Practice Areas

SSW Law Offices is focused on the areas of law discussed below.  If a client is in need of assistance in a different area of law, SSW Law Offices will be more than happy to assist the client in finding an attorney in such area of law.
Tax Resolution

 

Tax resolution involves assisting the taxpayer with resolving an outstanding tax obligation with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).  If a taxpayer has an outstanding balance with the IRS or FTB and either disputes the existence of the liability, the amount of the liability, or does not dispute the existence of the liability or amount of the liability, but needs help resolving the obligation, tax resolution or tax controversy services are in order.  


The main ways of resolving an alleged tax obigation are as follows:

 

Dispute the existence of the liability or the amount of the liability

 

Pay the Obligation in Full

 

Request and Installment Agreement (IA) to pay the total obligation over time

 

Request an Offer in Compromise (OIC) to pay less than the total obligation in complete satisfaction of the liability

 

Request to be placed in the Currently Non Collectible (CNC) Status, which is usually granted in one year increments.

 

Each strategy to deal with the tax obligation requires a different perspective and its own unique marshalling of the facts and realities of the taxpayer.  The attorney must fully understand all parts of the equation, including the facts surrounding the alleged liability, the financial realities of the taxpayer, and the desires of the taxpayer concerning the tradeoffs of the various alternatives.  Above all, the attorney must walk the fine line between making the taxpayer understand the full import of the situation while simultaneously infusing the taxpayer with calm and hope concerning the ultimate resolution of the matter.

 

Owing the IRS money is a very emotional and scary experience for most people, and an effective attorney understands the emotional component of such a situation as well as the legal parameters of resolution. 

 

 

Estate Planning
 
Estate Planning involves the planning for and crafting of documentation to process the transfer of assets from the owner of such assets to his or her desired beneficiaries.  Some estate plans are simple and, while documenting the desired testamentary wishes of the settlor, do not avoid probate.  However, generally, if the value of the estate exceeds $150,000, the estate would have to be probated unless alternative tools are added to the estate plan to avoid such an outcome.  
 
The main documents in an estate plan include:
 
Will
 
Revocable Living Trust
 
Durable Power of Attorney
 
Health Care Power of Attorney/Living Will
 
Transfer Documentation such as Quitclaim Deeds and Preliminary Change of Ownership Reports
 
If the settlor has an estate with a value that exceeds the unified tax credit (UTC), or if the settlor desires to leave assets to grandchildren directly and skip the next generation completely, advanced tax planning will need to be done so as to try and avoid estate, gift or generaltion-skipping taxation on the transfer of the assets.  Advanced estate planning techniques can be used in that process, which may include some of the following:
 
Family Limited Partnerships (FLPs)
 
Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs)
 
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)
 
Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs or House GRITs)
 
Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs)
 
Dynasty Trusts
 
Charitable Split Interest Trusts (CLATs, CLUTS, CRATs, CRUTs)
 
Lifetime Giving Programs
Business Law

 

Business law is a generic term which encompasses many common needs of a business, including the following:

 

Entity Creation.  Assisting the prospective business owner or owners with either transferring their business into an entity or creating an entity for a new bsuiness.  The choice of entity can have far-reaching consequences, from several viewpoints, including legal, tax and competition concerns.

 

Contract Drafting.  A business will need a myriad of different types of contracts throughout its existence to document relationships with owners, employees, contractors, suppliers, customers, and competition.  

 

Business Planning.  A business plan is an indespensible document for a business owner to develop and refer to, yet most business owners never create a business plan.  One of the most rewarding and important services a business attorney can provide is assisting a business owner with planning for where the owner wants his business to go and how he intends to get there.  

 

Business Disputes.  Assisting the business owner in disputes with customers, employees, contractors, and other companies.

 

Business Purchase or Sale.  The purchase of a new business, or the sale of an existing business, involves many things, including a lot of emotions and even more legal and tax issues.  Having knowledgeable counsel who can help steer the transaction in such a way as to objectively manage the non-tax issues and maximize the tax result is indespensible.

 

Entity Dissolution.  If the business is completed and the owner is ready to retire, sell the business, or try something different, the entity itself needs to be dissolved so that no more taxes are incurred.  This process must be accomplished correctly so that the owner is left with as little headache as possible.