Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Insurance Tax

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Should life insurance be a part of your estate plan?

Today, the federal gift and estate tax exemption stands at $5.45 million, so fewer families are facing estate tax liability. This begs the question: Can life insurance continue to play an important role in estate planning?...more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit....more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

The Charitable Split Annuity – A Little Bit Country and a Little Bit Rock and Roll

I have written several articles discussing the powerful tax benefits of pooled income funds in the current low interest environment. I have also written on the tax benefits of charitable lead annuity trusts (CLAT). The pooled...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Three

Action Item: This is the third installment of our Annual Estate Planning Letter, and covers some topics of interest not discussed in our previous installments. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016...more

New Rules for 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), as part of a 2016 appropriations bill. The PATH Act includes significant changes to Internal Revenue Code section...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

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

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

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

Focus on Tax Controversy - December 2015

IRS Updates Administrative Appeals Process for Cases Docketed in Tax Court - In Notice 2015-72, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided a proposed revenue procedure to update Rev. Proc. 87-24, 1987-1 C.B. 720, which...more

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange

Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. An LTC insurance policy can offset these costs, but the premiums can be expensive. One potential source for funding LTC...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2015

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange - Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. These expenses — for nursing home stays, assisted-living...more

Beware of conflating power of appointment doctrine and merger doctrine in the trust context

Assume a trust that was initially for the benefit of its settlor (who is now dead) has the following additional terms: All net trust-accounting income to settlor’s surviving spouse (X) for life; trustee may invade principal...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2015

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,...more

The Crummey trust: Keeping both the IRS and the creditors at bay is taking some fancy footwork

Since Crummey v. Commissioner was decided in 1968, the IRS has been making life difficult for the settlors of Crummey trusts. Only recently the parties again skirmished, this time over whether an in terrorem clause in the...more

Benefits of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust as Security for Support

Divorce or separation agreements often require one spouse to maintain life insurance as security for their support obligation. Attorneys often do not address the tax implications if the insured spouse owns the policy. ...more

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts - Tax and Nontax Advantages

Creating an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) can dramatically increase the liquidity of an individual’s estate and effectively leverage the value of the annual $14,000 per donee gift tax exclusion and the $5,430,000...more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit....more

"The Estate Planner" – January/February 2015

In this issue: - Life Insurance – A Powerful Estate Planning Tool for Nontaxable Estates - Four Ways to Transfer a Family Business - Changing Family Makeup Requires Estate Plan Review - Estate...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

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

"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

IRS Amends Revenue Ruling 81-100 to Permit Participation in Group Trusts by Puerto Rico Plans and Insurance Company Separate...

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Ruling 2014-24 (the “Ruling”). The Ruling amends Revenue Ruling 81-100, the ruling that established the requirements applicable to a tax-qualified group trust. The...more

IRS Finalizes Guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 Group Trusts, and Insurance Company Separate Accounts

In Rev. Rul. 2014-24, scheduled for publication on September 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) substantially completed its pending guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trusts by permanently authorizing the...more

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