As a practice serving the legacies of families and their businesses, numerous tools need to be at-the-ready to fit the situation. When it comes to an intimate family business owned by two individuals, there is a particular corporate structure that may be considered: the Close Corporation.
Many think of them as a partnership dressed as a corporation. A close corporation refers to a corporation under Corporations Codes Section 158 and 300(b). In general, this type of corporation involves situations with few shareholders. It is ideal for situations where the owners prefer flexibility, preferring to streamline the usual formalities of … Read More
Mary Piasta Keynotes Upcoming CarePartners Initiative Program
Five Common Legal Issues Caregivers May Face
In her upcoming keynote address at the CarePartners Initiative Forum on May 6, 2023, HVP partner Mary Piasta combines her estate planning experience with a passion for protecting what matters most to provide a comprehensive overview of the most common legal issues that caregivers caring for older adults with dementia need to consider:
Power of Attorney
Putting Together a Care Team
Thoughts on Skilled Nursing and Hospital Stays
Caregivers traverse an unknown terrain of new responsibilities. Come learn how foundational legal documents … Read More
Simply stated, HVP lawyers give our clients a competitive edge. Every one of us attended top-ranked law schools, learned our craft from well-recognized legal teams affiliated with sophisticated law firms, and maintain close ties to the communities we serve. We want to be the lawyers you trust to have your best interests at heart, and to go the distance for our clients. As business strategists, we trailblaze an entrepreneurial approach to legal services that realigns traditional service models. How do we do this? Read on.
Do you want to take your career in a new direction?
What sets us apart from the competition? Everything. We are a community-based law firm focused on the business of law from the perspective of those we serve. We use our knowledge of the law to build a better world starting right here, right now. For more than 100 years, our firm has enhanced and enriched Sonoma and the surrounding community one individual and one business at a time. Our practice includes business, estate planning, real estate, and employment law, meeting personal and business needs with an emphasis on family-owned
SONOMA, CA – February 6, 2023 – The combination of two local law firms, Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta (HVP) and Wright & Supple (W&S) expands HVP’s services to include employment law counsel through a joint effort that redefines collaboration. HVP partners Mary Piasta and Tony Valluzzo continue to reinvent the law firm business model, working with W&S, a women-owned employment law firm led by Mary Wright and Oriet Cohen-Supple. As transformational change continues to rock the legal industry, this innovative approach offers clients the legal services they need across the full spectrum of business and employment law, while controlling costs … Read More
Sometimes an estate goal is to effectively omit someone from the parade of beneficiaries. This type of disinheritance must be done properly to minimize the risk of litigation and maximize distributions to intended beneficiaries.
In 2010, California law added hoops to make disinheritance more difficult to withstand a contest. This law does require specific language in a bequest. California law presumes that direct heirs (children and spouses) will be provided for in one’s estate planning. That said, California, unlike Napoleonic countries does not require this type of gift.
In California, one cannot simply omit them from their Will and/or Trust. … Read More
Wine Country has its beauty, including the many people who flock here to live. It is becoming more common for non-citizens to take up abodes here. This goes back to the founding of Sonoma heavily influenced by international residents. For those interested in a delightful historic recap consider viewing the documentary the Call of the Valley.
The question arises, how does living in the US impact the ability and strategies with estate planning? This is not an easy answer. Often factors relating to citizenship goals can drive a response. These couple with the laws of the citizenship country. For … Read More
Living in a tourist mecca attracts a worldwide community of residents. Often parents relocate from another area to be near their family here in wine country. How they do it has implications for many things, including their estates.
In the realm of estate planning, this means that issues abound relating to the interplay of domestic and international inheritance laws. To the re-locatee, these questions seem simple. To the planner, they are anything but often requiring in depth consideration of the client’s goals, assets, location and legal parameters.
Generally speaking, there are two types of succession law structures, civil and common … Read More
Partner Thomas A. Haeuser takes on new role as HVP advisor and community leader
We are proud and pleased to announce that our long-time partner Thomas Haeuser will be taking on a new role at the firm in the new year. Effective January 1 2022, Tom will continue to serve in an advisory capacity, taking a step back from active practice to focus on community activities. Those around town already know Tom for his presence on the Plaza and his unflagging efforts to make our town and the surrounding community a special place for businesses and families … Read More
Our year-end checklist provides useful tips for year-round check-ups.
Top 5 Year-end Business Compliance Checklist
Performance and Operations ‒ I have discussed and mapped out performance and operations with management and legal counsel. Yes No
Entity Structure/Governing Instruments ‒ I have reviewed my business entity structure and updated articles of organization/incorporation, operating agreement, bylaws, partnership, or other agreements as needed. Yes No
I am up to date on all corporate formalities for California corporations to maintain my personal liability protection. Yes No
I have finalized my year-end accounting and closed the books for the calendar or fiscal year
A tool in California that asset protection lawyers use is a Delaware Statutory Trust, otherwise known as a DST. The mechanics are rather simple and set forth in the Delaware Statutory Trust Act. One erects the business structure with the appropriate documentary filings including the naming of non-California agents to act on behalf of the trust. These things together act to limit liability by having the official actors out of state. The out-of-state defendant is harder to involve in a California lawsuit.
