Planning the future of a family business is as important to a family as any other essential event. As such, it is important to plan for the future of the company once its founder is no longer able to run it. Business owners are faced with difficult decisions. Do you pass the company on to your children? If so, do not do it all at once but rather in portions of stock to avoid facing an enormous gift tax. Depending on the circumstances, estate taxes may also become part of the equation.
If the children have no interest or desire to run the company or perhaps lack the skills essential to doing so, it may be beneficial to consider a “buy-sell agreement”. This would dictate how this business is to be sold and what kind of payments you would like to receive. A lump sum? Smaller payments made over an extended period of time? Either way, it is important to start planning now. Experts caution procrastinators that the IRS is likely to question last minute transactions
Steven Malach, Founder and Director of the Center for Estate Planning (CEP), a subsidiary of the Lipson Neilson law firm, has completed the administration of the multi-million dollar estate plan and trust of the Honorable Judge Michael Stacey. This estate plan and trust provided for numerous charitable endeavors including:
- Increasing care for those suffering the ravages of Alzheimer’a in the metro-Detroit area through the Dorothy and Peter Brown Adult Care program in West Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
- Establishing Palliative care as a go between medical and hospice care for individuals via the Jewish Hospice & Chaplaincy Network in West Bloomfield, Michigan.
- Supporting child cancer research at the St. Jude’s Hospital.
- Variety: The Children’s Charity
- Yad Ezra food pantry for impoverished people who rely heavily on government assistance programs, including food stamps.
- ENSURE: A non-profit charity that specifically supports pediatric surgical research at Children’s Hospital of Michigan.
Judge Michael Stacey graduated from Wayne State University Law School and was admitted into the State Bar of Michigan in 1951. Before becoming a judge, he was in private practice and ran one of the first mediation panels in Michigan. Judge Stacey was appointed by Michigan Governor William Milliken to the Wayne County Circuit Court in January, 1974. He retired from the bench in 1994 and continued in private practice as a pre-eminent Mediator and Arbitrator.
An attorney for more than 30 years, who has handled cases in every county in Michigan, Mr. Malach heads Lipson, Neilson, Cole, Seltzer, & Garin, P.C.’s estate planning practice group and is the founder of the Center For Estate Planning (CEP). With offices in Michigan and Arizona, the CEP specializes in all aspects of estate planning, from estate administration to lifetime counsel and probate administration work. CEP attorneys work with individuals, closely-held businesses and charitable organizations. Mr. Malach’s practice specializes in elder law, estate planning, probate, wills, trusts and trusts administration.
Contact: Steven Malach
Steven Malach, who heads up the Probate, Trust and Estate Planning section of Lipson Neilson, recently attended the 2017 Annual NAELA (National Association of Elder Law Attorneys) Conference in Boston, Mass. Mr. Malach participated with attendees from across the country in various sessions led by experts in their respective fields including the following topics:
- The future of aging.
- Fiduciary access to digital assets.
- 50 Shades of Gray Hair; Romance in the Nursing Home.
- Updates on Litigation to ensure a client’s wishes are upheld.
The above meetings were held against the backdrop of the historical local background in pursuing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Mr. Malach is a twenty year active member of NAELA which is active legislatively at the local, State and Federal levels.
Steven Malach, who heads up the Probate, Trust and Estate Planning section of Lipson Neilson, recently attended a webinar narrated by Casey Kasem’s daughter, discussing the unfortunate circumstances involving the late Casey Kasem’s affairs. Mr. Kasem passed away on Father’s Day of 2015. He was an iconic disc jockey of national renown and known for the Casey Kasem top 100 song countdown.
In addition to suffering the ravages of dementia, his children were isolated and told they were not allowed to see their father by his second wife. This is an unfortunate textbook example of what can go wrong with or without an estate plan that can lead to very dramatic and dynamic probate related litigation during a person’s lifetime or even after they passed away.
8 Does and Don’t of signing up for Medicare:
- Do give yourself time to learn about Medicare:
- Don’t expect to be notified when it’s time to sign up:
- Do enroll when you’re supposed to:
- Don’t despair if you haven’t worked long enough to qualify:
- Don’t worry that poor health will affect your coverage:
- Do remember that Medicare is not free:
- Don’t assume that Medicare covers everything:
- Don’t expect Medicare to cover your dependents:
An estimated 1 million tax payers are owed more than $1 billion in unclaimed federal income tax refunds for 2013 according to the Internal Revenue Service. In Michigan alone, the IRS estimates that 33,600 people are owed nearly $34 million in unclaimed federal income tax refunds for 2013.
