We provide carefully tailored charitable tax planning services to manage the impact of a substantial liquidity event such as the sale of a business or highly appreciated real estate. We understand a desire to benefit both family and charity, and we advise our clients on the tools and approaches to make a meaningful impact and work together as a family to share their passion and vision and to supplement and strengthen family governance. We help our clients form their own private family foundations and avoid violating any of the myriad of IRS rules about how to run a foundation and what tax compliance rules must be observed.
Many of our clients want to further their foundation’s charitable mission by engaging in program related investing and mission related investing, including micro-loans and similar strategies, or directly carrying out charitable projects. We guide them in these activities.
We also form and counsel nonprofit public charities, advising on strategy and fundraising, providing board training and working closely with development staff to bring gifts to fruition.
We regularly work on international charitable matters involving U.S. nonprofits operating or fundraising abroad, the U.S. operations of foreign charities, and “American Friends of” organizations making grants outside the United States. Jane Peebles is an established expert in cross-border philanthropy.
We assist corporations with structuring and implementing corporate philanthropy programs.
We regularly advise on and document a broad array of charitable gifts including:
- Outright gifts
- Cash bequests
- Real estate donations and bequests
- Art donations
- Collectibles donations
- Donations from IRAs and retirement plans
- Conservation easements
- Part-gift, part-sale transactions
- Charitable gift annuities
- Charitable trusts of all sorts
The attorneys at Karlin & Peebles are not only experts in the law, they also bring proven judgment and perspective to each case. They invest time in understanding our clients’ individual objectives and creatively and carefully tailoring solutions to achieve them. Our lawyers have over 50 years of combined experience providing estate planning services, and Partner Jane Peebles is a Southern California Super Lawyer in the field of Estate Planning.
We represent high net-worth individuals and families, and in addition to this core client base, we also represent a number of entrepreneurs. We frequently represent clients facing complex or novel situations and those who can benefit from the sophisticated planning techniques we employ. We do not impose a minimum net-worth requirement, preferring to serve a range of clients whose needs vary at different stages of life.
We help our clients develop their thoughts on how and when to transfer wealth to children and grandchildren. Because of the rapid increase in many of our clients’ net worth, this transfer issue has become especially acute in recent years. Besides drafting trusts with terms appropriate for limiting and protecting the flow of wealth to children, we work with families to involve the children in family philanthropy.
In addition to fundamental estate planning techniques, we have considerable background and experience in the following areas:
- “Estate freezing” techniques such as Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs) and installment sales to “defective” grantor trusts
- Asset value discounting techniques such as fractional interest discounts and discounts generated through use of limited liability companies (LLCs) and family partnerships (FLPs)
- Business succession planning, including buy-sell agreements
- Planning for a move to another state or country
- International estate planning
- Planning for distributions of retirement benefits
- Planning for stock options
- Community property planning
- Asset protection planning through use of U.S. and offshore vehicles
- Planning for same sex couples and other nontraditional families
- Forming and advising exempt organizations and family charitable foundations
- Acting as co-counsel with other lawyers to handle international planning matters
Our Clients’ Integrated Team
We work with our clients’ accountants, investment advisors, foreign counsel and other members of their professional team to provide coordinated planning to minimize estate, gift and income taxation while meeting personal planning objectives.
We are planners, first and foremost, and we implement the planning we recommend. But we also assist our clients with tax compliance, working closely with their accountants, and with tax controversies, often in collaboration with specialist tax controversy counsel.
Modern tax systems are complex and dynamic. The interaction of the tax and legal systems of different countries can multiply the complexity. Complexity and change create uncertainty. Uncertainty creates risk, because there can rarely be complete certainty about the interpretation of tax law or its implementation by tax administrators.
As planners, we try to be creative and flexible, but we are at heart conservative. Our aim is for our clients to have a high degree of confidence in our planning, with a proper understanding of the risk, because risk can be managed and mitigated but can rarely be eliminated.
Our international tax practice covers a wide range of topics and we have advised individuals and businesses active in many industries, including manufacturing, technology, services, real estate, investment, and entertainment. We regularly cooperate with an extensive network of advisors in many disciplines and in many countries and our ability to be effective is enhanced by our extensive foreign language capabilities:
Planning for individuals who move to the United States from another country or move to another country from the United States
- We work extensively on pre-residence planning, including the timing and effects of acquiring residence, domicile and citizenship in the United States, and the steps that are desirable when an individual or a family becomes subject to U.S. Federal and state taxation on worldwide income.
- We advise individuals (and the employers of individuals) who are working temporarily in the United States.
- We advise regularly on the consequences of giving up U.S. citizenship or residence (“expatriation”).
Tax and estate planning for multinational families, where individual family members visit or reside in the United States and others reside abroad
- We advise on the establishment of trusts both outside and inside the United States.
- We advise on structuring intra-family gifts and other transactions.
- We advise on the purchase of residential property for use by family members.
- We advise on the structuring of business and real estate holdings owned by family members in more than one country.
Planning for foreign investment in the United States
- We advise on acquisition and financing structures for investment in U.S. real estate and other businesses.
- We help foreign businesses establish U.S. operations.
- We advise on structuring portfolio investments in publicly traded and closely held companies.
- We establish and structure corporations, partnerships and joint ventures.
- We advise extensively about the impact of tax withholding rules and the application of treaties.
Planning for outbound investment from the United States
- We advise on and implement the structuring of international business operations by U.S. businesses.
- We help establish companies in foreign countries, working with an extensive network of foreign advisors.
- We advise on the holding of portfolio investments.
- As part of our practice involving charitable giving, we advise both individuals and charities on issues relating to making gifts for use in other countries.
- We advise about tax requirements to make gifts deductible for income and estate and gift tax purposes as well as compliance with the PATRIOT Act and other laws relating to money laundering and terrorist financing.
Compliance and Controversies
- We help U.S. citizens and residents (current and prospective) to understand their U.S. tax compliance obligations.
- We find ourselves more and more giving advice about U.S. reporting requirements for citizens and residents, including reporting of foreign assets and financial accounts, interests in foreign corporations, partnerships and funds, and foreign trusts and gifts. We advise about FATCA, CRS and other reporting requirements.
- We advise and assist our clients on compliance problems, such as failures to file or filing errors, often the result of poor advice by prior advisors, lack of understanding of complex international rules, or moving to the United States without proper planning. We have regularly advised on voluntary disclosures of foreign income and the alternatives to such disclosures.
- However, we do not advise on cases where we believe there is a meaningful risk of criminal investigation or prosecution, and we are not tax litigators. In such cases, we usually refer our clients to specialist tax controversy counsel, although we may remain involved to assist with complex questions involving international tax issues.