Andy Gutwein


Warning: NDA's Aren't One Size Fits All

by Andy Gutwein

We had a client contact us recently who was reasonably upset after discovering a party they'd been working with “breached” their Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA). The said party was a prospective buyer who told one of our client’s customers they were buying our client’s business (I think you can see the problem here). Unfortunately, our team at Gutwein Law wasn't given a chance to review the document prior to our client signing the NDA, and that "breach" of contract wasn't really a breach after all.

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The Best Way to Receive a Gift Might be to Give It Back

by Andy Gutwein

Whether you're the "gifter" or the "giftee", it's no secret you want to make the most of a gift. But Federal Estate Tax Laws can make your ideal gifting process a little hard to navigate, to say the least. In recent years, the tax laws have increased the exemption amount (the amount someone can pass without paying any Federal Estate Tax) to approximately $11.2M per person, while the annual gift tax exclusion has increased to $15,000 per person.

While that's a change in your favor, I think it's important to talk through the implications of a gift versus an inheritance. An inheritance, which is a transfer that occurs upon death of the gifter, results in something called “stepped up basis.”  A gift made during the gifter’s lifetime results in “carryover basis.”

Let's take a look at a real-world example to help make sense of these two ideas:

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Is your child turning 18? They may still need you to have their back.

by Andy Gutwein

Seeing your child grow up and become an adult is generally both exciting and somewhat frightening. They’re ready to take on the world, and now they can vote and even legally enter into contracts for the first time in their lives. For the average 18-year-old, though, they’re usually most excited about graduating from high school and ultimately getting out of your house.

In my mind, during this transition period in their life, it's good to give them the responsibility that comes with being an adult. As a parent and an attorney, I don’t encourage anyone to continue to treat adult children like they treated them when they were in elementary or junior high. They should begin being responsible for their own decisions and being aware of their own deadlines. 

However, what if something happens? What if they get sick? What if they get into a situation where they really need your help?

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Gifting to save taxes? Not so fast.

by Andy Gutwein

Frequently I hear from people who want to gift away their assets while they’re alive in order “to save taxes” and “make sure the government doesn’t take it all.” Unfortunately though, many of these people are following coffee shop advice from outdated sources or uninformed friends.

The reality is that the majority of people are better off not making gifts during their lifetime and passing assets to their children upon their death. Why, you ask? It's because of what's known as the "Step Up Basis" vs the "Carryover Basis." I'll give you an example.

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What is a family foundation, and should I have one?

by Andy Gutwein

A client contacted us and asked: “What is a family foundation, and should I have one?” This isn't the first time the question has come up, so I wanted to share our answer.

A family foundation is a way to obtain a charitable income tax deduction today while distributing the money to charities in the future.  It is a not-for-profit organization that holds funds and then disburses those funds to charitable organizations.  They are recognized as 501(c)(3) organizations and the person contributing to the foundation is allowed a charitable deduction when the property is transferred into the foundation.  (There are limits on the amount that can be deducted.)   So, someone puts their money into the foundation, and then the foundation distributes it to charities.

Should you have one?  It depends.

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