Estate Tax

Estate taxes, also known as inheritance or death taxes, are taxes on an individual's right to transfer property at death.
News & Analysis as of

Exemption Portability - What is it, and how does it work?

The term "portability" is used in many contexts, but in the estate planning context portability describes the way a surviving spouse can use the remainder of a deceased spouse's unused exclusion amount to further shield her...more

Prepaying Tuition Payments To Qualified Educational Organizations

It is becoming more common for wealthy individuals to prepay the tuition expenses (which do not include books, supplies, dormitory fees, board or other similar expenses), on an annual basis or for multiple years, for family...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

Inflation Adjustments for 2016

On October 21, 2015, the IRS released the annual inflation adjustments which will apply to tax year 2016. These adjustments will help determine a taxpayer's tax bracket and available deductions, credits, exclusions, and...more

New IRS Procedure for Issuance of Federal Estate Tax Closing Letters

Effective for all federal estate tax returns filed on or after June 1, 2015, federal estate tax closing letters will be issued only upon request. The process for making a request: Timing – no earlier than four months after...more

Trusts, Estates, Exemptions and Taxes

It may be hard to believe that in 2001, the estate and gift tax exemption, also known as the unified credit, was a mere $675K. In 2016 that credit is anticipated to go up to $5.45M for single filers; potentially $10.9M...more

Nothing Is Uncertain Like Death Taxes

There's a saying about death and taxes, the certainty thereof, which has been oft repeated to the point of weariness. While it is true that the imposition of taxes is a certainty, the shape and form of such taxes, especially...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

Tax Planning for Chinese Investment in U.S. Real Estate

According to recent estimates, Chinese investors represented the largest group of foreign investors in U.S. real estate in the second quarter of 2015 with $1.9 billion in acquisitions. In the last 12 months, Chinese investors...more

Mainbrace: October 2015, No. 4

As with the world economy, the shipping markets are currently experiencing a major bout of volatility. The wide range of matters we are handling in our maritime law practice certainly reflects the current swings the shipping...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You jointly own property with a family member

A common estate planning mistake that many people make is to own property jointly with a child or other family member. True, adding a loved one to the title of your home, bank account or other property can be a simple...more

The net investment income tax and your estate plan How one affects the other

The 3.8% net investment income tax (NIIT) can affect an estate plan in two ways: First, it can increase tax on capital gains, taxable interest and other investment income, reducing the amount of wealth available to heirs....more

Wealth Management Update - October 2015

October Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The October § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

Estate Tax Changes Past, Present and Future

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

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2015

In This Issue: - The net investment income tax and your estate plan: How one affects the other - Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals - Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your...more

2017 Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery Program Announced

The U.S. Department of State has announced the opening of the registration period for the DV-2017 Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery Program. The DV Lottery Program enables foreign nationals to apply for permanent residence in the...more

2015/2016 Estate and Gift Tax Update

Experts have started to calculate the inflation adjustments to key estate and gift exemption amounts for 2016. Note that these are not the official figures to be released by the IRS, but should be used as a guide. The IRS...more

The Numbers Are In… er, Projected: Increases to the Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Exclusions

While the official numbers will not be released until later this year, the following projections are unlikely to change since they are based on the average Consumer Price Index for the 12 month period ending August 31, 2015....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

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

Florida Tax Issues in Commercial Real Estate and Related Financing Transactions

Florida has long been known as a tax friendly state for retirees. The "Sunshine State" has no income tax on individuals and no estate taxes. The state has quite a different reputation for commercial real estate investors who...more

Giving Up U.S. Citizenship - Estate and Gift Tax Traps

It may be a common misunderstanding that a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder) can give up their citizenship or surrender their Green Card and then as a non-U.S. taxpayer make gifts or pass their estate to...more

Tax-Savvy Planning for Foreign Business Owners Seeking Temporary U.S. Residence: Alternatives to the EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 Visa program has been widely promoted as a legal basis for foreign business owners to gain conditional residency followed by permanent residency in the United States. The program is a great solution to the...more

The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Privilege is it in Litigation?

The attorney-client privilege is a cornerstone of the legal practice. The privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between a client and an attorney from disclosure to a third party when the communications are...more

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