Family Businesses

News & Analysis as of

For family businesses, the role of the attorney comes full circle

There was a time when a lawyer was considered the “consigliere” to the family and its business. Remember the role of Robert Duvall as Tom Hagen in The Godfather? Tom Hagen’s role was not as a transaction lawyer (that role was...more

Is it Time to Hire an In-House Lawyer?

As a family business grows, the question often arises whether and when to hire an in-house lawyer to manage the business’s legal affairs. How does the family—or, more accurately, the family business’s board of directors,...more

Bankruptcy Beat: A Post-Divorce Judgment Stipulation That Modifies Obligations to a Former Spouse Does Not Likewise Modify The...

On March 3, 2015, the Honorable Albert S. Dabrowski issued a decision in Swiatowiec v. Swiatowiec (In re Swiatowiec), Adv. Pro. No. 11-2074, concerning the issue of whether obligations to a former spouse incurred in the...more

Budding Family Business Entrepreneur? Top Three Legal Tips You Need to Know

A recent New Tech Seattle event at the Seattle Center brought together a group of interesting budding entrepreneurs. Discussions with several people led to the realization that many of them are facing the same basic legal...more

New Tax Rules for Tangible Property

Progress always requires change, and progress in the way we tax tangible property is no exception. The tangible property rules have long been one of the murkier areas of the federal tax code. But new regulations — the last...more

Recent Trends in Succession & Estate Planning

The traditional model for business owners to pass their assets on after death to spouses, children and grandchildren is for their professional advisors to suggest a tax-efficient structure which becomes embodied in wills,...more

Recent Trends in Succession & Estate Planning [Video]

The traditional model for business owners to pass their assets on after death to spouses, children and grandchildren is for their professional advisors to suggest a tax-efficient structure which becomes embodied in wills,...more

The Coming Silver Tsunami: Families May Lose 70% in Wealth Transfer

Record Wealth Transfer. Over the next 30-40 years about $12 trillion from those born in 1920s and 30s will be transferred to the baby boomers, and the boomers are expected to transfer some $30 trillion to their heirs, with...more

Can a Receiver’s Appointment Be Declared Void by Another Court?

QUESTION: I am a receiver appointed pursuant to stipulation in an action pending in superior court between a husband and a wife over the operation of a business they own. After operating the business for many months, I agreed...more

PilieroMazza Legal Advisor - First Quarter 2015

In this issue: - SBA Proposes Important New Small Business Contracting Rules - When Snow Days Impact Government Contracts: Balancing Inclement Weather and the FSLA - Planning Ahead to Get it Right for Your...more

Succession planning for the family-owned hospitality business

Succession planning for the family-owned hospitality business: protecting your family and your business - The hospitality industry has been kind to families over the centuries, providing a good living for many, and...more

Rare Claim Falls Outside Arbitration Agreement, Creates Piecemeal Litigation

Because of the strong federal policy favoring arbitration, and cases providing that any doubt about the scope of an arbitration agreement must be resolved in favor of arbitration, it is uncommon to find a decision holding...more

Why a Tax Attorney's Advice is Important: Estate Planning, Gift Tax, Business Succession, and the Ability to Rely on Advice by...

A recently published tax court opinion provides us with a fascinating case involving a rags to riches story of a tightly-knit hardworking family and the creation, merger and eventual sale of two related family companies. It...more

"The Estate Planner" – January/February 2015

In this issue: - Life Insurance – A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Nontaxable Estates - Four Ways to Transfer a Family Business - Changing Family Makeup Requires Estate Plan Review - Estate...more

Minority Shareholder Oppression In Family Businesses In Pennsylvania

Decades ago, Pennsylvania courts, as well as other state courts, were reluctant to interfere with business judgments of majority shareholders managing a corporation, even where the expectations of a minority shareholder had...more

Financing the Business Buyout – Part II (Investors)

Last month, Part I on this topic discussed the problem facing a Remaining Spouse when the Departing Spouse rejects a buyout offer of a modest down payment and a long installment note: How to raise sufficient cash to avoid a...more

Problems And Solutions In Business Succession Planning, P.1

As we’ve previously mentioned on this blog, business succession planning is critical in maintaining the strength and integrity of a business during and after changes of leadership. Experts in business planning say that...more

To Work with Family, or to Not Work with Family?

Working with family members can be a double-edged sword. It may seem easier to start a business with family members because you already know and trust them, but if things go awry, the disputes can be even more personal and...more

Financing the Business Buyout – Part I (Lenders)

My first article in this series addressed this question: When the closely-held business is a substantial marital asset, what are the three main choices for turning the Departing Spouse’s interest into cash payments? My next...more

Trustee Selection: Choose Wisely if Your Family-owned Business Will Be Held in a Trust

Let’s assume that you and your spouse are the sole owners of a very successful business. You have established an estate plan with trusts in place to utilize the estate tax exemptions of both spouses for Washington state and...more

Family Offices Exempt From Registration as Commodity Trading Advisors

Family offices have existed for over a century and have been formed to implement very important, complex objectives, including investment management, corporate succession, estate, gift, and income tax planning, and charitable...more

Tax Court Rules Corporate Merger of Family-Owned Businesses Results in Substantial Taxable Gift

In September, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Cavallaro v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-189, holding that a merger of two family-owned businesses resulted in a $29.6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cavallaro to their three...more

What We Can Learn from Market Basket

We have all watched as the Market Basket family and business dispute has played out in the media – customers protesting, employees on strike and secret family meetings behind closed doors. What began as a small family grocery...more

Installment Terms for the Business Buyout in a Divorce

For many divorcing couples, a closely-held business is the most valuable marital asset. In most cases, it is likely that only one spouse will remain with the business, raising this key issue: How can the interest of the...more

Deferred Payments and Earnouts – A Potential Source of Family Discord

Let’s assume you are selling the family business. In order to get the best terms and price, you may not be able to negotiate the full purchase price in cash up front. More likely, some portion of the purchase price will be...more

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