Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

Read Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning updates, articles, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:
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Estate Planning Valuation Discounts Under Section 2704: An Update

For about a generation, families have taken minority discounts when valuing interest in closely-held businesses for estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. This popular estate planning technique is often...more

Projected Inflation-Adjusted Estate, Gift and GST Tax Exclusion Amounts for 2017 Now Available

Based on the Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2016, Thompson Reuters Checkpoint has released their projected inflation-adjusted Estate, Gift, GST tax, and other exclusion amounts for 2017, as...more

IRS Proposes Valuation Discount Regulations: Implications for Family-Controlled Businesses

IRS issues new proposed rules aimed at eliminating valuation discounts for transfers of interests in family-controlled entities. Clients considering making transfers of interests in such entities should act soon....more

Who Would Inherit Darth Vader’s Estate?

Who would be the beneficiary of the estate of Darth Vader? The answer is more than just an exercise in Star Wars fiction; in fact, the answer can teach us important lessons about estate disputes in our real world....more

Valuation Discounts to Family-Controlled Entities in Peril Under Proposed IRS Regulations

On August 4, the Internal Revenue Service finally issued much anticipated proposed regulations under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code, which regulations are intended to significantly limit taxpayers' ability to apply...more

IRS Provides Sample Language for “Qualified Contingency” to Meet “Probability of Exhaustion Test”

One of the many requirements that a trust must meet in order for it to qualify as a Charitable Remainder Annuity Trust (“CRAT”) is the “Probability of Exhaustion Test”. This test applies to CRATs whose annuity term is based...more

New Law Deals With Digital Assets After Death

In an article earlier this year we noted that at a large number of states had introduced legislation to address an emerging issue that is unique to our Information Age: how will our digital assets be accessed and used (or...more

Deloitte’s $500 Million Sentence

We have assisted many accounting firms in the creation or revision of their client engagement letters. They very often question the need to include certain provisions intended to limit their liability to their clients and...more

New Treasury Proposed Regulations: Bad for family farms

In transferring the ownership of family farms to the next generation, it is common to take advantage of certain valuation discounts in making transfers. The Department of Treasury recently released proposed regulations under...more

Health Care E-Note - September 2016

In an article published in the September 2016 MASA Newsletter, Jim Hoover and Angie Cameron Smith discuss how physicians should properly respond to subpoenas and requests for patients’ health information. They stress how...more

Understanding the Tax Consequences of Inheriting a Roth IRA

Passing down a Roth IRA can seem like a good idea, but it doesn't always make the most sense. Before converting a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA to benefit your heirs, you should consider the tax...more

Proposed changes to Section 2704 could spur tax increase for owners of closely held businesses

Controversial proposed regulations issued by the Treasury and the IRS on August 4, 2016, would change rules for valuing interests in business entities of which a person or a family owns at least one-half. The regulations...more

Proposed IRS Valuation Rules Could Have Major Impact on Family Wealth Transfers

New rules proposed by the IRS on August 2 could severely limit or eliminate the use of discounts commonly applied to value interests in family businesses for tax purposes. These discounts, which have been approved in numerous...more

Jumbo Reverse Mortgages Are Increasingly Available for High-Value Homes

Seniors with pricier homes now have an increased ability to get a jumbo reverse mortgage in order to raise cash for retirement. As the housing market has improved, jumbo reverse mortgages are becoming more popular even though...more

Proposed Tax Regulations Limit Availability of Valuation Discounts to Family Business Owners

For family business owners who desire to transfer ownership of part of their business to the next generation, the valuation of the business interest is often an important factor to consider. This is especially true for family...more

Giving Away What You Don’t Know You Have

Under Georgia law, the standard for testamentary capacity requires that a testator remember generally what property is subject to the will’s disposition. You don’t have to know every dollar, where it is, or all your personal...more

IRS Proposes New Rules Designed to Restrict Valuation Discounts in Family Transfers

Partnerships and LLCs are common choices of entity for family-owned businesses, due to their flexibility and the many uses to which they can be put – including pooling of family assets, succession planning, asset protection,...more

Revoking a Power of Attorney

If for any reason, you become unhappy with the person you have appointed to make decisions for you under a durable power of attorney, you may revoke the power of attorney at any time. There are a few steps you should take to...more

[Webinar] Life Insurance to Fund Buyouts or Loss of a Key Person: Practical Ways to Avoid Tax Traps and Other Pitfalls - September...

Life insurance can help a business that loses an owner or other key person. Although life insurance death benefits can be tax-free, part or all of the benefits are taxable if not done the right way. Please join Steven B....more

Philanthropic Planning

As an estate planning attorney, I have the opportunity to help people every day. Working with clients to craft an estate plan to transition their assets to their family members and friends is very rewarding. Not infrequently,...more

IRS Proposes Regulations to Limit Valuation Discounts for Family Businesses

On August 2, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations intended to substantially limit the use of discounts in valuing intra-family transfers of interests in family-controlled...more

Put Me in Coach! Using Split Dollar Life Insurance Plans to Compensate Division I Coaches

In August 2016, the national sports media provided details regarding the compensation package for Coach Jim Harbaugh at the University of Michigan. It comes as no surprise to anyone that Division I football and basketball...more

Proposed 2704 Regulations: Significant Impact on Valuation Discounts for Family Businesses

Background: On August 4, 2016, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service issued proposed regulations addressing the valuation of certain business interests for federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax...more

For Love or Money: Considering Prenuptial Agreements

The question of prenuptial agreements comes up often in multi-generational family- owned businesses. The question is typically raised by mom or dad, or maybe grandmother or grandfather, and goes something like: “We’re all...more

Intra-Family Loans: An Estate Planning Strategy in a Low-Interest Rate Environment

In the current economic environment, IRS-prescribed monthly interest rates for certain intra-family transactions are at historic lows. As a result, an excellent opportunity exists to transfer wealth to lower generation family...more

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