A Domestic and International Asset Protection & Wealth Preservation Firm
The Cornell Group, PLLC
60 E. 42nd St.
The Lincoln Building
New York, New York 10118
Offices: 212.729.8180
Fax: 1.866.400.6194

Email: Click Here

Palm Beach County
Alfred Morici, Esq.

California Law Affiliate
Charles Peterson, Esq.
Los Angeles County

Europe & The Middle East
Mr. Roger W. Wilson
Mr. Ray Barnes

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Your Purpose / Our Promise: The Mission Statement of The Cornell Group P.L.L.C.
The Cornell Group adheres to the philosophy that everyone has their own unique set of facts and circumstances when they contact us for their needs and concerns. By the internet, phone or office visit this is our utmost thought in any initial consultation.

Following this basic tenet, we can all agree upon one key point:
In the fields of asset protection, estate & financial planning, there are no "one size fits all" solutions. Each situation must be understood and evaluated before George V. Cornell and his team can render competent and knowledgeable advice in these multi-discipline fields of law and personal finance.
Once the client's situation is properly evaluated through discussion and planning document review, The Cornell Group ("TCG") can then offer expert advice and suggetions. This will ensure that an individual/couple or business structure's needs are met utilizing our best practice management techniques developed and utilized since the inception of TCG in 1986.
At this early stage of the attorney/financial planner relationship, we can begin to earn your trust to help you solve these life changing and complex disciplines of money management and law that include the areas of contract, commercial, estate and trial law.

We recognize that not every person who seeks our counsel is qualified for whatever reason, to become a member of The Cornell Group's family of clients. That is to be expected. We will though, within the confines of an initial consulation and then retention of TCG, treat every person with respect and dignity. We promise to give our undivided attention to anyone who contacts us so we may provide solutions that will allay concerns and solve issues the right and reasonable way.
This methodology enables The Cornell Group to immediately advise an overall strategy for an individual or business entity that will be further developed and understood if in fact our firm is retained to provide services at a reasonable cost basis.

Our purpose therefore, over a period of time and our promise to you, is to provide the best practical solution(s) to your specific problem(s) to the best of our ability. We are confidant that if you decide to join our family of clients you will reach your goals and fulfill your dreams with the knowledge The Cornell Group is behind you every step of the way.
We believe it is too difficult and time consuming to try to accomplish these feats alone. We all need help from time to time. As such The Cornell Group is ready, willing and able to assist you and your loved ones through these life changing decisions with minimal stress and worries.
We hope to hear from you soon.
Until then I remain,
George V. Cornell 111 Esq.
Registered Investment Advisor
The Cornell Group, P.L.L.C.
Founder & Chairman

The LLC: The Corner Stone of Asset Protection
The Government (IRS) and all Court's (State and Federal) acceptance of the LLC (Limited Liability Company) as the premier entity to protect personal assets while enjoying "pass through" tax treatment cannot be overstated. Legally recognized in all 50 states, the LLC can best be desrcibed as a hybrid between a corporation ( limited liability to it's Board of Directors) and a partnership ( pass through tax issues classified by the IRS as "non-taxable events").
Uses of a LLC are virtually unlimited and diverse. These include all types of real estate investments: i.e. rentals ( not one's personal residence though), vacation homes and ownership of commercial and retail properties. These types of asset ownerships are classified as "passive investments" for the purposes of calculating the self-employment on Net Profit which in this case are excluded.

Other LLC uses include the operation of a retail business, investments in private placement partnerships, alternative investments, and brokerage accounts (including "self-directed IRAs). An LLC can but not always be established in the state where the asset is located ("home state"), but this is not always a requirement. Once formed, a LLC can do business in any other state once registerd ("qualified') by the Secretary of State Division of Corporations or any other nomenclature a state may use.
Personal property such as motor vehicles, boats, and aircraft, to name a few, may also be titled into a LLC if so desired. Again, the asset list is unlimited.

All income and expenses “pass through” to the individual/couple's/business tax returns found on the appropriate schedule on the return. The IRS does not require a seperate return for the LLC to file. An "Informational Partnership Return" must be filed though, with the IRS ( Form 1065) for "informational purposes only" as to a multi-member LLCs.
Furthermore, an Employees Identification Number ( EIN) is applied for, then assigned by the IRS for the LLC which is needed to open a seperate bank account in the name of the LLC. Some accountants use the EIN on returns to identify profits/losses that stem from the LLC operations for the previous tax year. This is not a IRS requirement .

