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Congress Enacts the Corporate Transparency Act Requiring Certain Entities to Disclose their Owners

On January 1, 2021, Congress enacted the National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA”). One portion of the NDAA includes the Corporate Transparency Act (the “CTA”), which is described as the most comprehensive anti-money laundering legislation passed in the United States and which regulates the use of anonymous entities for money laundering, tax evasion, and financing terrorism.  The CTA requires certain entities, including limited liability companies, corporations, and “similar entities,” to disclose their individual owners and their “beneficial owners”, meaning those who own or control at least 25% of the entity.  The legislation is aimed at preventing these “shell companies” from hiding illegal activity.

The statute states that the CTA only applies to entities that are created by filing a document with a secretary of state or a similar office, or are formed under the laws of a foreign country, but are registered to do business in the United States through

BCLP Partner Stephanie Kriegel Quoted in Wall Street Journal

BCLP Partner Stephanie Kriegel was quoted in a February 27, 2021 article published in the Wall Street Journal Online entitled “Declutter the Filing Cabinet: What to Save, Move to Cloud, or Shred.”  In this article, Kriegel discusses the importance of retaining physical copies of your estate planning documents.  The entire article can be found here.

To Do: Year-End Gifting – Check (or not)

With the end of the year approaching, we thought now would be a good time to re-post and update our annual blog entry on gifting.

For 2021, the annual exclusion gift amount will remain the same as 2020’s at $15,000, but the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption will increase to $11,700,000 (up from 2020’s $11,540,000).

With ten days left in the year, many people are still planning how to make 2020 gifts, whether by making “annual exclusion” gifts of $15,000 per beneficiary, or by taking advantage of the 2020 gift tax exemption amount of $11,540,000.  Whatever the reason for the last-minute gifting, as the end of the year approaches, people may be tempted to make a “quick and easy” gift to their beneficiaries by simply writing a check. As the year draws to a close, however, if your gift is dependent on utilizing 2020 tax law, beware of the

Schlesinger Named to SLBJ 2020 Class of Diverse Business Leaders

St. Louis Counsel Elizabeth Schlesinger has been named to the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2020 class of Diverse Business Leaders.

The Business Journal established its awards program to salute those who promote diversity around race, sexual orientation and disability. The personal and professional backgrounds of this year’s 20 honorees “demonstrate the increasingly important role that diversity and inclusion play in the workplace and community,” the publication stated.

Schlesinger is an active participant in numerous volunteer and community activities, with a particular focus on LGBTQ advocacy. She has championed LGBTQ rights issues inside the legal community and in the broader community, both in St. Louis and nationally. Among her numerous civic involvements, she is currently the chair of the National Board of Governors of the Human Rights Campaign.

At BCLP, Schlesinger is a member of the firm’s Private Client Group. Her practice involves estate planning and administration, with a focus on wealth transfer tax planning.

BCLP Partner Stephanie Moll Interviewed with WealthManagement.com

BCLP Partner Stephanie Moll was interviewed in a WealthManagement.com article titled “Pre-Death Litigation Plagued the Estate of Sumner Redstone.” Moll discusses claims of elder abuse and diminished capacity in the estate planning context. The entire article can be found here.

BCLP Partner Tiffany McKenzie Discusses Health Care Directives in the Era of COVID-19

Atlanta BCLP Partner Tiffany McKenzie spoke on Frazer Rice’s Wealth Actually podcast regarding special planning considerations for your health care directive and power of attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic. The full podcast can be found here.

BCLP Team to Present on Litigation Risks of COVID-19 Remote Witnessing and Notarization

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, many states have temporarily authorized remote witnessing and notarization of estate planning documents. These laws present a unique set of litigation risks, which can be mitigated with careful planning.

BCLP Partner, Doug Stanley, and Associates, Andrew Bleyer and Sasha Riedisser, will be discussing this topic on a Federal Bar Association webinar on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. CST. You can register for the webinar here.

Revisiting your Healthcare Directive (or Living Will) in Light of COVID-19

https://prepareforyourcare.org/welcomeThe numbers of confirmed cases of U.S. citizens with COVID and of those who die from COVID related symptoms are continuing to rise.  COVID-19 has caused life-threating respiratory conditions, extended hospitalizations, and a resulting strain on our healthcare system.  Because COVID-19 is so contagious, the loved ones and family members of sick patients are not able to accompany them to the hospital.  Consequently, the virus underscores for all of us the importance of healthcare planning, particularly by having an advance directive or living will.

Advance directives are legal documents that specify healthcare treatment preferences (the “living will” portion) and designate a “healthcare proxy.” The proxy, also known as a healthcare agent, is a person you designate to make decisions for you in case you become unable to make them for yourself.  The directive

The Most Savvy DIY Project to Do from Home During Quarantine… Organize your Personal Records!

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At this point you’ve probably cleaned out your closets and garage or tackled that home improvement project you’ve been wanting to do since you moved into your home.  Maybe you’ve even made banana bread, Dalgona whipped coffee or watched Tiger King and all three seasons of Ozark.  But what have you done to ensure your personal and family organization? One of the most important DIY projects that has been overlooked is the compilation, organization and maintenance of your important documents and records.

There is no better time than now to get your financial and estate planning documents in order!

Some of the information you should organize and compile is:

Contact Information: Create a list of all of the important people in your life (including their contact information). This list can include people like your attorney, your CPA, your named Executors and Trustees,

BCLP Counsel Elizabeth Schlesinger to Present with HRC

BCLP Counsel Elizabeth Schlesinger will be presenting at the Human Rights Campaign Webinar on estate planning documents that can help protect you and your loved ones during the COVID-19 crisis and beyond.  The Webinar will be held on April 20, 2020 at 4 p.m. EST.

Register for the Webinar here.

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