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.
On Dec. 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the "Act"). The Act includes, among other things, an extension of the Bush-era tax cuts for the next two years. At the conclusion of two years, the Act sunsets and we will be faced with the same uncertainty in 2013 that the Act is meant to address in 2011. The following summarizes the provisions specifically related to estate taxes, gift taxes, and generation-skipping transfer taxes:
1. Estate Tax Exemption and Estate Tax Rate
a). 2010. The Act allows estates of decedents dying in 2010 to choose between (1) estate tax (based on a $5 million exemption and 35 percent top rate) and a step-up in basis or (2) no estate tax and modified carryover basis (that is, the basis step-up would be limited to $1.3 million for all beneficiaries and an additional $3 million for the surviving spouse).
b) 2011 and 2012. The estate tax exemption amount for decedents dying between Jan. 1, 2011 and Dec. 31, 2012 will be increased to $5,000,000 and the maximum federal estate tax rate will be reduced to 35 percent.
2. Gift Tax Exemption and Gift Estate Tax Rate. For gifts made after Dec. 31, 2010, the Act reunifies the gift tax with the estate tax, with an applicable lifetime gift tax exclusion amount of $5,000,000 and a top gift tax rate of 35 percent.
3. Generation-Skipping Transfer ("GST") Tax.
a) 2010. The GST tax rate is 0 percent in 2010. Therefore, there is no GST tax on transfers (either outright or from an existing trust) to grandchildren (or more remote descendants) in 2010. If you are contemplating substantial transfers to grandchildren (or more remote descendants), you must act before Dec. 31, 2010, to take advantage of this provision (but such transfers may be subject to gift tax).
However, if a trust was created or funded in 2010, future distributions to grandchildren (or more remote descendants) from such trusts may not remain exempt and may be subject to GST tax. Therefore, up to $5 million in GST tax exemption may be allocated to a trust created or funded during 2010.
b) 2011 and 2012. The GST tax rate for transfers made in 2011 and 2012 will be 35 percent and the GST exemption will be $5 million.
4. Date for Filing Estate Tax Return and Disclaimers. For a decedent dying after Dec. 31, 2009, and before the enactment date, provides that the due date for filing an estate tax return, making any payment of estate tax, and disclaiming an interest in property passing by reason of death is not to be earlier than the date that's nine months after the enactment date; that is, Sept. 17, 2011.
5. Portability. Effective for estates of decedents dying after Dec. 31, 2010, the Act allows the executor of a deceased spouse's estate to transfer any unused exemption to the surviving spouse. In other words, the Act makes the estate tax exemption "portable" between spouses.
6. Uncertainty After Dec. 31, 2012. As mentioned above, on Jan. 1, 2013, the law will revert to 2001 levels - $1 million gift and estate tax exemption - unless Congress otherwise acts before Dec. 31, 2012.
The Act could provide significant alternatives to your current estate plan, and we recommend you review that plan in the near future. If you would like more information or would like to review your estate plan, please contact an attorney in Gardere's Trusts & Estates Practice Group.
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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