You Can Have Your Castle and Protect It Too

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Mike’s lifelong dream of building his own house is about to come true.

After years of searching, Mike finally found the perfect tear-down on an amazing lot with views to die for. He worked for over two years with an architect to design a show-stopping, LEED-certified house that will boast everything from a wine cellar to a sauna in the master bath… and it even has the perfect reading spot for his favorite old hammock. Continue reading

Invitation to The Inaugural Politics and Your Portfolio Cruise, Sept. 13-20, 2015

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

I just returned from two weeks aboard the Crystal Symphony over the holidays and was reminded of what a fabulous cruise line it is. “The Politics and Your Portfolio” program is being held aboard the beautiful Crystal Symphony from New York to Montreal and is selling well. Now is the time to reserve your cabin and make this event part of your agenda to learn about policy decisions that can impact your portfolio and the strategies to profit from them!

Here are 5 more exciting reasons to sail on The Politics & Your Portfolio Cruise:  Continue reading

It’s Mid-December and You Want to Help Your Favorite Charity By Year-End, Have You Looked at a CLAT?

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

What is a CLAT you ask? CLAT stands for Charitable Lead Annuity Trust. Sounds complicated, right? Well, not really. Let’s see what Paul did with his CLAT this December.

A CLAT is a very efficient way to do your charitable giving–almost too good to be true–but the IRS allows you to do this. In fact, the current Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service, John Koskinen, set up a CLAT in 1998 to fund scholarships at his Alma Mater and a 4500 seat soccer and lacrosse stadium. To make the CLAT most effective, you should have desire to help your favorite charities and a net worth exceeding, or expecting to exceed, the lifetime exemption ($5.43M per person/$10.86M per couple) in 2015. Continue reading

Did the California Appeals Court End the Company Holiday Party?

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

In a recent issue of Client Alert, we illustrated just how far the courts are going to hold the “deep pocket” responsible to pay damages even though he or she didn’t cause them. We wrote about John Catsimatidis, a modern business hero and successful immigrant entrepreneur, being found personally liable for millions of dollars in damages because someone in his company was found to violate certain Federal employment laws ( so much for the notion that a corporation will shield its shareholders from personal liability. Continue reading

4th Annual STEP Institute on Tax, Estate Planning, and the Economy

Dear Advisors,

As a STEP Orange County Board Member, I am pleased to extend this special invitation to join me at the 4th Annual STEP Institute on Tax, Estate Planning and the Economy, a collaboration between the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Orange County and the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. This event is being held January 22-24, 2015, with an added pre-conference workshop on January 21, at the Newport Beach Marriott Spa and Hotel. Continue reading

Too Little, Too Late

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Marshall loves funny t-shirts. His life’s motto is “anything for a laugh… especially if it’s wearable.”

Unfortunately, after a state agency raided his business over a disgruntled, ex-employee’s labor violation claims, Marshall doesn’t feel like laughing. He feels like this ex-employee — who was fired for good cause — is out to get him… and he may be right. Continue reading

Law of Diffusion of Innovations: A Trap for the Unwary

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Meyer celebrated his 75th birthday last year. Although normally a terrifically upbeat person, Meyer just couldn’t shake a feeling of deep melancholy, despite the festivities.

Meyer’s father passed away at 75, and thoughts of mortality had started to pervade his every waking moment. Despite being in good health and active in the business he started 47 years ago, Meyer felt that his time was limited. He still had a lot he wanted to accomplish. Continue reading

Jeffrey Verdon to Speak at 40 th Annual Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

Our firm is pleased to announce that, along with a distinguished panel of asset protection professionals, I will be part of the faculty at the 40th Annual Notre Dame Tax & Estate Planning Institute on the Notre Dame campus in South Bend, Indiana on November 13-14, 2014.

The agenda concerns the civil and ethical considerations for domestic and overseas asset protection planning. The workshop, “Asset Protection Due Diligence: What Lawyers Must Do To Protect Themselves,” will review fraudulent transfer transactions and provide essential tips, including our Asset Protection Audit Checklist, to assist other practitioners who counsel clients on asset protection strategies. Continue reading

Protect Your Assets from Lawsuits

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

According to a recent Wall Street Journal article by Jonathan Clements, “If you listed your financial fears, you might include a repeat of 2008’s market meltdown, losing your job and getting your identity stolen. But somewhere on the list, I suspect, would be another major worry: getting sued.” Continue reading

vintage mailman

Using Email Instead of Snail Mail to Send Crummey Notices

Dear Clients, Colleagues, and Friends,

If your life insurance policy is owned by an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT), you know what a pain it is to ask your trustee to mail the so-called Crummey letters every year to each trust beneficiary before the premiums can be made. Many of our clients complain about the inconvenience of having to go through this process, but failure to follow the formalities could result in the life insurance proceeds being subject to estate tax when the insured dies. Continue reading