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  • Feb 05, 2020The Secure Act and Its Impact on Your Estate Plan

    As the festivities of the New Year have waned and we approach Tax Season, we bring you news of a recent legislative development that warrants your attention and may require changes to your estate plan. During the final weeks of 2019, Congress enacted federal tax legislation known as the “SECURE Act.”

    The SECURE Act

    The law makes important changes to the federal tax code that will impact distributions from retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, 403(bs)s, IRAs, and tax-qualified annuities (referred to in this legal advisory collectively as “Retirement Accounts”). Those changes may affect you during your lifetime and may also affect the way Retirement Accounts are distributed to your beneficiaries after your death. Consequently, the law may also limit your ability to protect retirement accounts from your beneficiaries’ creditors in a tax-efficient manner.

    This legal advisory summarizes the key aspects of the SECURE Act, which is effective as of January 1, 2020, that may affect your estate plan. We hope you find it helpful in understanding certain major changes enacted by this legislation and how they might affect you. However, bear in mind that the law will affect everyone differently. Therefore, we strongly urge you to contact our office to arrange a time for us to discuss this new law in detail, so that we may act to make any necessary revisions to your estate plan as soon as possible.

    Changes Affecting You

    One component of the SECURE Act that will affect many people during their lives is a change in the age at which a person must begin taking distributions from a Retirement Account. Prior to the SECURE Act, most people (except those who were not yet retired) were required to begin taking distributions from Retirement Accounts by April 1st of the year following the year in which they reached age 70 ½. Under the SECURE Act, the age is increased to 72 for those who were not yet required to take distributions under the old law.

    Also, the SECURE Act removes the age cap for funding traditional (non-Roth) IRAs, meaning that qualifying individuals over age 70½ are now eligible to make deductible and nondeductible contributions to a traditional IRA (and may, in some instances, present additional opportunities for funding a Roth IRA).

    These changes involve additional detail and nuance beyond the summary provided in this Alert and may present an opportunity for some to take further advantage of the tax-deferred savings offered by Retirement Accounts. Feel free to reach out to any member of the Norris McLaughlin Trust, Estate, and Individual Tax Law Practice Group to discuss those opportunities in coordination with your accountant or financial advisor.

    Changes Affecting Your Beneficiaries

    Perhaps the most significant changes concerning estate planning brought about by the SECURE Act regard how Retirement Accounts are distributed after the account holder’s death to avoid penalties while continuing to defer taxes. Under prior law, it was possible to “stretch” the distribution of inherited Retirement Accounts over the life expectancy of a beneficiary. Beneficiaries were required to take a required minimum distribution each year based on their life expectancy and the undistributed balance of the Retirement Account could continue to grow income tax-free. Better yet, leaving the balance of a Retirement Account to a trust, properly drafted to meet IRS requirement, for the benefit of a beneficiary, could protect retirement benefits from the beneficiary’s creditors and ensure that those benefits remain in the family upon the beneficiary’s death, while still benefiting from income tax-free growth for the undistributed portion of the Retirement Account.

    The SECURE Act has changed those rules so that most beneficiaries will be required to receive the full amount of an inherited Retirement Account within 10 years of the death of the person who funded the Retirement Account. Certain beneficiaries, including your spouse; your minor children (but not grandchildren); and beneficiaries who are disabled, chronically ill, or no more than 10 years younger than you, are exempt from the 10-year rule and are still permitted to take distributions over their expected lifetimes (although, children who are minors at the time of inheritance must now take the full distribution within 10 years of reaching the age of majority). However, Retirement Accounts left to those beneficiaries in trust might not qualify for the life expectancy payout, depending on the terms of the trust. Even special needs trusts might require review, as they must be structured narrowly to ensure that the stretch is preserved. Provisions that allow the trust to benefit another individual might be problematic.

    The good news is that the SECURE Act does not change the method of designating your beneficiaries to receive Retirement Accounts. If you have existing beneficiary designations in place, those designations are still valid. However, the SECURE Act does introduce a host of new considerations that must be taken into account when structuring your estate plan to maximize the benefit of Retirement Accounts and best protect your beneficiaries.

    Unfortunately, Congress gave us little warning that these changes were imminent. Accordingly, estate plans that previously offered a sound approach to planning for Retirement Accounts may no longer provide a good solution.  For example, some of you may have plans in place that leave Retirement Accounts to a trust known as a “Conduit Trust.” All distributions from Retirement Accounts paid to a Conduit Trust must be distributed directly from the Trust to the beneficiary. That might have been a good approach under the old law since distributions could be stretched over the expected lifetime of the trust beneficiary. However, under the SECURE Act, that same Conduit Trust might now require distribution of the entire Retirement Account to the beneficiary within 10 years of the death of the account owner or upon a minor child reaching the age of majority. Depending on the circumstances, under the SECURE Act, other planning techniques might better serve the goals those plans are meant to achieve.

