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
Okay, now that I’ve emphasized how important that is, let’s take a step back and look at the big picture of Covid-19 stimulus money, and what else you may have access to now.
On March 27, the President signed a $2.2 trillion stimulus bill into law that will hopefully provide some relief for many individuals and businesses. The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) sends money directly to Americans, expands unemployment coverage, and makes a number of other changes. Many of those changes are set up to directly serve small business owners and their staff, and $350 billion has been set aside specifically for those purposes. Please note: $350 billion is going to go fast, so get your applications in early for everything you qualify to receive.
There is a grant (referenced above), and two types of loans, in particular, that can help keep you in business during the COVID-19 crisis, and it’s all rumored to have a relatively fast turnaround and payment deferrals. We’ll see what’s true over the coming weeks.
Some have been eager to do so, others have been very opposed, but still, others are on the fence. The exponential growth of the virus throughout the country seems to have slowed or leveled off in some places, but the threat of getting infected is absolutely still present. All the same, people (possibly including you) are worried about their livelihoods, paying their rent, and keeping their businesses alive.
A global pandemic isn’t something we’ve ever experienced, so it’s hard to know how to move forward safely. As a business owner, you may be wondering what risks you may be taking on, not just health-wise, but legally, by reopening. What if one of your employees gets sick, or has a family member who gets sick, and sues your business? Would customers be in danger? And if they became ill, could they hold you and your business liable for it?
If this seems like a minefield of liabilities to you, you’re not alone. Politicians are currently debating how to protect businesses from liability while also protecting employee and customer health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have sent draft guidance to Washington for the administration to review and reveal to the public. But in the meantime, you might feel like you're flying blind.
However, trusts come with some distinct advantages over wills that you should consider when creating your plan.
That said, when comparing the two planning tools, you won’t necessarily be choosing between one or the other—most plans include both. Indeed, a will is a foundational part of every person’s estate plan, but you may want to combine your will with a living trust to avoid the blind spots inherent in plans that rely solely on a will.
Here are four reasons you might want to consider adding a trust to your estate plan:
1. Avoidance of probate
One of the primary advantages a living trust has over a will is that a living trust does not have to go through probate. Probate is the court process through which assets left in your will are distributed to your heirs upon your death.
During probate, the court oversees your will’s administration, ensuring your property is distributed according to your wishes, with automatic supervision to handle any disputes. Probate proceedings can drag out for months or even years, and your family will likely have to hire an attorney to represent them, which can result in costly legal fees that can drain your estate.
If you are asking yourself this question right now, here are some things to consider before going down the bankruptcy road.
First, bankruptcy is a valid option to consider. But, do know that each moment you spend considering bankruptcy is a moment not spent considering how to turn your business around. Use your energy wisely, get the information you need quickly, and then make your decision so you can move forward powerfully.
Before considering bankruptcy, you should talk with a business coach or advisor who can help you reorient your business model to see if additional capital could help you dig out of the hole you’ve found yourself in. We may be able to help you here. It may sound odd to be thinking about more capital when you are already in over your head with debt, but if you have a good business model, you may just need to look at your business differently, restructure and upgrade the way you are looking at your cash flow and budgeting process.
It’s not as if we didn’t know we would all die (or become incapacitated) one day, but within our current reality, that “one day” has become an ever more real possibility. And one way to feel more in control over what’s happening out there is to make sure we all have our legal affairs in order at home. That way, if it does happen now, our families aren’t left with a big mess to clean up while they are grieving.
If you are trying to get your financial house in order right now, you may be just getting some basic documents in place. You may even be doing it yourself.
If that’s the case, it’s very important for you to know that the cost of a failed plan can be very high for the people you love. Plus if your documents are not properly signed, they will not work—period. End of story. And if your documents don’t work, your family could be stuck in court or conflict, which is probably the exact thing you want to avoid by handling your estate planning now.
There are many ways that plans fail, but one of the worst ways we see is when someone starts a plan and doesn't get it signed properly. You do not want this to happen to your family, trust me. If you care enough about estate planning, you will want to make sure your plan will work when your family needs it.