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McBrayer Blogs

Showing 8 posts from October 2013.

New Heinz CEO presents Whopper of conflict for McDonald's

It is basically the most classic American side: french fries and ketchup. But does it matter what kind of ketchup a fast food restaurant offers its patrons? If consumers do have a condiment preference, then those who frequent McDonald's might notice a change in the taste of their favorite snack. More >

What is an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust?

Life insurance is an important estate planning tool; however, life insurance proceeds can be quickly diminished by taxation. This is due to the fact that a policy's face value is often included in a decedent's taxable estate. For instance, if you own a life insurance policy with a face value of $2 million dollars and you have other assets valued at $4 million dollars, then at the time of your death your estate would be valued at $6 million dollars. Your heirs would be exposed to estate tax liability on the amount exceeding $5.25 million dollars, the current estate tax exemption, (which is always subject to change). Notwithstanding these facts, proper planning can protect life insurance proceeds; one way to minimize the threat is to create an irrevocable life insurance trust ("ILIT"). More >

JCPenney and Martha Stewart's marriage will be cut short

If you have visited a JC Penney department store lately, you might have noticed its new look and setup. Part of its revamp is the acquisition of a big name and her hot products. That's right, Martha Stewart is no longer a brand for just Macy's shoppers. She is a consumer option for the JC Penney fans, too. More >

A Tip For Dealing with Automatic Gratuities in 2014

A new Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") rule, set to take effect in January 1, 2014, may eliminate a common practice in the restaurant industry. Often, an automatic gratuity, normally 18%, is added to the bill of large parties. Automatic gratuities were adopted by restaurant employers as a means for ensuring that servers do not get stiffed on expensive bills. Servers heavily rely on tips to supplement a salary that is often times lower than the federal minimum wage. More >

Is US Tax Policy Pitting Corporate Giants Against Small Business?

The federal government shutdown may have put federal tax reform efforts on hold officially, although lobbying no doubt continues behind the scenes. Unfortunately, lack of official information makes longer-term business and corporate tax planning a bit more challenging. More >

I'm an Executor or Administrator of an Estate...Now What?

As an estate planning attorney, I often receive calls from individuals who have just been designated as a personal representative and are wondering what they are legally required to do. Personal representatives may either be named an Executor (Executrix if the individual is female) or an Administrator (Administratrix if female). An Executor is the person whom a decedent named in his or her Will to be in charge of the administration of his or her estate. An Administrator is the person appointed by the court to be in charge of the estate when someone dies without a Last Will and Testament. More >

BlackBerry Buyout Negotiations Continue, Drive Up Stock Price

As we discussed on this blog in August, BlackBerry Ltd. (formerly Research in Motion) had appointed a special board of directors committee to consider its strategic alternatives in light of its enormous drop in global market share. At that time, the New York Times’ DealBook blog had reported that BlackBerry’s market share had fallen to only 2.9 percent, and its value had fallen by 92 percent over the previous five years. Faced by these poor business prospects, the company was considering the sale of some assets or even the whole company, going private, or a joint venture. More >

Comcast Gunning to Force Sale of Houston Regional Sports Network

The major creditors of the Houston Regional Sports Network, which does business as Comcast SportsNet Houston, have filed an involuntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition against the network. The three listed creditors are Houston SportsNet Finance LLC, National Digital Television Center, LLC, and Comcast Sports Management Services, LLC, a subsidiary of Comcast Corp, which owns NBCUniversal. More >

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