The benefits include circumventing the standard California business tax and asset protection. In addition, a DST may be … Read More
A recent legacy case illustrates how Proposition 19 impacts grandparents wishing to leave their family vineyard property to their granddaughter.
Change in the Law
Effective February 16, 2021, Prop. 19 modified the reassessment exclusion for parents and grandparents wishing to pass down their property to their children or grandchildren who were not going to live there, leaving certain estates vulnerable.
What About the Exclusion Limits?
Prior to Prop. 19, primary residences of unlimited value could be transferred avoiding reassessment up to an additional $1 million of assessed value. This also had zero requirement that the child lives at that property. … Read More
Introduction to Elder Abuse, Capacity and Undue Influence
In a recent presentation to realtors, Real Estate and Elders, HVP partner Mary Piasta provided a introduction to elder abuse, capacity and undue influence. Offering a roadmap for understanding and navigating issues of elder abuse in real estate, Mary focused her presentation on the applicable laws, rules and concerns for real estate professionals concerning capacity, financial exposure, warning signs, and resources.
Prop 19 & Entities: Legal Update and Estate Planning Strategy
One of the major exclusions from property reassessment is the exclusion of real property that is owned by a legal entity, such as a corporation, partnership, or LLC, as provided in Revenue & Taxation Code section 64. In a nutshell, it provides that when realty is owned by a legal entity, certain changes in the ownership of the entity do not constate sale of the realty itself, unless a new person or entity gains control of the entity. For example, if real property is owned by a corporation, shares of … Read More
HVP Partner Tony Valluzzo Named to 2021 “Lawyers of Distinction” List by Sonoma Magazine
Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta LLP is pleased to announce that Sonoma Magazine has named partner Anthony R. Valluzzo for inclusion in its list of 2021 “Lawyers of Distinction” in the category of business law.
Sonoma Magazine’s inaugural “Lawyers of Distinction” list recognizes the county’s top legal practitioners. Candidates who live or work in the greater Sonoma five-county region were peer-recommended. A third-party research firm conducted the peer nominating and vetting process, ensuring its independence and authenticity. Inclusion in the list is based on the opinions of … Read More
Described as a critical piece of housing legislation, SB 9 which was signed into law by Governor Newsom this September will no doubt change the future of housing investments and opportunities. The ripples will also extend into property tax issues at a local level.
According to U.S. Census records there are over 6 million detached single-family dwellings in the State of California. Allowing units to be built adjacent to or within existing single family homes might resolve the housing crisis. “The intent of SB 9 is clear – to streamline the process so homeowners can create a duplex or … Read More
SONOMA, CA – July 26, 2021 – Prominent business and estate planning law firm Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta LLP is pleased to announce that Tom Haeuser, name partner and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, has stepped up his roles in two vital community service organizations, Friends Helping Friends (FISH) and the Sonoma County Library Commission. Tom was recently selected President of the FISH Board of Directors, continuing his longstanding affiliation with an organization that has been lending a helping hand to neighbors in need for 50 years. Tom also accepted an appointment to serve a … Read More
SONOMA, Calif. – May, 2021 – Reinventing the law firm business model, HVP lawyers return to the basics of legal services with an emphasis on lawyers and staff working together to offer a concierge service experience. The addition of staffers Lori Beth Merrill and Penny Martin underscores HVP’s long-standing reputation for working seamlessly with clients. Committed to providing the ‘white glove’ treatment . Penny’s adept management of client-attorney interactions and communications and Lori Beth’s background as a real estate appraiser complement the legal services offered by HVP’s three partners, Thomas A. Haeuser, Anthony R. Valluzzo, and Mary Piasta.
Results-driven representation in key areas of law including issues impacting women
There has never been a better time in history to be a woman, yet women still face a daunting array of challenges, especially when it comes to legal issues. We work hard to make our services accessible to those who need us most.
The Femme Project draws together professionals committed to exceptional client service, focused on those who serve the unique needs of women or those who identify as them. Collectively, we leverage our deep trench of resources for women whether it is in finance, tax, real estate, banking, … Read More
Fiduciary originates from Latin fidere, which means “to trust.”
Join the discussion between lawyer Mary Piasta and Lori Beth Merrill of Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta LLP as they discuss the things you want to know about fiduciaries, what they are, how they are regulated, and how they can help loved ones.