    Take Action

    With the implementation of the SECURE Act effective January 1st of this year, we recommend that we review your estate plan as soon as possible to ensure that it disposes of your Retirement Accounts in keeping with your objectives.  We welcome the opportunity to discuss these changes with you, answer any questions you may have, and make recommendations specifically for you. Please contact our office to arrange a meeting or phone conference at your earliest convenience so that we can help you find the best planning solutions to meet your needs and those of your family.

    Note:  The contents of this letter are for informational purposes only and are not intended to constitute legal advice or form an attorney-client relationship. For information and advice particular to your situation, please contact one of the following attorneys in our Trust, Estate & Individual Tax Practice Group:  A. Nichole Cipriani, James J. Costello, Jr., Shauna M. Deans, Nicholas J. Dimakos, Robert E. Donatelli, Victor S. Elgort, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), Christopher R. Gray, Judith A. Harris, Abbey M. Horwitz, Dolores A. Laputka, Jill Lebowitz, Kenneth D. Meskin, Michael T. Reilly, Shana Siegel, Milan D. Slak, Burt Allen Solomon.

    Posted in: A. Nichole Cipriani, Abbey M. Horwitz, Burt Allen Solomon, Christopher R. Gray, Dolores A. Laputka, Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Emil Giordano (Ret.), James J. Costello, Jill Lebowitz, Judith A. Harris, Kenneth D. Meskin, Michael T. Reilly, Milan D. Slak, Nicholas J. Dimakos, Robert E. Donatelli, Shana Siegel, Shauna M. Deans, Taxation, Victor S. Elgort |

  • Dec 17, 2019Michael Reilly Speaks to the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives of Greater New York

    Michael T. Reilly, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., presented “Proactive Strategies for Shaping Legislation, Regulation, and Political Discourse in New York City Cooperatives” to the Coordinating Council of Cooperatives of Greater New York on December 14.

    About the Presentation

    Reilly discussed how each individual cooperative could come together with the Coordinating Council of Cooperative to influence the political agenda proactively through education, participation, and voting. He suggested participating in community events, inviting elected officials to speak to shareholders and residents, communicating with Community Affairs, volunteering and hosting events, and donating to applicable causes.

    “It’s important for these New York cooperative board members to get involved in their communities, and politics is a great outlet to do so. Providing the educational tools necessary for them to be a part of the decision-making really benefits the entire City in the long run,” said Reilly.

    About Michael Reilly

    Reilly devotes his practice to real estate, construction, finance, landlord-tenant litigation, and probate matters. He advises cooperative and condominium boards and homeowner associations on corporate governance, financing, construction contracts, commercial leases, regulatory compliance, utility procurement, and insurance recovery matters.

    Reilly also provides general counsel advice to not-for-profit corporations that provide supportive housing and social services to elderly, economically disadvantaged, and developmentally disabled residents. He represents corporate entities, individuals, and trusts in the purchase, sale, and lease of commercial properties, condominium units, cooperative apartments, loft spaces, time-share properties, single and multi-family homes, and undeveloped land. Reilly helps owners obtain acquisition financing and negotiate the refinancing and restructuring of underlying mortgages and lines of credit, he advises real estate investors in Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 like-kind exchanges.

    In addition, Reilly litigates commercial and residential landlord-tenant cases in New York Civil and Supreme Courts. He has represented condominium boards in common charge collection and unit owner default cases and has successfully negotiated with commercial developers and neighboring buildings to secure license, access, and indemnity agreements on behalf of landlords during construction.

    Reilly regularly appears before the city and state regulatory agencies, including the New York City Environmental Control Board, the New York City Department of Buildings, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, defending landlords and tenants in municipal, construction, environmental, criminal, fire, and building code violations. He has successfully prosecuted non-primary residence proceedings on behalf of regulated housing landlords.

    Reilly received his B.A., Government, from Hamilton College in 1998, his J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 2001, and his LL.M., Taxation, from Boston University School of Law.

    Posted in: Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Michael T. Reilly, News | Tags: ,

  • Apr 15, 2019Michael Reilly in Panel Discussion at The Cooperator Expo New York

    Michael T. Reilly, a Member of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., participated in the panel discussion “Homesharing and Subletting in the Airbnb Era – New Rules and Best Practices to Protect Your Investment” at The Cooperator Expo New York, Thursday, April 11, at the New York Hilton Midtown in New York.

