Leslie Grodd is counsel to the firm at the Westport office. Leslie has thirty-nine years of experience as an attorney in Connecticut. Leslie practice focuses on income and estate tax matters for high net worth individuals and their businesses. Prior to his legal career Leslie was a member of the tax department at a nationally known accounting firm based in New York City.
Leslie is an AV rated Martindale Hubbell attorney and has been cited in The Best Lawyers in America since 1993 in the area of Tax Law and Super Lawyers in the areas of Tax, Estate Planning and Probate and Closely Held Businesses since 2006. He has held numerous leadership positions for the American Bar Association, Connecticut Bar Association, American College of Tax Counsel, the American Institute and Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the Jewish Home for the Elderly of Fairfield County. Leslie also speaks at various Tax Institutes and Seminars.
IMPORTANT TAX ALERT: Tax Changes May Affect Your Estate Plans - and Tax Planning -- Before the End of the Year
By Vincent Liberti Jr., 05/26/2013
The new tax ceiling bill requires a Joint Legislative Committee to propose critical tax legislation by November 2011, so that Congress can act on the legislation prior to the end of 2011. If you have considered, or think you may benefit from, discounts of assets, GRATs, sale transactions, dynasty trusts or a host of other estate planning benefits that limit estate tax exposure, you should consider acting now! New tax changes can be effective from date of proposal, which may be in November when the Joint Committee makes its report. November 2011, not December 31, 2012 might be the new deadline for tax changes. If you are considering using any of these estate planning techniques you may benefit greatly from a consultation with either Vincent Liberti, Jr. or Leslie E. Grodd from the Halloran & Sage estate planning department. Tax-Free Gifting About to End
By: Leslie Grodd & Vincent Liberti, Jr., 10/09/2011
President Obama's Job's Bill is expected to be voted on at the end of October, 2011. If the bill is passed, the federal estate tax exemption will be reduced to $3.5 million and the gift tax exemption will be reduced from $5 million to$1 million. A likely effective date is January 1, 2012 not 2013 as under present law! As mentioned in previous newsletters and tax alerts, tremendous gifting and estate tax savings will vanish once the present $5 million gift tax exemption disappears! Please contact Leslie Grodd or Vincent Liberti, Jr. right away to assess tax savings for your estate before such plans are impossible to effectuate.Client Alert: Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010
H & S Client Alert, 12/27/2010
The Senate and the House passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the Act), and the President signed it into law on December 17, 2010. Most prominently, the Act temporarily extends the Bush individual tax cuts for two years, temporarily liberalizes the estate and gift tax rules for two years and grants a temporary one-year 2% reduction in the employee share of social security tax contributions. In addition, the Act extends an array of provisions scheduled to expire at the end of 2010, such as granting alternative minimum tax relief by increasing the exemption amount. While certainly significant, the income tax relief provided for in the Act is largely a continuation of currently existing tax provisions and, therefore, taxpayers will see little or no change in their income tax liability. On the other hand, the estate tax changes discussed below provide a substantial increase in the lifetime exclusion and a substantial decrease in the rate of tax on the excess, albeit only for two years.
ESTATE, GIFT & GST TAXES
The Act temporarily reinstates and modifies the estate, gift and generation skipping transfer (GST) taxes retroactive to January 1, 2010. The following table illustrates the changes:
Maximum Estate Tax Rate
35% or election to
forego estate tax
GST Tax Rate
Maximum Gift Tax Rate
Estate Tax Exemption
Gift Tax Exemption
As shown in the table, estates of decedents who died in 2010 have the ability to elect out of the tax and use the modified carryover basis rules in effect during 2010. This provides an obvious planning opportunity. Estates of $5 Million or less may subject themselves to the estate tax regime, and even though no tax would be payable, claim an unlimited step up in basis on all of its assets. Estates in excess of $5 Million may elect out of the estate tax if the step up in basis is less advantageous than the payment of the estate tax.
The Act also grants extensions of time to file returns, to make tax payments and to make a disclaimer for estates of decedents who died in 2010, but prior to enactment. The exclusion will be indexed for inflation beginning in 2012. A very important provision of the Act, as illustrated in the above table, is the unification of the estate and gift tax exclusion amount to $5 Million which will allow for substantial gift planning during the next two years.
Another provision of the Act allows portability of a decedent's unused estate exclusion to the surviving spouse. Consequently, beginning after 2010, a surviving spouse may use his or her own $5 Million estate tax exclusion plus whatever exclusion was not used by his or her most recently deceased spouse, provided the previously deceased spouse died after 2010. Moreover, the executor of the estate of the previously deceased spouse must elect to allow such portability. It is important to note that the unused exclusion can be used on both subsequently filed estate and/or gift tax returns by the surviving spouse which, once again provides gift planning opportunities.
Significantly, the Act does not include provisions limiting the use of GRATS, nor does it include a provision eliminating the use of discounts, both of which have been proposed in the past. Nevertheless, it is likely that both of these issues will be discussed again in the near future. As such, consideration of these in the context of estate plans should be done sooner rather than later. Finally, the Act includes miscellaneous provisions concerning installment payment of estate tax in certain cases and confirms the deductibility of state estate taxes for decedents dying after December 31, 2009.
