Tax Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Estate And Gift Tax Exemption Announced For 2015 Gift Tax Annual Exclusion Remains Unchanged

The combined estate and gift tax exemption was set at $5,000,000 in 2011, but indexed for inflation. For deaths in 2014 and for gifts made in 2014, the inflation-adjusted exemption was $5,340,000. The IRS has announced that...more

Should You Transfer Unused Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions to a Surviving Spouse? (Part II)

In our previous post, we discussed the advantages of portability as an estate planning tool. However, there are some non-tax reasons why a couple might not opt for planning of this type. Almost all relate in one way or...more

2015 Tax Figures

The following inflation-adjusted amounts are effective January 1, 2015: - The annual exclusion from gift tax remains at $14,000 per donee. - The annual exclusion from gift tax for gifts to a non-citizen...more

Addressing Portability

As we have discussed in previous newsletters, the concept of “portability” introduced in 2012 allows a surviving spouse to use the unused federal estate tax exemption of the first spouse to die, but only if a federal estate...more

McNees Insights - Estate Planning - Fall 2014

In This Issue: - Year-End Tax Planning 2014 - Pennsylvania Makes Significant Changes to Power of Attorney Law - Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently? - Excerpt from Year-End Tax...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

Tax Court Rules Corporate Merger of Family-Owned Businesses Results in Substantial Taxable Gift

In September, the Tax Court issued its opinion in Cavallaro v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo 2014-189, holding that a merger of two family-owned businesses resulted in a $29.6 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. Cavallaro to their three...more

Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently?

Estate planning has received some recent media coverage with the deaths of celebrities such as Robin Williams, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the case of James Gandolfini, the coverage focused on his failure...more

Brent Kern Family Trust: FCA Dismisses Appeal

In Brent Kern Family Trust v. The Queen (2014 FCA 230), the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed the taxpayer’s appeal with reasons delivered from the bench. The taxpayer had argued that the decision of Canada v. Sommerer (2012...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

Four Great Reasons for International Estate Planning

Estate planning is extremely important for anyone who cares for their family and wants to protect what they have earned over their lifetime. But if you are part of an international family, if you are married to a non-citizen,...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

Laches as a Limit on the Duty of a Trustee to Account

Doris Corya was a trustee (or co-trustee) of four trusts that failed to provide fiduciary accountings to a beneficiary otherwise entitled to receive accountings under Florida law. The failure to account went back many years –...more

Brogan Family Trust: CRA Not Entitled to Notice of Rectification Application

Is the CRA entitled to notice of a rectification application? In Brogan Family Trust (2014 ONSC 6354), the Ontario Superior Court of Justice said “no”, and dismissed the Crown’s motion to set aside an earlier...more

Deadline Extension to Elect Portability of Unused Estate Tax Exemption

Those who have been involved with an estate of a decedent who died in 2010, 2011, or 2012, should be aware of an important upcoming deadline. The IRS has granted an extension of time (only until December 31, 2014), to elect...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2014

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

"The Estate Planner" – November/December 2014

In this issue: - The Sec. 1031 Exchange - A Powerful Estate Planning Tool - Worried About Challenges To Your Estate Plan? Make It No Contest! - Don't Underestimate The Impact Of State Estate...more

La Tassazione Del Trust Non Commerciale Alla Luce Del Disegno Di Legge Di Stabilità 2015.

L’art. 44 del Disegno di Legge di Stabilità 2015 introduce una modifica al regime di tassazione dei dividendi percepiti dagli enti non commerciali, diminuendo notevolmente la quota esclusa da tassazione. La modifica, se...more

2015 Estate And Gift Tax Update

On October 30, 2014, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-61, which announced inflation adjustments to the applicable exclusion amount beginning in 2015. For an estate of any decedent dying during calendar year 2015, the...more

Should You Transfer Unused Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions to a Surviving Spouse? (Part I)

The word "portability" in an estate tax context refers to the ability to transfer a deceased spouse's unused gift and estate tax "exemption" (technically known as the "basic exclusion amount" or the "BEA") to the surviving...more

Asset Protection for Inherited IRAs

Owners of large retirement accounts may be lulled into complacency concerning the asset protection available to these special assets. The funds which you (and perhaps also your employer through a matching program) have...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

California (Finally) Conforms to Federal Treatment of UBTI in Charitable Remainder Trusts

One of the most important tax attributes of charitable remainder trusts is that they are exempt from income tax – except, that is, when it comes to unrelated business taxable income (UBTI) of these trusts. For decades the...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

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