    Reilly discussed the rise of Airbnb and other homeshare platforms and the latest developments in the homeshare economy; how it’s impacting property owners and building administrators in the city; and what you can do to strike a balance between residents’ rights and protecting your property.

    The Cooperator Expo New York is one of New York’s biggest co-op, condo, and apartment expos, with more than 300 exhibitors. Attendees get advice from industry experts and network with peers while learning about the latest building services.

    Reilly devotes his practice to real estate, construction, finance, landlord tenant litigation, and probate matters.  He advises cooperative and condominium boards and homeowner associations on corporate governance, financing, construction contracts, commercial leases, regulatory compliance, utility procurement, and insurance recovery matters. He also provides general counsel advice to not-for-profit corporations that provide supportive housing and social services to elderly, economically disadvantaged, and developmentally disabled residents. He represents corporate entities, individuals, and trusts in the purchase, sale, and lease of commercial properties, condominium units, cooperative apartments, loft spaces, time-share properties, single and multi-family homes, and undeveloped land. Reilly helps owners obtain acquisition financing and negotiate the refinancing and restructuring of underlying mortgages and lines of credit, he advises real estate investors in Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 like-kind exchanges.

    In addition, Reilly litigates commercial and residential landlord tenant cases in New York Civil and Supreme Courts. He has represented condominium boards in common charge collection and unit owner default cases, and successfully negotiated with commercial developers and neighboring buildings to secure license, access, and indemnity agreements on behalf of landlords during construction. He regularly appears before city and state regulatory agencies, including the New York City Environmental Control Board, the New York City Department of Buildings, and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, defending landlords and tenants in municipal, construction, environmental, criminal, fire, and building code violations. He has successfully prosecuted non-primary residence proceedings on behalf of regulated housing landlords.

    Reilly received his B.A., Government, from Hamilton College in 1998, his J.D. from Tulane University Law School in 2001, and his LL.M., Taxation, from Boston University School of Law.

    Posted in: Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Estate Planning & Administration, Michael T. Reilly, News, Real Estate & Finance | Tags: , , , ,

  • Nov 13, 2013Norris McLaughlin, P.A.Closes First Multi-Family Grant Under NYC Build It Back

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A.Closes First Multi-Family Grant Under NYC Build It Back

    New York, NY (November 13, 2013) – New York, NY (November 13, 2013) – The Cooperative and Condominium Law Group of Norris McLaughlin, P.A. represented Knickerbocker Village (KVI) in securing $1.46 million in Hurricane Sandy relief funds from NYC Build it Back multi-family building repair program. This transaction was the first grant provided by the NYC Build it Back program. KVI was represented by Norris McLaughlin, P.A.attorneys Burt Allen Solomon, Karol S. Robinson, Michael T. Reilly, and Danielle M. Wanglien.

    “Knickerbocker Village will use its $1.46 million to finance Phase I of repairs to help undo the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy. In addition to making much needed repairs, the funds will help improve the resiliency of the buildings to resist and mitigate damage from future severe weather events,” said Robinson.

    “NYC Build it Back is an important part of our efforts help New Yorkers continue the road to recovery,” said Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.

    “Today marks a new beginning for these first three multi-family buildings to receive federal recovery funding through NYC Build it Back. Hurricane Sandy was a turning point for how we must think about protecting our tenants and our housing stock in the face of severe weather events. It’s fitting that we memorialize this storm by moving forward and rebuilding better, smarter and stronger than before,” said Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas.

    By way of merger with Szold & Brandwen, P.C., Norris McLaughlin, P.A. has a long and illustrious history working with housing corporations. Members of the Cooperative and Condominium Law Group worked with the establishment of middle income and Mitchell-Lama government-assisted cooperative housing. They have also helped to develop and update New York’s legislation for cooperatives constructed with government assistance for persons of moderate income. The Group deals with all relevant government agencies involved with this type of housing, represents housing developments with their architects, engineers and contractors, and advises them concerning corporate governance and the relationships between the co-ops and their shareholders and commercial tenants.

    Today, Norris McLaughlin, P.A. represents cooperative and affordable housing corporations as both general and special counsel, as well as luxury cooperatives and condominiums, dealing with the Boards of Directors, officers, and managers. The firm brings to its co-op and condominium practice expertise in real estate, financing, corporate, general commercial, trusts and estates, and employment law drawn from the other practices of the firm.

