Firm News Feed Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800firmwise K. Dickinson Republishes Her Book "What to Know Before You Go"<p><strong>Tasha Dickinson, a member of the Firm&rsquo;s Board of Directors, republished her book &ldquo;What to Know Before You Go &ndash; an easy, comprehensive, planning guide for moving.&rdquo;</strong></p> <p>As a specialist in wills, trusts and estates, Tasha has worked extensively with clients changing domicile/residency from New York and other states to Florida. She wrote this book to provide insight based on her experience, stating that &ldquo;the purpose of this reference guide is to provide a road map of the issues that need to be considered to effectively change a taxpayer&rsquo;s domicile and residency from New York to Florida for income and estate tax purposes.&rdquo;</p> <p>Tasha is a Florida Bar Board Certified Wills, Trusts and Estates Lawyer, a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), and is admitted to practice in Florida, North Carolina, and New York. Tasha&rsquo;s practice focuses exclusively on sophisticated estate planning and estate/trust administration. She has extensive experience with complex wealth preservation strategies, business succession planning, and charitable planning. Tasha represents fiduciaries in handling complicated estate and trust administration matters. She has developed a niche working with family offices and has written and lectured extensively on residency planning.</p> <p>Tasha served as the 2009-2010 President of the Florida Association for Women Lawyers. She currently sits on the Florida Bar Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section Executive Council, serves as Co-Vice Chair of the Estate and Tax Planning Committee, and Vice-Chair of the Professionalism and Ethics Committee. Tasha is a past Co-Chair of The Florida Bar Probate Rules Committee and a past Chair of the Wills, Trusts and Estates Certification Committee. Within the community, Tasha currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Town of Palm Beach United Way and is an advisor to the Young Singers of the Palm Beaches.&nbsp;</p> <p><img src=" Book Cover.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="342" height="492" /></p>Firm News22 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Matters: Megan Coughlin Graduates from Leadership WPB<p>Jones Foster <a href=";LPA=1688&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4248">Litigation </a>Associate, <a href=";A=12401&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Megan Coughlin</a>, recently graduated from the 2018 Class of <a href="">Leadership West Palm Beach</a>, a program developed by the <a href="">Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches</a> to cultivate the leadership potential of those selected and utilize their skills to foster the development of programs and opportunities that enrich and improve the quality of life in the Palm Beaches.</p> <p>Megan shares her firsthand experience with the program and her community outreach efforts below:<b><br /> </b></p> <p><b>How did you get involved in Leadership West Palm Beach?</b></p> <p>One of the things I love about Jones Foster is that it has always been invested in the growth and development of the City of West Palm Beach. The Firm believes Leadership is a great way for its associates to become more involved in the community. When they asked me&mdash;I did not hesitate to say yes!</p> <p><b>What type of events and outreach did you participate in as a member of the class?</b></p> <p>Over a period of six months, we were immersed in the different communities and industries of West Palm Beach. On one day, we visited <a href="">Grassy Waters Preserve</a>, 23 square miles of Everglade wetlands that provides much of the City&rsquo;s freshwater supply, and the<a href=""> Solid Waste Authority</a>, where we learned about the City&rsquo;s commitment to recycling and its renewable energy program. On another day, we visited the <a href="">Port of Palm Beach</a>, the 18<sup>th</sup> busiest container port in the U.S., and the <a href="">Northwood neighborhood</a>, where we learned about the City&rsquo;s current restoration of the <a href="">Sunset Lounge</a>, the neighborhood&rsquo;s historic jazz venue, and the building of a community park.</p> <p>We also had the opportunity to visit the <a href="">Senator Philip D. Lewis Homeless Center</a>, and <a href="">The Lord&rsquo;s Place</a>, two non-profit organizations in Palm Beach County that provide crucial services, such as housing and employment opportunities, to the homeless population in Palm Beach County in order to break the cycle of homelessness. On another day, we toured the recently renovated and expanded <a href="">South Florida Science Center and Aquarium</a>, which (as a big fan of science) was so much fun!</p> <p><b>What are some of your key takeaways form the experience?</b></p> <p>Through Leadership WPB, I gained behind-the-scenes knowledge about everything from the City&rsquo;s government and economic development plan, to its many arts and culture initiatives. I was impressed to see the effort the City has devoted to making West Palm Beach a great place for residents to work and live for a long time to come.