More HH Legal Updates

Houston Harbaugh is a full service law firm headquartered in Pittsburgh and serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. This collection of blogs further highlights the firms capabilities in several practice areas.

Tax Advantages of Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts for Pass-Through Entities

Owners of businesses that are pass-through entities for income tax purposes (S Corporations, partnerships and most limited liability companies) are aware of the likelihood that their ownership will...
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ACT NOW: FEDERAL FILING REQUIREMENTS MAY IMPACT YOU!

BASICS OF COMPLIANCE WITH THE CORPORATE TRANSPARENCY ACT: FINCEN BENEFICIAL OWNERSHIP REPORTING In 2021, Congress passed the Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) in an effort to thwart criminals from...
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New Rules On Participation Of Long-Term, Part-Time Employees In 401(K) Plans Effective January 1, 2024

New laws require employers maintaining 401(k) plans to allow participation by “long-term, part time employees” (“LTPTEs”) starting in 2024.  On Black Friday (November 24, 2023), the Treasury Department...
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Effective Date of Requirement that 401(k)/403(b) Catch-up Contributions of Higher-paid Employees be After-tax Roth Contributions Delayed to 2026

In a prior bulletin, we discussed the requirement that 401(k) and 403(b) catch-up contributions by higher-paid employees (those with FICA wages in excess of $145,000) be made on...
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SECURE Act Finally Secure: New Law Makes Major Changes to Retirement Plan Rules

Background: In May of 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act by a 417-3 vote, but the bill...
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Reminder of Annual QSEHRA Notice Requirement 2018

The law governing Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) requires that a written notice of the availability of the QSEHRA be provided to each eligible employee at least 90...
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New PPP Modification Makes PPP Loans More Flexible For Borrowers; Additional Issues For Borrowers And Questions To Be Answered

On Friday, June 5, the President signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020 (“Flexibility Act”) making the provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”)...
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MARCH 31, 2020 DEADLINE LOOMS FOR 403(b) PLAN DOCUMENT UPDATES

Many tax-exempt employers such as hospitals, universities and non-profit organizations maintain a retirement plan intended to meet the requirements of Section 403(b) of the Tax Code. In many...
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COBRA Administration In A COVID-19 World (And Beyond)

Most employers are generally aware of the requirement to offer the opportunity for an employee to elect to continue coverage under the employer’s group health plan following a...
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CARES ACT PROVISIONS AFFECTING RETIREMENT PLANS:

On March 27, 2020, President Trump signed the Coronavirus, Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) into law. The $2 trillion stimulus law covers many aspects of...
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New PPP Forgiveness Applications And Interim Rule; Some Key Issues Clarified; Borrowers Prepare To Apply For Loan Forgiveness

On Wednesday, June 17, the SBA published two new forgiveness applications-a long-form and an “EZ” form-along with revised instructions, and on the day before, published another interim final...
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COVID-19 Responses Allow Cafeteria Plan Flexibility

Generally, the rules governing Section 125 cafeteria plans require that an employee’s benefit elections be irrevocable throughout each plan year, absent a change in the employee’s status (marriage,...
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New IRS Rules Permit Suspension Of Safe Harbor Retirement Plan Contributions

Since the spread of the coronavirus began to curtail business operations in March, many employers have been looking for ways to reduce their operating expenses. Among those options...
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Congress Extends PPP; A New PPP Round Proposed For Smaller Ailing Businesses; SBA Rulings Help PPP Borrowers Apply For Forgiveness

Congress extended the PPP program last week, giving businesses that have not yet obtained loans another 5 weeks to do so. A new bill has been proposed in...
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QSEHRA Frequently Asked Questions

Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSEHRAs) first became available in 2017 under a new law passed in December 2016. In October 2017, the IRS issued comprehensive guidance...
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Power of Attorney for Young Adults

As time passes, we tend to become more focused on our own mortality and begin to prepare our spouse, children or other heirs for a time when they...
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PA Filial Responsibility Law: Are You Your Mother's Keeper?