Unfortunately, the increased exclusion and decreased tax rate only apply for two years (2011-2012) and unless later modified, the $1 Million exclusion and 55% maximum rate will return in 2013. As a result, individuals and their advisors are still left with a degree of uncertainty as to what the ultimate exclusion and rate will be, thereby requiring a new review of documents in 2013.
INDIVIDUAL INCOME TAXES
The Act amends the sunset provisions of the 2001 and 2003 acts to provide that the tax changes made by those acts will now remain in place until December 31, 2012. Accordingly, (i) the 35% maximum rate and other rate brackets on earned income, (ii) personal exemption amounts; and (iii) the 15% rate on capital gains and qualified dividends will continue during that period. Thus, individuals will find that their tax returns for the next two years will differ little from those of prior years. Marriage penalty relief will likewise continue during this period.
There are also several other targeted income tax relief provisions which may be applicable to you and which we would be pleased to deal with on a personal basis along with any of the other matters discussed above.
Please contact either Leslie Grodd, resident in our Westport office,Henry Beck, Jr., resident of our Hartford office, or Vincent Marino, resident in our Middletown office, if you have any questions, or if you wish to discuss any of the above matters in the context of your personal situation.
News & Events
Seven H & S Attorneys Recognized in 2015 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
Halloran & Sage is pleased to announce that seven attorneys have been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America, 2015 edition. Attorneys were acknowledged in 13 practice areas from the firm's Hartford, New Haven, New London and Westport offices. These rankings are decided amongst 11,000 firms across the country in a rigorous decision process.
The firm attorneys and the areas of law in which they were recognized include:
Henry Beck, Jr.- Corporate Governance law, Corporate law, Mergers & Acquisitions law, Securities / Capital Markets law
Thomas Boyce, Jr. - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Ann Catino - Litigation - Environmental, Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
John Farley- Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance law
Leslie Grodd - Tax law
Daniel Krisch - Appellate Practice, Insurance law
James Perito - Litigation - Land Use and Zoning, Litigation - Real Estate, Real Estate lawH & S Named U.S. News 2013 Best Law Firms and Best Lawyers
Halloran & Sage has recently been recognized for multiple awards by U.S. News in their Best Law Firms and Best Lawyers, 2013 edition. This publication recognized thirteen of the firm's practice areas and seven attorneys in the firm's Hartford, New Haven, New London and Westport offices. These rankings are decided amongst 11,000 firms across the country in a rigorous decision process available at: U.S. News & World Report
Practice Areas Recognized Include:
Corporate Governance Law
Litigation - Environmental
Litigation - Land Use & Zoning
Litigation - Real Estate
Mergers & Acquisitions Law
Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Real Estate Law
Securities / Capital Markets Law
Firm Attorneys recognized include:
Henry Beck, Jr.- Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities / Capital Markets Law
Thomas Boyce, Jr. - Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs
Ann Catino - Litigation - Environmental, Litigation - Land Use and Zoning
John Farley- Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law
Leslie Grodd - Tax Law
Daniel Krisch - Appellate Practice, Insurance Law
James Perito - Litigation - Land Use and Zoning, Litigation - Real Estate, Real Estate LawBest Lawyers in America Recognizes Seven Firm Attorneys
Lawyers from Halloran & Sage have been selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America 2013, which has been universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence for 30 years. In fact, Corporate Counsel magazine has called Best Lawyers the most respected referral list of attorneys in practice.
The selection of these Best Lawyers is based on an exhaustive peer-review survey in which more than 36,000 leading attorneys cast more than 4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their practice areas.
The selected Halloran & Sage attorneys and their respective practice areas are:
Henry Beck, Jr., Corporate Governance Law, Corporate Law, Mergers & Acquisitions Law, Securities/Capital Market Law, Securities Regulation;
Thomas Boyce, Jr., Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs;
Ann Catino, Litigation - Environmental, Litigation - Land Use & Zoning;
John Farley, Appellate Practice, Commercial Litigation, Insurance Law;
Daniel Krisch, Appellate Practice, Insurance Law;
James Perito, Litigation - Land Use & Zoning, Litigation - Real Estate, Real Estate Law;
Leslie Grodd, Tax LawFirm Attorneys Included in Super Lawyers and Rising Stars 2012 List
Halloran & Sage is proud to announce that twenty-two of the Firm's attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2012 Super Lawyers or Rising Stars lists. The attorneys that have been selected are:
Henry Beck, Jr. - Business/Corporate (Hartford)
Thomas Boyce, Jr. - Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice (New London)
John Farley - Appellate (Hartford)
Stephen Fogerty - Business Litigation (Westport)
Jeffrey Gostyla: Insurance Coverage (Hartford)
Leslie Grodd: Tax (Westport)
Daniel Krisch: Appellate (Hartford)
Dan LaBelle: Civil Litigation Defense (Westport)
William McGrath, Jr.: General Litigation (Hartford)
Allen Gary Palmer: Family Law (Westport)
George Royster: Business Litigation (Hartford)
Daniel Scapellati: Insurance Coverage (Hartford)
Andrew Schaffer: Family Law (New Haven)
Kenneth Slater, Jr.: Land Use/Zoning (Hartford)
James Szerejko: Civil Litigation Defense (Hartford)
Richard Tynan: Personal Injury Defense: Medical Malpractice (Hartford)
Joseph Arcata, III: Insurance Coverage (Hartford)
Joshua Auxier: Professional Liability: Defense (Westport)
Melanie Dykas: Government Relations (Hartford)
Timothy Grady: Medical Malpractice, Personal Injury Defense (Hartford)
Brian Rich: Business Litigation (Hartford)
Michael Wrona: Bankruptcy &Creditor/Debtor (Hartford)
The Super Lawyers designation is based on regional balloting by attorneys, research conducted by Law & Politics magazine, and a peer review process that encompasses sixty different practice areas.
