Tax Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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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

RMD Rules for Longevity Annuities Finalized

Longevity annuities are contracts that provide life annuity payments typically commencing at age 80 or 85; in many (but not all) cases, that is the only benefit the contract provides. As such, these contracts may offer...more

"The Estate Planner" – July/August 2014

In this issue: - Net Gain For Taxpayers – Tax Court Approves Net Gift Strategy - Estate Planning For The Young And Affluent – How To Hedge Your Bets - Wealth Preserver – Use An ILIT To Shield Life...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

IRS Identifies ‘Attorneys-in-Fact’ as Potentially Required to File Under the Foreign Bank Account Reporting Rules

Most United States persons who have foreign financial accounts are aware that they must file an annual report to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) with respect to these accounts. Less well known, however, is that individuals...more

No Refund Of Extension Overpayment Followed By A Code §6166 Election

If an estate files to extend the due date of its Form 706 estate tax return, it can elect to defer the portion of the estimated estate tax that will be deferred pursuant to its Code §6166 election. It does not make the...more

Supreme Court Holds Inherited IRAs Not Exempt from Bankruptcy Estate

The Bankruptcy Code permits an individual in bankruptcy to exempt from the bankrupt estate “retirement funds” in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) or certain other tax-advantaged vehicles. In a recent case, the U.S....more

STEP Canada: CRA Provides Update on Audit Activities

The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP Canada) held its 16th annual national conference on June 16-17 in Toronto. As it has in previous years, the conference featured a Canada Revenue Agency Roundtable wherein...more

Income Tax Reporting for Decanting

Decanting refers to the distribution of trust property of one trust (the “first trust”) to another trust (the “second trust”). Over the past several years, the number of states specifically authorizing decanting by statute...more

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs Available to Creditors in Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker, 13-299, ruling that inherited IRA accounts are available to creditors in bankruptcy. At issue was a Bankruptcy Code provision that...more

The Top 3 List: Do I Need an Estate Plan?

The other day a friend asked me, “How much money do I need before I should get an estate plan?” That question indicates a common misconception that estate planning is only for the rich, or is only to avoid estate taxes. In...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Inherited IRAs are Available to Pay Creditors

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker[1], opening up another source of recovery for creditors and Chapter 7 trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. In Clark, a Chapter 7 debtor inherited...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Inherited IRAs Are Not Exempt In Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held in Clark v. Rameker Trustee that funds in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) inherited from someone other than the bankrupt debtor’s spouse are not...more

U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clark won’t impact inherited IRAs of Missouri residents

Creditors are generally aware that a debtor may shield from collection by creditors assets that the debtor holds in Individual Retirement Account (IRA). However, as more IRA owners die with substantial assets remaining in...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

Inherited IRAs Are Not Bankruptcy-Exempt as “Retirement Funds”

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Clark v. Rameker that an inherited individual retirement account (IRA) does not qualify for the “retirement funds” exemption in the Bankruptcy Code and is not...more

More On Inherited IRAs And Creditor Protection

Our post from yesterday discussed how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clark v. Rameker that inherited IRAs are not exempt from creditor claims in bankruptcy. Here are some more observations on that case...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

Inherited IRA Exposure To Creditors – Resolution At Last

We have written on the question whether inherited IRAs are exempt from creditors in a federal bankruptcy action. The various courts that have addressed the issue have gone in both directions....more

CRA Update: Aggressive Tax Planning

At the Toronto Centre Canada Revenue Agency & Tax Professionals Breakfast Seminar on June 10, 2014, the Canada Revenue Agency (“CRA”) provided an update on selected CRA Compliance Measures in the Aggressive Tax Planning...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You don’t have a buy-sell agreement for your business

Without a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. A buy-sell agreement requires (or permits) the company or the remaining owners to buy the...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

International estate planning 101

Many traditional estate planning strategies are based on the assumption that everyone involved is a U.S. citizen. But for those couples with a noncitizen spouse, special rules apply that require additional planning. This...more

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