Wednesday, January 21, 2009

President Obama Brings Changes to Legal Landscape


Yesterday our country witnessed a historic day as we inaugurated the nation's first black president and only the 43th man (Don't forget President Cleveland claims two spots!) in our history to take this solemn oath. I congratulate President Obama and wish him the best as he embarks on the amazing task of leading our great nation. I also welcome President and Mrs. Bush back to Texas to begin their retirement from public life. More than 20,000 supporters were on hand yesterday to welcome the former First Couple back to Midland. Whoever you supported in this election (whether you are a Democrat or Republican), we can still be proud that the seamless, non-violent transfer of power that occurs in our country every four years is an example of freedom for the rest of the world. Now, with President Obama ready to get to work, we can look at how his stated priorities will affect legal issues in Texas.

I have already written about the changes that President Obama hopes to make to our immigration laws. If his goal of creating an easier path for undocumented workers to stay in our country succeeds, there certainly will be questions on how to proceed with the necessary paperwork. How will employers be responsible for participating in this process? What will the penalties be for the workers who choose to "come out of the shadows"?

President Obama often discussed his plans to change some of our tax policies as one way he wants to move the economy forward. One element he wants to reintroduce is the estate tax, known as the "death tax" by some of its detractors. Will this affect the steps you take in your estate planning, including the update of your legal documents? We also can expect some changes to the taxes placed on business owners. If you own a small business or a large corporation, you will need to know that your operations are structured correctly to comply with any new laws.

With these specific policy issues and many others, Bertolino LLP will be prepared to assist you with your changing legal needs. We have attorneys in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio who are ready to help you. As 2009 unfolds and we learn more about the direction in which this new administration will take us, please contact us and we will make sure you remain in good legal standing through changing times.

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