An explanation of Super Lawyers and Rising Stars methodology can be found here.Four Firm Attorneys Presenting at 2012 CBA Annual Meeting
Halloran & Sage is proud to announce that four of the Firm's attorneys will be presenters at the Connecticut Bar Association's (CBA) 2012 Annual Meeting on Monday, June 11, 2012 at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Vincent Liberti, Jr. will speak at the Conservatorships in the Wake of Gross v. Rell seminar from 9:00 to 10:30 a.m. The seminar will discuss avoiding conservatorships where possible and techniques for dealing with them when unavoidable.
Ann Catino, an Environmental Law Section past chair, will be a speaker at the seminar titled: DEEP Changes in Environmental Protection in Connecticut. This seminar will take place at 10:50 a.m. and will cover the sea change of environmental and energy regulation and enforcement in Connecticut since the DEP's expansion into the energy field.
Allen Gary Palmer is a speaker in the Alimony Reform in Connecticut-Has the Time Come? seminar, to be held at 3:45 p.m. Mr. Palmer and the panel will cover (1) the historical purposes of alimony, (2) the present purposes of alimony as well as the current national trends, (3) the proposed bill that is/has been in the Connecticut legislature, and (4) a discussion/debate as to the pros and cons of reform in Connecticut.
Also at 3:45 p.m., Leslie Grodd will speak at the Uraveling the Mysteries of Tax Allocation Provisions seminar. The panel will explain the fundamentals of the tax allocation provisions for pass-through entities and review alternative approaches for achieving specific economic results.Leslie Grodd Recognized by Best Lawyers and the American Bar Association
Halloran & Sage is proud to announce that Leslie Grodd has been named to the The Best Lawyers in America 2012 edition for his practice in tax law. This distinction is regarded as a professional honor; candidates are selected by peer-review surveys.
Best Lawyers does not require or allow listing fees and selection is based on positive votes for inclusion from the attorney's peers. For more information on the selection process .
In addition, Leslie was recently named as Vice Chair of Administration for the American Bar Association's Taxation Section. In this leadership role, he will fulfill the duties of a chief financial officer for the section as it finds innovative ways to advise on federal tax law and its administration.2011 'Super Lawyers' Recognizes 20 H & S Attorneys
Halloran & Sage is pleased to announce that 13 attorneys, based out of three different Connecticut offices, were recently announced as Connecticut Super Lawyers. In addition, 7 attorneys at the firm were recognized as Rising Stars.
The Super Lawyers designation is based on regional balloting by attorneys, research conducted by Law & Politics magazine, and a peer review process that encompasses 60 different practice areas.
Henry Beck, Jr. - Business/Corporate
Thomas Boyce, Jr. - Personal Injury Defense
John Farley - Appellate
Stephen Fogerty - Business Litigation
Jeffrey Gostyla - Insurance Coverage
Leslie Grodd - Tax
Daniel Krisch - Appellate, Civil Litigation Defense, Criminal Defense
William McGrath, Jr. - General Litigation
George Royster - Business Litigation
Daniel Scapellati - Insurance Coverage
Kenneth Slater, Jr. - Land Use/Zoning
James Szerejko - Civil Litigation Defense
Richard Tynan - Personal Injury Defense
Joseph Arcata, III - Insurance Coverage
Timothy Grady - Personal Injury Defense, Medical Malpractice
Brian Rich - Business Litigation
Michael Wrona - Bankruptcy & Creditor/Debtor RightsEstate Planning and Probate Resource: Tax Information Available to Seniors
The Connecticut Department of Revenue Services recently updated an informational publication clarifying Connecticut tax laws applicable to senior citizens. The publication, Informational Publication 2100(18), includes information on Connecticut income tax, sales and use taxes, gift, estate, real estate conveyance and local property taxes. Also included in the publication is a list of goods and services that senior citizens typically purchase that are exempt from sales and use tax and the publication explains property tax credits available to senior citizens. The publication modifies and supersedes Informational Publication 2010(26).
The Halloran & Sage Estate Planning and Probate Department is available to answer any specific questions related to this publication or any tax, estate planning or probate concern. (Resident, Westport)