Businesses of all types and sizes throughout the United States, Mexico and beyond bring their disputes to Gardere's litigation team and receive practical, responsive, boutique-style attention in return. Our clients have access to the firepower and value of a well-known and highly-regarded Firm's capabilities and interdisciplinary strengths.
Gardere has a national and international energy practice formed around our Energy Industry Team, which is a multidisciplinary group of approximately 80 attorneys with diverse backgrounds, experience and skills specific to the energy industry. Our team includes attorneys who have served as in-house counsel for major energy companies, providing a depth of insight into our clients' needs, issues and concerns. We understand and regularly practice in virtually every sector of the energy, and we represent a wide variety of industry participants from multinational corporations to individuals.
From our offices in the United States and Mexico, our International Practice helps clients operate in today’s global economy. We have more than 30 professionals operating as a boutique within an Am Law 200 law firm and are able to provide focused service with the resources of a large firm. We understand that clients who are engaged in the global marketplace need lawyers who can operate seamlessly across multiple jurisdictions. Our international experts are multi-lingual, are culturally fluent and intimately familiar with various legal systems across the world, especially those in Latin America. Whether you need help with commercial transactions, regulatory matters, customs and import regulations, immigration matters, M&A and joint ventures, international disputes, or international tax planning, Gardere’s international team is here to assist you.
We represent domestic and foreign private funds in all aspects of fund formation, fund operations, platform and add-on acquisitions, and portfolio company operations. Our team has a reputation for being the go-to-lawyers for private equity funds, hedge funds, venture capital funds and family offices. We are known for our vast deal experience, the efficient way we staff and manage our work, and the way we maintain our relationships. We get deals done with sophisticated, strategic, and practical advice tailored to the needs of our clients.
*Not admitted to practice law.
There is no Estate Tax or Generation Skipping Tax under current law for one year beginning Jan. 1, 2010.
The Gift Tax Rate for gifts in excess of $1 million has been reduced to 35 percent for 2010.
Carryover Income Tax Basis rather than Value at Death Rules will apply in 2010.
The changes occurred automatically pursuant to the terms of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (2001 Tax Act). At the time of the passage of these provisions of the 2001 Tax Act, most commentators believed that the 2001 Tax Act would be amended before Jan. 1, 2010. Because the attention of Congress was focused on national healthcare and the economic recession, the 2001 Tax Act was not amended in 2009.
It is certain that retroactive amendment will be attempted by Congress in 2010, and the Senate Finance Committee Chair has stated that Congress will "clearly work to do this retroactively." The chief house counsel for the House Ways & Means Committee has expressed his opinion that a retroactive bill may be unconstitutional. It is likely that any amendment containing a retroactive provision will cause litigation to be filed challenging the constitutionality of retroactivity for transactions and deaths that occurred before enactment. In addition, there is partisan debate over the substantive terms of amendment, with Republicans seeking a higher exemption and lower rate, and Democrats seeking to extend the $3.5 million exemption and the 45 percent rate in effect in 2009. If there is no amendment in 2010, the 2001 Tax Act reinstates the estate tax in 2011 with an exemption amount of $1 million, not $3.5 million, and a maximum tax rate of 55 percent.
There is no clear answer for clients with regard to their current estate plans. Many wills contain formula bequests, either to a marital trust or a by-pass trust, and the law as of Jan. 1, 2010 may create ambiguity with regard to interpretation of some of those formulas. We strongly recommend that each client review their individual wills and estate plans, particularly with regard to formula bequests. In addition, individuals with substantial estates may consider taxable gifts to grandchildren because of the possible dramatic tax savings under the law as of Jan. 1, 2010, if a retroactive amendment is not effective.
If you would like more information or would like to review your estate plan, please contact an attorney in the Trusts and Estates section of Gardere Wynne Sewell LLP in Houston or Dallas to schedule an appointment.
IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE:
This communication has not been prepared as a formal legal opinion within the procedures described in Treasury Department Circular 230. As a result, we are required by Treasury Regulations to advise you that for any significant Federal tax issue addressed herein, the advice in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.
The publications contained in this site do not constitute legal advice. Legal advice can only be given with knowledge of the client's specific facts. By putting these publications on our website we do not intend to create a lawyer-client relationship with the user. Materials may not reflect the most current legal developments, verdicts or settlements. This information should in no way be taken as an indication of future results.
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