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It's National Estate Planning Awareness Week! (October 21-27, 2019)

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Oct 22, 2019 | 0 Comments

Today, most realize that estate planning is an important step to make sure your family is taken care of and your property is distributed according to your wishes. Despite the importance of estate planning, many people put off making estate plans because people believe they have plenty of time to make such plans or they have difficulty addressing the issue of what will happen when they pass away. Failing to prepare a comprehensive estate plan can leave grieving family members with the burden of dealing with a complex estate, unnecessary expenses, and an inflexible distribution of assets that may be against the decedent's wishes.

Retirement Plan Created for Creditor Protection Does Not Qualify as a Fully Exempt Private Retirement Plan Under California Code of Civil Procedure 704.115(a)(1)

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | Oct 02, 2019 | 0 Comments

Judgment Creditor AMBS Diagnostics, LLC (“AMBS”) originally sought to collect on its money judgment by levying the assets held in judgment debtor Timothy O’Brien’s (“O’Brien”) Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs). In response, O’Brien filed a claim of exemption claiming the assets were fully exempt. The trial court ruled that the funds in O’Brien’s IRAs were fully exempt from judgment. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court’s ruling, determining that the funds were only partially exempt under California Code of Civil Procedure 704.115(a)(3). (O’Brien v. AMBS Diagnostics, LLC (2016) 246 Cal.App.4th 942.) The Court of Appeal remanded the matter back to the trial court to determine the amount of O’Brien’s IRAs necessary to provide for the support of the judgment debtor, his spouse, and dependents upon retirement as required by California Code of Civil Procedure 704.115(e).

How Will the SECURE Act Impact 401(k)s?

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Aug 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

While 401(k)s are one of the most common retirement savings plans, there are still a lot of American workers who do not have access to a 401(k) or do not have any significant retirement savings. A new bill has passed the House that intends to increase access to retirement savings and accommod...

House Bill Proposes Incentives for ESOPs

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Aug 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

A congressional bill introduced in the House of Representatives proposes tax incentives for Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). The bill is supported by the ESOP Association as legislative support to encourage more businesses to provide a way for employees to share in and help grow the co...

Employee-Ownership in the Publishing Industry

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Jul 25, 2019 | 0 Comments

Many businesses fail to consider the benefits of an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) until plans for a traditional sale fall through. After transitioning to an ESOP, business owners, shareholders, and employees may wonder why they never considered employee-ownership earlier. Even the ever...

Pro-ESOP Legislation Updates

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Jul 19, 2019 | 0 Comments

Federal legislation and lawmakers at the state level are pushing forward legislation to foster the development of more Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) and make it simpler for companies to transition to ESOP ownership. California lawmakers should support legislation in support of ESOPs to b...

Innovation and Employee Ownership

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Jul 08, 2019 | 0 Comments

Companies looking to innovate may invest in research and development or hire outside consultants for ideas. However, one source of innovation may come from a resource the business already has. Employees and workers may understand the industry as well as the strengths and weaknesses of the bus...

Best Practices for ESOP Trustee and ERISA Compliance

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Jun 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

In a recent Fourth Circuit case, an ESOP trustee was found to have caused the trust to overpay for corporate stock by almost $30 million. The court found that the trustee failed to comply with their fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the ESOP participants. This case can be used as a...

How ESOPs Can Address Wealth Inequality

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | May 14, 2019 | 0 Comments

A new study from the Rutgers Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing has found that Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) can reduce wealth inequality for low and moderate income families. The study found that employees, through education and investment, can increase...

American Craft Beer Week, May 13–19: Untapped ESOPs - Blood, Sweat & Beer: Why ESOPs & Breweries Go Hand-in-Hand

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | May 13, 2019 | 0 Comments

Brewery culture seems made for Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs). Breweries seek collaborators and innovators, and typically people want to work there long term and be part of the creation team for new brews. Without an ESOP, retirement can be difficult for workers, and could even close the brewery or change its structure altogether, depending on how the owners plan to retire. As many craft breweries are in the stages of their youth, their owners and founders may not yet have thought of a succession plan for their business, or developed contingencies to be employed in the event of a financial downturn.

It’s National Small Business Week!

Posted by Paul D. Woodard | May 06, 2019 | 0 Comments

It's National Small Business Week! The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) spotlights our nation's 30 million small businesses. Register for the FREE National Small Business Week Virtual Conference hosted online by the SBA on May 7-8 from 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PT. You will hear from industr...

ESOPs for California Grocery Stores

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | May 03, 2019 | 0 Comments

Supermarkets and grocery stores are especially well-positioned for employee ownership. Three of the top 5 largest employee-owned companies are grocery stores. Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) can benefit privately-owned grocery stores in California, providing incentives for founders, owne...

Employee Ownership Over the Years

Posted by Marc S. Schechter | Apr 15, 2019 | 0 Comments

An article in the Harvard Business Review evaluating the performance of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) found that ESOP-owned companies generally have faster growth than non-employee owned companies, in part due to the added value of employee participation, having a stake in the compan...

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