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Choosing the Trusts in Your Estate Plan

There are a number of important issues which every couple must consider when deciding how to structure their estate plan. These include: (i) who will be the trustees; (ii) when should the children have access to the estate when both parents are gone; and (iii) how should the spouses allocate the trust assets and what trusts should be established after the death of the first spouse. There are a number of responses to these questions, and the proper response for each set of clients will be dependent on the unique facts and circumstances of each family. The purpose of this memo is to give clients some general information about their choices in allocating trust assets.

Summary of Relevant Provisions of Proposition 19

California recently approved Proposition 19, which, effective February 16, 2021, (1) eliminates the $1 million parent-child and grandparent-grandchild exclusion for transfers of real property other than a primary residence; and (2) modifies the manner in which the taxable value of a primary residence is calculated following transfer.

2020 Tax Updates Affecting Estate and Gift Taxation

In light of the recent election, the nature of the tax code may be changing significantly in the near future. As 2021 approaches, it is crucial to understand potential changes to estate, gift, generation-skipping and related income taxes, and consider planning options immediately. In some cases, it may be advantageous to complete certain planning techniques prior to the end of calendar year 2020. However, it is important to keep in mind that, with the exception of Proposition 19 (which is now law), the matters discussed in this memorandum are potential changes. Future tax law and its effect on estate planning matters remains uncertain.

What You Need to Know to Understand About the Payment Protection Program

The purpose of this article is to answer certain frequently asked questions regarding the Paycheck Protection Program—the federal program that makes available $349 billion of forgivable loans to certain small businesses and entrepreneurs—and the corresponding loan forgiveness program enacted as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) as further clarified by the Small Business Administration’s recent guidance.

Bonus Depreciation for Commercial Real Estate Improvements

With the passage of the CARES Act, interior improvements to non-residential property are now eligible for bonus depreciation. The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed on March 27, 2020, included an important revision to depreciation rules enacted as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) that will correct a prior error that many have referred to as the “retail glitch.”

Business Interruption Coverage: An Insurance Remedy to Alleviate the Economic Impact of COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic and the “Stay at Home” orders issued by state and local authorities in an attempt to slow the spread of the virus have radically changed the business landscape, closing many businesses outright and drastically reducing the income of many more. Faced with these new realities, many business owners may wonder what remedies are provided by their business interruption coverage and how to avail themselves of those provisions. This article reviews some of the commercial property insurance provisions most applicable to COVID-19 related business interruption coverage claims, and identifies some strategies for making these coverage claims.

What to Do When the Coronovirus Prevents Performance of Contractual Obligations

Navigating principles of force majeure, impossibility of performance and frustration of purpose. Throughout the country and across the globe, businesses and individuals are facing unique challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic and the limitations of movement imposed by governments in its wake. The economic impact has been tremendous.