Estate Planning Estate Tax

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Should You Transfer Unused Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions to a Surviving Spouse? (Part I)

The word "portability" in an estate tax context refers to the ability to transfer a deceased spouse's unused gift and estate tax "exemption" (technically known as the "basic exclusion amount" or the "BEA") to the surviving...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

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

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

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

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

No Disclaiming Federal Tax Liability

Chris owed money to the IRS, and had federal tax liens filed against him. He was also a 1/3 beneficiary of his mother’s estate. To avoid the IRS collecting against his share of the estate, Chris disclaimed his interest...more

Wills, Trusts and Estates Newsletter - August 2014

In This Issue: - Thinking of Moving to Florida? Maybe a Little Further South is a Better Option - New Investment Thinking for Trustees? - Excerpt from New Investment Thinking for...more

McNees Insights: Estate Planning - Summer 2014

In This Issue: - Transitioning The Family Business to the Next Generation - Charitable Trusts and Estate Planning - Recent Tax Developments - Excerpt from Transitioning The Family Business to the...more

No Refund Of Extension Overpayment Followed By A Code §6166 Election

If an estate files to extend the due date of its Form 706 estate tax return, it can elect to defer the portion of the estimated estate tax that will be deferred pursuant to its Code §6166 election. It does not make the...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

Estate Planning Pitfall: You don’t have a buy-sell agreement for your business

Without a well-designed, properly funded buy-sell agreement, an owner’s death can have a negative effect on the surviving owners. A buy-sell agreement requires (or permits) the company or the remaining owners to buy the...more

Estate-Planning Lessons From Wealthy Families

For those in the know, a “family office” is something that many wealthy families rely on to provide financial support and advice. A family office can do a little bit of everything: providing investment management services,...more

International estate planning 101

Many traditional estate planning strategies are based on the assumption that everyone involved is a U.S. citizen. But for those couples with a noncitizen spouse, special rules apply that require additional planning. This...more

Adapting to the times: Estate planning focus shifts to income taxes

As the gift and estate tax exemption has significantly increased, and the estate tax rate decreased, individual income tax and capital gains tax rates have increased. This means that those who expect to have little or no...more

Insight on Estate Planning - June/July 2014

In This Issue: - Adapting to the times: Estate planning focus shifts to income taxes - International estate planning 101 - When is the optimal time to begin receiving Social Security? - Estate...more

Update on Maryland Estate Tax

Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley has signed into law H.B. 739 (the “New Law”), which contains revisions to the Maryland estate tax law. Specifically, the New Law gradually increases the Maryland estate tax exemption amount...more

Will a Change to the Maryland Estate Tax Law Change Your Exit Strategy?

On May 15, 2014, Governor Martin O’Malley signed into law a bipartisan bill (House Bill 739/Senate Bill 602) that over the course of the next five years - beginning in 2015 - will link (or “re-couple”) the Maryland estate tax...more

Wills, Trusts and Estates Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - A Contrarian View on Bypass Trusts - Getting More Out of Trusts: The Total Return Unitrust - Estate Planning for Your Eighteen Year Old: What You Need to Do Now May Surprise You -...more

Estate Planning and Tax Issues for Bitcoin and Other Virtual Currencies

For estate planning and tax advisers, it’s important to know about all of a person’s valuable and significant assets, including digital assets, so that they can help the person properly plan ahead for incapacity, death, and...more

Important Changes to New York Estate and Gift Tax Laws

Estate tax exemption increase. Effective April 1, 2014, the New York State estate tax exemption increased to $2,062,500 for New York residents dying between April 1, 2014 and April 1, 2015 and will increase to $3,125,000 on...more

"The Estate Planner" – May/June 2014

In this issue: - Valuing LLC Interests: How To Lose In Tax Court - Should You Keep Your Trust A Secret? - Effort – A “Stretch IRA” Can Maximize Your IRA’s Benefits - Estate Planning Red Flag – You...more

What Right Does an Estate Trustee Have To Sell Real Estate?

Taking on the role of estate trustee can involve many challenges, both legally and otherwise. Being an estate trustee where the deceased assets include real estate can carry with it additional challenges which must be...more

New York Adopts Major Changes to Estate and Trust Taxation

On April 1, 2014, New York State enacted a new budget (the “Budget Legislation”), which includes legislation that makes significant changes to New York tax law. Included in the Budget Legislation are reforms that will more...more

Estate Tax Portability – Nothing is Easy

In 1997 a person could pass $600,000 ($1,200,000 per couple) estate tax free. For many, the threat of estate tax was real. Because of this, most estate plans for married couples contain a “bypass trust.” The bypass trust...more

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