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The White Papers

a blog with original content written by White Law Office's team.

Protecting the Family [Tree] Farm: Part 2 (For Future Generations)

My last post mentioned some ways to protect your tree farm from misuse or abuse when logging or selling the timber off your property. But what will become of your tree farm in the future? What if you want to preserve it as a tree farm for future generations? If you have family that will carry on the legacy, a simple Will could be sufficient to keep the property in the family. If, however, you don't have family who wants to preserve the property, or you want to make sure property remains forested long after you and your family are gone, you may be interested in a conservation easement. A conservation easement basically preserves the land as it's being used, whether for typical agricultural products (corn, wheat, soy, etc.) or as a tree farm. You would be giving an organization, such as a land trust or conservancy, the right to permanently enforce the easement on the land – to use the property only for the stated purposes. In Ohio, if you want to receive compensation for having a conservation easement on your land, you could do this through a grant from the Clean Ohio Fund's Local Agricultural Easement Purchase Program (LAEPP). In that case, your land would have to meet certain requirements, such as having a minimum of 40 acres, it must contain a restriction against subdividing parcels in the future, and for forested land, it has to have a written Forest Management Plan in place. If you aren't concerned with...

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Embezzlement: How to Catch A Thief (Part 1)

If you are a business owner, how do you know if the person in charge of the books is not skimming off the top? What checks and balances do you have in place to ensure more than one person is looking at the financials? It should be an area that business owners review regularly but often times it's easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of the business. Things like the bank reconciliation statements and cash flow statements get put on the back burner for review at a later date. So what exactly is embezzlement? Embezzlement is the act of withholding assets for the purpose of conversion of such assets, by one or more persons to whom the assets were entrusted, either to be held or to be used for specific purposes. Embezzlement is a type of financial fraud. It's an employee who has taken it upon themselves to dictate how company money is spent and who feels a sense of entitlement. It's an abuse of power and the trust that the employee has been given. Let's start looking at ways to mitigate the chances of an employee embezzling money and look at potential red-flags. There are various studies done on an annual basis to determine the effects of embezzlement. One of the main things business owners can do to prevent embezzlement is getting to know their employees and looking for different characteristics as described below. The 2018 Hiscox Embezzlement Study states that...

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An Inside Look at the Beginnings of White Law Office, Co.

It was 11 years ago that my husband and I decided that he would be going to law school.  At the time we were both Christian school teachers in Lancaster, Ohio and believed that this was the right path forward.  The consequences of this decision were that we would need to move, sell a house at the beginning of the housing recession, and find a way to pay the bills while going to law school.  This was an overwhelming and monumental decision.  Truly believing that this was things to do, we made the decision to move forward with no firm plan in place.  Shortly following this decision, we found out that we were expecting a new baby.  A new reality arose.  We had always wanted one of us at home when we started our family and having a baby meant that we needed to find a way for me to stay home and for my husband to work and go to law school.  So, with a half filled out application to West Holmes High School, I decided to not continue to pursue my career. We moved in the night the 4th of July fireworks were going off in Millersburg and I came through the door in tears.  It was all new and all scary.  Instead, a new blessing arose.  We received an acceptance to Akron University and an invitation to move into the gigantic Victorian home my in-laws owned.  The plan was to try to sell our house in Lancaster, move in with my in-laws so that I could stay home with the new baby,...

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Does Your Business Have the Insurance It Needs?

Holmes County, Ohio, is home to many successful small businesses and is the area's leading small business development area. You or a loved one may be part of a small business success story. One word that may make small business owners cringe is "insurance." Have you reviewed your small business insurance policy lately? Do you have an insurance policy for your small business? Are you protected from potential lawsuits that may negatively impact your business? You may be asking yourself, should I have a small business insurance policy to protect my small business and me individually? The answer to all of these questions is "Yes!" The litigation team at White Law Office, Co. has helped many small businesses and small business owners in Commercial-Defense Litigation. In the past, we have helped small businesses and small business owners who find themselves involved in complex litigation. We have helped small business owners in wrongful death claims. Cases that we have been involved with in the past can range from small medical claims to wrongful death claims. No matter the situation you may face as a small business owner, you need to make sure you are adequately insured and that you are legally protected. During our representation of small businesses in complex litigation, we often find that small businesses in Holmes County, as well as surrounding counties, are either underinsured or do not have any insurance at all. We here at White Law Office, Co. advise all of our small business clients to immediately...

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As an employer, are you communicating your expectations to your employees? Are you having honest conversations over what you need from them the first week you hire them and throughout their employment with your company? Are you setting boundaries with them about what is acceptable in your workplace and not acceptable? Have you thought enough about what those boundaries are to communicate that to new hires? ...

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Creating Value vs. Creating Something Valuable

So much of our journey is wrapped up in value creation, that we neglect to create something that is valuable. But the journey to creating something valuable starts where the journey to create value ends. And for a business to truly be valuable it must be able to continue to generate value if the original primary value generator is gone....

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