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“Is Better Late Than Never” Really Better?

Many may be unaware that tax provisions which expired at the end of 2014 may be retroactively renewed as a result of budget talks in Congress. Those talks, the handling of expired tax provisions, and the ever increasing...more

Succession Planning: “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow…”

Let’s face reality. We are all going to pass on someday, so we might as well be prepared and lessen the burden for those following behind us. One of the first steps in effective succession planning is to gather in one place...more

Conflating tax law and trust law: The strange case of Ciampa v. Bank of America.

Under the Internal Revenue Code, an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) may be a trust. See 26 U.S. Code § 408(a). Or it may be a custodianship. See sub-section (h) to §408. Here is sub-section (h) verbatim: FOR PURPOSES...more

Unusual Area Of Law For The NC Business Court: Life Estate In A Beach House

When Governor McCrory appointed Judge Gregory McGuire to the Business Court, I doubt that he had any concern whether Judge McGuire had any expertise in the area of trusts and estates. After all, that area of law is not...more

Transferring the Family Business Timing is Everything

One of the most important factors to consider in any business succession plan is the timing of the transition of ownership. Whether a sale or a gift (or combination of the two), no transition should occur before the next...more

Pass-Through Business Tax Alert

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has announced that it will soon begin identifying pass-through business entities that have under-reported income, failed to file PA-20S/PA-65 Information Returns, and failed to maintain...more

Important Tax Provisions of Extended Highway Trust Fund Act

The “Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015? (P.L. 114-41, “the Act”) became law on July 31, 2015. Designed as a 3-month extension of the Highway Trust Fund and related measures, the...more

Is a Hungarian trust a clone of the Anglo-American trust, or just a type of contract?: Parsing the asset-management provisions of...

On March 15, 2014, the Hungarian Parliament enacted into law the New Hungarian Civil Code (NHCC). The NHCC creates out of whole cloth a civil law fiduciary asset-management vehicle (FAM) that in form and function bears some...more

Potential Limitations on Gift Tax Strategies Coming Soon

Valuation discounts have been a significant component of estate planning for many years. By contributing assets to a family entity and gifting or selling an interest in the entity to family members, you can effectively...more

Proposed Regulations May Limit Valuation Discounts for Family-Owned Entities

Individuals who wish to make gifts or other transfers of interests in family-owned/controlled entities, such as closely-held businesses, limited partnerships, or limited liability companies should consider making such...more

Best in Law: IRS Moves Mean It's Time to Shift Family Entity Wealth

The IRS may take action very soon to eliminate or reduce a widely used and valuable family business entity wealth transfer strategy. The window of opportunity to take advantage of this strategy may close within the next month...more

Anticipated IRS Regulations May Impact Discounts On Intra-Family Transfers of Closely Held Business Interests

Action Item: It is anticipated that Treasury will soon issue new regulations that will affect the valuation discounts applicable to intra-family transfers of interests in closely held entities. It may be advisable to review...more

The Time to Transfer Entity Interests Is Now - Trust and Estates Update Vol. 2015, Issue 1

Upcoming IRS regulations may significantly limit and reduce planning opportunities to transfer minority interests in closely held entities to family members and increase the transfer tax cost associated with moving such...more

Whether the trust relationship should be fundamentally transmogrified into a juristic entity/person

In re Estate of Fournier, 902 A.2d 852 (Me. 2006) illustrates how a fundamental conversion of the trust relationship by legislation or otherwise into a juristic entity/person might well limit the trust’s practical...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Latest Challenge by IRS to Family Valuation Discounts

Overview. Many sophisticated estate planning techniques include gifts, sales or other transfers to family members that incorporate significant discounts on the value of the property transferred. These discounts can range from...more

Planning For The Unexpected Departure Of A Business Owner

In the business world, the unexpected can happen. That is just a fact of life. There are many ways this principle can apply, but we’ll speak here specifically about the unexpected departure of a business owner or corporate...more

New Developments in Estate and Gift Tax Valuation Cases

A number of recent cases highlight particular issues in valuation of assets for purposes of the estate and gift tax. On July 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service settled Estate of Davidson v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No....more

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance To Disregard Single-Member LLC Interests for New York Estate Tax

In a recent New York State Advisory Opinion, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance advised that a federal income tax entity classification election could impact whether property held by a nonresident through a...more

Family Limited Partnerships: Are Discounts Disappearing?

“Family limited partnerships” – that is, family investment entities usually structured as LLCs or limited partnerships – have been a popular estate planning technique for years. Generally speaking, a client can transfer...more

A trust is not an agency

The trustee is not an agent of the beneficiary. The trustee's duty not to delegate the administration of the trust could well be implicated if the trustee without authority were to behave as if he were the beneficiary's...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

Guide to Doing Business in New Zealand: Major Forms of Business Organisation (Updated)

MAJOR FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION - A foreign company or investor proposing to establish a business in New Zealand may choose from a number of different entities or forms of business organisation. Each of these...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

Trustees Beware: Which Fiduciary Standard Applies to Your “Business Judgments”?

To what legal standard must a trustee adhere when he or she also participates in the control of a family or closely held business? Courts continue to grapple with this question. The high courts in both Georgia and Nebraska...more

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