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  • Jul 29, 2021Jill Lebowitz to Speak on New Jersey Inheritance Tax at NJICLE 2021 Estate Planning Summer Institute

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., and Co-Chair of its Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group, will present “Digging Deeper into the New Jersey Inheritance Tax” virtually once again for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education (NJICLE) Estate Planning Summer Institute on Friday, July 30, at 9:00 a.m.

    “Being my fifth time presenting on the New Jersey inheritance tax for the Estate Planning Summer Institute, I look forward to further discussion with those in attendance about the changes that have occurred this year,” said Lebowitz.

    About the New Jersey Estate Planning Summer Institute

    This annual program provides an in-depth look at estate planning, featuring an advanced analysis of the most pressing estate planning topics during the current year. Topics to be addressed include law and procedure, essential drafting techniques, and information to elevate an attorney’s practice.

    The two-day program, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, will be held on Thursday, July 29, and Friday, July 30, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., as a live webcast. This year offers 13.9 New Jersey CLE credits, including 1.2 ethics/professionalism credits. New York and Pennsylvania CLE credits are also available. For more information and to register, visit njsba.com or call (732) 214-8500.

    About Jill Lebowitz

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations. She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning, and business succession issues. She drafts estate planning instruments including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation and guardianship matters. She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns. Lebowitz is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts. She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts. She also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation and handles guardianship matters.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues. On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications. Lebowitz has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. She has also been selected for inclusion on the 2019, 2020, and 2021 lists of New Jersey Super Lawyers® in the Estate & Probate section. A description of the selection methodology can be found at superlawyers.com. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

    Lebowitz currently serves on the Meritas U.S. Trusts and Estates Industry Group Steering Committee. She is a Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, and continues to serve on the Section’s Board of Consultors. Lebowitz is also a Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, News, Taxation | Tags: , ,

  • May 06, 2021Norris McLaughlin Expands New York Taxation Practice with New Associate LaShawn Oxendine

    The law firm of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome LaShawn A. Oxendine as an Associate of the firm. She joins the firm’s Taxation Practice Group in its Time Square, New York City, office.

    “Grateful for the opportunity, I look forward to being a part of Norris McLaughlin’s growth strategy in bringing my taxation experience to the firm’s New York office. I am excited to work with the firm’s attorneys in a multi-disciplinary approach,” Oxendine said.

    “With LaShawn on board, we are expanding our team of taxation attorneys into New York to better serve our clients and their needs, and further enhance our reach. With her experience, LaShawn will be a valuable asset not only to the group and the New York office but to the entire firm,” said Andrew N. Parfomak, Administrative Partner of the firm’s New York office.

    About LaShawn Oxendine

    Oxendine focuses her practice on tax law, negotiating tax representations, warranties, covenants, and other key tax provisions of various transaction agreements. In business taxation, she analyzes tax-optimal entity structures for private equity and investment funds. Oxendine counsels C corporation clients on tax planning opportunities and applicable Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions related to IRC 163(j) business interest expense deduction limitations, use of net operating losses, Subpart F income, and global intangible low-taxed income. She also drafts tax distribution and allocation provisions of operating agreements for clients structured as pass-through entities, memoranda and opinions for transactions analyzing IRS Treasury Regulation Section 1.1502-6 liabilities, IRC Section 301 distributions, and other transaction tax-related issues.

    Additionally, Oxendine develops tax-favorable transaction structures for domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and internal restructurings. She has designed and effectuated tax-deferred equity and asset acquisition structures including F reorganizations and leveraged buyouts. Oxendine has also developed and overseen the complex internal restructuring of a multinational transportation company, and prepared a step plan and analysis of sales tax and real estate transfer tax consequences following an asset acquisition of railroad properties valued at over $2 billion. With this experience, Oxendine will also assist the firm’s International Business and Tax Planning Practice Group and write for its blog, “Business Without Borders.”

