Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Monday, September 24, 2018

CLE on New Tax Basis Reporting Requirements in Estate Administration

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a teleconference entitled, New Tax Basis Reporting Requirements in Estate Administration, on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, at 11:00 a.m. - 12:30 pm. Central. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Are You Following the New Tax Rules?

The way tax basis of assets is reported during estate administration has changed. Are you confident in your knowledge of the basis consistency rules to ensure every estate is administered correctly? Clarify the new rules and get practical tax-saving tips from experienced faculty - register today!

  • Compare the new basis consistency rules and the old law.
  • Adopt your tax planning and reporting practices to reflect the new requirements.
  • Determine what asset valuation method to use for basis reporting purposes.

Who Should Attend

This tax law update is designed for attorneys. It will also benefit accountants and CPAs, estate planners, trust officers, and paralegals.

Course Content

  • New Basis Consistency Rules vs. the Old Law
  • What Executors/Personal Representatives Need to Know NOW
  • New Information That Must be Included
  • Valuation of the Assets for Basis Reporting Purposes
  • Reporting to Beneficiaries

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State
CLE 1.50 -  AK
CLE 1.50 -  AL
CLE 1.50 -  AR
CLE 1.50 -  AZ
CLE 1.50 -  CA*
CLE 1.50 -  CO
CLE 1.50 -  CT
CLE 1.50 -  DE
CLE 2.00 -  FL*
CLE 1.50 -  GA
CLE 1.50 -  HI
CLE 1.50 -  IA
CLE 1.50 -  ID
CLE 1.50 -  IL
CLE 1.50 -  IN
CLE 1.50 -  KS
CLE 1.50 -  KY
CLE 1.50 -  LA
CLE 1.50 -  ME
CLE 1.50 -  MN
CLE 1.80 -  MO
CLE 1.50 -  MP
CLE 1.50 -  MS
CLE 1.50 -  MT
CLE 1.50 -  NC
CLE 1.50 -  ND
CLE 1.50 -  NE
CLE 1.50 -  NH
CLE 1.80 -  NJ
CLE 1.50 -  NM
CLE 1.50 -  NV
CLE 1.50 -  NY*
CLE 1.50 -  OH
CLE 2.00 -  OK
CLE 1.50 -  OR
CLE 1.50 -  PA
CLE 1.50 -  RI
CLE 1.50 -  SC
CLE 1.50 -  TN
CLE 1.50 -  TX
CLE 1.50 -  UT
CLE 1.50 -  VA
CLE 1.50 -  VT
CLE 1.50 -  WA
CLE 1.50 -  WI
CLE 1.80 -  WV
CLE 1.50 -  WY

Continuing Professional Education for Accountants

Credit Hrs State
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  AZ
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  NY
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  WA
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  WI

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 1.50

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 1.50 *

* denotes specialty credits

September 24, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 10, 2018

Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes We See and How to Avoid Them

Top10The authors decided to explain 10 estate planning mistakes instead of focusing on one. Explaining each mistake facially rather than diving in depth may make it easier for many to distinguish the errors they are making in their own estate plans.

  • Joint Accounts.
    • The presumption of a joint account is that the funds will belong to the other owner once the first owner passes away, which may have not been their intent. A power of attorney registered for the account is a more viable option.
  • I Love You Wills.
    • Though the gift and estate exemption is portable, the generation skipping transfer (GST) tax is not, and the spouse that inherits all of the deceased's assets may not be able to transfer assets tax free to the next generation.
  • Receiving an Inheritance Outright.
    • Inheriting through a trust may be able to solve a slew of issues, from benefit qualifications to creditors.
  • Failing to Update Beneficiary Designations.
    • For assets that do not pass through a will or trust, updating beneficiary designations are a must. Change occur in a lifetime, and the designations have the ability to reflect that.
  • Naming an Estate as Beneficiary of an IRA or Qualified Retirement Plan Benefit.
    • A preference is to generally afford clients this flexibility by naming a revocable trust as beneficiary instead.
  • Failing to Title Out of State Real Estate to a Revocable Trust.
    • An ancillary probate can be avoided in the other state if the real estate is owned by a client’s revocable trust, rather than in the client’s name.
  • Not Considering a Roth IRA Conversion.
    • If an individual does not plan to use all of the funds in their IRA, converting to a Roth IRA can be beneficial to pass on to heirs and compound their funds tax-free.
  • Delaying Large Charitable Gifts Until Death.
    • It is usually better for clients to make significant gifts to charity during their lifetimes rather than wait until their deaths.
  • Gifting Highly Appreciated Assets During Lifetime.
    • This can avoid the step-up basis for capital gains for heirs or beneficiaries.
  • Failure to Create an Estate Plan.
    • This is the number one mistake, and truly everybody needs an estate plan.

