VanAntwerp Attorneys, LLP
Phone: 606-618-0698

Ashland, Kentucky, Legal Blog

Settling an employee's workers' compensation claim

Employers in Kentucky will likely agree that of all the assets a business may claim, employees are the most valuable. Indeed, an insurance industry organization suggests that may be one reason why a recent poll indicated that for 35 percent of small business owner respondents, concern about workplace safety rates higher than other liability concerns.

When it comes to reducing risks of on-the-job injury, prevention is the first line of defense. When injuries do occur, the focus of workers' compensation benefits shifts to providing necessary medical care, income support during disability and helping individuals return to the ranks of the employed. But those benefits aren't intended to last forever, and as an employer, you have a right under the law to try to manage costs. One way of doing that might be settlement of the claim.

Requirements and rewards of KY drug-free program participation

Substance abuse is an issue that is top of mind on a national scale. Whether it involves alcohol or drugs, the implications are undeniable. The consequences of abuse are felt not only in the privacy of homes, but also in the workplace. According to federal figures, 70 percent of the estimated 15 million illegal drug users in the U.S. are on the job.

That increases the risk of workplace injury for the abuser, of course, but it also poses a threat to every employee with whom that person works. Employers pay the cost of that increased risk in various ways, including higher absentee rates, reduced employee morale and productivity, and increased workers' compensation insurance premiums.

What should you expect in terms of closing costs?

You've got your down payment and earnest money. You've had an inspection done. You're well on your way toward buying your new home. When the time for closing arrives, you should be aware that you will be paying for some services at the closing. These closing costs vary, but can be significant based on loan type, mortgage lender and state law. What are these costs for?

In general, the reason for closing costs is that your mortgage lender and a variety of other service providers perform services during the mortgage process. Closing costs are set up to pay for these services, along with property and transfer taxes and certain insurance. Exactly what services are required and what fees will be included in your closing depends on a number of factors, but here are some common items included in in closing costs:

The potential probate challenges with multi-state land holdings

Probate proceedings can be costly and time consuming. Having a solid estate plan in place helps alleviate this issue. Kentucky attorneys with deep experience in this area of law know that every state has different ways of addressing the probate issue.

In the Bluegrass State, the law makes it possible to avoid probate over real estate upon your death in a number of ways. You might do it by putting the property under joint ownership. That allows the surviving owner to take possession without the hassle of probate. Another method to facilitate smooth transfer might be to put the property in a trust. This might be even more important if you own property in several states.

Elements required for electronic signature validity

The speed at which new technologies become adopted on a mass scale is staggering. The smartphone is just 10 years old, yet they are nearly ubiquitous across the United States. Slower to take root, but perhaps no less transformative, is the concept of electronic signatures.

Proponents hail the convenience electronic signatures provide in facilitating transactions. But the scope of that validity is not universal. For example, Kentucky has adopted provisions of what is known as the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act (UETA). It allows for the use of electronic signatures in certain instances when all parties agree to it. Notably, the law does not currently extend validity to transactions dealing with real property or real estate, though there are legislative efforts underway to change this.

Lowering risks of potential FMLA abuse

In the region where we practice, the borders of three states converge. This can create unique legal dynamics. For example, if an employer in one state hires a worker from one of the others, determining applicable employment laws may become complicated.

The issue of family leave rights for employees would seem to be straightforward. Employers in Kentucky, Ohio and West Virginia are subject to the federal Family Medical Leave Act. That law provides up to 12 weeks of leave, unpaid, to eligible workers, without the risk of job loss. The problem that many employers encounter is that some workers abuse the system. They take leave time regularly and intermittently. This has prompted some to refer to FMLA as the "Friday-Monday Leave Act."

How to create a strong business succession plan

Running a business can be stressful, but it is also incredibly rewarding. You get to make the big decisions that guide your company to success. You decide how your brand presents itself to the outside world. You also make decisions about who is a part of your company.

However, it is one thing to hire a new sales manager, and quite another to pick the person who will take over the company after you leave. Maybe you want to retire soon or perhaps turning the business over seems a long way off. Whatever the case, picking a successor is crucial to the continued success of your business. Here are some ideas to get you started with drafting a business succession plan.

Estate planning can preserve assets for your care

Dementia is a health condition taking center stage in the awareness of people across the U.S. This is as true in Kentucky as anywhere. The issue came to the news forefront again this week with word of the rapid decline of noted comedic actor and Ohio native, Tim Conway. The slip into dementia for the 84-year-old entertainer is now the source of court action as his adult daughter seeks appointment as his conservator.

Documents filed by Conway's 56-year-old daughter in a California court claim that her father's current wife is seeking to move the wheelchair-confined actor to a different skilled nursing facility. Conway's daughter says he will lose access to 24-hour nursing care and therapists who work with him on his swallowing. She seeks appointment as his conservator to manage his ongoing medical needs.

When closing your business is the only option

You've dedicated several years to your small business, but now it's time to say "goodbye." Upon reflection, you recall the early months of creating a business plan, securing investors, hiring and training employees and building the business.

It seemed so worthwhile, and it was. But a number of factors aligned that proved too challenging to overcome. You had the foresight to realize that your business wouldn't survive and have made the difficult decision to shut it down.

Tax reform does not mean less need for estate planning

There was a time when so-called "death taxes" were a major concern for individuals in Kentucky and in other states. These are the estate taxes, charged to a person's estate after death to allow transfer of property to beneficiaries; and inheritance taxes, those paid by heirs on the value of the property they receive.

Such worries are not as great as they used to be, especially in the wake of the passage of federal tax reform late last year. Exemptions that allowed for up the transfer of nearly $5.6 million without federal taxation doubled to $11.18 million per individual. What that means for a family is that married couples are in a position to transfer more than $22 million worth of an estate to heirs tax free. By some estimates, the effect of the law is that the federal estate tax is dead.

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