Law

Estate Planning For All Ages

Statistics show that the average American waits until the latter stages of life to obtain an estate plan, and while we all hope to live long and healthy lives, many people are leaving themselves in less than ideal circumstances should tragedy strike. In fact, a staggering 78 percent of millennials (ages 18-36) and 64 percent of Generation X (ages 37 to 52) do not have an estate plan, many of whom have minor children.

While the main component of a complete estate plan, a well drafted will or trust, will effectively and efficiently distribute your assets upon death, it is also a vital instrument to name guardians for minor children.  Should someone pass away with minor children and without a well-drafted will appointing a guardian, a judge will decide who will fill this role.  The process of appointing a guardian can be extremely difficult for children and can lead to tension and emotional turmoil.

In addition to a will or trust, it is important to have general and medical powers of attorney.  A general power of attorney appoints an individual to make financial decisions on behalf of the principal.  This includes paying rent or a mortgage, depositing paychecks, and paying routine bills.  Further, a medical power of attorney appoints an individual to make medical decisions when the principal is incapable of doing so.  Without this position designated, loved ones will be unable to make medical decisions for the principal in urgent situations. Both powers of attorney are necessary for any legal adult since an individual’s parents or spouse do not have the authority to make legal decisions for the incapacitated person.  Overall, a thoughtful and thorough estate plan is necessary for every adult regardless of individual circumstances.   

Corey Moore
Senior Associate Attorney
Otis & Bedingfield, LLC
2725 Rocky Mountain Avenue, Suite 320
Loveland, CO 80538
970-663-7300
cmoore@nocoattorneys.com
www.nocoattorneys.com


Payroll & Workforce Services

Timekeeping: More Than Punching a Timecard

Gone are the days when timekeeping was simply inserting a punch card into a box hung on the wall, or handwriting time on a preprinted slip.  Today’s electronic timekeeping solutions offer affordable mobile solutions that can save employers money and time, while providing additional services such as scheduling, time-off accruals, employee portals and more.

Eliminate time theft.  Employee compensation is the single biggest cost for most small businesses.  Time theft, such as timesheet padding or buddy punching, can have a significant impact on your bottom line!  Electronic timekeeping can provide controls to stop time theft, including GPS mapping for field employees.

Reduce errors.  The American Payroll Association estimates manually prepared timecards include as much as 8% in errors.  You could be paying for unworked labor.  A conservative 2% on $15,000 of gross wages equals $300-for a single pay period.  And that doesn’t include the cost to correct and re-issue paychecks if and when the errors are detected.  Electronic timekeeping automatically calculates hours, including overtime, and can help ensure employees are only paid for eligible time-off or holidays.

Save time.  Electronic timekeeping solutions allow owners and managers to review and edit employee hours online.  Instead of manually keying in time, electronic timekeeping solutions can be imported into payroll software, not only saving time but also eliminating input errors.

Clock In/Out anywhere.  No longer are your employees required to clock in and out on a physical clock.  Today’s electronic timekeeping solutions allow your employees to clock in from their office, home, or in the field, with controls in place to verify their identity.

Payroll Vault offers a robust timekeeping solution that can be tailored to your company.  Call us today to find out how we can save you time and money!

Allyson Rodahl, CPP
Payroll Vault of Weld County
(970) 353-0170
Allyson.rodahl@payrollvault.com


Health Care

Pediatric Hospice Care

“My arms are empty without you!  My heart cries out, lonely in the darkness, but you are not here.

No tears shall bring you back into my arms again.  My mother’s love was not strong enough to keep you,

but it is strong enough to follow and find you,  though all the mists of Eternity should try to come between!” – Joan Walsh Anglund

Hospice views every life and death as unique and precious, and we know that the death of a loved one of any age represents a tragic loss for their family and friends.  That said, there is a natural order of things; our elders are meant to predecease our youth, and when a child dies it violates that natural order.  When a child and family are coping with life-limiting illness, hospice care is available for them in every way that we are there for our older patients and families and more, but there are important distinctions to understand.

With adult patients, signing on to hospice care means agreeing to refocus your treatment on managing symptoms and enhancing quality of life instead of aggressive, disease-modifying interventions.  This can be a difficult decision for an elderly person and their loved ones, but for the family of a terminally ill child it is often unthinkable.  That is why terminally ill pediatric patients can be under hospice care while simultaneously receiving aggressive/curative treatments so that families never have to choose one over the other.   This arrangement is referred to as “concurrent care”, and it eliminates the biggest barrier to terminally ill children and their families receiving critically needed care and support from hospice.

Goals of care can also look different with pediatric patients.  Generally speaking, most of our older adult patients and their families wish to avoid further hospitalizations and prefer to spend their final moments at home or in home-like surroundings.  Many of the children we care for, however, have spent a good portion of their lives in the hospital.  They and their loved ones have cultivated strong relationships with their hospital-based team, and they find a sense of safety and comfort in the hospital setting.  Hospice strives to honor our patients’ goals and wishes for end-of-life, and it is not unusual for us to spend many months caring for a child at home with the plan to transfer them to the hospital for their final days.

Above all else, our mission with pediatric patients and their families is to affirm and celebrate the child’s life, to maximize quality of life and minimize suffering, and to wrap these children and their loved ones a compassionate, comforting embrace of care and support.  Few hospice organizations specialize in caring for pediatric patients, but for those of us that do there care be no higher expression of our calling to affirm and enhance life even as it nears its end.

Nate Lamkin, President
Pathways
305 Carpenter Road
Fort Collins, CO 80525
www.pathways-care.org


Technology

The Reality of our Cybersecurity Threat Landscape

Cybercriminals are constantly changing the way they deliver attacks on networks to take advantage of employee’s trust, and compromise or steal data.  Smaller businesses may think they aren’t a target, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.  In fact, small businesses with 100 employees or less face the same risk of attack as 20,000-employee enterprises.  No matter the size, businesses need to enhance their IT security posture to protect themselves as threats spread and become more elegant, complicated and malicious.

Some challenges that businesses face today are:

• They don’t know/understand their current security risks and can easily maintain false sense of security believing they are “too small” or their “data isn’t that important”

• They can’t see the suspicious activity that is already happening on their network

• They have limited ability to react and respond to threats

• They are unprepared and don’t have the necessary tools or process to address breaches or actual attacks

• Their employees don’t grasp and/or don’t have skills to practice caution and awareness

• Security breaches compromise the reputation and financial stability of an organization

Some statistics that align with those challenges are:

• 71% of attacks are aimed at small to mid-sized businesses

• 67% of businesses have experienced or are experiencing a breach

• 56% of breaches take months or longer to discover

• 63% of businesses go out of business after they experience a data breach

• 92% of all data breaches are caused by employee mistakes

To keep up with growing cybersecurity threats, businesses need to adopt more innovative and proactive methods of protection.  It’s increasingly important to layer security throughout the network…there isn’t a silver bullet.  Implementing enhanced firewalling practices, using multi-factor authentication, installing next-generation antivirus, leveraging security awareness training, enforcing password management tools and mobile device security, are a few specific examples of how businesses can build cybersecurity resiliency.  It’s also critical that businesses understand their specific and current business risk related to cybersecurity so that plans can be generated to strengthen security posture.  Implementing better tools, technology, training and policy is critical to help protect a business from increasing threats and provide a chance to recover should the business experience a breach.  If you need help assessing your cybersecurity risk or want help improving IT security strategy, call Connecting Point and we can help.

Scott M. Warner
President | Connecting Point
2401 17th Street
Greeley, CO  80634
970.356.7224   Main line
970.395.2317  Direct line
970.405.3248 - Cell
scott.warner@cpcolorado.com | www.cpcolorado.com


Marketing

Trust Barometer Points To Key Trust Qualities In Business

Trust is crucial to starting and building a business—trust with customers, trust with clients and trust with employees. Trust, along with an ethical approach in business dealings, gets noticed locally and globally, helps retain a healthy customer base and leads to great word of mouth.

