spacer spacer
  •  
    Joshua and Laura Meier Newport Beach Trust and Estate Planning Attorneys Focused on Helping Families with Young Kids
    Joshua and Laura Meier
     

    Social Networking

    Facebook Facebook Google Plus LinkedIn LinkedIn Twitter


  • Archives






  • Categories




  • spacer

    Category Archives: Family Limited Partnership

    Why Every New Business Needs a Lawyer & How to Find a Great One

    Chances are if you are an entrepreneur, you have a little “issue” when it comes to controlling everything about your company — in other words, you find it hard to trust others when it comes to your “lawyer-consultation (1)baby.”

    But unless you are an experienced business attorney, you probably don’t have the knowledge — and most certainly the time — to understand the legal implications of just about every decision you will be making about your new business, including its structure, the agreements and contracts that will determine how your company will function and be profitable, and even hiring your first employee.

    While entrepreneurs are usually great problem solvers, a good business lawyer is trained to see potential problems before they can adversely impact your business or put your personal wealth at risk.

    A recent article at Entrepreneur.com provides entrepreneurs these tips for choosing the right lawyer for their business:

    1.  Look for a good fit.  Finding someone to meet all your legal requirements may be much easier than finding a good fit personally, but face it — you want to be in business with this person for the long haul, since his or her good advice can continue to keep you out of trouble and save you some serious cash by avoiding litigation.  Find someone you click with on a personal level and who can relate to what you need.  Most importantly, look for a lawyer who will be proactive

    2.  Do not use a friend.  You need someone with total objectivity, and you want to be able to be completely honest with your attorney, so usually choosing someone who is not already a personal friend is your best bet. If you do use a friend who you really trust, don’t do it for a trade. Pay  your lawyer. And make sure whoever you use really understands your business.

    3.  Ask for referrals.  If you know other attorneys or friends who have used business lawyers, ask them for a referral.  The interview those attorneys before making a commitment by phone or email.  Use our hiring guide to ask the right questions.

    4.  Stay away from DIY websites.  The do-it-yourself legal documents you can get online could get you into more trouble and end up costing you much more in litigation than you would have spent on a real, live, breathing attorney in the first place. If you are using a template document, have it reviewed by your lawyer before it’s finalized.

    5.  Consider size.  Law firms come in all sizes, with pros and cons for each.  Larger firms usually offer a fuller complement of resources, including multiple locations and more specialized practice areas., plus higher prices and less personalized services.  Smaller firms and solos are usually more hands-on and can be more economical.  Decide first what you need and choose the firm that can best deliver to those needs.

    Whether you’re starting or already running a business, the best time to hire a lawyer is before you need one.  Having a business attorney that understands the individual needs and unique circumstances of your company is key to helping your business thrive and prosper.  If you are interested in learning more about legal protection strategies for your business and how we work with you as a partner in protecting your company, call us today to schedule your comprehensive LIFT™ (legal, insurance, financial and tax) Foundation Audit.

    Family Limited Partnerships – Worth Another Look (Especially This Year)?

    A FAMILY limited partnership was once a rather esoteric way for wealthy families to centralize the management of real estate and various pots of money. But this is not a normal tax year.

    Sometimes managing family assets is like, well, running a business. Then again, some families actually do run their families like businesses and have enjoyed significant tax advantages by doing so through the use of the Family Limited Partnership.

    A recent article in The New York Times titled “In an Unusual Tax Year, the Wealthy Turn to Partnerships” explores the power of the Family Limited Partnership (FLP). Properly structured, the FLP binds the family into a business arrangement (which is not always a good thing for a family) and, in doing so, allows for the longevity of a business entity, the decreased valuation allowable to private companies, and the simple ability to pool resources for higher investments.

    When used correctly, there is much to be said about the FLP structure. On the other hand, there also are limitations and even outright warnings. For one, no business can safely exist without a purpose, and to form your FLP without a discernible purpose beyond avoiding estate taxes will certainly raise the ire of the IRS. Furthermore, as already intimated, it means the family must act with the swiftness and assurance of a business in their investments. Unfortunately, not all families are capable of acting like a “business.”

    In the end, we face an uncertain and unpromising future in estate and gift laws (and a veritable “fiscal cliff” as a nation for related reasons). Nevertheless, at present we have extremely favorable lifetime gift tax exemptions ($5.12 million) for the remainder of 2012.

    This may be the perfect storm to consider harnessing this powerful tool to generate some security for your family and family investments.

    Contact Meier Law Firm to discuss a Family Limited Partnership and any of you other estate planning needs.

    Reference: The New York Times (July 6, 2012) “In an Unusual Tax Year, the Wealthy Turn to Partnerships

    Family Limited Partnerships – The Mega-Wealth Transfer Tool For 2012?

    There are a number of incredibly powerful estate planning tools available for leveraging intergenerational wealth transfers. Naturally, the appropriateness of a given tool hinges on the assets your family controls. For some, one of those tools worthy of serious consideration is the Family Limited Partnership (FLP). However, you must take care to get it right.

    As a testament to the power of the FLP and the costs of failing to use them correctly, Peter Reilly at Forbes has assembled the six developments of 2011. I commend them to your reading. When FLPs work, they work. Consider the cases of Natale Giustina and Anne Y. Petter. However, since we so rarely learn our best lessons from our successes, there are four developments to instruct us regarding what not to do: LINTON v. U.S, Axel Adler, Jorgensen v. Comm’r. 107 AFTR 2011,and Paul H. Liljestrand.

    The Forbes article gives a “moral of the story” of sorts regarding each case. In the end, the overall moral to the FLP – as we head into 2012 and ever closer to the unknown tax laws of 2013, and an election year no less – is that this may be your last year to fully leverage the wealth transfer power of the FLP.

    Making use of the FLP tool requires dedication to the process and setting it up now (rather than later) may guarantee your ability to make use of the current laws.

    Regardless, 2012 may be the year for a mega-gift. Visit us at www.meierfirm.com today to learn how we can help your family plan for the best in life.

    Laura K. Meier, Esq.

    Reference: Forbes (December 30, 2011) “6 Family Limited Partnership Developments In 2011”




  • Frequently Asked Questions

    Click Here To Call Our Office

    Click here to Read Our Blog
     
    Wealth Counsel Member

    Orange County Young Executives  
  • spacer
    Welcome | Practice Areas | About Us | FAQs | Becoming a Client | Events | Advisors Forum | Newsletters | Contact Us | Blog | Disclaimer
     
    Meier Law Firm | 2103 Vista Entrada, Newport Beach, CA 92660
    phone: 949.718.0420 e-mail: office@meierfirm.com