    As a young lawyer, Oxendine recognizes that her involvement in the legal industry is crucial to her work and success. She is an active member of the American Bar Association, participating in the Taxation, Business Law, and Young Lawyers Sections; the New York State Bar Association; and the New York City Bar Association, where she serves as Secretary of its Personal Income Taxation Committee. Oxendine received her J.D. from Emory University School of Law in 2013 and her B.A. from Spelman College in 2010. Most recently, she earned her LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 2014.

    About the Norris McLaughlin Taxation Practice Group

    The Norris McLaughlin Taxation Practice Group has vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law. Many in this diverse group of attorneys hold a Masters Degree in tax law and they frequently lecture on tax and business issues to organizations such as the taxation sections of the American, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York State Bar Associations and the Society of Certified Public Accountants. The firm provides services in four main areas: business tax, employee benefits, trusts and estates, and tax controversy.

    Posted in: International Business and Tax Planning, LaShawn A. Oxendine, News, Taxation | Tags: , ,

  • Mar 08, 2021Property Tax Appeals Can Save You Money in 2021

    One obvious reason for filing real estate property tax appeals is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. Another important reason to lower your assessment and taxes is to help maintain the value of the property by making it more marketable to potential buyers. COVID-19 has been particularly impactful on commercial property values, whose assessments were set prior to COVID.

    Property Tax Appeals

    Property owners often believe that their property is worth an amount equal to the assessment on the property. This misconception leads owners to overlook the different ratios of assessed value to true value applicable in each of the assessing districts of New Jersey and the fact that these ratios generally decline each year. For example, if a property worth one million dollars this year is located in a municipality with a 60% ratio, it should be assessed at $600,000 this year. If that ratio drops to 54% next year, its assessment should be $540,000. If the ratio drops, but the assessment remains high, it may be time for an appeal. The revaluation of all property within a municipality may increase the possibility of over-assessment on larger commercial and industrial parcels.

    If the taxpayer prevails in securing a tax appeal judgment reducing its assessment, the “Freeze Act” binds the municipality for the years covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first is a complete revaluation of all real property in the municipality, and the second is proof by the municipality of a substantial increase in the property’s value. These exceptions aside, the assessment is frozen at the reduced level, at the taxpayer’s sole option. Thus, if a taxpayer wishes to appeal for a further reduction during the freeze period, he or she is free to do so.

    Save Money in 2021

    These points are intended to merely scratch the surface of this area of the law. This should also help to explain why property owners should have their tax assessments reviewed by legal counsel each year to determine whether a tax appeal is warranted. The experienced attorneys at Norris McLaughlin can help you review and analyze your real property valuations to determine if an appeal makes sense.

    For all counties, other than Monmouth, Gloucester, and Burlington, the deadline to file a tax appeal in 2021 is April 1st. For all towns subject to a revaluation or reassessment (other than those towns in Monmouth County), the deadline is extended to May 1, 2021.

    For additional information, contact one of our tax appeal attorneys, Nicholas F. Pellitta or Timothy P. McKeown.

    This Real Property Tax Appeals Alert provides information to our clients and friends about current legal developments of general interest in the area of real property tax appeals law. The information contained in this Alert should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2021 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

    Posted in: Nicholas F. Pellitta, Real Estate & Finance, Taxation, Timothy P. McKeown |

  • Jan 28, 2021Jill Lebowitz Named Norris McLaughlin Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group Co-Chair

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., has been named Co-Chair of the firm’s Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group along with James J. Costello, Jr., and Judith A. Harris.

    “I am honored to be a co-chair of the firm’s Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group and look forward to my new leadership role. It is a privilege for me to continue to serve the families and business community of New Jersey as part of our estate, trust, and tax team,” said Lebowitz.

