Mr. Luthmann made an unbearable experience bearable. He made himself readily available through telephone, e-mail, and numerous personal contacts. He demonstrated a tireless work ethic and exhibited a calm demeanor and professional attitude. His paperwork was detailed and accurate. He presented himself in the courtroom with accuracy and confidence. I highly recommend Mr. Luthmann to take control of your legal concerns. – AnnMarie

I hired Mr. Luthmann a few years back for some general legal advice. Since then I have relied upon Mr. Luthmann for his depth of knowledgeand legal expertise in a variety of different areas. He has performed time and time again. Whether it's protecting my family's financial future, dealing with corporate matters or fighting unscrupulous creditors and debt collectors, Mr. Luthmann is an attorney I can count on and trust. An example to his profession, I recommend him highly. – Christopher

During what should have been the happiest days of our lives following the birth of my son, my family was subject to the mental anguish of frivolous litigation. It was obvious to anyone who had taken a high school law course that the petition did not hold water; but in my particularly vulnerable state as a new mother, I felt so hurt and helpless. Richard explained the case to me in layman's terms without a hint of condescension and presented the facts candidly and concisely to the courts. When the opposition returned citing supporting cases, which further held no merit, he kept me calm and was able to see where those representative cases actually disproved their claims and further proved mine. I would recommend Richard in a heartbeat; while he is a brilliant estate attorney, he has been a fierce advocate for my family and I would suggest him without hesitation to anyone seeking a litigator. He is a cutthroat attorney who has a terrific bedside manner with even a scared new mother. His humor can make the most disturbing situations easier to process because you know that he is leaving no stone unturned to protect you. I cannot imagine finding a better balance when I needed to protect my loved ones, and could not recommend Richard Luthmann more highly. Having him as my attorney makes me feel safe. – Jessie

Whenever a legal problem arises, Mr. Luthmann is always the first call I make. Fortunately, there have only been four instances that demanded his assistance, but he always has an answer ready as to how I should handle the immediate circumstance, and what steps I should take moving forward. It never ceases to amaze me how little effort is required on my part upon involving Mr. Luthmann’s services. On three of the four instances, the problem just disappeared. I neither had to send in a letter, or even appear in the state. He had represented me in court and got the charges dropped and the fines expunged. On the fourth instance, a moving violation, he read all of the fine print and suggested that I pay the fine. His research was dead on: the points did not transfer back to my home state (i.e. driver’s license), and the fine negated the need to fly back for a court date. To the best of my knowledge, Mr. Luthmann’s record is impeccable. He goes out of his way to learn the necessary state’s laws’ loopholes and keep me, the client, from having to do any legwork. His findings are then described to me in layman’s English, and the best course of action is always that which he recommends. It’s almost too easy. If dealing with Mr. Luthmann were any easier, I might be tempted to push the law’s boundaries just to see what happens. – Stu

Rich's work was prompt, thorough and very high quality. I would recommend him for anybody looking for help in his areas of expertise. – Financial Services Client

Richard has assisted me in many matters over the years. He has always demonstratedthe utmost professionalism, and his knowledge of the law is unparalleled. He takes the time to explain things to you in a manner you can understand, and displays a level of confidence that puts you at ease knowing you have the best man for the job. I strongly recommend Rich Luthmann to anyone seeking services in estate planning or litigation. – O.J

Richard seems to know everything. Very helpful and had the answers with solution right away. – Timothy

Contact our tax attorney in Staten Island, New York, for a fast response to your request for legal services.





Asset Protection

 • Grantor retained annuity trusts. GRATs are still an excellent wealth transfer tool despite a recent increase in the hurdle rate to 2.4% for January 2011 GRATs. The new law does not affect GRATs.

• Family LLCs. LLCs owned by family members still remain a valuable tool for transmitting wealth from senior generations to junior generations while allowing senior generations to maintain control of the assets.

• Dynasty trusts. 2011 and 2012 present a window for creating GST trusts. The unification of the gift and GST exemption at $5 million creates an unprecedented opportunity to significantly fund trusts that have the potential to benefit multiple generations. By applying GST tax exemption to the trust, future distributions to grandchildren and later generations will be free of GST taxes. Caution The new law also presents a number of other issues that need to be carefully considered:

• Gift tax returns. It is important to ensure that 2010 gift tax returns are prepared correctly, especially regarding gifts to grandchildren. Because the GST tax rate was zero in 2010, in some cases you may not need to allocate the GST exemption to 2010 transfers to grandchildren. But — be aware — that exemption will be allocated automatically unless you elect out of this automatic GST allocation on your 2010 gift tax returns.

 • State estate taxes. You will want to check the state estate tax laws in your home state, most notably the available exemption. The exemptions against these taxes did not always conform to existing federal levels before the new law was enacted, and that problem has been exacerbated now that the federal estate tax exemption is increased to $5 million. For instance, New York’s exemption level is $1 million. As a result, married couples in states that still have estate taxes may have to decide whether it is worth paying state taxes to maximize the value of the federal exemption, or whether it is better to avoid state taxes by not using the entire federal exemption.

• Limits of the new portability. Portability of unused exemptions does not extend to GST taxes. In other words, while a surviving spouse can use any unused exemption for gift and estate taxes, he or she will not be able to use any unused GST exemption. This reinforces the importance of maximizing available GST exemptions now. • Special rules for 2010 estates. The new law allows executors of estates whose decedents died in 2010 to choose either (a) this year’s rates (a 35% estate tax rate and $5 million exemption) or (b) the repeal rules that were in effect in 2010. The tradeoff for not applying the new estate tax is that inherited assets above certain thresholds would not receive a “step-up” in their income tax basis, meaning that heirs could face considerable embedded capital gains taxes. These complex rules require careful individual consideration.

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