Tax Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Tax issues written by leading professionals.
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New Maine Budget Brings Significant Change to Estate Tax Law

With Tuesday’s override of Governor LePage’s veto of Maine’s 2016-2017 budget, the Legislature has approved a significant change to the state’s estate tax law. The Maine estate tax exemption amount for individuals dying in or...more

Low Interest Rate Is High Time for Some Estate Planning Ideas

When practitioners and clients think of estate planning, several goals typically come to mind: (1) identifying family members and charitable organizations to whom or for whose benefit assets are to be given; (2) ensuring that...more

Supreme Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage: Tax and Legal Implications for Same-Sex Spouses

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires all states to license a...more

Tax Policy Update

The top estate tax rate under Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposal to tax the wealthiest Americans and narrow income inequality in the U.S. The proposal splits the estate tax into four brackets...more

NY State Estate Tax of Nonresident's LLC Determined by Entity Classification

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance (the department) recently opined that a membership interest in a single-member LLC (SMLLC) owning a New York condominium is real property subject to New York State "estate...more

Cottage Owners, Relax: New Law Can Help Keep the Family Cottage in the Family

As Michigan's cottage season gets into full swing, it is a great time to celebrate a bit of good news for Michigan cottage owners. Recent changes in the law have made it significantly easier for cottage owners to transfer a...more

Connecticut Tax Developments 2015 - Tax Increases...Again

Four years after enacting the largest tax increase in Connecticut history, the Connecticut General Assembly has adopted a new $40.3 billion biennial state budget that contains $1.5 billion in tax and fee increases. Few...more

IRS’s Proposed Section 529A Regulations for ABLE Programs: A Mixed Bag

The IRS today published, right on deadline, its proposed regulations relating to Section 529A state-sponsored “qualified ABLE programs,” under which tax-advantaged investment accounts may be established to fund future...more

You Now Have to Ask for an Estate Tax Closing Letter

The IRS issues closing letters to estates for federal estate tax purposes, acknowledging that it has accepted the estate tax return as filed, or as adjusted pursuant to audit. This used to be an automatic process. The IRS...more

Estate Tax Regulations Allow Taxpayers to Request Late Portability Relief

The IRS released new final estate and gift tax regulations that include guidance on taxpayers seeking so-called “portability” elections to carry over the lifetime exclusion from the first spouse to die to the second spouse.  ...more

New Maine Budget Would Make Numerous Tax Changes

Hoping to avoid a potential government shutdown, this week the Legislature passed a biennial budget that once again makes significant tax changes, but stops well short of the major tax reform desired by many legislators. The...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: Your IRA owns real estate

Most people invest their IRA funds in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But others may opt for nontraditional investments, such as real estate, in the hope of boosting their returns. As this article details, when choosing to...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: An Estate Planning Strategy

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

Estate tax relief for family businesses

If a substantial portion of a person’s wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, he or she may be concerned that the estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate taxes. If that’s the case, heirs may...more

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...more

Wealth Management Update - June 2015

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

Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan?

A private annuity can be a powerful strategy for passing assets to heirs in a tax-efficient manner. In a typical private annuity transaction, a parent transfers property to his or her children in exchange for their unsecured...more

No Split Gift Election Where Spouse Was a Potential Beneficiary

A husband created a Family Trust for the benefit of his wife and their descendants. Under the trust, an independent trustee may pay to or use for the benefit of the wife, or any one or more of husband’s descendants and their...more

The basics of basis: Basis planning can result in significant tax savings

Because the gift and estate tax exemption is at a record high of $5.43 million for 2015, many people have shifted their focus from estate planning to income tax planning. An understanding of basis — and the benefits of the...more

The Estate Planner – July/August 2015

In This Issue: - Can a Broken Trust be Fixed? - Keep it in the Family: Use an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes - Tax Court: Trust Can Materially Participate in a Business - Estate Planning...more

Nowotny on Private Placement Variable Deferred Annuities [Video]

I have written previously on the use of private placement variable annuities in trust planning. I call the idea -Dynasty Annuity. the fact of the matter is that no grantor of a Grantor Trust is happy paying taxes on income...more

Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2015

In This Issue: - The basics of basis: Basis planning can result in significant tax savings - Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan? - Estate tax relief for family businesses - Estate Planning...more

Nowotny on Private Placement Life Insurance [Video]

This is the first in what will hopefully of a series of videos on private placement insurance products and planning. This is a topic of increasing interest and popularity with high net worth clients and their advisors. My...more

Tax Law Blog: Legislature Passes Bill Affecting Iowa Trusts and Estates

The Iowa Legislature just passed House File 661, which was proposed by the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association and supported by the Iowa Academy of Trusts and Estates Lawyers. ...more

Florida Legislative Updates 2015 (Wills, Trusts & Estates Area)

Florida Legislative Updates 2015 (Wills, Trusts & Estates Area)...more

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