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Corliss Law Groups

Corliss Law is dedicated to serving the unique planning needs of the business owner and their families through thorough, carefully designed and implemented business and wealth preservation strategies and plans.

Welcome to Corliss Law Group Estate Planning Law Corporation

December 6, 2013

Corliss Law is dedicated to serving the unique planning needs of the business owner and their families through thorough, carefully designed and implemented business and wealth preservation strategies and plans.  We work with you and your team of other advisors to organize your family’s legal, business, financial, tax, and philanthropic goals into a seamless unified plan and then we join with you in implementing that plan.

While we serve all families with the same enthusiasm and dedication, our founder has a special affinity with business owners and the problems they face. That business affinity (i.e. the ability to see the world from your perspective) serves all our clients well, whether or not they are business owners. It serves our business owner clients exceptionally well.

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Corliss Law Group Estate Planning Law Corporation Wealth Preservation

December 2, 2013

Wealth Preservation

Wealth Preservation is the unification of your efforts to protect and plan for your estate, your business and your assets, but it is much more than the sum of its parts.  It is the symphony, the unified and seamless plan that orders the outside context of your life, so your pursuits, life events and transitions are as smooth and harmonious as possible.  Wealth Preservation Planning is comprised of a number of disciplines, but most importantly Estate Planning, Business Planning, Asset Protection Planning, and Financial Planning.  It also involves the efforts the combined efforts of a team of trusted advisors working together as a Collaborative Team to build a unified plan.  At Corliss, A Law Corporation, we are dedicated to that goal.

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Blog Post in Corliss Law Group Estate Planning Law Corporation

November 25, 2013

Business Exit Planning Using Charitable Strategies

Business owners usually have four goals when they leave their businesses: retire from the business; sell to a new owner (family members, employees, or third parties); minimize taxes and maximize profits. For those who are already charitably inclined, business exit planning using charitable tools allows them to add a fifth goal: doing good things for their favorite charity or their community.

In this issue, we continue our series on business exit planning by examining some frequently used charitable planning tools and some common pitfalls.

Tools for Business Exit Planning Involving Charitable Giving

Three tools involving charities are typically used in business exit planning: charitable remainder trusts, gift annuities and charitable lead trusts.

A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a tax-exempt trust. It is primarily an income tax planning tool with some estate and gift tax benefits. With a CRT, the appreciation in assets can be realized without immediate gain recognition tax-free, a stream of payments created for the donor and a deferred benefit provided to a charity. An income tax deduction, gift tax deduction or estate tax deduction is based on the remainder value that passes or is projected to pass to charity at the end of the trust term. Certain private foundation rules apply, which can be problematic.

A gift annuity is essentially a bargain sale in which the consideration paid by the charity is in the form of annuity payments. Code Section 72 specifies how the income is categorized; i.e., how much is return of principal and how much is ordinary income. Code Section 1011 specifies how gains are recognized, for example if the gift annuity is funded by contribution of appreciated assets. Code Section 415 limits payments to one or two persons. Private foundation rules do not apply to gift annuities.

A charitable lead trust (CLT) is the opposite of a charitable remainder trust in that the income stream is paid to charity with the remainder going to private individuals. A CLT is primarily an estate or gift tax tool. If it is set up as a grantor trust, it can also provide some income tax benefits. Unlike a CRT, a CLT is not a tax-exempt trust. Some private foundation rules apply to CLTs.

Business Review and Audit in Corliss Law Group Estate Planning Law Corporation

November 18, 2013

What If You Already Have a Business Entity?

When we are involved in the original business planning and choice of entity, our engagement often involves an initial Risk Assessment of the areas of risk that your business will most likely be subject to. These risks can involve business processes, record keeping, reporting, compliance procedures, economic and capital structure, labor structure, procedures and compensation, insurance coverage, and a number of other issues. The purpose of this Risk Assessment is to attempt to anticipate risk exposure and assist in providing structure, processes and safeguards to eliminate, minimize, or prepare for such risks.

If we have not participated in the original planning, were not asked to initially conduct that review, or after any business has been operating for a while, we offer a Business Review and Audit Package which includes a Risk Assessment. This process allows us “audit” and assess the choice of entity, whether conditions have changed, and the common risk areas and exposure brought about by the way the business is operating. We offer several Review Packages priced to accommodate the needs of any business.

The Business Review Process parallels the steps of the Entity Choice and Formation Process. In general the necessary information is gathered, reviewed and evaluated and a report presenting our findings, along with recommendations for changes, a timeline and the price of our services to design and implement the recommended changes.

Gathering the Information about the Business and Your Goals

In order for us to review and assess your situation, it will be necessary for us to get a very clear picture of how your business is operating. We will do that through interviews, gathering documents and observation as well as discussions with you and your other advisors after we have been engaged. We actually begin that process during our initial contact before you have engaged us where we gain a basic understanding of your business and concerns. We will explain our business planning process and schedule a time for you to meet with our attorneys and often your other key advisors.

We will send you our Confidential Business Information packet which includes:

  • the date and time of our meeting
  • directions to our firm's offices
  • an explanation of the process ahead
  • basic information about business planning and our firm
  • a Confidential Information Booklet for you to fill out and a list of requested documents.

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