Residential Real Estate Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Recent Tax Developments

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past several months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information...more

New Statutory Elective Share for Surviving Spouses in Rhode Island

A surviving spouse’s rights and interests to assets of a deceased spouse have been clarified and expanded by a new spousal “elective share” statute in Rhode Island (R.I.G.L. § 33-28-1 et. seq.). ...more

“Ladybird Deed” Language Removed from Michigan Tax Guidelines

Many people have heard of a "Ladybird Deed," but few understand how Ladybird Deeds work. In essence, this type of deed allows property to pass automatically upon an individual's death without the need of probate, offering a...more

CFPB Clarifies Heirs, Divorcees and Estate Planning Transferees Are Not Subject to Ability-to-Repay Rules

The CFPB issued an interpretive rule to clarify that when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower’s heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Bureau’s Ability-to-Repay rule. This clarification will...more

Bankruptcy Court Sheds Light on MA Homestead Protection of Downstream Trust Beneficiaries

Suppose the following: Title to a home is held by Trust A. The beneficiaries of Trust A are three natural persons and Trust B. Trust B holds a 25% beneficial interest in Trust A. The sole beneficiaries of Trust B are Mom...more

In Frank Aragona Trust, Tax Court Holds that Trustees’ Activities as Employees Count for Purposes of Material Participation Under...

The issue of whether a trust has passive or non-passive income from its investment in a pass-through entity has taken on increased importance in light of the tax imposed on net investment income under Code Section 1411 of the...more

Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House Bill

On December 27, 2012, HR-4753 was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As discussed in our previous blog post, "HR-4753: An Early Christmas Gift for Michigan Cottage Owners!", this law prevents the uncapping of...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

Maryland Phases-In Increased Exemptions for Estate Tax

Currently, in addition to any federal estate tax, Maryland imposes an estate tax on property that passes upon the death of an individual on the amount of the decedent’s taxable estate in excess of $1 million. The maximum rate...more

HUD To Insure Reverse Mortgages Protecting Non-Borrowing Spouses; Senators Seek Protections For Surviving Heirs

On April 25, HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2014-07, which states that effective August 4, 2014, HUD will apply an alternative interpretation of Subsection 255(j) of the National Housing Act, which HUD has interpreted to limit...more

Wealth Management Update - May 2014

May Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The May § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and...more

Frank Aragona Trust: A Taxpayer Win

In a case of first impression, Frank Aragona Trust v. Commissioner, 142 T.C. No. 9 (Mar. 27, 2014), the Tax Court held that a trust could materially participate in a trade or business based upon the activities of the...more

What Right Does an Estate Trustee Have To Sell Real Estate?

Taking on the role of estate trustee can involve many challenges, both legally and otherwise. Being an estate trustee where the deceased assets include real estate can carry with it additional challenges which must be...more

Taxpayer Victory Helps Trusts Holding Business and Real Estate Avoid Tax

One of the most vexing tax issues remaining unresolved since the 1986 enactment of the passive loss (PAL) rules is whether business or rental income earned by a trust can be active income and whether business or rental losses...more

Report from Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Spring 2014

In this Newsletter: - Before You Start a Business . . . - Estate Planning—Powers of Appointment - Public Use Required for Eminent Domain - Tax-Free Gains from Home Sales - Recreational-Use...more

Estates Are Claimants Entitled to Rebates

In a four to three decision, the en banc Commonwealth Court held that a senior citizen’s estate was entitled to a rebate under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance Act, 53 P.S. §§ 6926.1301-6926.1313...more

What Are the House Ownership Options When Parents and Adult Children Live Together?

Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, more than 50 million Americans, or almost 17 percent of the population, live in...more

Not All Property Acquired Post-Petition is Safe from Creditors

Although property obtained by a debtor after filing for bankruptcy is usually safe from creditors, a recent case from the Ninth Circuit Bankruptcy Appellate Panel allowed a Chapter 7 Trustee to sell real property obtained by...more

What to Expect after a Foreclosure Sale in Virginia: The Commissoner of Accounts

In many non-judicial foreclosure jurisdictions, a foreclosure is generally considered concluded when the foreclosure trustee conveys the property to the purchaser. Though this is true from the purchaser’s perspective, the...more

Florida Homestead Exemption: What You Need To Apply

If you elect to purchase a residence in Florida, as opposed to renting, the positive result of changing your residence to Florida is that you may claim the Florida homestead exemption. In Florida, the homestead exemption...more

Bank Obtains Dismissal Of Surviving Heir’s Reverse Mortgage Class Action

On January 3, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed with prejudice a putative class action alleging a bank breached its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Deed of Trust and HUD regulations by...more

Thinking Of Establishing Florida Residency? What To Consider Before Changing Your Legal Residence

Many clients whose family circumstances and employment situation permit them to spend in excess of six months every year in Florida may elect to become Florida residents. The biggest advantage, compared to being Michigan...more

Living unmarried with a significant other? Listen up – New property tax exclusion!

If you live with a significant other and you aren’t married, or even if you live with a friend, sibling, or more distant relative, you may qualify for a new property tax reassessment exclusion that became effective on January...more

Michigan State Tax Commission Issues Clarification On New Uncapping Statute

As discussed previously on our blog, on December 14, 2012, the Michigan legislature enacted a law, Public Act 497 of 2012 (HR 4753), to prevent the uncapping of property taxes on certain transfers of residential property...more

Buying a house from a non-human entity or the dead

The tale behind a real estate transaction usually follows the same pattern: a potential buyer approaches a seller after viewing the advertised property, negotiations commence and the parties arrive at a meeting of the minds...more

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