission. This is an important deterrent to those who may steal your work, as you will be entitled to the statutory amount every time someone views the infringer’s website—which can add up quickly. It also serves as leverage if you request that your content be removed from the infringing website rather than immediately filing a lawsuit.
Yet many of us put more effort into planning for our vacations than we do to prepare for a time when we may no longer earn an income.
Whether you’ve put off planning for retirement altogether or failed to create a truly comprehensive plan, you’re putting yourself at risk for a future of poverty, penny pinching, and dependence. The stakes could hardly be higher.
When preparing for your final years, it’s not enough to simply hope for the best. You should treat retirement planning as if your life depended on it—because it does. To this end, even well thought-out plans can contain fatal flaws you might not be aware of until it’s too late.
Have you committed any of the following three deadly sins of retirement planning?
1. Not having an actual plan
Even if you’ve been diligent about saving for retirement, without a detailed, goal-oriented plan, you’ll have no clear idea whether your savings strategies are working adequately or not. And such plans aren’t just about calculating a retirement savings number, funding your 401(k), and then setting things on auto-pilot.
Once you know how much you’ll need for retirement, you have to plan for exactly how you’ll accumulate that money and monitor your success. The plan should include clear-cut methods for increasing income, reducing spending, maximizing tax savings, and managing investments when and where needed.
What’s more, you should regularly review and update your asset allocation, investment performance, and savings goals to ensure you’re still on track to hit your target figure. With each new decade of your life (at least), you should adjust your savings strategies to match the specific needs of your new income level and age. The plan should also take into consideration unforeseen contingencies, such as downturns in the economy, health emergencies, layoffs, and inflation.
Failing to plan, as they say, is planning to fail.
In fact, earning big money is often even more possible when in your “growing up” years because most people are a lot more willing (and able) to take risks before they get bogged down with the “realities” of life.
While the old adage of “a penny saved is a penny earned” is applicable when you are talking about slowly growing a nest egg, incremental saving is usually an impractical route to millionaire status.
Many self-made millionaires in their 30s maintain that working smart and working hard can bring you from just making ends meet to a 7-figure income in as little as a decade. Focusing on these steps at any age can set you on the path to riches quickly.
Expand Your Earnings
Think big. Working a typical 9-5 schedule likely won’t make you a millionaire. Find ways to boost your income. Get creative and consider ways to make money on the side, start to create passive income streams, and start a business.
Many self-made millionaires have several streams of earned income, “passive” income and investment income. Multiple income streams can get you on the fast track to 7-figure status.
Invest Your Money
Saving is important, but it won’t launch you into millionaire status by your 40s. Elon Musk, famed tech billionaire, invested all his proceeds from his sale of Zip2 (which was the basis for PayPal). Instead of spending the money or putting it in savings, Musk, then just in his late-20s, invested every penny back into his next business ventures and even had to borrow money to pay his rent.
Musk’s strategy of investing rather than spending is tried and tested. Grant Cardone, another self-made millionaire, recalls he was still driving a Toyota Camry when he made his first million because he was putting everything he made back into his businesses.
Knowing how to get your great idea financed and properly managed, takes another. However, it may be easier than you think.
What You Need, What You’ve Got, and Where to Get the Rest
If you think you’re in over your head when it comes to the financial aspects of your business, you’re probably not. Really. In fact, all you need to do is sit down with an experienced business lawyer and determine what money you need, what you’ve got, and where to get the rest. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), the following are some of the financial areas in which to focus on when financing your new business:
Estimating Startup Costs. While the most important startup cost will likely be “seed” money (the funds necessary to bring your idea to life), others include: