2013 Construction and Real Estate Symposium
by Matt Smith, CPA

YHB’s annual Construction and Real Estate Symposium kicked off October 23rd in Richmond, followed by Middleburg on October 24th.  The symposium attracted over 40 construction and real estate professionals.

Both days of the symposium began with estate planning.  YHB Principal Jim Snyder discussed recent developments in estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer tax, and trust income tax.  This discussion included changes resulting from the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, signed into law on January 2, 2013.  Attendees also learned about changes in the use of Family Limited Partnership and charitable giving techniques.

Next, attendees heard from YHB Manager Chris Frye about one of the biggest topics today: Healthcare Reform.

His presentation discussed how employers and employees in all industries will feel the effects in some way, shape, or form of healthcare reform. He stressed how important it is that small businesses educate themselves with the information that will be necessary to proactively plan for and respond to the sweeping reforms that will be put in place. While some provisions have already been implemented, many of the largest changes will begin to take effect in the not-so-distant future. Beginning in 2015, employers with over 50 full-time-equivalent employees must offer insurance coverage or face significant potential penalties. Chris encouraged attendees to be proactive as opposed to reactive and to start planning now to assess how the new laws and regulations will impact their organization.

Our final presentation came from Kelly LaPar, Esq., from Lenhart Obenshain, P.C.  Her presentation was focused on improving the attendee’s working knowledge of key construction contract terms and conditions in order to minimize risk and avoid disputes.  The presentation proved to be beneficial to those involved in the construction contracting processes, including those involved in contract formation and negotiation, contract administration, change order and claims processing, and dispute resolution.