</p> <p>Overall, I took away from the experience that it is important for citizens to get involved as leaders for the betterment of our community&mdash;whether to support the art and sciences programs, advance the City&rsquo;s sustainability goals, or combat the homelessness issue in Palm Beach County. Through strong, focused, and committed leadership, along with involved, enthusiastic residents, we can continue to create a City where people will want to work, live, and raise their families.</p> <p><b>How do you think the program will help you personally and professionally?</b></p> <p>Having a well-rounded understanding of the diverse industries and communities of West Palm Beach, as well as knowledge of the various governmental bodies and their functions, makes me not only a more informed, engaged citizen, but also a better attorney for my clients that live and work in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach County. Through Leadership WPB, I not only built relationships with other professionals in the community, but also formed life-long friendships.&nbsp;</p>Firm News18 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Wilkins Speaks at PBCA 29th Annual Community Law Seminar<p><a href=";A=3462&amp;format=xml">Robert Wilkins</a> presented at 19th Annual Community Law Seminar hosted by The Community Law CLE Committee of the <a href="">Palm Beach County Bar Association</a>. Rob discussed in length the topic &quot;Why you need a written data breach policy, how to get one, and what bad things can happen if you don&rsquo;t.&rdquo; The seminar, held on June 8th, included a full agenda of speakers discussing a variety of topics from Insurance Claims and Construction Defects to Legislative and Case Law Updates.</p> <p>Robert Wilkins is the Chair of the <a href=";LPA=1688&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4248">Litigation</a> Department at Jones Foster and a Florida Bar Board Certified Attorney in Business Litigation and Civil Trial Law. Robert has over 30 years of experience as a trial lawyer in both federal and state courts, representing a broad spectrum of clients from individuals to multi-national corporations. He has extensive experienced in e-Discovery and data privacy law, including the ethical responsibilities of lawyers as it relates to the use of technology.</p>Firm News14 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Smith Appointed as Associate General Counsel for Alpha Phi Alpha<p>Litigation Shareholder <a href=";A=5714&amp;format=xml">Grasford Smith</a> was appointed on June 11<sup>th</sup>, 2018 as the national Associate General Counsel for <a href="">Alpha Phi Alpha</a> by the General President Everett Ward. Alpha Phi Alpha is an organization whose members led the Civil Rights Act and founded and supported institutions such as the <a href="">National Association for the Advancement of Colored People</a>, <a href="">The Crisis magazine,</a><a href=""> National Urban League</a>, and the<a href=""> National Association of Black Journalists</a>. The organization hosts a number of philanthropic programs, community outreach, and mentoring initiatives that have been adopted and implemented by chapters nationwide.</p> <p>As a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Grasford has remained actively involved in the local chapter.&nbsp; His additional community and industry involvement is widespread. Grasford currently serves as a Board Member of the <a href="">Palm Beach County Bar Association</a>, Vice-Chair of the <a href="">National Bar Association</a> Minority Partners in Majority Law Firms Division, General Counsel of the <a href="">Urban League of Palm Beach County</a>, Emerging Leaders member of the <a href="">Economic Counsel of Palm Beach County</a>, Board Member of <a href="">Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County</a>, and on the <a href="">NYU LACA </a>Advisory Board.</p>Firm News13 Jun 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Summer Associates Join Jones Foster<p>We are pleased to announce that three summer associates have joined the Firm for its 2018 Summer Associate Program. Beginning each year at the end of May and running through early August, the Firm&rsquo;s competitive program admits highly accomplished students to receive invaluable experience, working on actual assignments and engaging daily with partners, associates, and clients.</p> <p>This year&rsquo;s Summer Associates, Jesse Hap, Carlee Rizzolo, and Michael Bennett will work closely with various departments throughout the Firm, receiving hands-on guidance from locally and nationally recognized attorneys in a variety of practice areas including Real Estate, Litigation, Private Client Services, Corporate, and Tax. Each Summer Associate is paired with a mentor to guide them through the 11-week program and serve as support throughout the various projects and calendar of events.</p> <p><b>Get to Know Our 2018 Summer Associates</b></p> <p><b><u>Carlee Rizzolo</u></b><img src=" Rizzolo_Headshot_Website.