Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Constitutional Law Tax

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Bank of America as Trustee v. Commissioner of Revenue: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Hear Case in 2016

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) will hear the appeal of Bank of America against the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue in 2016. The SJC accepted Bank of America’s application for Direct Appellate Review on...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

Treasury and the IRS Issue Proposed Regulations Implementing Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

In recent guidance, the Department of Treasury and the IRS issued proposed rules that clarify under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that the terms “spouse” and “husband” and “wife” refer to individuals who are lawfully...more

The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained...

Background - Before addressing the Bank of America case, it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.20.1: Income Tax on Estates and...more

Some Tax Implications of Same Sex Marriage

By now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex has been widely reported upon, including in...more

Trusts Find Shelter from State Taxes in State Courts

In two recent cases, taxpayers have successfully challenged state taxation of trust income on the basis that the taxing states had a minimal connection to the trust. In The Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North...more

The Effect of Obergefell v. Hodges for Same-Sex Couples

issued on the second-to-last decision day of the term, and provides that same-sex couples have had a constitutional right to marry since at least the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling may come as a surprise to...more

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down State Laws Banning Same-Sex Marriage - Same-Sex Couples Should Review Their Estate Planning...

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 1039 (June 26, 2015),answered definitively the lingering questions following the Court’s decision last year in Windsor about whether states could...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Moving Toward True Marriage Equality

With the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples now have the freedom to marry, and divorce, throughout the Country. There is finally marriage equality. Certainly, being able to marry is important...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

North Carolina Business Court Rules Tax on Trust Unconstitutional

The North Carolina Business Court held North Carolina’s taxation of a trust unconstitutional in Kaestner v. North Carolina Department of Revenue. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-160.2 imposes a tax on the undistributed income of a...more

North Carolina Court Holds Statute Taxing Trust Income Unconstitutional Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North Carolina...

On April 23, 2015, Judge Gregory P. McGuire of the Business Court division of the Superior Court of Wake County, North Carolina, issued a decision in the matter of the Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North...more

Same-Sex Marriages Recognized for Inheritance and Realty Transfer Tax Purposes

In Inheritance Tax Bulletin 2015-01 and Realty Transfer Tax Bulletin 2015-01, issued on February 25, 2015, the PA Department of Revenue announced its policy concerning same-sex marriages and the impact of the May 20, 2014...more

Court Hears Arguments in Litigation Challenging the Constitutionality of North Carolina’s Taxation of Trusts

The Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Trust (the “Trust”) originated from the Joseph Lee Rice, III Family 1992 Trust (the “JLR Trust”) created in 1992. The JLR Trust was created in New York when its initial trustee and settlor were...more

Florida Becomes the 36th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

On August 21st, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge, Robert L. Hinkle, in the case of Brenner v. Scott, ruled that Florida’s constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Same-sex couples were...more

Lift of Prohibition on Same-Sex Marriages in Pennsylvania Provides New Estate Planning Opportunities

On May 20, 2014, in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf, Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages. Like many of the rulings...more

Illinois Trust Taxation Deemed Unconstitutional

Ruling creates planning opportunities to minimize income taxes. In Linn v. Department of Revenue, the Illinois Fourth District Appellate Court reviewed the state’s statutory framework for taxing trusts. Linn v....more

Estates Are Claimants Entitled to Rebates

In a four to three decision, the en banc Commonwealth Court held that a senior citizen’s estate was entitled to a rebate under the Senior Citizens Property Tax and Rent Rebate Assistance Act, 53 P.S. §§ 6926.1301-6926.1313...more

Equal Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Couples in the Wake of Recent Supreme Court Ruling and IRS Guidance

Same-sex marriages now are being recognized under federal tax law for the first time. In June 2013, the Supreme Court released its decision in United States v. Windsor, 530 U.S. 12 (2013), declaring Section 3 of the federal...more

Federal Tax Law Changes and Opportunities for Same-Sex Married Couples

What you need to know: As the result of the Supreme Court’s recent decision in United States v. Windsor and a subsequent ruling by the IRS, same-sex couples who are legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes...more

Pennsylvania Tax Developments - A Reed Smith Quarterly Update (3rd Quarter 2013)

This is a brief update on recent Pennsylvania tax developments. It is intended to provide an overview of issues and cases to watch, as well as administrative and legislative developments. ...more

All Federal Benefits Apply To Same-Sex Marriages

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unconstitutional Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which, for federal purposes, defined marriage as between one man and one woman. United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ____...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2013

The September §7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs and GRATs is 2.0%, which is the same as the August rate and an increase from July's rate of 1.2%. The applicable federal rate ("AFR")...more

Legal same-sex marriages to be recognized for federal tax purposes

A new federal policy will allow legally married same-sex couples to get the same federal tax benefits as married heterosexual couples. The policy applies even if the same-sex couple lives in a state that does not recognize...more

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