By: Richard S. Rothberg, Esq.

For wealthy families who wish to transfer assets from one generation to the next while achieving significant tax savings, an intentionally defective grantor trust may be an excellent solution.

Although inflation is generally nothing to be pleased about, the IRS recently announced inflation-adjusted changes to the annual gift tax annual and estate tax exclusions for 2023. If you are considering wealth transfer tax planning, these are welcome increases.


Running a small business can keep you busy, but it should not keep you from creating an estate plan. Having a valid, legally enforceable and well thought out plan in place is important for everyone to make a priority, especially small business owners. Not having a plan in place can cause problems for your business and your family after you are gone.

The amount you can gift to any one person without filing a gift tax form is increasing from $15,000 to $16,000 in 2022, the first increase since 2018. Many people remember the $10,000 per person limit, which has increased over the years to $16,000.  Remember – tax law and Medicaid law are like oil and water – there are NO free gifts for Medicaid.

Attorney Louis W. Pierro has spent nearly four decades focusing on legal issues relating to estate planning, trusts, and business plans. This in-depth expertise in corporate law prompted TIME Magazine to reach out for his opinion on the accuracy of the HBO hit Succession. Along with two other corporate attorneys– and fervent fans– Mr. Pierro offered insight and legal advice to the characters of this addictive satirical drama.

Pierro Featured in TIME Magazine

Waystar Royco, a fictional version of the world’s largest media and entertainment conglomerate and a highly dysfunctional dynasty, is at the heart of the show. Succession chronicles a high-profile family’s power struggle to dominate the company when the patriarch’s health begins to decline.

The media mogul’s children go to great lengths to gain an advantage– or personal favor– with their father, Logan Roy. His oldest son contends that his father personally oversaw and condoned the cover-up of decades worth of sexual intimidation and exploitation on their cruise line.

Accuracy of Legal Drama Succession

In the TIME Magazine article, Louis Pierro weighs in on a number of pressing issues with staff writer Andrew Chow.

AC: How common are father and son power struggles in the corporate world?

Pierro: I do see that all the time—and the impact that has on the kids who are waiting around saying, O.K., when is it my turn? But I haven’t seen too many cases where one of the children tried to jump up and pull that business out before the dad was ready to let go.

AC: How do general counsels deal with conflicting loyalties to different members of a family in addition to the company itself?

Pierro: I represent a company that is owned by five siblings. One of them is in the controlling position, but the other four siblings have raised a number of issues. My duty of loyalty, in that case, is to the company, as I am corporate counsel. So, when push came to shove, I had to recommend to the CEO that he get personal counsel to represent him individually in what ended up being a shareholder battle.

AC: How common is it for corporations to refuse to cooperate with federal authorities?

Pierro: It’s a strategy of many corporations to obfuscate, deny and hide. With the feds, it depends on who’s doing the investigation and how much of a pitbull they are. But in the corporate world, evidence is disappeared all the time. That is a common practice, unfortunately.

Expert Business, Estate and Tax Planning Legal Services

Louis Pierro has been recognized for “Trusts and Estates” by Best Lawyers and has maintained an AV preeminent rating from the Martindale-Hubbell since 2001. The legal team of Pierro, Connor & Strauss, LLC offers expert advocacy in business planning, estate and trust litigation, and tax planning for individuals and families from all walks of life. We are proud to offer personalized legal services to clients in ten locations that include the Capital Region, New York City, Long Island, Westchester, Hudson, Utica, Lake Placid, Fort Lee, NJ, Falmouth, MA, and Clearwater, FL. Contact us today for a free consultation

By: Louis W. Pierro, Esq.

The opportunity to make proper use of the present $11,700,000 Federal Gift Tax exemption, and the opportunity to fund and sell to Grantor Trusts, form and fund Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, fund Qualified Personal Residence Trusts and other planning techniques, may be gone in a matter of days.

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By: Louis W. Pierro, Esq.

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By: Staff

Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation that would require more estates to pay estate tax and that raises the amounts they would pay. Another proposed law would eliminate the step-up in basis that inherited assets currently enjoy.  

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By: Caryn B. Keppler, Esq.

A new administration usually means that tax code changes are coming. While it remains unclear exactly what tax changes President Biden’s administration will propose and what Congress will approve, two possibilities are that estate tax exemption will be reduced and the stepped-up basis on death will be eliminated. The first would affect only multi-millionaires, but the second could have an impact on more modest estates and their heirs. 

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While most of the new tax law – the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act – has to do with reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent, some provisions relate to individual taxpayers. Before we get into the details, be aware that almost everything listed below sunsets after 2025, with the tax structure reverting to its current form in 2026 unless Congress acts between now and then. The corporate tax rate cut, however, does not sunset. Here are the highlights for our readership:

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