    About the Norris McLaughlin Estate, Trust, and Tax Law Practice Group

    Norris McLaughlin’s estate, trust, and tax law attorneys have vast experience in all aspects of state, federal, and international tax law, with an emphasis on the planning and administration of trusts and estates. To assure that assets pass to intended beneficiaries at as little cost as possible, including minimizing state and federal tax burdens, which may require the use of sophisticated and creative planning techniques, the firm provides services in four main areas: business tax, employee benefits, tax controversy, and trusts and estates. Members of this diverse group (many of whom hold master’s degrees in tax law) frequently lecture on tax and business issues to the tax sections of the American Bar Association, the New Jersey State Bar Association, and the Society of Certified Public Accountants, and other organizations.

    About Jill Lebowitz

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations. She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning, and business succession issues. She drafts estate planning instruments including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholder agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation and guardianship matters. She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns. Lebowitz is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect final distribution of estates and trusts. She counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts. She also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation, and handles guardianship matters.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax exempt organizations about federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues. On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications. Lebowitz has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. She has also been selected for inclusion on the current list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate & Probate section. Lebowitz is a Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, and continues to serve on the Section’s Board of Consultors. She is also a Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, News, Taxation | Tags: , ,

  • Jul 21, 2020Jill Lebowitz to Speak on New Jersey Inheritance Tax at NJICLE Estate Planning Summer Institute

    Jill Lebowitz, a Member of the law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will present “Digging Deeper into the New Jersey Inheritance Tax” for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Education (NJICLE) Estate Planning Summer Institute.

    “Each year, it is my pleasure to participate in the NJICLE Estate Planning Institute. Especially now, during these unprecedented times, it is more important than ever to stay informed,” said Lebowitz.

    About the NJICLE Estate Planning Summer Institute

    The two-day program, co-sponsored by the New Jersey State Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section, will be held on Thursday, July 23, and Friday, July 24, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., as a live webcast. The Institute offers 13.4 CLE credits, including one ethics/professionalism credit. For more information and to register, visit njsba.com or call NJICLE at 732-214-8500.

    About Jill Lebowitz

    Lebowitz devotes her practice to estate planning, trust and estate administration, and counseling tax-exempt organizations. She is experienced in drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues. Lebowitz advises clients on the development of both simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning, and business succession issues. She drafts estate planning instruments including wills, revocable living trusts, insurance trusts, dynasty trusts, charitable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, shareholders agreements, limited liability company operating agreements, durable powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care.

    In addition, Lebowitz handles all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as fiduciary litigation and guardianship matters. She prepares federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns and federal gift tax returns. Lebowitz is knowledgeable in drafting disclaimers and agreements regarding post-mortem planning, informal distribution agreements, judicial fiduciary accountings, and handling court proceedings to effect the final distribution of estates and trusts. She also counsels individuals and financial institutions regarding their fiduciary duties as personal representatives and trustees, including advising on legal and tax issues, as well as issues in connection with administering trusts. She also assists individuals, families, and fiduciaries with all aspects of fiduciary litigation and handles guardianship matters.

    Lebowitz regularly advises tax-exempt organizations regarding federal tax exemption issues, state charitable registration filings, and governance issues. On behalf of tax-exempt organizations, she drafts nonprofit corporation documents and prepares federal applications for tax-exempt status, state charitable registration filings, and state property tax and sales tax exemption applications. Lebowitz has extensive experience advising individuals, family and corporate foundations, and tax-exempt organizations on nonprofit corporate governance, private foundation excise taxes, domestic and international grant-making, executive compensation, excess benefit rules and intermediate sanctions, unrelated business income, scholarship programs, and fundraising issues.

    Lebowitz is a Fellow of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a national organization of approximately 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors. She has also been selected for inclusion on the list of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate & Probate section.

    Lebowitz is a Past Chair of the New Jersey State Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, and continues to serve on the Section’s Board of Consultors. She is also a Past President of the Greater Middlesex/Somerset Estate Planning Council and continues to serve on its Board of Trustees.

