Posted On Jan 20

Owning a small business in Michigan is full of rewards, even with the challenges that come with tax season.

The government wants my money. But filing my tax forms gets harder every year. Employers have it especially tough. Lots of forms. Lots of deadlines. Everything has to be filed in a different place. And the penalties are onerous. Take the state’s unemployment insurance agency. Your tax could be $1.00. And yet they will impose a $150 penalty on that piddly amount, if you late filed the form that calculated your $1.00 tax. It is an infinite jest.

Small employers use payroll services to avoid figuring the system out. I did it, too. But one day the forms had errors. I called customer service. Getting help from Comcast would have been easier. Eventually, I was made to understand that my payroll service only provided routine, online forms and filing. I needed an accountant to fix errors, regardless of who committed the errors.

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Posted On Jan 02

What is your answer when a family member asks whether the attorney in fact for an elderly person must account to the entire family? Do you ask the family member what he needs to know and whose interests are served when third parties are “kept informed”?

Many family members are disappointed when the attorney in fact does not engage them in shared decision making. This is especially true after the principal has become mentally incompetent. When making decisions, the attorney in fact should take into account the importance that the principal places on the family’s preferences. Like attorneys at law, the attorney in fact has a duty to understand and follow the principal’s wishes. Family members do not always share the principal’s priorities and may demand to be kept informed in an effort to circumvent the principal’s wishes (1). This is especially true when the person becomes disabled. A disabled principal may have needs that are burdensome or disruptive for the family. For example, a principal with cancer may feel pressured to reject radiation therapy because of the time involved and the number of outpatient visits.

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