Pennsylvania’s Filial Support Law Can Hold Children Responsible for Their Parents’ Medical Expenses Most parents prefer not to become a financial burden on their children as they age...
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Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Law Has New Exemption For Small Family Businesses

Pennsylvania has an Inheritance Tax that applies in general to transfers resulting from a person’s death. The tax rate depends on the relationship of the recipient to the...
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Will the beneficiaries named in my Last Will and Testament receive all of my assets?

Your Last Will and Testament only controls the disposition of probate assets which are assets owned by you in your individual name without a beneficiary designation. An individual...
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Is a Family-Owned Businesses Exempt from PA Inheritance Tax?

Pennsylvania’s Inheritance Tax applies generally to transfers resulting from a person’s death. The tax rate (ranging from 0% to 15%) depends on the recipient’s relationship to the decedent....
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IDGTs: A Potential Business Succession Tool

Many closely held businesses are pass-through entities for income tax purposes and are operated by an entrepreneur and one or more children or other family members. As entrepreneurs...
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Affordable Care Act: Required Marketplace Notice

On October 1, 2013, one of the first employer action items under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) takes effect. Employers who are subject to the Fair Labor Standards...
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Who Gets What When You Have “Yours, Mine and Ours”?

Whether you remember the original with Henry Fonda and Lucille Ball, or the remake with Dennis Quaid and Rene Russo, the movie “Yours, Mine and Ours” depicts the...
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Affordable Care Act: Determine Whether to “Pay or Play”

One of the most important decisions facing large employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is how to respond to the employer shared responsibility provisions in the ACA,...
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What is the gift tax annual exclusion?

Gifts are subject to a federal tax, but an exemption is available to shelter cumulative gifts within the threshold (currently $5,490,000). However, some gifts are outside the tax’s...
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Succession Planning is No Laughing Matter

A recent episode of the hit television comedy series, Modern Family, tackled the issue of succession planning. The series features three families who are interrelated through the family...
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How Will Tax Reform Provisions Affect Retirement Plans And Other Employee Benefits?

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made several changes to provisions affecting retirement plans and other employee benefits. While the changes involving retirement plans were not as sweeping...
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Should I make provisions for my pet in my Will?

Many pet owners make informal arrangements with respect to their pets; however, informal arrangements have no legal effect after the pet owner’s death. Therefore, a pet owner should...
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Elder Abuse is More Prevalent than You May Think

We take care of ourselves better now than before. Our elderly population is more active in society than it was before. We live longer today than we did...
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How To Make Sure Your Will And Estate Plan Is Always The Right Fit

Preparing your will and estate plan can sometimes be a simple process, but I’ve found that over the years it can take some clients years before they can...
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Planning Your Estate: Are Your Beneficiaries in Order?

Individuals with high net worth, such as many medical professionals, tend to have significant retirement accounts and insurance policies with large death benefits. Anyone who owns a retirement...
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Health Insurance Marketplace Notices: What to do?

In recent weeks, some employers have received Health Insurance Marketplace Notices from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Generally, these notices are no cause for alarm,...
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Four Estate Planning Resolutions To Kick Off The New Year

One of the easiest action items to consider, but never do, is listing your New Year’s resolutions. One particular important but commonly ignored activity is estate planning. Combine...
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Don’t Underestimate the Risk of Needing Long-Term Care

When planning for retirement, most of us take into account our future needs related to food and shelter and our potentially increasing medical costs due to sickness or...
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“Church Plan” Need Not Have Been Established By A Church

Church-affiliated organizations have been anxiously awaiting a decision from the U.S. Supreme Court on the requirements for “church plan” status. On June 5, 2017, the Court issued its...
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Update on Plan Document Compliance for Defined Benefit Pension Plans (Including Cash Balance Plans)

Update on Plan Document Compliance for Defined Benefit Pension Plans (Including Cash Balance Plans) In the past few years, the IRS rules governing the manner in which defined...
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Should I add my child as a joint owner of assets?

A parent might consider adding an adult child as a joint owner of assets. The objectives often include reducing taxes at death, avoiding probate and giving the child...
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Separate “Principal-Purpose Organization” May be Required For “Church Plan” Status

In an article published in June 2017 (see “Church Plan” Need Not Have Been Established by a Church), we discussed the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court on...
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If my grandchildren are my beneficiaries, will my estate be subject to a larger transfer tax when I die?