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="172" height="172" /><b><br /> School</b>: University of Florida Levin College of Law<br /> <b>Honors</b>: Member of the Florida Law Review, Book Award in Criminal Law, Dean&rsquo;s List (Fall 2016, Spring 2017), Phi Delta Phi Legal Honor Society<br /> <b>Activities</b>: American Bar Association Law Student Chapter<br /> <b>Professional Experience</b>: University of Florida Levin College of Law, Research Assistant to Professor E. Lea Johnston<br /> <b>Involvement</b>: Nova Southeastern University 4-year member of the NCAA Division II Women&rsquo;s Tennis Team, Mock Trial Competition Team, NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee<br /> <b>Why did you choose Jones Foster? </b><br /> &ldquo;I chose Jones Foster because of the Firm&rsquo;s reputation, culture, and different areas of practice. Having the opportunity to work with the attorneys at Jones Foster will be such a challenging and engaging learning experience &ndash; which is exactly what I was looking for! After meeting the attorneys, the close-knit team culture is what stood out to me the most and I instantly knew I wanted to be a part of the team.&rdquo;</p> <p><b><u>Jess</u></b><b><u>e Hap</u></b><img src=" Hap_Headshot_Website.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="172" height="172" /><b><u><br /> </u></b><b>School</b>: University of Florida Levin College of Law<br /> <b>Honors</b>: Book Award in Legal Writing (Fall 2016); Dean&rsquo;s List (Fall 2016, Spring 2017); President&rsquo;s Scholarship Recipient<br /> <b>Activities</b>: Member, Florida Law Review; Legal Writing Teaching Assistant (Fall 2017); Appellate Advocacy Teaching Assistant (Spring 2018)<br /> <b>Professional Experience</b>: Fourth District Court of Appeal, Legal Intern, Clerk&rsquo;s Office<br /> <b>Involvement</b>: Founder and President of The Pre-Law Society, Florida State University<br /> <b>What areas of law are you currently interested in pursuing? </b><br /> &ldquo;I am currently interested in transactional real estate, land use, and litigation. Property laws and the real estate market are dynamic and have interested me throughout law school. Jones Foster has a rich history in both real estate and litigation, so I am excited to grow in these areas. However, I would not be surprised if my interests change as I receive assignments from different practice areas within the Firm.&rdquo;</p> <p><u><strong>Michael Bennett</strong></u><img src=" Bennett_Headshot_Website.jpg" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="right" alt="" border="0" width="172" height="172" /><b><br /> School</b>: University of Florida Levin College of Law<br /> <b>Professional Experience</b>: Office of the Public Defender, 4<sup>th</sup> Circuit, Intern; The Florida Fund, Academic Fundraiser; The Honorable Walter M. Green, 8th Circuit, Judicial Intern<br /> <b>Leadership</b>: Gator Growl &amp; Homecoming, Associate Producer of Finance &amp; Director of Sponsorships and Fulfillments<br /> <b>Involvement</b>: Florida Journal of International Law, Ask a Lawyer Project<br /> <b>What are you most excited to experience as a Summer Associate at Jones Foster?</b><br /> &ldquo;I am most excited to enhance my legal education outside the classroom. Sure, law school classes are a great way to learn, but nothing beats applying and improving one&rsquo;s skill next to top level professionals. I&rsquo;d be remiss if I didn&rsquo;t add that I am very excited to be in living in West Palm Beach. I am impressed with what this city offers.&rdquo;</p>Firm News22 May 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Kypreos Appointed as Co-Chair of Florida Probate Rules Committee<p>Firm Shareholder, <a href=";A=3447&amp;format=xml">Theodore Kypreos</a>, has been appointed by <a href="">President-Elect of the Florida Bar, Michelle Suskauer</a>, as Co-Chair of the <a href="">Florida Probate Rules Committee</a>. Theo&rsquo;s one-year term as committee officer begins on July 1, 2018. The Florida Bar&rsquo;s standing committees are comprised of various volunteer groups that are dedicated to furthering the Florida Bar&rsquo;s mission and annual objectives.</p> <p>Theo is actively involved in industry organizations, holding several leadership positions within the <a href="">Florida Bar</a> including serving on the Executive Council for Real Property, Probate and Trust Law section. Theo was the <a href="">2014-2015 President of the Palm Beach County Bar Association</a>, he previously served on the Board of Directors for the <a href="">Chamber of Commerce of the Palm Beaches</a>, and currently serves as <a href="">President for the University of Florida Law Alumni Council</a>.</p> <p>Theo, a member of the Firm&rsquo;s Board of Directors, focuses his practice in the areas of probate and trust <a href=";LPA=1688&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4248">litigation</a>, <a href=";LPA=1694&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4248">trust and estate</a> administration, guardianship law, and fiduciary litigation. He represents a broad range of clients, including corporate and individual fiduciaries, individual heirs and beneficiaries, and charitable institutions and beneficiaries.