Latest Publications


California Weighs In: No Mandatory Arbitration For Dispute Over Validity Of Trust Instrument

A hot topic in estate planning these days is whether mandatory arbitration clauses should be included in trusts. The idea is to require trust beneficiaries to arbitrate their disputes rather than going through the time and...more

Unresolved Emotional Conflicts Drive Post-Death Disputes

No family is perfect. And while all litigation is emotional, our experience is that almost all trust and estate litigation is driven by underlying emotional disputes among family members. And death, like divorce, can open...more

5/2/2013  /  Dispute Resolution

No More “No Harm, No Foul” When It Comes To IRS Penalties

As the budget crisis has unfolded, the tax community has been predicting that the IRS would get aggressive about imposing penalties in order to raise more revenue. And we are starting to see just that happen. The IRS has...more

4/17/2013  /  IRS , Penalties , Tax Revenues

Gifting? Make Sure You Include Your Prior Gifts

Many people are making gifts before the end of 2012 to take advantage of the disappearing $5.12M gift tax exemption ($10.24M for a married couple). When figuring out the maximum amount that can be given, gifts from prior...more

12/12/2012  /  Gift-Tax Exemption , IRS

Incorrect Advice To Executor Results In Expensive Education

In the recent opinion of Estate of John R.H. Thouron v. U.S. (DC PA 11/7/2012), the district court reminded fiduciaries that they remain responsible for filing returns and paying taxes despite getting bad advice from legal...more

IRS Reaffirms It Will Challenge Formula Gifts

With December 31st approaching quickly and the large $5,120,000 gift tax exemption disappearing, many clients are scrambling to make year-end gifts. Our advice has been to make every effort to get appraisals by the end of...more

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