Our regularly updated blog discusses a variety of issues related to business, tax, and estate planning in California. Learn why an estate plan is necessary regardless of age or income, what steps you can take to reduce your tax liability and protect your assets, how to ensure your business remains on a solid legal foundation, and much more.

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  • Is Your Estate Plan Truly Complete? For an estate plan to be truly effective and do more than simply move money and assets from one generation to the next, it must accomplish three basic goals: 1) ensure that you are actually leaving your assets to those you designate; 2) make certain those assets are received at...
  • How to Protect Your Legacy After You're Gone Many estate planners believe that their job is done when the beneficiaries avoid probate and receive the inheritance. However, when beneficiaries receive their inheritance in their name outright that needlessly exposes the legacy you leave to the claims of creditors, lawsuits, divorce, the loss of governmental benefits they might otherwise...
  • Is Your Company Ready for the New Partnership Tax Audit Rules? Unless You Take Action, You May Face Some Unpleasant Tax Consequences! Partnerships are one of the most commonly used business and estate planning tools, and they come in a variety of wrappers or names, such as traditional partnerships, multi-member LLCs, joint ventures, limited partnerships and limited liability partnerships. So, it’s significant that starting this year, the way they are audited and...
  • An Income Tax Time Bomb Bypass trusts, or B trusts, have long been used as a strategy to help families avoid estate taxes. But with recent changes in income tax and estate tax rates, in many cases B trusts now trigger substantially higher capital gains taxes for beneficiaries or heirs without providing any estate tax...
  • The Hybrid Bridge Trust A fully funded foreign or off-shore protection trust provides very significant asset protection particularly for assets such as cash investments, stocks and other intangibles. However, an off- shore protection trust is more expensive to form and to manage or operate. Additional income tax filings are also required. The Hybrid Bridge...
  • In The News: Estate and Income Tax Changes The total estate tax exemption is projected to increase to $5.6 Million dollars per person in 2018. This is up from $5.49 Million per person in 2017. The annual exclusion for gift tax exclusion is projected to increase to $15,000 in 2018. That is an increase from $14,000 in 2017....
  • Is This Your Situation: Transferring or Selling a Family-Owned Business? Is This Your Situation: Transferring or Selling a Family-Owned Business You’ve worked your entire life to build a family business, and now it’s time to pass it on. But how and when you sell the family-owned business can determine what you owe. The following strategies will help you minimize the...
  • In The News: John's Article in Born2Invest Discusses a Possible Tax Planning Opportunity for Foreign Investors Recent US tax court ruling provides tax savings opportunity for foreign investors The U.S. Tax Court rejected the IRS position about taxing foreign investments in a U.S. partnership, which can lead to the opportunity for tax savings. Published 2 weeks ago on August 14, 2017 By John Goralka On July...
  • 6 Things I Learned from Robert Jordan I recently had the opportunity to spend an afternoon with Mr. Robert Jordan. Robert has been launching and growing companies and helping other entrepreneurs do the same for the past twenty years. His first company, Online Access, put him on Inc. magazine’s Inc. 500 list of fastest growing companies, Online...
  • What You Need to Know About Basis For many years, the focus for estate planning was minimizing estate tax. The higher estate tax credits and the potential for estate tax repeal creates a need to now focus on income tax planning. Income tax requires an understanding of basis planning. First, let's start with what "basis" means. Your...
  • The Money Side of Divorce While divorce may end a marriage, it doesn't end obligations to one another. In many relationships, one spouse is more financially well-off than the other. In a divorce, this earning discrepancy means that the poorer partner is entitled to receive spousal support, or alimony, to help him or her establish...
  • Tips on How to Retain your Social Security, Medical, and Retirement Benefits After Your Spouse Has Passed Your spouse dies, and after the initial grief, you find your prescription that never cost a cent before is suddenly priced at $195. Whoa! You go home grumbling to yourself — what do they mean?! Are the benefits that came through your spouse gone? If you've been receiving health insurance...