Family Law Tax

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Three Year-End Tax Tips

If divorcing your spouse is not difficult enough, those who are not legally divorced by December 31 must begin thinking at this time of year about tax planning as “married” individuals. The issue of tax filing becomes an...more

How Does Arizona Same Sex Marriage Impact HR?

On Friday October 17, 2014, same sex marriages became legal in Arizona. What are the changes that Arizona employers and their HR professionals need to be aware of? 1. The definition of spouse in employee manuals and...more

How to Avoid Estate Taxes if You Have a Non-Citizen Spouse

In our last blog post, we discussed estate taxes, federal gift taxes, and how non-citizen spouses are treated differently in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, while husbands and wives can leave an unlimited amount of money...more

The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning Tool

The federal estate tax marital deduction is one of the most important estate planning tools available to a married couple. The basic marital deduction rule is that, upon the death of the first spouse, the value of any...more

The Unlimited Marital Deduction & Non-Citizen Spouses

Especially if you have significant wealth, planning carefully for your future and the future of your loved ones is vital. Although many people are familiar with the basics of estate planning, from drawing up a will to naming...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...more

Innocent Spouse Relief Expanded

By filing a joint income tax return, spouses make themselves liable for all of the income tax due on their combined income. While filing a joint return can provide significant advantages, it also can create an unfair burden...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2014

In This Issue: - Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises - Protecting your real estate assets - How will the GST tax affect your estate plan? - Estate...more

State Tax Implications of Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Decision Rejecting Virginia’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban

On Monday, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit invalidated Virginia’s prohibition on same-sex marriages. Bostic v. Schaefer, Docket No. 14-1167 (4th Cir. July 28, 2014). The Fourth Circuit includes Virginia, Maryland,...more

SPECIAL BENEFITS: Employers can pay adoption expenses for their employees

Almost 40 years ago now, a young mother had the courage to give me up for adoption to my parents who could not themselves have children. All of my life, I have reaped the almost-unbelievable benefits of my biological mother’s...more

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....more

Control Is Everything

In Private Letter Ruling 201423043, (“PLRs” only apply to the taxpayer involved but are often used as “guidance”, and not “precedent”, by taxpayers and the IRS.) the IRS ruled that a surviving spouse could roll over her...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

DOMA, One Year After Marriage Ruling

It hardly seems like it's been an entire year since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a huge portion of the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which precluded the federal government from recognizing the legally valid...more

Lift of Prohibition on Same-Sex Marriages in Pennsylvania Provides New Estate Planning Opportunities

On May 20, 2014, in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf, Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages. Like many of the rulings...more

IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Plan Amendments Regarding Same Sex Spouses

Employers have been considering the impact on benefit programs, including the qualified retirement plans, of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the validity of same sex marriages. In September, 2013, the IRS issued...more

Gift tax Consequences of Real Estate Transfers

Often times, one partner in a same-sex couple owns real property and seeks to add the other partner to the title or deed for no consideration (i.e. when no money or other type of payment is received in return). Though this...more

Adoption Tax Credit for Same Sex Couples

Under The Internal Revenue Code Section 36C, an individual taxpayer may claim an adoption credit for qualified adoption expenses paid or incurred by the taxpayer. The total qualified adoption expenses that may be claimed as a...more

The confusion being engendered by the Uniform Trust Code’s default trust-revocation methodologies (§ 602(c)).

In the pre-Uniform Trust Code UTC), unless the terms of a revocable inter vivos trust provided otherwise, the trust could not have been revoked by the settlor’s will. A will speaks at the time of the testator’s death, an...more

PA Overturns Same-Sex Marriage Ban – Employers Face Significant Changes in Employee Benefits and Leave Administration

As a result of the same-sex marriage ban in Pennsylvania being overturned and recent IRS guidance, employers need to be aware of – and immediately implement – significant changes in employee benefit programs and Family and...more

New IRS Guidance on Same-Sex Marriages and Retirement Plans Requires Action by Employers

The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) have issued Notice 2014-9 (the “Notice”) and related Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”) providing much anticipated guidance on the application of the Supreme...more

New IRS Guidance Regarding Same-Sex Spouses: Employer Action Needed

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court, in the landmark case, United States v. Windsor, found the provisions of that portion of the “Defense of Marriage Act” (“DOMA”) which provided that only opposite-sex individuals could...more

How The Windsor Decision Applies To Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently furnished employers with welcome guidance concerning coverage of same-sex spouses in qualified plans. In a new Notice, the Service discusses how qualified arrangements such as...more

IRS Guidance On Same-Gender Marriage - What Actions Should Plan Sponsors Take Now

Following the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor, the IRS announced in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 that lawfully married same-sex couples would be treated as married for all Internal Revenue Code purposes. On...more

Is a quiet (silent) trust illusory?

Is a quiet or silent trust illusory? The question is intentionally ambiguous. Is the question whether the trust itself is illusory, or just its quietness? A quiet or silent trust has been defined as “an irrevocable trust...more

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