Tax Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on Tax issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

New IRS Form Required for Estate Basis Reporting Due Feb. 29

On January 29, 2016, just as tax season is heating up, the IRS released the final version of Form 8971 "Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent," and its instructions. As a part of the Surface...more

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t taken state estate taxes into account

A generous gift and estate tax exemption means only a small percentage of families are subject to federal estate taxes. But it’s important to consider state estate taxes as well. Although many states tie their exemption...more

Trusts and taxes - Understanding how one affects the other can benefit your estate plan

Trusts typically are a main component of an estate plan. But many may not know how higher taxes can impact a trust’s overall effectiveness. This article explains how the current tax environment affects trust planning....more

Form 8971 Filing Unhappiness

The IRS has now issued a final Form 8971 and instructions. If you recall, this Form is newly required by executors of estates filing a Form 706 (federal estate tax return). The Form requires a schedule for each beneficiary...more

Asset protection: Back to basics

Asset protection trusts can be highly effective vehicles for protecting wealth in today’s litigious society. But these trusts can be complex and expensive, so they’re not right for everyone. For those seeking simpler asset...more

Employee Stock Ownership Plans [Video]

Nexsen Pruet tax and benefits attorney Sue Odom discusses why Employee Stock Ownership Plans are her favorite, including huge tax advantages for certain businesses....more

IRS Issues Draft Basis Consistency Form

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 requires the executor of an estate that is required to file an estate tax return to report to the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”), and to...more

When interest rates are low, it’s high time for estate planning

Interest rates remain at record lows, and while many experts believe they’ll begin to rise soon, it’s likely they’ll rise slowly. So it’s an ideal time to implement estate planning strategies that are most effective in a...more

The Rosenbaum Law Firm Review - January 2016

Future Trends In 401(k) That A Plan Sponsor Should Be Aware Of. Who to pick and why. What was good yesterday might not be good today. There were cigarette ads in the 1930s that suggested that smoking had health...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2016

When interest rates are low, it’s high time for estate planning - Interest rates remain at record lows, and while many experts believe they’ll begin to rise soon, it’s likely they’ll rise slowly. So it’s an ideal time to...more

2016 Estate and Gift Update

The federal government imposes a gift tax for gifts made during one’s lifetime. Likewise, the estate tax is levied on transfers made at one’s death. ...more

New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Others Who File Estate Tax Returns

Statutes imposing new reporting requirements on executors and others who file estate tax returns were tacked onto a transportation and veteran's healthcare bill passed by Congress and signed into law last July. The new...more

Elective Share Rulings

Under Florida law, a surviving spouse can elect to receive 30% of the elective share estate of his or her deceased spouse, in lieu of receiving what was left to the surviving spouse under the decedent’s estate planning...more

"Important FIRPTA and REIT Reforms Enacted"

The newly signed Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the Act) includes several reforms to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) and the taxation of real estate investment trusts...more

Alert: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Who really benefits? You may be surprised! If you participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, have one or more IRA accounts, or life insurance policies, you need to designate beneficiaries to receive the benefits...more

How Your IRA Can Benefit Both Your Heirs and Charity

Do you want to use your IRA to help a charity, but also benefit your heirs? Instead of leaving your IRA directly to your children, you can leave it to a charitable remainder unitrust (CRUT) while still benefiting your...more

CFPB issues guide on pension payouts

The CFPB has issued a guide that is intended to assist near-retirees with private sector payment plans in deciding whether to choose monthly payments or a lump-sum payout. The guide includes a series of questions for...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part One

Action Item: This year, Blank Rome’s annual estate planning newsletter will be issued in six installments. Each installment will discuss certain concepts and techniques that we hope may be of interest to our clients and...more

Taxpayer Prevails in Family Limited Liability Company Case

In a recent taxpayer victory, the Tax Court found in favor of the taxpayer with respect to three hotly contested gift and estate planning issues involving family limited liability companies. The Tax Court decided the case of...more

You won the lottery, now what?

With up to $1.4 Billion at stake in Wednesday’s Powerball, those who play the lottery are busy making plans for what to do with all the money they may win. If you win it, you won’t ever have to worry about money again –...more

Avoid a soap opera with updated Beneficiary forms

Yes, I will admit it: I love soap operas. My favorite show of all-time is Dallas and when I was a senior in high school and I was at home around 12:30 pm, I watched in succession: Young and The Restless, Bold and The...more

IRS Only Sending Estate Tax Closing Letters on Request

Open the estate, marshal the decedent’s assets, file the estate tax return, pay estate taxes and debts, receive the estate tax closing letter from the IRS, and distribute the remaining assets. While overly simplistic, this...more

2016 Tax Update Letter

Re: 2016 Tax Update - Dear Clients and Colleagues: This letter is an update on the most recent estate and gift tax developments and serves as a follow-up to our previous annual tax updates....more

Estate Tax Changes Past, Present and Future (Update)

I. INTRODUCTION - This outline is a selective and evolving review of the history of the modern federal estate tax. It originated during the attempts to repeal the estate tax in President Clinton’s second term and...more

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The Use of Private Placement Group Variable Deferred Annuities in Generation Skipping Trusts - Over the last several decades, trust and estate lawyers have placed great emphasis on proper planning regarding the proper...more

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