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Tax Exempt

Act Now to Take Advantage of the High Gift and Estate Tax Exemption Before It Drops in 2026

The existing federal estate and gift tax exemption stands at an impressive $13.61 million per individual ($27.22 million for couples), but this is set to decrease significantly on January 1, 2026. The exemption will automatically revert to $5 million, adjusted for inflation (estimated at $7 million), if there are no legislative changes. This cap includes…

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Noncompete Agreements

Noncompete Agreements: How Solid Is Yours?

There are many misconceptions and assumptions regarding the use and effectiveness of noncompete agreements. This is not too surprising considering that judicial enforcement of these agreements is very fact-intensive and situation-specific. There are no bright-line rules to help business owners determine whether a noncompete agreement will be enforceable, so it can be challenging to craft…

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Happy New Year and Best Wishes!

It’s the time for new beginnings and year end reflections. There are so many activities and personal business going on during this holiday season, sometimes it’s hard to take a minute and relax. In so, we at NorthStar Law Group want to thank our valued clients, like you, for a great and rewarding year. We…

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Special Announcement

On April 1, 2019, Christopher T. L. Brown and Yuan “Ruth” Qi formed NorthStar Law Group, P.S., bringing nearly thirty years of experience to the Pacific Northwest and the Asia-Pacific region. With offices in Olympia, Tacoma, Seattle, and Shanghai, China, NorthStar Law Group, P.S. provides high quality and personalized service in the areas of business…

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China International Import Expo

 BIG NEWS!! I will be going to Shanghai, China in November to represent several of my clients along with my own law practice at the China International Import Expo! I’ll be going with the Thurston County Economic Development Council who in turn is going with the Washington (State) Department of Commerce and 20+ other business-related entities under the “Choose Washington…

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The Impact of South Dakota v. Wayfair on Small Businesses

Last week, the Supreme Court of the United States (“SCOTUS”) handed down its much-anticipated decision regarding a state’s ability to collect sales tax from out-of-state merchants on transactions with in-state residents.  In South Dakota v. Wayfair, SCOTUS overturned its previous decision in Quill v. North Dakota, and held that states can require vendors to collect sales…

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Estate Planning with Limited Liability Companies and the Problem with California

In my estate planning practice, in certain circumstances, I utilize limited liability companies as a means of transferring investment assets, including real estate, to the beneficiaries under the client’s Last Will and Testament or Revocable Living Trust.  Aside from asset protection (protection from creditors and other third party claims), I recommend LLCs to avoid probate…

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Pacific Foods Accused of Being Under Valued $250 Million In Campell Soup Co. Acquisition

Michael Lynch v. Pacific Foods of Oregon, Inc., et. al. involves the issue of valuing a closely-held family business and its ownership interests in the event of death or other trigger event (disability, divorce, etc.). I’m sure most everyone in the Northwest knows of Pacific Foods, the organic food processing company. In this case, one of…

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What Would Amazon Do? Sales Tax and the Internet

I’m sure you’ve heard that buying stuff on the internet is becoming more and more common; in fact, internet sales accounted for almost 12{cac35268b59b7e75be776053d4742f8c077751d3c6f5d87e36f9e66cb6a20ae6} of all retail sales in the United States in 2016 (  For better or for worse, people are starting to prefer shopping in their pajamas over visiting local businesses (editor’s note:…

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