Residential Real Estate Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Tax

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Estate Planning Pitfall: You’re planning to retire abroad

People who have dreamed of spending their golden years in a tropical paradise or a culture-rich European city should discuss their plans with their advisor before making a move. It’s important to understand the potential tax...more

Obama 2015 Tax Proposals

President Obama’s State of the Union address, delivered on January 20, 2015, proposed three significant changes to US federal tax law: (1) an increase from the current 20 percent rate to 28 percent for the top federal capital...more

California Supreme Court to Review Controversial Documentary Transfer Tax Case

The California Court of Appeal recently held, in 926 North Ardmore Avenue v. County of Los Angeles, that a documentary transfer tax is triggered when a transfer of an interest in a business entity that owns real property...more

The Use of Delaware Statutory Trusts in Like Kind Exchanges Under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code

Revenue Ruling 2004-86 (July 20, 2004) held that (a) the Delaware statutory trust (“DST”) described therein qualifies as an investment trust under IRC §301.7701-4(c) that will be classified as a trust for federal tax...more

(US) Unamicable Split: Inherited Real Property and the Texas Forced Sale Statute

When multiple people inherit an interest in real property, each is responsible for their share of the ad valorem taxes of the property. What happens if one party fails to meet its tax obligations? What recourse is available...more

No Private Letter Rulings in These Estate Planning Areas

Taxpayers who have questions about the applicability of tax law can submit a Private Letter Ruling request to the IRS. If the IRS rules, then the taxpayer can rely on the ruling as to how the law applies to their situation...more

Maine Governor Proposes Major State Tax Restructuring

Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed a major restructuring of Maine’s tax system as part of his FY 2016-2017 budget submission. Generally, the governor’s proposal decreases the state’s reliance on income tax revenue and...more

Tax Planning Considerations for the Purchase of a Residence in the U.S. by Foreign Buyers

Many factors influence a foreign buyer’s decision to purchase residential real estate in the United States. Generally, most of these decisions tend to be driven by concerns over political and economic uncertainty in the...more

International Estate Planning and the Question of Domicile

Home is where the heart is, right? Unfortunately, the matter is not quite that simple when it comes to international estate planning. Establishing where you home – referred to officially as your domicile by attorneys and the...more

International Estate Planning: Establishing Your Domicile

In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the legal term “domicile” and outlined exactly why it is so important to establish the correct domicile during the estate planning process. If you are part of an international...more

Waiver of Florida Spousal Homestead Rights by Deed Upheld

A recent Florida appellate decision finds that the joinder of a spouse on a deed of homestead property to a trust constitutes a valid waiver of homestead rights, even though the deed contains no waiver language....more

Understanding United States Estate Tax Treaties & Gift Tax Treaties

Purchasing foreign property often comes with being closer to family, rewarding cultural experiences, international adventure, and the realization of long-held dreams. It could also mean having a home away from home in a...more

Federal Tax Lien Did Not Survive Death of Joint Tenant

Two individuals (Cunning and Wren) acquired real property in the U.S. Virgin Islands as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) in 2005. In 2010 the IRS filed a federal tax lien against Cunning in the U.S. Virgin...more

New Law Effective in 2015 is an Important Win for Cottage Owners

On October 9, 2014, PA 310 of 2014 (HB 5552) was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As stated in our previous blog, "Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House...more

Homestead Status Without Current Use Or Possession; Interaction Of Homestead Successor Rights With Terms Of Marital Settlement...

Under Florida law, a decedent will be restricted in devising his or her homestead property at death. If those restrictions apply, surviving spouses and heirs received the interests they would receive under intestacy law. For...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

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

“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

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

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

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