Matters Column

A weekly column on matters concerning legal, money, small business, family business and people issues.


Employee records are more than a walk in the park

May 20, 2016
It seems like employee record keeping is all about common sense, so what can you write that people need to hear or would find interesting? Read More

Proposed documentation rules for related-party debt transactions

May 13, 2016
Having the appropriate documentation is often the key to being entitled to certain deductions or tax credits. Read More

Keeping the scavengers at bay: protecting your assets

May 6, 2016
My wife and I watched a “60 Minutes” segment on how life insurance companies sometimes keep the cash or face value of a life insurance policy if, when the insured dies, the proper paperwork isn't filed. Read More

Family meetings: identifying exactly who is in the room

April 29, 2016
Everyone has that odd uncle who shows up at family events and creates awkwardly memorable situations. Read More

Contractors ought to take notice of construction liens

April 22, 2016
West Michigan's building boom continues. In Grand Rapids, each month seems to provide a new medical building to the north of the Center City area or a new office tower to the south. Read More

Employee attraction, retention and engagement, Part 2

April 15, 2016
In our last article we explained the ARE acronym: Attraction, Retention and Engagement — critical elements in managing employees. Read More

The United States is losing the battle in tax competiveness

April 8, 2016
Tax day will be upon us within days. This year it is April 18, due to a government holiday in Washington, D.C. Read More

Beyond owning a small business: finding what feeds your soul

April 1, 2016
I just learned that a man I have had a long relationship with, Phil Biggs, is still playing in the local band Mid-Life Crisis. Read More

Avoiding potential deadlocks in your family-owned business

March 25, 2016
A deadlock in a business can occur when two owners, or groups of owners, are evenly split and can’t agree on a course of action. Read More

Same-sex marriage and the equitable parent doctrine

March 18, 2016
Suppose two women are married in Canada and have a child by artificial insemination. Read More