    Lebowitz earned her LL.M. in Taxation from New York University School of Law, her J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law—Newark, and her B.A. from New York University.

    Posted in: Estate Planning & Administration, Jill Lebowitz, News, Taxation | Tags: , ,

  • Mar 27, 2020Responding to Coronavirus Orders and Adapting My Business – Is This the NEW NORMAL? [DIAL-IN]

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., will host a virtual town hall featuring a panel of attorneys from across the firm’s multi-disciplinary practice answering questions from entrepreneurs, business owners, managers, and community leaders about coronavirus preparedness, transitioning business operations, and adapting to comply with Executive Orders to shut down non-essential businesses.

    Our experienced attorney panel will address issues related to:

    • The Families First Coronavirus Response Act and how it affects obligations to comply with state-issued Executive Orders regarding the closure of non-essential business and orders for residents to stay at home
    • Implications for your commercial contracts as business is impacted by the outbreak
    • Extensions for tax filing deadlines for personal and commercial tax returns
    • How immigrant workers may be impacted by the shutdown and what your obligations are related to reporting
    • How health care facilities and doctors’ offices are coping with the need to stay open and be accessible to patients, and how they are planning for the pending medical supply shortages that are only days away in some areas
    • …and more!

    If you are an entrepreneur or business owner with questions about any of the policy directives, executive orders, and legislation coming out related to coronavirus, you will want to join this virtual town hall to ensure you are getting the most current and up-to-date guidance and advice from a reliable and authoritative resource. Whatever legal questions you may have, our panel of attorneys – who cover nearly every legal discipline that impact today’s businesses – will have an answer.

    We welcome you to submit your questions in advance of the town hall. Please submit those questions by 3:00 p.m. on Monday, March 30, by emailing them to marketing@norris-law.com and put TOWN HALL QUESTION in the subject line.

    When: Tuesday, March 31, 2020

    12:00 – 1:00 p.m.

    Registration: Eventbrite

    Meet Your Panelists

    Posted in: Business Law, Events, Health Care & Life Sciences, Immigration, Labor & Employment, Milan D. Slak, Patrick T. Collins, Raymond G. Lahoud, Taxation | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

  • Feb 24, 2020Norris McLaughlin Welcomes Two New Members to Pennsylvania Office

    The Pennsylvania office of law firm Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to welcome Christopher R. Gray and the Honorable Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.) as Members of the firm. Gray joins both the Tax, Trust, and Estates Practice Group and the Business Law Practice Group, while Warren will be a part of the Labor & Employment, Litigation, and Business Law Practice Groups.

    “We are grateful to have these two established attorneys join our team and look forward to enhancing our multiple practices at Norris McLaughlin. Our clients will benefit from the additional experience Chris and Rebecca are bringing,” said S. Graham Simmons, III, Administrative Partner of the firm’s Pennsylvania office.

    About Christopher Gray

    Gray focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning, estate administration, and income tax planning.

    In addition, Gray is experienced in corporate matters, business transactions, non–profit issues, health care governance, elder law, and general litigation. He represents high net-worth clients and their businesses in developing estate, gift, income tax, and succession planning strategies.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Gray has worked both in private practice and with a financial strategies company advising affluent private clients on business investments, multigenerational estate preservation, and wealth planning.

    A long-time resident of Pennsylvania, Gray is a past officer of the Lehigh Valley Estate Planning Council, and currently serves on the Northampton Community College Foundation Board of Directors, where he is also Chair of its Planned Giving Committee.

    With 25 years of experience, Gray frequently presents on tax law and initiatives, estate planning tools and techniques, and asset protection.

    Gray received his J.D. from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, cum laude, in 1993 and his B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College in 1987. He also earned his LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown University Law Center in 1994.

    “Our Practice Group has witnessed recent and robust growth. We are delighted to welcome Attorney Gray to join our Team at this auspicious time. Chris is a fine asset to our firm and to our clients,” said Judith A. Harris, Co-Chair of the Tax, Trust, and Estates Practice Group.

