Tax Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Estate Planning Pitfall: Watch out for IRA traps

An IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA) and asset protection. But two recent developments create traps for the unwary: the “one-rollover-per-year” rule...more

Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) Frequently Asked Questions

When an international couple comes into our office to plan their estate, they often have a lot of questions about qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs) – especially if they own a significant amount of property or assets. Below,...more

Good intentions: Don’t let asset transfers run afoul of the law

With the current estate tax regime of a high gift and estate tax exemption amount and low estate tax rates, transferring wealth is becoming the focus of estate planning rather than reducing estate tax liability. And with...more

Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking...more

The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a higher level,...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2014

In This Newsletter: - The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years - Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust - Good intentions: Don’t let asset transfers run afoul of the law - Estate Planning...more

Whose Mistake? Ontario Sup. Ct. Rectifies Trust Deed

Most tax rectification cases address situations in which a professional advisor has made a mistake in the planning and execution of a transaction with the result that an unintended tax consequence follows (i.e., payment of a...more

How to Avoid Estate Taxes if You Have a Non-Citizen Spouse

In our last blog post, we discussed estate taxes, federal gift taxes, and how non-citizen spouses are treated differently in the eyes of the law. Unfortunately, while husbands and wives can leave an unlimited amount of money...more

The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning Tool

The federal estate tax marital deduction is one of the most important estate planning tools available to a married couple. The basic marital deduction rule is that, upon the death of the first spouse, the value of any...more

The Unlimited Marital Deduction & Non-Citizen Spouses

Especially if you have significant wealth, planning carefully for your future and the future of your loved ones is vital. Although many people are familiar with the basics of estate planning, from drawing up a will to naming...more

Hidden Gift in Merger Transaction

Disguised gifts found in a merger transaction, along with an interesting story on how the gifts came about. Most tax practitioners are trained to look behind the transfers occurring in family corporate transactions to...more

Court Grants 44.75% Fractional Discount in Artwork, but Don't Get Too Excited

An appellate opinion granting a 44.75% discount for a fractional ownership interest in artwork has limited precedential value. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently overruled the Tax Court's 10% fractional...more

S.D.N.Y. Judge Permits Novel Theory And Allows SEC To Use Unpaid Taxes As Measure Of Disgorgement In Securities Fraud Case

In a case against Dallas billionaires Sam Wyly and the estate of his late brother, Charles, Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York agreed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 9, No. 2

What You Need to Know About Corporate Inversions - It seems like every day brings news of another possible corporate inversion transaction. The news reports usually describe these transactions as another United States...more

2015 Predicted Inflation Adjusted Tax Items

The following are some of the more salient tax items adjusted unofficially for inflation by Research Institute of America. While unofficial they represent a very good estimate of predicted adjusted items for 2015. This list...more

Fifth Circuit Court Reverses Tax Court Ruling on Fractional Interest Valuation Discounts

On September 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a 2013 Tax Court decision that had allowed only a nominal, 10% fractional interest discount for artwork included in a decedent’s estate....more

Estate Planning Tips from the Loss of a Hollywood Icon

A very notable woman in the entertainment industry (other than Joan Rivers) passed away recently—Lauren Bacall. Lauren, born Betty Joan Perske, left a true legacy in the entertainment world, as well as a couple of good...more

"U.S. Estate Tax Returns"

US estate tax return filing requirements surprise many Canadian executors. Often, the executor is in the throes of administering the estate when the lawyer or accountant sees a brokerage account statement and notices that the...more

The Waters of March -The Benefits of Owning Life Insurance within a Cascading Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts (CLATs)

...I recall hearing Bossa Nova as a ten year old at my neighbor’s house in the Panama Canal Zone – Sergio Mendes and Brazil 66. The Waters of March is one of many great songs written by Antonio Carlos Jobim and sung by Elis...more

The Deadline Approaches for Requesting an Extension to Make a Portability Election under IRS Revenue Procedure 2014-18’s...

In January 2014 the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2014-18 providing a simplified method for certain taxpayers to request an extension to make a portability election under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 2010(c)(5)(A). However, a...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - September 2014 #1

In United States of America v. Estate of Robert Reitano, Civil Action No. 12-11944-RWZ, 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 123200 (D. Mass. Sept. 4, 2014), the federal district court issued a warning shot to estate fiduciaries who fail to...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

Bermuda: Taking Charge of the Future - A review of recent legislative changes relating to Trusts and Life Insurance Contracts

Bermuda is a financial centre that is determined to grow, diversify, and improve upon the range and quality of the financial and professional services that it offers to its international clients. This goal is supported...more

Wealth Management Update

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

"The Estate Planner" – September/October 2014

In this issue: - The True Cost Of Giving – Charitable Donations In A No-Estate-Tax Environment - Could An Exchange Help Cover LTC Insurance Costs? - Family Meetings Help Ensure Estate Planning...more

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