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Lufkin Legal Blog

What Employers Should Know About The Family First Coronavirus Response Act

The coronavirus, or COVID-19, pandemic has put small business owners and employers into unprecedented positions. As both employers and employees learn how to navigate this new normal, employers must now learn to navigate the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). The FFCRA requires certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave due to certain qualifying reasons. For an overview of the act and what to expect as an employer, continue reading below:

Sibling rivalry could lead to probate litigation

It is not uncommon for complicated relationships to develop between siblings over time. Siblings often have differing life goals, political views, and perspectives on how to live life.  While most people hope that their children will outgrow sibling rivalry, it can sometimes last and may lead to probate litigation. Often, the probate process can even exacerbate sibling relationships that are not typically strained.

The idea of siblings going to court over estate assets may seem a bit much, but it is a real possibility. In some cases, one sibling may think that another is getting more than his or her fair share or maybe even think that a sibling coerced a vulnerable parent into favoring him or her more. Children, even adult children, often see favoritism as one child being more loved by the parent, so siblings may have less to fight over if the estate is divided equally between them.

What segment of the oil and gas industry is good for business?

Every industry has its difficulties. For business owners in Texas looking to break into the oil and gas industry, they may have a lot on their plates. Certainly, finding success in this industry could prove immensely lucrative, but it is important to have the right information first.

Business owners may first want to determine what segment of the oil and gas industry they want to tackle. The three main segments include upstream, midstream and downstream. If an individual is interested in the exploration and production of these substances, the upstream segment may be right for the company. However, this segment does have high risks and can take a lot of time because of the steps necessary for finding drilling locations, leasing and determining mineral title ownership, permitting of wells, and the actual drilling.  Knowledge is key in any field and there are many skills necessary to be successful in an upstream market.

Avoiding a singular focus during business mergers is wise

When two businesses have common goals and purposes, they may consider becoming a team. Business mergers can often prove beneficial and lucrative for those involved, but it can also be difficult to manage such a major transition. As a result, Texas companies looking to merge may want to ensure that they consider how to manage certain aspects of their combined future.

First, the companies may want to establish what the purpose and the values of the merged company will be. Focusing on these details can help create a company culture that fosters respect and other values that are important to the company as a whole. These goals can also help the companies find common ground and better work together as a new company to reach those desired goals.

Preparing to lease commercial real estate

Starting a business is a difficult process for anyone. Luckily, many Texas residents put in the time and effort to make their entrepreneurial dreams come true. After getting their business up and running, many find it necessary to move out of their home office or basement and into an actual commercial space. Of course, leasing commercial real estate is not always easy.

It is important to consider every detail of a commercial lease, especially for first-time leasees. Some people may read over a proposed lease and think that they are at the mercy of the landlord. However, everything in a commercial lease is negotiable, and if business owners find something in a lease that does not work for them, they may want to remember that they can present alternate terms to their potential landlord.

What Are Some Common Causes Of Trucking Accidents?

Trucking accidents can be some of the most serious motor vehicle accidents, often resulting in severe or even fatal injuries. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, 4,136 people died in large truck crashes in 2018 alone. These types of trucks can include big rigs, tractor trailers, delivery trucks and other large commercial vehicles.

Many motorists may be aware of the dangers that such large trucks can present to those in smaller vehicles like cars and motorcycles. To increase the safety of all on Texas roadways, it can be helpful to understand some of the common causes of trucking accidents.

Business formation: Beyond the idea

Great ideas are easy to recognize at play in the marketplace. But as an aspiring entrepreneur, it can be hard to settle on an idea that's truly workable. Your instinct may be to go with your gut for a business concept-your first "great" idea. However, it's important to seriously consider the potential profitability of your endeavor before you move forward legally with business formation.

Before you finalize your idea, do your research. Forming a business can be incredibly rewarding, but it is a significant responsibility and financial commitment. It's important to learn all you can about the industry you're entering, the market value of your product or service and how others are successfully operating similar businesses. It's advantageous to consult with legal and financial advisors early in the process of business formation to ensure that you start on the right track.

Probate litigation could result over life insurance beneficiaries

It is common to leave assets to surviving loved ones using payable-on-death or transfer-on-death designations. These designations allow you to name beneficiaries directly to take over an account or asset. Life insurance policies typically allow for direct beneficiary designations, and while this can be convenient, issues could arise during probate if a spouse is not named as the beneficiary.

In community property states, like Texas, a spouse is usually entitled to a claim of certain benefits, including those from a life insurance policy. If another person is named as the beneficiary, the spouse could potentially make a claim in efforts to obtain at least a portion of the payout. This is particularly true if the policyholder used marital funds to pay the insurance premiums. As a result, conflict over who gets the funds could occur.

Testamentary trusts can better ensure asset control

Questions about how to provide for irresponsible family members and minor children are common in estate planning. Rather than simply not leaving assets to those loved ones, you may want to consider your planning options. Fortunately, numerous estate planning tools can be utilized to create a plan for you and your family. A testamentary trust is one such estate planning tool.

Trade secret theft could lead to commercial litigation

Most companies in Texas and across the country cannot function without the help of their employees. As a result, employees may need to be let in on trade secrets and other important information to help them perform their work-related duties. However, if employees misappropriate those trade secrets or steal proprietary information, commercial litigation could result.

It was recently reported that two former Apple employees are accused of stealing trade secrets. Currently, the two individuals are facing criminal charges for the alleged theft. Reportedly, one individual took over 2,000 files from Apple that contained information from Apple's secure databases. The other former employee allegedly took files relating to the company's self-driving car program and then stated that he was going to work for a competitor. It was noted that both men pleaded not guilty to the allegations.

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