A LLC and its members are not responsibleto the IRS to pay a "double tax" (i.e. one for the company and the other for any distributions to its members) as is the case for a standard C Corporation structure. This fact alone is perhaps the second reason (after limited liability to its members) why LLCs are the most popular entity currently being formed in the United States in the last ten (10) years..and rightly so!

Asset Protection for the Non-U.S. Resident
Unlike a S-Corporation, a non-U.S. Resident and/or foreign corporation doing business or owning assets in the U.S. ( business office, vacation home etc.) can be members of an American LLC to protect their assets in the event the property or business is sued under the juridiction of an American court (State or Federal). This added feature of an LLC is very important for our foreign individual and business clients with assets here in the U.S.

A LLC can be Member/Managed or Manager/Managed by members or a 3rd party who is a salaried employee of the LLC. All managers and members enjoy the right of the LLC's limited liability protection regardless of "title". While you may form a single member or multi-member LLC ,if feasible a multi-member LLC is prefered but not required. Again, personal assets will be protected regardless of the number of members in the event the assets in a LLC are attacked by anyone ( i.e. creditors, attorney's, ex-spouses etc.) seeking money damages.

As all 50 states recognize a single/multi-member LLC, The Cornell Group (TCG) has formed thousands of these entities for our clients over the years and continue to do so. Without a doubt the "Gold Standard" state for organizinga LLC is Delaware. Home to most Fortune 100 Companies, this jurisdiction is investor, friendly, tax friendly ( none on outside residents) and a court system dedicated to resolve business disputes in a timely manner including LLC/S-Corporation issues.

The cornerstone of a LLC is the OPERATING AGREEMENT ("OA"). The OA is akin to the by-laws of a corporation. The OA states the "rules and regulations" of the LLC's members. The OA should at the minimum set forth: The purpose of the LLC; the principal place of business of the LLC and the capital contributions of its member(s). A properly structured OA such as the one's we draft should also contain important sections that explain the rights of the individual members as to: distributions, dissolution procedures, IRS treatment (to minimize Federal/State/Self-Employment Tax) and annual meeting requiremets. All members of a LLC must sign and date the Operating Agreement.

If you choose a web based company ( e.g. Legalzoom.com etc.) to form a LLC, you will receive a LLC with some liabilty protection as this feature is inherent in all LLCs .
Potential future problems arise though due to the GENERIC operating agreement ( around 8-10 "fill in the blank" pages) included in the fee. For some individuals ( i.e. single, no assets, renting etc.) this may suffice. For most of us though, this "cookie cutter" approach is inadequetly insufficient.

The Cornell Group's (TGC) Thirty-Two (32) Page Customized Operating Agreement covers ALL of life's contingencies including: member expulsion, asset disbursement due to death of a member, divorcing member's rights and obligations, charging order protection and IRS classification to name a few highly contentous issues that may arise during the life of the LLC.
You will NOT find these issues addressed in an eight (8) page Operating Agreement supplied by an Internet company or seminar promoter. The only recourse then, if problems arise outside of the Operating Agreement is Court intervention which will include attorney fees, court costs, months of wasted time and bitternes among the members. This option defeats the reason why a LLC is formed in the first place.

In conclusion, it can be said and rightly so that you "get what you pay for" when you utilize a web site or promoter to form your LLC. We suggest that you let the experts at The Cornell Group guide you through these important issues as to you LLC structure or other limited liabilty entity ( i.e. partnerships, S-Corporations etc.).

Again, The Cornell Group utilizes a thirty-two (32) page Operating Agreement which we customize specifically tailored for your unique set of circumstances.
No two agreements are exactly the same as no two client's facts and circumstances are completetly the same. This ONE IMPORTANT DISTINCTION ALONE sets us apart from the generic 8-10 page Agreement one may purchase on the internet.
Furthermore, we guarantee and stand behind our work product for as long as you keep your LLC in good standing. A web site company or seminar promoter cannot and will not make that claim and guarantee. In fact, most have written DISCLAIMERS in fine print that you must sign and agreee stating they are not responsible for any legal issues once your LLC entity is formed.

Another way unscrupulous promotors and some internet companies attempt to take your money is through Registed Agent ("R.A.") fees that every state requires LLCs and Corporations to name and file during the annual registration renewal process. By naming themselves the "registered agent" for your entity, they charge a few up to $200.00 per year to provide this service in the event your LLC/Company gets served with legal papers. The consumer is never told that he or she can be their own R.A. or seek alternative companies that charge less.

