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Checklist for 2018 and New Tax Regime

News & Blog Jan 31, 2018

As the realities of the new tax law are being discovered, we’ve selected those we feel either have the biggest impact or are necessary to take action on as soon as possible for the benefit and protection of your family’s estate and business interests.

  1. Evaluating your children’s Health Care Directives, HIPAA authorizations and Durable Powers of Attorney. They may not have much, but at 18 you cease having access to their information by virtue of being a child’s parent. Therefore, a part of the checklist before children age out of your legal case, is to set up these documents. Many of our clients have them executed in both the state they are planning to attend college and in CA, their home state. These are low cost documents that allow mom and dad to step in if a child is ever in an accident or cannot speak for him or herself. Additionally, some families may need to have other powers of attorney executed for at-home affairs that may need children’s signature while they are away at college or abroad.
  2. Evaluate any contracts that may need to be re-negotiated or have adjustments made between entities, especially when you are wholly owned or have the majority interest in one entity.
  3. Review your estate planning documents and the titling of the assets owned in your trust. Refinancing and account transfers may cause unintentional transfer of title back into individual names, something that should be periodically checked. Additionally, estate planning documents may need to be updated for changes in heart, divorce, children coming of age, larger estate size, death of trustees or beneficiaries and even for changes in the law. Many of our clients are coming in to simplify their estate plan based on the new $11.2 million ($22.4 million per couple) exemption, which can greatly reduce stress and save administrative costs in the future.
  4. Formalize your business structure by converting it into an “organized entity” rather than a sole proprietorship or general partnership. Its best to do this at the beginning of the year or you may file after 12/15 of every year and not have to pay the CA FTB $800 annual fee for the current year. Contrary to the modern trend to form Limited Liability Companies or S-Corporations, you may want to closely evaluate the benefits of forming a traditional C-Corp under the new tax regime.
  5. Updating your annual meeting minutes, unanimous written consents and other business documents that help memorialize significant events and ratifies individuals further of company business. This important step also helps prevent personal liability of business owners and managers by bolstering the argument that the structure is not just a veil for your personal pocket book under a legal theory called piercing the corporate veil.
  6. Building owners/occupants should evaluate getting a cost-segregation analysis.  A “cost segregation” study identifies and reclassifies personal property assets to shorten the depreciation time for taxation purposes, which reduces current income tax obligations.
  7. File your Statement of Information with the Secretary of State and update any changes to officers, directors and the principal place of business. This can be done quickly and easily online. If you have an LLC then you are only required to file this bi-annually, not annually.
  8. New legislation of the Affordable Housing and Jobs Act, which became effective January 1, 2018, mandates County Recorders to charge an additional $75 per recording Title per transaction (up to a maximum of $225) at the time of recording on every qualifying real estate instrument, paper, or notice except on any real estate instrument, paper or notice recorded in connection with a transfer subject to a documentary transfer tax, or in connection with the transfer of a real property that is a residential dwelling to an owner-occupier. See below for more information on this topic.
  9. Beginning July 1, 2017, the State Board of Equalization was be broken into two agencies. One department will collect taxes and the other will hear disputes from taxpayers. Taxpayers who want to contest decisions from the administrative judges would have to file lawsuits against the State in civil court. For now, the BOE website and resources are functional. Expect to see changes implemented throughout this year.

Contact the experienced trust and estate planning attorneys at NM Law, APC (949-253-0000) to go over the necessary action items that are right for you.


Disclaimer: This article is intended to provide a general summary of laws in the State of California and should not be construed as a legal opinion nor a complete legal analysis of the subject matter. Noelle Minto is an attorney at NM Law, APC in Tustin, California, a law firm specializing in Trusts & Estates and Business Transactions.


Ms. Minto has been a business and estates transactional attorney based in California since 2003. Her practice is now located in Tustin, CA but represents individuals and entities based throughout the United States and abroad. Phone: (949) 253-0000, Email:


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    Robert Sousa
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    Sharon McCubbin
  • Noelle and Samantha and their team are amazing. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional (they are the best). They have and continue to support me and my family while dealing with my parents Will and Trust. Samantha…

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  • I had a great experience with Noelle and Samantha at NM Law. They were fast, clear and got the result we wanted under budget. I am very happy and impressed.

    John Arens
  • NM Law is an exceptional place to work! Our office is located in the City of Tustin, off the 55 Freeway, between the 5 and 405 Freeways. Our main cross streets are Redhill Avenue and Edinger Avenue…

    Samantha Smith
  • The N.W Law team in Tustin Ca was instrumental in achieving a just result in our family trust dispute. We had the privilege of being represented by Samantha Smith and her staff, during one of my saddest…

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    Mitchell Hilde
  • So glad to work with this team of professionals

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  • As an attorney who has used two other wills & trusts lawyers prior to seeing Noelle, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what it should cost. I recommend Noelle to anyone who…

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  • Highly recommend NM Law. I recently worked with Noelle and her team on my family trust and the process could not have gone smoother. Very knowledgeable and professional. I have since recommended all of my family members…

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    Waldo ortega
  • My husband and I decided to update our 12 year old trust. We initally had a call with Noelle, and were instantly very comfortable with her approach. Noelle was great to work with, very patient, was willing…

    Cheri Ondatje
  • Vey helpful with good insight to take the proper steps with difficult situations and have my questions answered. Noelle and her team are professional and courteous and great to work with!

    Corine Cojocaru
  • Samantha and the team are professional compassionate and get the job done. She articulates very well what needs to be done. Her and the firm do Probate and Trust at its finest to protect their clients. She…

    Silvana Sarkis
  • I was referred to NM Law after dealing with a myriad of problems in settling a complicated Trust in Riverside County. At the initial meeting, Noelle Minto and Samantha Smith listened to the mess I was in…

    Aleathea Rayburn
  • Love this firm. I’ve worked on a wide range of legal issues with NM law, and the attorneys here are top notch, reasonably priced, and a pleasure to work with. They truly care about each of their…

  • Ms. Minto, I want to thank you and your staff for the courtesy extended to us during our family’s pending emergency deadline. Mr. O’Grady spoke to my brother and gave us his best recommendation regarding my father’s…

    Abraham Torres

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