</p>Firm News25 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Hawkins Speaks at Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations<p>Scott G. Hawkins presented at the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations in Miami, FL on April 19. Scott addressed the topic of &ldquo;Separating Fact from Fiction: State Scrutiny of Institutionally Related Foundations.&rdquo; His expert panel shared strategies on how foundation leaders can demonstrate their value to state officials.</p> <p>Hosted by CASE, the Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations is designed for foundation executives and other senior staff and provides a forum to learn about the critical and emerging issues affecting institutionally related foundations. Now in it&rsquo;s 26<sup>th</sup> year, the conference conducts in-depth general session presentations that set the stage for smaller elective sessions with thought leaders in various industries and disciplines.</p> <p>Scott Hawkins, Jones Foster&rsquo;s Vice-Chair, is a nationally recognized corporate and business litigation attorney. He is actively involved in various industry and community organizations, serving as the Chair of the University of Florida Foundation from 2014-2016. Scott represents public and private companies in a variety of industries, including education, technology, medical, environmental, real estate, land use, insurance, and military. Scott focuses his practice in commercial and corporate litigation with an emphasis on intellectual property, trade secret disputes, covenants not to compete, securities, and real estate litigation.</p>Firm News19 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Smith Honored with Anquan Boldin Foundation Award<p>Firm Shareholder <a href=";A=5714&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Grasford W. Smith</a> was honored by the <a href="">Anquan Boldin Foundation</a> with an award for his loyal and dedicated service to the community. Grasford was presented the award by Anquan Boldin himself, an <a href="">NFL Walter Payton Man of the Year</a>, during the foundation&rsquo;s <a href="">Annual Charity Golf Tournament</a> at <a href="">PGA Resort</a> in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.</p> <p>The Anquan Boldin Foundation, also known as <a href="">Q81</a>, is dedicated to expanding the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children. The Q81 Foundation has over 10 years of history impacting communities at large. Q-Fest, held annually in Palm Beach, Florida, is the Foundation&rsquo;s most celebrated event, and has been the cornerstone in generating resources to sustain the charitable efforts that Anquan and his family are dedicated to.</p> <p>Grasford Smith serves on the <a href="">Board of Directors for the Anquan Boldin Foundation</a> and is deeply committed to a variety of philanthropic organizations and initiatives throughout the community.&nbsp;<br /> <br /> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="left" alt="" border="0" width="400" height="300" /></p>Firm News13 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Smith Recognized by NYU LACA with Rising Star Award<p>Jones Foster is pleased to announce that the <a href="">NYU Law Alumni of Color Association (LACA)</a> has recognized <a href=";LPA=1688&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4248">litigation </a>shareholder, <a href=";A=5714&amp;format=xml&amp;p=4295">Grasford W. Smith</a>, as a 40 Under 40 Rising Star at the organization&rsquo;s <a href="">2018 Spring Dinner</a> due to his outstanding accomplishments as a leader in the legal industry.</p> <p>NYU LACA promotes and supports the professional development and general advancement of the Law School&rsquo;s alumni and students of color, and seeks to more fully involve alumni, students, and faculty of color in the educational, social, and intellectual life of the Law School. The annual Spring Dinner brings together the LACA Executive Board, alumni, faculty, administrators, and students to celebrate the achievements of the outstanding LACA alumni. This year, they proudly celebrated their 40th anniversary at the annual event.</p> <p>Grasford Smith is the former First-Vice President of NYU LACA. He is actively involved in various industry and community organizations and is consistently recognized among his peers by prestigious industry publications. Grasford concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, and transactional matters. He has represented a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, athletic leagues, technology companies, and a United States Congressman, in addition to a variety of small and medium-sized businesses.