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

Premarital planning - Protecting your assets without a prenup

Protecting family assets in the event of a divorce is particularly significant for family business owners, who typically want to avoid sharing ownership with their ex-spouses or their children’s ex-spouses. A prenuptial...more

Wealth Management Update - August 2015

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

New Treasury Regulations May Limit Transfer Tax Savings

Recent comments by Cathy Hughes, an Estate and Gift Tax Attorney Advisor in the Office of Tax Policy at the U.S. Treasury Department, indicated that the department may issue proposed regulations as early as September 2015...more

Expected IRS Proposed Rules May Curtail Family Gifting

A representative from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently signaled that new rules are expected to be released that could significantly impact taxpayers' ability to claim discounts on gifts of interests in...more

Personal Planning Strategies - July 2015

Income Tax Considerations of Estate Planning Are More Important Than Ever - Gifting assets during life will reduce the size of your taxable estate at death and, correspondingly, reduce your estate tax liability. But with...more

Business Succession Planning in the Current Tax Environment

Business succession planning in the current tax environment may require an adjustment in thinking from traditional planning. Traditional planning usually attempts to transfer ownership of the business to the next owner (often...more

Estate Tax Portability: Panacea or Potential Peril?

In 2013, Congress made the estate tax portability rules permanent. Some predicted this would negate the need for advanced estate planning, but two years later, it is clear that portability is not a panacea even for smaller...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

Connecticut Budget Set To Impact The State's Highest Earners

Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed a budget package, retroactive to January 1st of this year, which increases the income tax rate for the state's highest earners and makes some notable changes to estate taxes and probate...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

How Far Back Can a Back Tax Go? Petition for Certiorari in Hambleton Asks Supreme Court to Right Unjust Retroactivity

Retroactivity is an endemic problem in the state tax world. In this year alone, we have seen retroactive repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC) in Michigan, as well as significant retroactivity issues in New York, New...more

Regulatory Update: Final Regulations on Portability of the DSUE

Portability of the deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) amount between spouses was first introduced by Congress in December 2010, applicable to estates of married decedents dying on or after Jan. 1, 2011. Although...more

Valuation Discounts at Risk

Yogi Berra used to say, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” But a dime may be worth a nickel ... at least for the time being. Valuing interests in family-controlled entities is a challenging process, and an area where...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

New Maine Budget Brings Significant Change to Estate Tax Law

With Tuesday’s override of Governor LePage’s veto of Maine’s 2016-2017 budget, the Legislature has approved a significant change to the state’s estate tax law. The Maine estate tax exemption amount for individuals dying in or...more

Low Interest Rate Is High Time for Some Estate Planning Ideas

When practitioners and clients think of estate planning, several goals typically come to mind: (1) identifying family members and charitable organizations to whom or for whose benefit assets are to be given; (2) ensuring that...more

Tax Policy Update

The top estate tax rate under Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposal to tax the wealthiest Americans and narrow income inequality in the U.S. The proposal splits the estate tax into four brackets...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

Corporate E-Note - June 2015

In this Issue: - IRS Issues Guidance on Portability: The IRS recently issued final regulations that provide guidance on the federal estate and gift tax applicable exclusion amount, in general, as well as the...more

Income tax consequences of US visas

Newcomers to the United States on temporary visas may be unpleasantly surprised at the income tax consequences. A little advance planning with tax and immigration professionals can go a long way towards mitigating income...more

You Now Have to Ask for an Estate Tax Closing Letter

The IRS issues closing letters to estates for federal estate tax purposes, acknowledging that it has accepted the estate tax return as filed, or as adjusted pursuant to audit. This used to be an automatic process. The IRS...more

Estate Tax Regulations Allow Taxpayers to Request Late Portability Relief

The IRS released new final estate and gift tax regulations that include guidance on taxpayers seeking so-called “portability” elections to carry over the lifetime exclusion from the first spouse to die to the second spouse.  ...more

New Maine Budget Would Make Numerous Tax Changes

Hoping to avoid a potential government shutdown, this week the Legislature passed a biennial budget that once again makes significant tax changes, but stops well short of the major tax reform desired by many legislators. The...more

Estate tax relief for family businesses

If a substantial portion of a person’s wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, he or she may be concerned that the estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate taxes. If that’s the case, heirs may...more

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