Brentwood Law Blog

Is a 501(c)(3) right for my organization?

The key element behind most nonprofit organizations is a desire to give back to the community or those in need. Most nonprofit organizations are socially minded, though the 501(c)(3) designation can apply to different groups, including churches, unincorporated associations, trusts and foundations. In layman terms, many people refer to 501(c)(3)’s as charitable organizations.

Choosing a tax-exempt organization is a major step for any organization and it requires a close look at one’s structure, goals and financing to make sure it’s the right fit.

Divorcing as the parent of a child with special needs

Divorce can be hard for people whether they are wealthy or facing financial challenges, but there are certain instances when this process can be especially tough. For example, parents of children with special needs will face additional tensions and decisions as they bring their marriage to an end, for a variety of reasons. If you are worried about how your divorce will impact your special needs child, it is important to prepare for the changes that lie ahead and, if possible, discuss these matters with your child's other parent.

As the parent of a special needs child, you should do your best to provide your child with a sense of security and ensure them that they will still be loved. Your child's needs must be taken into consideration as you work through your divorce, with respect to issues such as child custody and the responsibilities that parents will take on. Treatments, medical needs and other responsibilities may also need to be taken into consideration, and it can be tough for parents to adjust to these changes. For example, if a parent works many hours each week, they may struggle to accustom themselves to life as a single parent with full custody.

Suggestions for naming beneficiaries when planning an estate

A concise estate plan has exponentially more power than a hidden letter or a well-thought out plan inside of someone's head. When people are considering whether or not to create a trust, write a will, coordinate long-term care or establish estate plans in Tennessee, the sooner they make the decision to follow through, they can reduce the stress and confusion that their family may otherwise be facing following their death. 

One of the major components of estate planning is selecting and designating named beneficiaries who will be receiving a person's property, assets or financial awards following his or her death. According to Fidelity Investments, policy-holders can help their beneficiaries enjoy their reward to a maximum value by beginning to allot rewards before a death occurs. For example, people may consider donating to a college education fund for dependents, giving cash for medical expenses or helping children and grandchildren to secure their own retirement future. 

How can I avoid family conflict with my estate plans?

There is nothing wrong with expecting your family to get along after your death. However, once you are gone, there is always the possibility of disputes and conflicts arising over your estate plans. According to PR Newswire, "conflict and family drama are the biggest threats to estate plans." 

It is important for you to take steps to prevent potential disputes from impacting your legacy. Though you may have specific reasons for distributing your assets in certain ways, your loved ones might not respect or agree with them. Consider the following tips to strengthen your estate plan. 

How are Tennessee parenting plans designed?

Creating a workable parenting plan is one of the most stressful aspects of divorce. Both you and the other parent love your children and want to maximize your time with them. It is hard to imagine that you might not be with them on holidays or have them living with you throughout the week. While both of you want to do what is best for your child, it can be difficult to determine what that is. Do you know how to develop a workable parenting plan?

 

Optimizing a sales task force to increase competitive strength

For many entrepreneurs in Tennessee, running a start-up company is full of challenges and difficult decisions to make that have to be carefully analyzed to take the business in the right direction. Perhaps one of the most critical aspects of running an organization is a company's ability to maximize the productivity of their sales force to provide unparalleled customer service to people who are interested in their product or service. 

One of the ways to optimize a sales task force is for company leaders to investigate automation as a way to increase competitive strength. One of the things companies can do is to regularly collect and analyze sales date that can help in creating projections for future sales needs and growth. When a sales team understands how to leverage data and trends as a way to prepare for the future, they may be able to more effectively prepare for what lies ahead. Another valuable suggestion is for company leaders to consider automated delegation of tasks that are required for operation. This way, members of the sales team can be readily aware of what their responsibilities are, and automation can reduce wasted time between assignment delegation and completion. 

How to become certified as a Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB)

Female entrepreneurs face unique challenges compared to their male counterparts. If you’re a female business owner you’ve likely been hard at work to stay competitive in the male-dominated industry.

One way that female entrepreneurs are able to stay competitive is by becoming certified as a WOSB. After receiving certification you can compete for social and economic opportunities to help your businesses grow.

What advantages does a trademark provide for your business?

If you are in the beginning stages of starting your own company in Tennessee, chances are you have already begun researching what you can do to protect your intellectual property rights. Failure to take precautionary steps against copycats and thieves can significantly increase the risks of your product or service being replicated and registered by someone else. Fortunately, following the process of securing a trademark can give you all of the rights to produce your product without fear of it being stolen by your competition. 

According to Entrepreneur.com, some of the many rewarding advantages of registering for a trademark include the following:

  • Trademarks are relatively cheap, especially when compared with your ability to claim all future successes related to your product.
  • Your trademark can function as a marketing tool and can provide fast recognition for your loyal consumers.
  • You never have to worry about your trademark expiring or becoming invalid.
  • Having a trademark can provide tremendous value to your business.
  • You can use your trademark to provide information to your customers in relation to your company's values or mission.
  • When trademarks are effectively tied to your brand, they can boost your reputation and make hiring employees, as well as retaining customers, more effective.

Starting a nonprofit: an overview

While any company in Tennessee may provide a beneficial product or service, the primary goal of the nonprofit is to benefit the public, not to make money for the owner and/or shareholders. These organizations often receive benefits such as tax exemption as they pursue their mission.

There are numerous factors to consider in whether or not to incorporate the nonprofit, including the need for personal liability protection. Unincorporated nonprofit directors and officers do not receive any liability protection. The directors and officers of Incorporated nonprofits do receive liability protection. However, incorporating is more work. If the nonprofit's activities present a very low level of risk, then it may not be necessary to go through the process, which involves filing paperwork such as state forms and the articles of incorporation, and paying a fee. Both unincorporated and incorporated nonprofits may apply for tax-exempt status.

Easing your way into your role as a step-parent

If you have recently gotten into a relationship with someone who has children from a previous relationship, you may have already started to think about your role as a step-parent. Building an effective and trustworthy relationship with a child who is not your own by blood can be challenging and even discouraging at times. At Fidelis Law, PLLC, we have helped many step-parents in Tennessee through the process of adopting their step-children.

According to Web MD, the way you approach your role as a step-parent has the ability to create a positive experience or a negative one. Understanding how to interact with your step-child and still allow him or her the space needed to acclimate to a new situation is easier done with some helpful tips. Here are some of the things you can do:

  • Align parenting strategies: Work with your new spouse and even your step-child's ex to align parenting strategies to provide the child with consistency. 
  • Take your time: Remember that forming a healthy relationship will take time and it will undoubtedly have its difficult moments. 
  • Make the most of your time: When you get time with your step-child, make the most of it by planning fun activities and doing things that allow you to interact on a personal level with him or her.
  • Keep a realistic expectation: If you have other children, remind yourself that your new-found relationship may vary from the relationships you have with your other children. Do not get discouraged if things feel different for a time.
  • Encourage time-sharing: Do not be selfish and act visibly annoyed when your step-child leaves to spend time with his or her biological parents. In fact, you should encourage this interaction.

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