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>Firm News09 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0800 Reform Update | Volume 33, Issue 1<h3 style="text-align: center;">Tax Reform Update</h3> <h4 style="text-align: center;"><em>Volume 33, Issue 1</em></h4> <h4 style="text-align: center;">&nbsp;</h4> <h4>Estate Tax Formula Clauses May Require Immediate Attention</h4> <p>The vast majority of estate plans drafted to take advantage of the estate tax exempt amount over the years have utilized a formula that directs the estate tax exempt amount to be funded into a Family Trust or Credit Shelter Trust with the balance passing outright to the surviving spouse and/or into a Marital Trust. As the exempt amount increased year by year, the estate assets in most instances also increased, which led to few adverse effects. However, now that the estate tax exempt amount in 2018 has doubled to $11,180,000 per person, almost all clients need to address the effects of the formula clause on their estates. The following is an example of a $9 million decedent's estate based on the exempt amounts in effect in 2006, 2011 and now in 2018.<br /> <br /> Estate of $9,000,000:<br /> <img src="" hspace="0" vspace="0" align="absmiddle" alt="" border="0" width="558" height="248" /><br /> <br /> <br /> In 2006, the surviving spouse would inherit the majority of the estate outright or in a Marital Trust, whereas now the surviving spouse and/or the Marital Trust would get ZERO. This example is further exacerbated if, in fact, the Family Trust was designed to benefit the children and further generations only, but could also cause family conflict if the Family Trust were drafted as a &quot;spray trust&quot; to distribute income and principal amongst the surviving spouse, children, grandchildren etc. based on &quot;need.&quot;<br /> <br /> In past newsletters, we have commented upon the advisability of having the exempt amount and the residuary estate pass into both the Family Trust and the Marital Trust with the surviving spouse as sole beneficiary, provided that the family's intent is that the husband and wife are to continue to receive all of the income and have access to discretionary principal distributions until the survivor dies. We have also recommended in many instances that the entire estate be held in a trust for the benefit of the surviving spouse with the personal representative or trustee having the discretion to elect to treat part or all of the trust as a Marital Trust under the Qualified Terminable Interest Property Rules (QTIPable Trust).<br /> <br /> Please note that the intent here is only to highlight some of the very serious adverse affects that the formula clauses may cause without further timely attention.</p> <h4>The Estate Tax Exempt Amount <br /> <em>Use It or Lose It</em></h4> <p>The increase in the exempt amount for gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes to $11,180,000 per person has a built-in cancellation clause effective January 1, 2026, unless the currently indexed increases are further extended. As a result of current political uncertainty, many advisors have opined that the odds are better than 50/50 that the exempt amount will regress to the 2017 indexed amount in 2026. Therefore, clients are advised to seriously consider using some or all of the increased exempt amounts via the various tried and true estate planning vehicles used in the past. These include family limited partnerships and/or limited liability companies, qualified personal residence trusts, grantor and non-grantor irrevocable trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs) and other vehicles.<br /> <br /> </p> <h4>Charitable Planning</h4> <p>The standard income tax deduction per couple has increased to $24,000 in 2018. If your state tax deductions are capped at $10,000, then you would need to generate in excess of $14,000 of charitable contributions in order to take advantage of a deduction for those expenditures. If they do not, then you would simply rely on the standard deduction. However, if you could make charitable contributions in 2018 for the expenditures anticipated to be made over the next 5-10 years, you would then be able to deduct not only your state tax amounts, but also your total charitable gift deductions. In future years you could rely on your annual standard deductions. For example, if you typically contribute $10,000 a year but contributed $100,000 this year, then you could deduct not only that total amount, but also the $10,000 state tax deductible amounts. <br /> <br /> This year, those deductions would not need to be contributed outright to 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, but instead could be contributed to a donor advised fund (DAF) from which you could expend amounts over the next several years directly to charities. Keep in mind that if you have a IRA and you are over age 72 &frac12;, you can contribute amounts directly from your IRA to the charity to satisfy your annual minimum required distributions, and still take your standard deductions. <br /> <br /> The rules governing charitable remainder trusts have not changed. If you wish to benefit charities primarily upon your demise, you could create a charitable remainder unitrust paying you a set percentage of at least 5% per year and generate a significant income tax deduction this year. If the payout is 5%, a 70 year old's deduction would be 52.487% of the amount funded into the trust. A couple aged 70 would generate a deduction of 41.255%. If instead you opted for a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust, those same contributions' deductions would be 45.484% or 31.09% respectively.</p>Firm News02 Apr 2018 00:00:00 -0800