HVP Law has more and more clients looking to transition their businesses whether they are new or even legacy businesses. Other times circumstances dictate the need for a
business transition like death, divorce, or bankruptcy. In either case as it may be understanding the circumstances for the sale is an important driver to dictate various terms. Of course, clarity in dealings of this nature can add to peace of mind. A short list of considerations is as follows:
Goals – consider the end goals of the sale. Is it tax minimization, liability transfer, a life change? Keeping an eye on … Read More
2021 laws impact local business in several key areas. Already challenged by the economic constraints resulting from the pandemic, business owners are now confronted by an increase in minimum wage and additional protocols for COVID-19 reporting. On the flip side, the restrictions on independent contractor relationships imposed by AB-5 have been relaxed, and the California Secretary of State has launched a business portal for routine filings. Finally, the sweeping implications of Proposition 19 concern business owners and individuals seeking to transfer real property to their children.
The current 2020 unified federal estate and gift tax lifetime exemption amount is $11.58 million. This amount is scheduled to increase with inflation through December of 2025, at which point it reverts back to the 2017 level of $5 million.
The Biden team is just beginning to look into ways to capture some of the stratospheric increases in wealth during the last few years. As of today they include the elimination of step-up in basis for inherited assets and being even more aggressive than the sun set provisions, lowering the exemption amounts to 2009 of $3.5 million for estates and … Read More
California is facing some interesting hurdles right now, even outside of the recent wave
of COVID-19 and threat of forest fires. Rising commercial office space vacancies, small businesses closing down, and record unemployment and poverty numbers are, however, facing every state in the Union.
The uniqueness of California comes from its position to recover from the economic fallout. As one of the largest economies in the world, California has the tools, population and culture to rebound quickly and thoroughly.
Property values have remained high, even continuing to increase in suburbs and areas outside of the city centers. California’s state government … Read More
As we enter the new year, it’s a good time to do what HVP Law calls a legal checkup. This is a yearly review of your needs for your life, businesses and estate.
For the estate planning side of things, we like to review the status of things through the year to ensure your wishes are properly recorded in your documents. Have there been any changes in your holdings? Did you move? Are there new family members? Are there any new desires for decision makers? Are your beneficiaries current?
For the business side of things, it is prudent to do … Read More
The December relief package created a second draw for businesses that have exhausted their PPP. This PPP list includes an Expanded List of Expenses Qualifying for Forgiveness. The list of expenses that PPP funds can be used for that qualify for loan forgiveness has been expanded to include:
“operations expenses” defined as payments for business software and cloud computing services and other human resources and accounting needs that facilitate business operations;
“supplier costs” defined as payments to a supplier for goods that are essential to the operations of the borrower pursuant to a contract or purchase order in effect before
Impacts property transfers between family members and changes property tax rules
HVP Law Offices
Were you planning to leave your primary residence or other property to your children or grandchildren in your living trust or will? Proposition 19, which recently passed by 51% on the November ballot, is changing the reassessment exclusion between parents and children as we know it.
You need to make some important decisions quickly.. If you act now, you can transfer property to your children without triggering a reassessment. You can transfer a primary residence of any market value as long as the assessed value is … Read More
California’s Prop 19 – Changes to Property Tax Rules has passed. Lori Beth Merrill joins Sonoma Brain Trust to discuss the pros and cons and really explain the different parts of Prop. 19 and how it will affect Real Estate Owners.
This complimentary seminar features Anthony Valluzzo, a partner at the Sonoma law firm of Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta LLP. Tony draws on a wealth of estate planning experience to craft solid legal strategies that provide peace of mind for life and after. While not as chilling as the movie version, Tony will provide an overview of California law addressing court-appointed … Read More
Do Politics affect the Stock Markets? We’ve reached that point in the election cycle where Daren has started getting questions, from both sides, about the effect of the upcoming election on the market. Earlier this Month Donald Trump said if the Democrats win, the Stock Market will tank, but is this True?
Daren Breaks down the reality of how Politics affects the Stock market and we dive into whats going on in the Real Estate Market. More LOW LOW Interest rates and inventory problems.
This complimentary seminar features Anthony Valluzzo, a partner at the Sonoma law firm of Haeuser, Valluzzo & Piasta LLP. Tony draws on a wealth of estate planning experience to craft solid legal strategies that provide peace of mind for life and after. While not as chilling as the movie version, Tony will provide an overview of California law addressing court-appointed conservatorships, outlining the estate planning tools that can ensure your welfare stays out of the hands of the courts. He will discuss how to empower those you trust to make decisions … Read More
Sometimes in life, we just need to pause. With everything that has happened so far in 2020, it makes sense that many people are rushing into making decisions. We need to remember to take a pause, remove the emotion from our decisions and think about the long term picture.
Election day has come an gone and the Markets have reacted. We are breaking down whats happening in the Financial Markets, how to expect the Real Estate Market to be impacted and what California Laws were passed.
In this day and age of websites, blogs, coaching programs and such, if you own a business that has these things, if something were to happen to you, what would happen to these things?
These sort of things are what is referred to as ‘intellectual properties’ and if you have a will or estate plan that includes directives for your business you might think more about protecting these aspects to your business or endeavor.
Under the law, in the broadest sense an intellectual property is an abstract item such a concept, ideas or formula and so on. To protect things … Read More