    About Rebecca Warren

    Warren devotes her practice to labor and employment, business and corporate matters, and general liability litigation.

    As a former in-house corporate attorney and having counseled businesses for over 25 years, Warren is acutely aware of the unique and varied legal needs of business clients. She has created thousands of customized legal documents for corporations, partnerships, LLCs, and sole proprietors. Warren is also well-versed in providing legal strategy and guidance regarding daily business issues and concerns ranging from employment matters to third-party disputes.

    As a former prosecutor, Warren is well-positioned to counsel clients in crisis management, internal and governmental investigations, and regulatory and business compliance. She has represented prominent clients in high-stakes and multi-million-dollar cases at the county, state, and federal levels in multiple states.

    In addition, Warren has extensive experience in insurance defense, white-collar crime, election law, health care, commercial law, estate practice and administration, family law, and real estate.

    Warren handles all aspects of litigation for her clients, having appeared in court on thousands of hearings, proceedings, arbitrations, jury and non-jury trials, and appeals. She was formerly appointed Solicitor for various non-profit organizations and government agencies and had regularly served as a county Arbitration panel member and Chairperson.

    Prior to joining Norris McLaughlin, Warren founded a multi-county law firm and real estate closing company and was a partner in a Philadelphia firm.

    Warren was elected as the first female District Attorney of Montour County by a 3:1 margin. In that role, she designed and implemented an intensive, personalized victim rights program; created the Multi-Disciplinary Investigative Team for child abuse cases to minimize trauma for minor victims; and collaborated with agencies to provide services and treatment for offenders.

    Warren received her J.D. from The Dickinson School of Law in 1991 and her B.A. with honors from Bloomsburg University in 1988.

    “We are excited to see growth within the firm and I am proud to be able to extend our team’s reach in Pennsylvania by adding Rebecca’s many years of experience. Having her in-house perspective, as well as her service as a District Attorney, will be a great addition to our group,” said Patrick T. Collins, Chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group.

    Posted in: Business Law, Christopher R. Gray, Elder Care & Special Needs Law, Estate Planning & Administration, Hon. Rebecca L. Warren (Ret.), Labor & Employment, Litigation, News, Taxation | Tags: , , , , , , ,

  • Feb 19, 2020Property Tax Appeals Can Save You Money in 2020

    One obvious reason for filing real estate property tax appeals is to obtain a lower assessment on your real property and thereby save significant tax dollars. Another important reason to lower your assessment and taxes is to help maintain the value of the property by making it more marketable to potential buyers.

    Property owners often believe that their property is worth an amount equal to the assessment on the property. This misconception leads owners to overlook the different ratios of assessed value to true value applicable in each of the assessing districts of New Jersey and the fact that these ratios generally decline each year. For example, if a property worth one million dollars this year is located in a municipality with a 60% ratio, it should be assessed at $600,000 this year. If that ratio drops to 54% next year, its assessment should be $540,000. If the ratio drops, but the assessment remains high, it may be time for an appeal. The revaluation of all property within a municipality may increase the possibility of over-assessment on larger commercial and industrial parcels.

    Taxpayers with assessments in excess of $1,000,000 can file an appeal for direct review of their property’s assessed valuation by the Tax Court of New Jersey, without first filing an appeal with the local county tax board. Tax appeals on assessments of less than $1,000,000 must first be filed with the county tax board.

    If the taxpayer prevails in securing a tax appeal judgment reducing its assessment, the “Freeze Act” binds the municipality for the years covered by the tax appeal plus two additional years, subject to two exceptions. The first exception is a complete revaluation of all real property in the municipality. The second exception is proof by the municipality of a substantial increase in the property’s value. These exceptions aside, the assessment is frozen at the reduced level, at the taxpayer’s sole option. Thus, if a taxpayer wishes to appeal for a further reduction during the freeze period, he or she is free to do so.

