Archived Articles

Commentator – Spring 2018 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 30, Issue 2

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Now that the weather has turned (finally), many of us are spending time outside, planting, weeding and maintaining our yards. Our garden beds aren’t the only things requiring upkeep…
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Trust Funding and Beneficiary Designations
By Brian R. Jenney
Preparing and executing a proper estate plan is only part of a larger picture. After the client has worked with an attorney to formulate a specifically tailored estate plan for the client, the attorney and client must continue to work together to properly fund the client’s trust…
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Investment Advisors and Expungement
By Stuart Sinai
Nothing can be more devastating to acquiring new clients and maintaining present ones than unwarranted customer complaints challenging an investment advisor’s honesty, treatment of clients, and reputation…
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Employment Law Q & A’s
By Mark R. Filipp
In any workplace, the danger that an employer will be held responsible for a sexual harassment claim is real. Moreover, even marginal claims cost the company dearly in legal fees and resources. It is naive to assume that any employer can completely do away with potential exposure and liability. Nonetheless, there are general guidelines an employer can follow to reduce the risk and liability of sexual harassment claims…
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Commentator – Winter 2018 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 30, Issue 1

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Clients should contact Jeremy R. Cnudde to have a free review of their property tax bill to determine whether an appeal of the client’s industrial or commercial property would be advantageous…
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Are Your Annual Property Taxes Too High?
By Jeremy R. Cnudde
Shortly you will receive your new Notice of Assessment from your local property tax assessor. What is this, what does this really mean and what should you do with it? A quick yet careful review will help you determine whether your annual property tax expense is too high…
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Refocusing Your Estate Plan Under the New Tax Act
By Cynthia L. Umphrey
While the new tax act passed at the end of 2017 was primarily focused on income taxes, it also made a temporary change to the estate and gift tax laws. Specifically, the new tax act temporarily doubles the exemption amount for estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes from the $5 million base to a new $10 million base, but only until 2026…
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Commentator – Summer 2017  PDF icon (2)
Vol. 29, Issue 3

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Tax Partnership Audit Rules for the IRS are changing and William B. Acker covers some of the important revisions that will effect limited liability companies…
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New Tax Partnership Audit Rules
By William B. Acker
New tax rules will make sweeping tax partnership audit changes impacting all tax partnerships, may cause substantial inequities between members and may result in surprising tax liabilities…
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Managing the Management Buyout
By Jeremy R. Cnudde & Toby Dahm
Many entrepreneurial and family business owners struggle to determine their eventual exit strategy. Perhaps they envision the eventual transition of their business to the next generation but discover that their children are either uninterested or unable to take over. The owners are nervous about reaching out to competitors and/or customers and disclosing proprietary information. What then are the options for a successful exit strategy? Some need to look no further than the management teams that run the day-to-day operations…
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Because Language Matters – Sixth Circuit Reverses Tax Court and Applies the Language of the Code
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
In mid-winter, our Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in Summa Holdings, Inc. v. Commissioner, upheld the taxpayer’s use of a domestic international sales corporation (DISC) to transfer amounts from a C corporation to Roth IRA’s of the sons of the controlling shareholder of the C corporation involved…
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Commentator – Spring 2017 PDF icon (2)
Vol. 29, Issue 1

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
Many very useful and important updates are contained within this edition of the Commentator…
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Exciting News in Creditor Protection
By Cynthia L. Umphrey
Over the past 20 years, I have seen my clients become increasingly more interested in protecting themselves and their families from creditors.  However, creditor protection planning had generally involved giving up all rights to the assets, moving the assets offshore (both of which come with their own set of complications and risks), or creating a domestic asset protection trust (DAPT) in a jurisdiction such as Nevada, South Dakota or Alaska. I am now happy to report that Michigan has a new law permitting the creation of Michigan DAPTs. In fact, Michigan’s DAPT law is one of the best in the country, offering convenience, flexibility and strong protection when used properly. So exactly what is a DAPT and why might you be interested?
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Why More and More People are Considering Prenuptial Agreements
By Kevin J. McGiness & Amy A. Stawski
Not long ago, prenuptial agreements were mainly considered by the wealthy or the wary – and seldom by young people entering into a first marriage. That is changing. A key factor motivating that change is the average age at which people get married…
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Special Needs Trust Update
By Brian R. Jenney
On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act (P.L. 114-255). Section 5007 of this law contains the “Fairness in Medicaid Supplemental Needs Trusts,” which added the words “the individual” to the laws governing First Party Special Needs Trusts…
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Commentator – Winter 2017 PDF icon (2)

Vol. 29, Issue 1

A message from Ralph Castelli
By Ralph A. Castelli, Jr.
In this time of change, the two things that remain certain are death and taxes.
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Appealing Taxes on Newly Acquired Property
By Jeremy R. Cnudde
Assessments cannot follow sales.  If you have ever attempted to appeal or renegotiate your property tax assessment following a recent purchase of real estate, you most likely have heard this phrase.  It is a favorite, yet often misunderstood, retort of local property tax assessors.  What does this really mean?
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Insider Trading Gap Closed
By Stuart Sinai
The Supreme Court recently took on the issue of whether leaking information even for nothing in return, i.e., making a gift of material non-public information to a relative or friend, is sufficient to support a criminal conviction of both the tipper and the tippee.
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Commentator ALERT – December 2016  PDF icon (2)

‘Tis the Season for Leaving a Legacy!
By Jeremy R. Cnudde
It’s hard to believe that December is already here and the Holiday Season has begun. We are just a few short weeks until the end of the year, and the end of your opportunity to benefit from a bit of charitable good will.
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