LawGram Volume 11, No. 1

Table of Contents

OWNERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT SUCCESSION – TRANSFERS TO INTENTIONALLY DEFECTIVE GRANTOR TRUSTS

Owners of a family owned business can use an “intentionally defective grantor trust” to transfer the ownership interest in their business to their children or grandchildren. An IDGT is a trust that is structured so that any transfer into the trust is excluded from the grantor’s estate for estate tax purposes because the transfer is treated as a completed gift. The business owner is able to pass ownership to his or her children (and/or grandchildren) while “freezing” the value of the ownership interest that transferred and passing it outside of his or her estate for estate tax purposes.

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IDENTIFYING AND AVOIDING BUSINESS SCAMS IN THE ELECTRONIC AGE

There are warnings in the media and elsewhere that, in order to avoid Internet scams, one must be watchful. While this is good advice, businesses must also be wary if faxes and other correspondence that look like government notices for filings but, in fact are scams. Electronic media including the Internet, faxes or other media provides scammers with a quick, inexpensive way to access a large number of potential victims. Generally, as a business person, you expect correspondence you receive that relates to your business, and looks official, to be legitimate. That assumption may not always be accurate.

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WELCOME LAWRENCE STEINGOLD

Levin Ginsburg is pleased to announce that Lawrence A. Steingold has joined the firm as an attorney. Lawrence practices in the areas of commercial and civil litigation and intellectual property law. He received his undergraduate degree from Indiana University in biochemistry and his masters in chemistry from Washington University. Prior to attending law school, Lawrence worked as a chemist in the area of nuclear chemistry at Nycomed/Amersham Mediphysics. He attended law school at Chicago-Kent College of Law graduating in 2002 and has written several articles discussing cases relating to the biochemical field.

CONGRATULATIONS JONATHAN WEIS

Jonathan Weis has received an “AV” rating from the Martindale Hubbell Peer Review service. The rating Jonathan received is the highest possible rating given to an attorney by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings service. Jonathan received this honor based upon his professional accomplishments and also by receiving the highest levels of recognition from his peers in the legal profession. Ratings are determined from opinions gathered by Martindale-Hubbell from lawyers and judges who were able to attest to a Jonathan’s legal ability and adherence to professional standards of ethics.

CONGRATULATIONS KAREN HAMMERSMITH

Congratulations to Levin Ginsburg’s Legal Administrator, Karen D. Hammersmith, who successfully completed the certification process and has earned the professional designation of Certified Legal Manager (CLM℠). By preparing for and participating in the Certified Legal Manager program, Karen has shown outstanding commitment and dedication to her profession, to her continuing professional education, and to our firm and the clients we serve.

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"We've worked with Levin Ginsburg since the 1980s...we have grown with them and have a very high level of comfort and confidence with this firm." Jay Nichols, President,
Badger Murphy
"What has impressed us most about Levin Ginsburg is that they are smart lawyers. They offer fresh perspectives and fresh insights into issues."
Walter E. Smithe III, Tim Smithe, and Mark Smithe,
Walter E. Smithe Custom Furniture
"Astute, responsive and practical. Those are three reasons why we work with Levin Ginsburg." Bryan L. Oyster, V.P. and General Manager,
Bentley Forbes