    These points are merely intended to scratch the surface of this area of the law. This should also help to explain why property owners should have their tax assessments reviewed by legal counsel each year to determine whether a tax appeal is warranted. The experienced attorneys at Norris McLaughlin can help you review and analyze your real property valuations to determine if an appeal makes sense.

    For all counties, other than Monmouth and Gloucester, the deadline to file a tax appeal in 2020 is April 1st. For all towns subject to a revaluation or reassessment (other than those towns in Monmouth and Gloucester Counties), the deadline is extended to May 1, 2020.

    For additional information, contact one of our tax appeal attorneys, Nicholas F. Pellitta or Timothy P. McKeown.

    This Real Property Tax Appeals Alert provides information to our clients and friends about current legal developments of general interest in the area of real property tax appeals law. The information contained in this Alert should not be construed as legal advice, and readers should not act upon such without professional counsel. Copyright © 2020 Norris McLaughlin, P.A.

    Posted in: Nicholas F. Pellitta, Real Estate & Finance, Taxation, Timothy P. McKeown |

  • 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.

     

    Posted in: A. Nichole Cipriani, Abbey M. Horwitz, 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 |

  • Oct 15, 2019LLCs From Start to Finish

    Norris McLaughlin, P.A., is pleased to have Victor S. Elgort, Chair of the firm’s Tax Group, speak at the National Business Institute (NBI) two-day seminar, “LLCs From Start to Finish.” Victor will present ” LLC or S-Corp Tax Considerations” and “How to Draft the LLC Operating Agreement” on day one.

    Course Description

    The attendees will be walked through the LLC cycle with practical how-to’s, practice pointers, cautionary advice, and sample forms. Stay up to date with the latest LLC legislation, trends and developments; consider all factors in entity selection and formation, and work through difficult operating agreement provisions. Attendees will also learn more focused skills and applications, such as forming LLCs to purchase real estate, utilizing series LLCs and more.

    Day 1: Legal Update, Entity Selection, Formation, Operating Agreements, and More

    1. New Jersey Legislative Update, Recent Trends, and Developments in LLCs (9:00-10:00 a.m.)
    2. The Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act (RULLCA): What You Need to Know (10:15 – 11:00 a.m.)
    3. LLC Nuts and Bolts: Single Member and Series (11:00 a.m. – noon)
    4. LLC or S-Corp Tax Considerations (1:00 – 2:15 p.m.)
    5. How to Draft the LLC Operating Agreement (2:30 – 3:30 p.m.)
    6. LLC Formation and Operation – Process, Procedures, and Pitfalls (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)

    Day 2: Dividing Member Interests, LLC Conversions, Reorganizations and Disputes

    1. Dividing, Issuing and Transferring LLC Member Interests(9:00 – 9:45 a.m.)
    2. LLC Conversions and Reorganizations (9:45 – 10:30 a.m.)
    3. Using LLCs to Purchase Real Estate 10:45 – 11:45 a.m.)
    4. Using LLCs in Asset Protection and Estate Planning ( 11:45 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)
    5. Preventing and Handling Disputes in the LLC (1:30 – 2:30 p.m.)
    6. Top LLC Mistakes to Avoid in Everyday Business Practices (2:45 – 3:30 p.m.)
    7. Legal Ethics for the LLC Attorney (3:30 – 4:30 p.m.)

    NJ CLE – 14.4
    NY CLE – 14.0
    PA CLE – 12.0
    CPE for Accountants/NASBA – 14.0

    When: Monday, November 4

    Registration: 8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
    Seminar: 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

    Where: Holiday Inn Philadelphia – Cherry Hill

    2175 Marlton Pike W
    Cherry Hill, NJ 08002

    For more information and to register, please click here.

    Posted in: Business Law, Estate Planning & Administration, Events, Health Care & Life Sciences, Taxation, Venture Tech & Emerging Growth Companies, Victor S. Elgort | Tags: ,

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