Substantive Topics

Health Care

More than 16% of the United States Gross Domestic Product is attributed to health care. Health care is made available through physicians and other practitioners. Institutional care is provided by hospitals and long term care facilities.

Health care is subject to substantial governmental regulation. The federal and State governments fund a substantial amount of available health care benefits through Medicare, Medicaid and other governmental programs. The governments also license health care practitioners.

Daniel C. Harkins represents health care providers with respect to their business matters and regulatory compliance efforts. The Office has been involved in mergers and acquisitions, governmental regulatory and licensure issues.

Business Planning

Business planning enables a business to successfully pursue its economic objectives. The isolation of potential economic liabilities, the promotion of centralized business management, the enhancement of transferability of ownership interests, and the realization of perpetual existence are four of several objectives which are considered in business planning.

Types of business entities that are available to form or reorganize a business include sole proprietorships, corporations, partnerships (limited and general), limited liability companies, and business trusts.

In addition to federal taxation issues, businesses should address applicable State tax issues. In the event the business engages in economic activity in more than one State, the entity could be subject to taxation by each State and local taxing jurisdictions within which the business may be located. An analysis of applicable State and local taxation is important in order to mitigate the aggregate tax burden of the entity.

Daniel C. Harkins is able to assist in the establishment of business entities and qualification of the entity under specific provisions of the Internal Revenue Code.

Nonprofit Organizations

The United States encourages the establishment and funding of nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit organizations pursue various charitable objectives including expanding health care and promoting education. In recognition of their charitable missions, nonprofit organizations are provided favorable income tax treatment.

After an organization is recognized as being exempt by the Internal Revenue Service, the organization must operate in a manner which is consistent with its exempt purposes. Organizations are required to file annual reports with the Internal Revenue Service. In addition, registration may also be required with the appropriate State Attorney General.

Assets which are contributed to exempt organizations are subject to charitable trust restrictions. An organization which receives a charitable donation is expected to fulfill the donor’s intent. If the donor’s intent is not specified, then the contribution is to be used for the defined corporate purpose of the organization.

Daniel C. Harkins has extensive experience in incorporation, merger and reorganization of exempt organizations. The office can also assist exempt organizations with their day to day activities.

Commercial Litigation

Frequently, controversies which arise among parties are resolved through negotiated settlement agreements. Settlement agreements may avoid litigation. Negotiated settlements enable parties to privately resolve matters at less expense than the cost which would be incurred through litigation.

Occasionally, controversies must be resolved through the Court system. A lawsuit is commenced with the filing of a Complaint with the appropriate Court. After the Defendants submit to the jurisdiction of the Court and answer the Complaint, the parties exchange information through the discovery process. Most litigation costs are incurred during the discovery process. When the number of parties is large, complex litigation arises.

In commercial litigation, the issue of creditor rights frequently arises. In order to protect creditors, individuals and businesses are prohibited from causing gratuitous transfer of assets when the transfer would impair the transferor’s ability to fulfill its financial obligations to known creditors.

Daniel C. Harkins has experience in complex commercial litigation matters throughout the State of Ohio.

Estate Planning

Individuals who intend to direct the distribution of their assets should engage in estate planning. An estate plan may involve the designation of a beneficiary on certain accounts that may pass independent of the probate process. In the event an individual may have assets that will be subject to the probate process, the individual should execute a Will. Trust Agreements may be helpful when an estate has significant value or if an individual desires to restrict the use of property over an extended period of time.

Assets held by an individual on the date of death may be subject to Ohio and federal estate taxes. The applicability of the estate tax is dependent upon the year of the individual’s death and the estate taxes which existed for that tax year. Effective Jan 1, 2013, Ohio repealed the Ohio Estate Tax. In order to discharge the resulting tax liens, the appropriate tax returns, if necessary should be filed and the requisite taxes paid.

Any individual who has attained the age of majority [eighteen (18)] may execute a Will and Trust Agreement.

In addition to providing for the disposition of the individual’s assets upon their death, individuals should also consider executing Powers of Attorney. Among the Powers of Attorney that are available are General Powers of Attorney which permit another individual to handle one’s financial affairs. Durable Powers of Attorney for Health Care and Living Wills may be executed to provide advance directives.

Daniel C. Harkins is able to assist in estate planning.

Estate Administration

The Estates of incompetent and deceased individuals are subject to the jurisdiction of the Probate Court for the County within which the individual is or was a resident.

The primary objective for the administration of an Estate is to make certain that its property remains economically active for the benefit of a ward or an Estate’s beneficiaries. The Probate Court is the superior guardian of all wards within its jurisdiction.

Assets of deceased individuals will pass either pursuant to the decedent’s Will or pursuant to the decedent’s beneficiary designations. In the event a decedent died without a valid Will, the assets may pass pursuant to the law of intestate succession.

With respect to the Estates of deceased individuals, creditors are expected to file their respective claims within six (6) months of the date of the decedent’s death. Will contest actions must be initiated within three (3) months of the filing of a Notice with the Probate Court of service of admission of a Will. In the event the administration of an Estate is delayed for a significant period of time, the beneficiary who withheld the filing of the decedent’s Will could be subject to forfeiture.

Any required federal Estate Tax Return must be filed within nine (9) months of the decedent’s death. Effective Jan 1, 2013, Federal Estate Tax applies to individuals who have taxable estates greater than 5 million dollars.

Daniel C. Harkins has had substantial experience in the administration of Estates. In addition to routine administration, he has been involved in probate litigation. The litigation includes action to construe Wills, to recover assets, and compel administration according to the decedent’s Last Will and Testament.

Election Law

As a democratic republic, the United States conducts periodic elections to elect government officials and to conduct referenda. In order to maintain the democratic character of our government, the election cycle is specifically defined and rigorously enforced.

Election controversies typically arise from elections that are narrowly decided. Elections can be challenged based on the manner by which candidates and/or issues qualified for the ballot, the manner by which campaigns were conducted, and/or the manner by which the elections were conducted.

In order to maintain the integrity of stated terms, the election law requires challenges immediately following the conduct of an election. Untimely challenges are barred.

The administrative agencies that oversee elections in Ohio include the various County Boards of Elections, the Ohio Elections Commission, and the Secretary of State of Ohio. Federal election supervision is provided, in part, through the Federal Elections Commission.

Daniel C. Harkins has represented individual parties and political parties in various election matters.

Corporate Compliance

Business entities which provide services or sell goods to government entities or through government programs should adopt and administer corporate compliance programs. The corporate compliance programs are intended to mitigate the occurrence of events that may result in economic penalties and criminal sanctions. In order to be effective, the corporate compliance programs should be based on the then applicable federal Sentencing Guidelines.

Daniel C. Harkins assists businesses in the development and implementation of corporate compliance programs.

Daniel C Harkins, Attorney at Law
333 North Limestone Street, Suite 203
P.O. Box 1125
Springfield, Ohio 45501
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