Of course, taxpayers have plenty of reasons for not filing tax returns like debt, child support or other obligations. Your federal return must be filed within three years to claim your refund or the money becomes property of the U.S. Treasury.
Penalties and interest will not be applied if you are owed a refund, however the IRS will hold your refund checks if you have not filed tax returns for 2014 and 2015.
Keep in mind you must file your 2013 tax return no later than Tuesday April 18, if you don’t file it you cannot get the refund.
As we head into another tax season we should all be vigilant of the ever expanding con artists using the tax system to prey on the unsuspecting. We all probably know someone who has had their identity stolen. The recent well publicized data security breaches at major retailers and Sony has put consumers at risk as we become ever more connected.
TAX RETURN FILING: Part of the new problem is identity thieves know the IRS waits until the March deadline to review EIN’s and Social Security Numbers so these thieves file very early. In that period of time, the thief collects the tax refund and then after the IRS review, the business owner or individual receives communications from the IRS demanding a return of the tax refund.
Quick action is critical. First call the IRS Identity Protection Specialization Unit (800-908-1490). You need to establish a record. Next complete IRS form 14039-Identity Theft Affidavit and submit the form to the IRS. We recommend filing your “correct original” tax return by certified mail or overnight mail with a letter of explanation. You should also contact the Social Security Administration as the improper tax return can affect your credits. It is not a bad idea to pull your credit report as well.
TELEPHONE SCAMS: Often time’s businesses or clients receive a telephone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS. Please note these calls are frauds. The IRS does not call you over the telephone out of the clear blue. You can also call the Treasury Inspector General if this occurs (800-366-4484) to report the incident.
BUSINESS IDENTITY THEFT: The typical and simple mode of thieves is to select an established business identity and then establish a fraudulent office. That business name will then be used to establish either a new line of credit or a new bank account to purchase goods and services until the credit line or other resources are exhausted, then the thief just moves on.
DORMANT, SHELL AND AGELESS BUSINESSES: Another new method is for thieves to access and online business registries for ones that were previously dissolved or dormant. These businesses are particularly vulnerable to this type of crime because their owners are less likely to be monitoring the situation. The wrongdoer merely takes advantage of a well established history and credit rating to commit the fraud.
- Baby Boomers – The Vulnerable Years
These are the individuals born between 1946 and 1964 who are just beginning to retire. They likely will be receiving Social Security Benefits in addition to those who have had the foresight to have significant retirement accounts in place.
These are the individuals born between 1965 and 1981. Unfortunately, this is the generation where traditional pensions have long been eliminated and the possibility exists that Social Security may not be around when they retire. Their advantage is they have more time to prepare for their retirement including IRA’s, 401k’s and other retirement strategies.
These are the individuals born between 1982 and 2000. This group statistically is currently the largest in the US Labor Force. Unfortunately, they also have the largest amount of student and credit card debt. This generation also appears to be the savviest when it comes to contributing to employer sponsored retirement accounts which is the most effective way to prepare for ultimate retirement.
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- For people born between 1943 and 1954, full retirement age is 66. That will be increased in 2017 by 2 months for people born in 1955. Ultimately, the increases will continue until the full retirement age ends up being 67 for those born in 1960 or later.
- There will be a .3% increase in monthly benefits in 2017, this is an average monthly increase of five dollars.
- Earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase in 2017 to $127,200.00. This will effect approximately 12 million IRS payers.
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- Just before the Michigan Legislature went on its Christmas break in December of 2016, it passed and the Governor signed various laws:
- Modified penalties for unendorsed motorcycle riders.
- Allowed private college security officers to provide off-campus law enforcement.
- Expanded the arrest authority of peace officers to include airport authority police
- Allowed driving of autonomous vehicles in a test setting and provide for an autonomous-vehicle mobility research center.
- Provide compensation of $50,000 per year and re-entry services for people who are wrongly convicted and imprisoned.
- Change the penalties for a minor in possession of alcohol from a misdemeanor to a civil infraction.
- Removed the requirement for a Dower provision in Judgments of Divorce or legal separation.
To find out more about the firm visit www.lipsonneilson.com.