Mar 6, 2017

Have You Had Anything to Drink Tonight? – Ask Me No Questions and I’ll Tell You No Lies

Police lightsPulled over by the police, watching the flashing red and blue lights in your rear view mirror, you look for your license, registration and proof of insurance. You roll your window down and the officer asks if you’ve been drinking.

What should you say?

The truth of course. Always the truth. Especially if the truth is that you haven’t been drinking.

But what if you have been drinking?

Before you answer, you might want to … Read more

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Feb 27, 2017

Executor of Estate Found Personally Liable to IRS for Decedent’s Unpaid Taxes

Gold dollar signsBenjamin Franklin once observed “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”  For those who doubt Franklin’s sagacity in that regard, consider the recent case of Marci McNicol.  A federal court found her personally liable to the Internal Revenue Services to the tune of $125,000.00 with respect to taxes owed by her late husband.  Here’s what happened.

On his death, in addition to their four minor children, McNicol’s husband … Read more

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Feb 23, 2017

Cover Your Tail – Protecting Against Personal Liability of LLC Members After the Company Dies

FailureOne of the principal benefits of a limited liability company is the insulation it provides its members against personal liability for company debts.  It is, however, possible to lose that protection against personal liability.  One situation where the members and managers can expose themselves to personal liability for company debts is when the company is dissolved and the members assume responsibility for paying the company’s remaining debts, winding up its affairs and distributing the company’s … Read more

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Feb 22, 2017

Some Laws Require Discrimination

McDonalds - 022217It’s often assumed that all civil rights laws forbid discrimination which the law considers somehow wrongful or “invidious” while ignoring the fact that many “civil rights laws” actually require discrimination.  McDonald’s assumed that it complied with the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) by serving only customers in cars at the drive through window at its late-night outlets because it was not wrongfully discriminating against disabled customers who couldn’t drive.  Thus, McDonald’s claimed that it complied … Read more

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Feb 20, 2017

Oaths and Oath Breaking

Barack Obama Oath“When a man takes an oath, he’s holding his own self in his own hands like water, and if he opens his fingers then, he needn’t  hope to find himself again.”

 Paul Scofield, as Sir Thomas More, in A Man for All Seasons (1966)

Once upon a time, an oath taken by a public official meant something, consequences notwithstanding, as dramatized in the Hollywood classic movie of more than 50 years ago, A Man for Read more

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Feb 14, 2017

What Happens When Dad Gives Your Inheritance to His New Girlfriend?

InheritanceMost folks will acknowledge that an adult of sound mind is free to give his money and property to whomever he pleases, both during his lifetime and after death, as directed by his estate plan.  Such an acknowledgement, however, is subject to qualification, particularly when the soundness of the giver’s mind is called into question.  This can arise in a variety of scenarios, often when the giver makes someone new the object of his affections … Read more

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Feb 9, 2017

Mandated Exceptions to Confidentiality Provisions in Employee Agreements; The Government’s Campaign to Promote the Snitch

Confidential fileEmployers often insist that their employees sign written agreements promising not to disclose confidential information concerning their employer to anyone during and following their employment.  Of course such agreements frustrate governmental agencies which want to encourage employees to complain to them.

Thus, federal agencies are now invalidating and refusing to recognize employee confidentiality agreements which do not explicitly acknowledge and alert the employee of their right to file a charge or complaint against the employer … Read more

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Feb 7, 2017

Will the Federal Estate Tax Be Repealed this Year? If So, Will Anyone Notice?

House of RepresentativesCompanion bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate to repeal the federal estate tax.  On January 24, 2017, Representative Noem introduced H.R. 631 which was referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee for consideration.   The same day, Senator Thune introduced comparable legislation in the Senate.  If enacted by Congress and signed by President Trump, no federal estate tax would be assessed against estates of decedents dying thereafter.… Read more

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It’s How That Old Joke Goes

EthicsA tax professor, an IRS ethics advisor, and a meth dealer all walk into a bar. Except it’s just one guy.

An adjunct professor at Georgetown Law who also worked in the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Service was recently charged with selling large quantities of methamphetamines.

If one is considering a similar career path, better to work for Pfizer where the governmental red tape is significantly lessened.

Charges are not … Read more

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Jan 31, 2017

What Becomes Of Fido When You Are No Longer There?

OllieWhen most people think of estate planning, I would venture a guess that their thoughts don’t usually include making provision for their pets in the event of their own untimely passing.  That is not surprising given that most of us assume, correctly, that we will outlive our beloved four-legged companions.  However, experience shows that such is not always the case.  So, as you look deeply into the eyes of your faithful and devoted canine/feline, ask … Read more

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