Although the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax rates are based upon the relationship between the decedent and each recipient of property, the age or generational assignment of any recipient is...
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How does an irrevocable life insurance trust reduce estate tax?

How does an irrevocable life insurance trust reduce estate tax? An irrevocable life insurance trust (often referred to as an ILIT) is a trust created by a grantor...
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Celebrities Who Die Without a Will Leave a Dubious Warning

Celebrities Who Die Without a Will Leave a Dubious Warning How could a musical genius worth millions of dollars in real estate and tangible assets, not to mention...
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Can a child be held responsible for a parent’s medical expenses?

Can a child be held responsible for a parent’s medical expenses? Parental-support laws, a.k.a. filial-support laws, have a long history in the US, placing personal liability on adult...
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About Us

Trusted and Cost-Effective Business Law, Business Litigation and Estate Planning Attorneys and Counselors; Building Client Confidence™ with Businesses and Individuals Since 1975

Our firm offers individualized solutions and the highest quality, client-driven and cost effective legal services. Houston Harbaugh, P.C., is a well-known law firm in Pittsburgh, serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio. Our diverse practice areas include Business Law, Business Litigation, Estate and Succession Planning, Intellectual Property Litigation and Prosecution, Employment and Labor, Employee Benefits, Oil and Gas, Landowner and Property Dispute Counseling and Litigation, Health Care, Environmental, Real Estate, Construction, Complex Tort and Catastrophic Injury Litigation, Insurance coverage and Bad Faith Law, Mediation, Arbitration and Special Master appointment work. As one of the 20 largest law firms in Pittsburgh, our lawyers serve clients on a regional and national basis.

We regularly represent regional, national and international insurance carriers in defense, insurance coverage, unfair trade practices and bad faith matters, and we issue opinions letters and coverage analyses for insurers. We defend designers, manufacturers and sellers in pharmaceutical, products and medical products liability matters and we litigate and try cases involving catastrophic injuries, industrial accidents, toxic torts, professional, engineering and architectural negligence, and agent and broker claims and lawsuits.

Why Houston Harbaugh, P.C.? The Answer Is Clear.

We are accomplished litigators with a strong track record of success in the courtroom and in jury trials. We design and manage business transactions, succession planning, banking and regulatory issues. Our firm has regularly been featured in the U.S. News “Best Lawyers”® rankings of Pittsburgh’s “Best Law Firms.” Our attorneys are also regularly nominated as “Best Lawyers” in this publication. In addition, many of our attorneys are consistently recognized in the annual national Super Lawyers peer review rankings, and our corporate practice has been selected as the winner of The Legal Intelligencer’s Best Law Firm Corporate Practices contest for the Midsize Firm category. Our property and landowner counseling and litigation practice in Oil and Gas and Real Estate is ranked at the top on a regional basis. We help clients to apply for, prosecute, audit, manage and protect intellectual property rights in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secrets. We are admitted to the USPTO and have experience in the TTAB. Some of our firm’s shareholders are Adjunct Professors of Law at the Duquesne University School of Law in litigation and intellectual property courses.

Helping You Achieve Your Goals For Over 40 Years

Since our inception as a health care practice in 1975, our attorneys have represented clients in state and federal courts in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and throughout the nation. We have grown into a multi-disciplinary practice with the ability to handle complex business transactional and litigation matters. We counsel on estate and succession planning and on trust and guardianship matters. We have a strong employment and labor practice. We represent clients in trade secret counseling and federal Defend Trade Secret Act (DTSA) counseling and litigation. Our DTSALaw® practice group is well versed in this federal body of trade secret law. We counsel, draft, litigate and defend claims involving employment non-compete, restrictive covenants, non-disclosure agreements and breach of contract matters. We service clients in the collection of debts and in bankruptcy creditor matters. Houston Harbaugh litigates in Orphans and Probate courts for matters involving estates and trusts. We also provide mediation and arbitration services to parties involved in litigation and our lawyers are currently serving as court appointed special masters in the Federal Courts.

Contact us and Learn How We Can Help You and Your Business

For more information on how we can help you, call our Pittsburgh office at 412-281-5060. You can also reach us online.

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