    Posted in: Burt Allen Solomon, Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Michael T. Reilly, News |

  • Sep 09, 2013Michael T. Reilly Appointed to Cooperative & Condominium Law Committee of City Bar

    Michael T. Reilly Appointed to Cooperative & Condominium Law Committee of City Bar

    New York, NY (September 9, 2013) – Michael T. Reilly, an attorney with the law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., was recently appointed to the Cooperative & Condominium Law Committee of the New York City Bar Association.

    ”It is my pleasure to join the Cooperative and Condominium Law Committee. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the efforts of the committee to address the issues that impact our industry,” said Reilly.

    The Committee addresses issues in a variety of areas pertaining to cooperative and condominium housing law. These areas include changes in the policies of lenders and working with lenders to address changed policies and other issues (both with respect to end loans and underlying mortgages), recent legislation in the New York State Legislature and in the New York City Council, discrimination in coops and condos, reasonable accommodations, and issues between boards and apartment owners. Members speak regularly with the Office of the Attorney General Real Estate Finance Bureau and serve on the committees of other organizations to coordinate efforts in the industry.

    Reilly, a resident of Westfield, New Jersey, counsels private cooperative and condominium boards on corporate governance matters, financing, contracts, commercial leases and regulatory compliance. He is experienced in sponsor litigation and has successfully represented boards and property managers in shareholder breach of fiduciary duty cases. Reilly also represents cooperatives regulated by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the New York State Division of Housing and Community Renewal, and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.

    Reilly represents individuals, trusts, and corporate entities in the purchase, sale, lease, and financing of residential condominium units, cooperative apartments, timeshare properties, single and multi-family homes, and undeveloped land. He has also advised real estate investors in Internal Revenue Code Section 1031 Like-Kind Exchanges.

    In addition, Reilly litigates commercial and residential landlord tenant cases in New York Civil and Supreme Courts. He has also represented condominium boards in common charge collection and unit owner default cases. He regularly appears before city and state regulatory agencies, defending landlords and tenants in municipal, construction, environmental, fire and building code violations.

    Reilly earned his LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University School of Law in 2002; his J.D. from Tulane University School of Law, where he was a Notes and Comments Editor for the Tulane Maritime Law Journal, in 2001; and his B.A. in Government from Hamilton College in 1998. He is admitted to practice in New York, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of New York, and before the U.S. Tax Court.

    Posted in: Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Michael T. Reilly, News |

  • Jun 03, 2013Norris McLaughlin, P.A.Testifies in Opposition to Proposed Cooperative Legislation

    New York, NY (June 3, 2013) – Burt Allen Solomon, a Member of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and its Cooperative and Condominium Law Group, testified in opposition to proposed New York City legislation Intro 188, which would be called the Fair Cooperative Procedure Law (“FCP Law”), at a New York City Council Committee Hearing.  The FCP Law is being touted as adding to existing protections against discrimination in the cooperative housing purchase-and-sale market in New York City.   In addition to Solomon, several other attorneys in the firm’s Co-op and Condo Law Group worked on preparation for the hearing, including Karol S. Robinson, a Member of the firm who researched and drafted the testimony; Michael T. Reilly, who also completed research and attended the hearing; and Ezra N. Goodman, Member of the firm and Chair of the Group.

    “As currently drafted, the FCP Law creates an undue burden on cooperatives, their boards of directors, and their managing agents; and puts directors who are involved in the application approval process at an unconscionable risk of personal liability.  Further, the proposed legislation does not truly address the alleged discrimination in the cooperative application approval process that is supposedly motivating the law,” testified Solomon.

    “Real estate brokers and their lobbying groups that support the FCP Law testified about the economics of the cooperative buying process and the brokers’ perceived need to set firm deadlines, but housing discrimination, which the law was intended to address,” Reilly explains.

    By way of merger with Szold & Brandwen, P.C., Norris McLaughlin, P.A. has a long and illustrious history working with housing corporations. Members of the Cooperative and Condominium Law Group worked with the establishment of middle income and Mitchell-Lama government-assisted cooperative housing. They also helped to develop New York’s legislation for cooperatives constructed with government assistance for persons of moderate income. The Group deals with all relevant government agencies involved with this type of housing, represents housing development with their contractors, and advises them concerning corporate governance and the relationships between the co-ops and their shareholders.

    Today, Norris McLaughlin, P.A. represents cooperative and affordable housing corporations as both general and special counsel, as well as luxury cooperatives and condominiums, dealing with the Boards of Directors, officers, and managers. The firm brings to its co-op & condominium practice expertise in real estate, financing, corporate, general commercial, trusts & estates, and employment law drawn from the other practices of the firm.

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    Posted in: Burt Allen Solomon, Cooperative ("Co-op") and Condominium Law, Ezra N. Goodman, Michael T. Reilly, News |

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