The WiLaw Connection: Quarterly Publication–April 2023
Employee Retention Credit: Maximizing COVID Relief by Supplementing PPP
The Paycheck Protection Program has been commonly heralded as the foremost source of financial relief for businesses during COVID-19. However, the Employee Retention Credit or “ERC,” is a lesser-known replacement or supplement for PPP that has remained largely unleveraged by employers. Enacted in March of 2020 under the CARES Act, the ERC provides qualifying employers with tax relief and potential refundable tax credits for all or a portion of the 2020 and 2021 tax years, up to $26,000 per full-time employee in the best-case scenarios.

The Death of Lisa Marie Presley Leads to Brewing Trust Dispute
Inheritance disputes are common even among the wealthy. An inheritance dispute appears to be brewing following the death of Elvis Presley’s only child, Lisa Marie. According to various news outlets, Lisa Marie appointed her mother, Priscilla Presley, and her then manager, Barry Siegel, as co-trustees of her trust in 1993. Following Lisa Marie’s death on January 12, 2023, Priscilla discovered an amendment to the trust purportedly signed in 2016 that replaced both Priscilla and Barry Siegel as co-trustees.
Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts, A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Complex Estates
The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (SLAT) is a type of irrevocable trust that allows married couples to transfer assets to their spouse and other family members while removing those assets from their combined estates. This type of trust can help high net worth individuals take advantage of the federal lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion, which is currently $12.92 million per person in 2023, or $25.84 million per married couple, while still retaining limited access to the assets, if needed.

Firm News
Christa Wittenberg Elected to the Firm’s Board of Directors
O’Neil Cannon is pleased to announce that Attorney Christa Wittenberg was recently elected to serve on the firm’s Board of Directors, beginning on July 1. Christa has been with the firm since 2014 as a member of the Litigation Practice Group, where she assists businesses and individuals with pursuing and defending a variety of complex civil litigation matters. Christa is the Chairperson for the Communications Committee at the State Bar of Wisconsin and is a member of the Boards of Directors of LOTUS Legal Clinic, the Association for Women Lawyers, and the Eastern District of Wisconsin Bar Association. She looks forward to applying her leadership skills and her passion for service to ensure that O’Neil Cannon maintains its status as a premier law firm and continues to serve its clients effectively and efficiently.

Christa will be filling the seat of Attorney Dean Laing, who will be stepping down from the firm’s Board of Directors after 33 years in that position. Dean is also the immediate past President and Managing Shareholder of the firm, having served in those roles from 2015-2020. He will continue with the firm as a shareholder. The firm is extremely grateful for Dean’s strong leadership over the years.

Firms included in the 2023 Best Law Firms” list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise.
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