The barometer, in its 19th year, gathers statistics about trust in four key areas of business, government, non-governmental organizations, or NGOs, and the media through a trust and credibility survey. The survey, conducted by Edelman Intelligence— the research and analytics division of Edelman, a public relations firm based in Chicago, Ill.—shows that trust has declined broadly in the four institutions.

Globally, 75 percent of people trust their employers to do what is right, significantly more than NGOs at 57 percent, businesses at 56 percent, government at 48 percent and the media at 47 percent, according to the survey. The general population is shifting to localized trust to the relationships they believe they can control, such as those with employers, and away from traditional authority figures and institutions.

But there is good news. A large number of respondents, or 73 percent, said they believe businesses can take actions to increase their profits, while improving economic and social conditions in their communities. Sixty-seven percent of employees want their employers to advocate for social issues—and those that do are rewarded with greater employee commitment, advocacy and loyalty, as stated in the survey.

Businesses can employ trust and ethics in their interactions with staff, customers and the community to build, maintain and improve their overall appeal in the marketplace, while also keeping their mission and values in the forefront of everything they do. They can do their own part to ensure the Edelman Trust Barometer continues on an upward trajectory in business trust.

Trust and ethics are something the Better Business Bureau highly values, as demonstrated in our Business and Charity Accreditation process as well as with the celebration of our BBB Torch Awards for Ethics and BBB Spark Award for Entrepreneurship winners annually.

And to help us offer even more local services for the business and nonprofit community as well as provide a space for like-minded organizations to network with others, BBB has recently expanded our office space.

The new BBB Community Center will launch next month with an Open House celebration on Oct. 1st from 4:00-6:00 p.m. At the celebration we will unveil our new meeting room spaces that will soon be made available (free of charge) to BBB Accredited Businesses and Accredited Charities for their own meetings and events. Starting in 2020, BBB will also offer trust-building classes and seminars for businesses and nonprofits. Businesses and nonprofits can RSVP for the event by visiting bit.ly/32P5Utw.

Shelley Polansky
President/CEO
Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming
p: 970-484-1348
f:  970-221-1239
bbb.org


Health Care

Centre Avenue Health & Rehab Facility Offering Short Term Rehab and Long Term Care

Centre Avenue Health & Rehab Facility is a 90-bed five-star skilled nursing facility located in Fort Collins.  We specialize in short term rehabilitation stays and Long Term Care.

Our Nursing Team, Social Services, Activities, and Restorative Programs provide ongoing support and planning.  We look at each individual’s needs and interests to provide a comprehensive plan of care.  Our team’s focus is on each patient’s goals and implementing interventions to assist with achieving these individualized goals. 

Our location at Drake Road and Shields Street presents spectacular views of the mountains and is nestled into the local community near the CSU campus.  We offer all private rooms.  Besides accommodating both short and long term rehabilitation stays; we also offer respite care – stays for as short as 7 days and Long Term Care – 24 hour nursing care.

Centre Avenue’s therapy team offers physical, occupational and speech language pathology 7 days per week with 2 therapy gyms to support our exercise and rehabilitation programs.  In addition to these therapies, we also provide respiratory therapy and wound care services.

Our Physician and Nurse Practitioner services provide coverage on-site 7 days per week.  These providers bring acute experience and specialized education for the aging population.  They are also on-call for after hours health needs.

Each patient meets with a Registered Dietitian to establish an individualized meal plan.  Enhancing the overall dietary experience is the mission of our dietary department.  Our culinary arts trained chef offers a varied menu meeting individual choices and preferences.  A variety of meals are made from scratch.

We invite you to come tour our facility any day of the week.  You may view Centre Avenue as the short term rehabilitation center, I hope now you know we also have the staff and services to provide for your Long Term Care needs.

Joy Carpenter, NHA
Administrator
Centre Avenue Health & Rehab Facility
815 Centre Avenue
Fort Collins, CO 80526
970-494-2140
FAX: 970-494-2141