The above caveat is also true for "seminar attorneys" who only form a LLC or other entity in the state where their law office is located, regardless of YOUR needs, so they can be the Registerd Agent for your entity entitling them to an annual stream of revenue from these fees that you must pay of your pocket annually.
As such, the adage "Buyer Beware" when attempting to form your own LLC or retain an attorney or promoter not looking out for your best interest.

The Cornell Group has never nor will we ever participate in these unscrupulous "business" practices for our family of clients. We ask you: Would YOU treat family that way? Of course not.
We consider every individual or business who is a client of The Cornell Group as part of our family of clients. We are here to help you, as close family members always do.
Contact us today.

The drafting of a proper trust structure is fundamental in Estate and Wealth Planning. here are the facts: The Federal Estate Tax (Death Taxes) for Estates valued over 3.5 million dollars (2009) are subject to an excise rate that STARTS at 41% rising to 45% on each dollar over this amount. Taking life insurance proceeds into consideration and the equity in one's home, this amount is reached fairly quickly. Doesn't it make sense to minimize this egregious tax and leave it to your children and grandchildren? We think so. This is common sense.
Furthermore, the above guidelines will "reset" in 2010, at which time many individuals who already have a trust structure in place will be forced to amend their documents as these trusts were created under federal tax assumptions that will no longer be valid. As such, if nothing is done to review a trust already in place there is a very good possibilty the Grantor's (the creator of the estate plan) wishes will not be met under the new Federal Estate Tax guidelines.

We recommend and draft numerous Revocable Living Trusts (RLT) which are implemented for estates valued below the above 3.5 M threshold. We firmly believe that anyone with assets totalling at least Fifty Thousand ( 50 K) Dollars needs our Living Trust Package if for nothing else but to aviod probate court and attorney fees.

The most popular trust we draft (and the most popular trust in the U.S.) is the Marital A-B Trust which doubles the federal estate tax exemption from 3.5M to 7M on the death of the surviving spouse. These Trusts can be Revocable or Non-Revocable depending on our client's and their beneficiaries' asset protection needs.

For estates valued over the current 3.5M exemption, The Cornell Group recommends more sophisticated planning to minimize the death tax and maximize our client's legacies. Examples include the widely used Credit Shelter Trust ( for the benefit of the survivng spouse and children/grandchildren).
The Personal Resident Trust which provides asset protection and estate gift tax solutions. We draft Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILIT) on occasion for those with excees life insurance policies or have the means to purchase a policy with an appropriate death benefit that will pay all the estate tax allowing the beneficiary(ies) of the estate to receive an inheritance tax free. This trust is an excellent means of ensuring a maximum legacy allowed by law for the benefit of all. Again, we at The Cornell Group can draft a Trust specifically tailored to your needs that can avoid probate, provide asset protection and minimize estate taxes. We provide you with an extensive Estate Planning Questionnaire so we will have a complete picture of your financial net worth, legacy considerations and family profile.

We have a diverse national and international clientel regardless of individual/family Net Worth. Our philosophy is that every client brings his or hers own unique set of circumstances to our attention. We do do not employ a "one size fits all" planning model. We focus on each client's individuals needs. In other words, our Team listens to our clients and takes the necessary steps to satisfy their wishes and concerns.
The number of homes that have gone into foreclosure since August 2007 is frightening. As of the end of of October 2008 nearly 1,000,000 foreclosures have been filed. There is no end in sight due to the financial crisis. A Personal ResidenceTrust (PRT) may PROTECT homeowners if executed immediately. Timing is crucial due to the Uniform Fraudulant Transfer Act ( UFTA) adopted in some form in all 50 states. These statutes provide a three year "look back" ( seven in CA.) as to all transfers of assets including a personal residence to a Trust or third party. The various benefits that can be realized by The Cornell Group creating a (PRT) are as follows:
• The residence is placed in Trust by the Grantor (H/W) with a named beneficiary;
• The Trust is created for a fixed Term, usually 10-15 years;
• Grantor remains in the home, maintains the home and can sell home during the Term;
• At the end of the term of the trust Grantor may stay in the home as a rental tenant;
• During the term the trust "owns" title to the home not the Grantor(s);
• The Trust MUST be Irrevocable to provide Asset protection & Gift Tax consideration

There are a variety Trusts that can be implemented to achieve an individual's/couples needs including asset protection and also leave a financial legacy behind. Please contact us so we may discuss your individual situation.

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