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Family Businesses: Controls, Successions and Sales

Originally posted on the BCLP Private Wealth Insight Blog found here.

The family business not only represents the hard work and entrepreneurial spirit of the founders, sometimes across generations, but is often a reflection of the founder’s and family’s values and beliefs.

The family business has the potential to grow, adapt and continue to deliver value across generations – but can it, will it and should it?

Should the founders pass it on or sell it?  Are the options binary?

In weighing up the options, the issues can sometimes seem conflicting.

  • Does the need for financial freedom – to provide financial support to family; to explore new investments or philanthropic ambitions – necessarily mean the family business must be converted to cash?
  • If there is no family member willing and capable of taking on leadership of the business, can the family business, to which the family

A 200% Tax on Self-Dealing? And People Think the Estate Tax is High!

With research and drafting assistance provided by our extern from Washington University School of Law, Rachael Lynch.

Now that we’ve scared you with the potentially high taxes for self-dealing in private foundations, what is self dealing?

Self dealing includes any of the following transactions:

1. sale or exchange, or leasing, of property between a private foundation and a disqualified person (click here for a definition of a disqualified person); 2. lending of money or other extension of credit between a private foundation and a disqualified person; 3. furnishing of goods, services, or facilities between a private foundation and a disqualified person; 4. payment of compensation by a foundation to a disqualified person; 5. transfer of income or assets of a private foundation to a disqualified person; and 6. agreement by a private foundation to make any payment to a government official (other than an agreement to hire the official when

Estate Tax Account Transcripts Available on IRS.gov

Estate tax transcripts can now be accessed online through the IRS website.

“The ability to access those transcripts online is a significant milestone in the Internal Revenue Service’s effort to reduce the number of estate tax closing letter requests and lessen its workload,” said Catherine Hughes, of the Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Policy.

Before June 1, 2015, the IRS issued an estate tax closing letter for every estate tax return filed.  For returns filed on or after that date, the IRS issues a closing letter only at the request of the estate.

In Notice 2017-12, issued in January 2017, the IRS stated that in lieu of closing letters, executors, local probate courts, state tax departments, and others can request an account transcript—a computer-generated report that includes the date on which the

Bryan Cave Trusts and Estates Group Recognized as National Tier 1 Firm

Bryan Cave LLP has once again been recognized as a U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” National Tier 1 ranked firm for its work in Trusts & Estates.  Awards are determined using several criteria, including: client evaluations, peer attorney feedback, and, notably, managing partners and practice area chairs’ reviews. Congrats to the Bryan Cave Private Client Group!

Georgia Superior Court Could Not Sanction Probate Court Conduct

February 28, 2018

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Probate court practice can be quirky, fraught with procedural peculiarities and appellate traps for those who do not regularly practice there.  Appeals from a Georgia county probate court to that county’s superior court – an appellate process that does not apply to every probate court in Georgia but only to those in certain counties – is one arena in which these quirks frequently arise.  Often, the issues relate to jurisdiction between the two courts.  In McNair v. McNair, the Georgia Court of Appeals addressed a superior court’s authority to impose sanctions for conduct that occurred in probate court proceedings in the same case but prior to the appeal to superior court.

The short answer?  It can’t.

Estate disputes are among the most hotly contested disputes for myriad reasons, not the least of which is they often involve family.  So, it’s not