See Rebecca Rosenberger Smolen and Amy Neifeld Shkedy, Top 10 Estate Planning Mistakes We See and How to Avoid Them, The Legal Intelligencer, September 4, 2018.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

How Three Families are Using the New $11 Million Estate and Gift Tax Break

Tax actThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) doubled the gift and estate tax exemption, giving those that needed it another $11 million to transfer tax free to the next generation or beyond. There are several different scenarios that can be benefited by the increase, as evidence by these examples:

  • For those that have yet to use any of their gift tax exemptions, it means they have the full $11 million (or $22 million or a married couple). But that doesn't necessarily mean that they have to use all of it.
  • Christen Douglas, an estate lawyer with McDermott Will & Emery in New York, created a new trust for them where an individual trustee (a family member) has discretion over trust payouts. “The new exemption is really making people revisit their estate plans and think about what they can improve upon."
  • IA widow is using the new exemption to transfer $11 million worth of commercial real estate via an installment sale into a dynasty trust for her five grandchildren and their offspring. The trust doesn’t include her two daughters as beneficiaries; they’re already well-taken care of.

See Ashlea Ebeling, How Three Families are Using the New $11 Million Estate and Gift Tax Break, Forbes, August 31, 2018.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 10, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, New Legislation, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, September 6, 2018

CLE on Estate Planning: Taking Advantage of TCJA Tax Rules Before They Sunset

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a teleconference entitled, Estate Planning: Taking Advantage of TCJA Tax Rules Before They Sunset, on Monday, September 24, 2018, at Central: 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Adapt Your Planning Techniques to the New Rules on Trusts and Estates

This legal update will give you practical insights on how the new tax law has and will affect your go-to estate planning tools and what you can do to help clients make the best use of the most advantageous aspects of the law. Clarify what the TCJA provisions mean for your clients and adapt your planning approaches to best fit the new regulatory environment. Register today!

  • Get practical tips for addressing the "sunsetting" aspect of the TCJA provisions.
  • Help clients take full advantage of the temporary transfer opportunities.
  • Learn what trust tools are no longer a prudent or beneficial option.

Who Should Attend

This legal briefing is designed for attorneys. It will also benefit accountants, tax professionals, trust officers, estate planners, and paralegals.

Course Content

  • Key Provisions of the TCJA Pertinent to Estate Planning
  • Tax Deductions and Increased Exemption to Take Advantage of
  • "Use It or Lose It": Sunset Provisions and the Likelihood of Their Renewal
  • Advising Clients on the Top Transfer Opportunities
  • New and Obsolete Uses of Trusts
  • Planning for Income Tax Basis Changes
  • The Effect of Changes on the Asset Disposition Under Formula Provisions in Existing Plans

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State
CLE 1.50 -  AK
CLE 1.50 -  AL
CLE 1.50 -  AR
CLE 1.50 -  AZ
CLE 1.50 -  CA
CLE 2.00 -  CO
CLE 1.50 -  CT
CLE 1.50 -  DE
CLE 2.00 -  FL*
CLE 1.50 -  GA
CLE 1.50 -  HI
CLE 1.50 -  IA
CLE 1.50 -  ID
CLE 1.50 -  IL
CLE 1.50 -  IN
CLE 1.50 -  KS
CLE 1.50 -  KY
CLE 1.50 -  LA*
CLE 1.50 -  ME
CLE 1.50 -  MN
CLE 1.80 -  MO
CLE 1.50 -  MP
CLE 1.50 -  MS
CLE 1.50 -  MT
CLE 1.50 -  NC*
CLE 1.50 -  ND
CLE 1.50 -  NE
CLE 1.50 -  NH
CLE 1.80 -  NJ
CLE 1.50 -  NM
CLE 1.50 -  NV
CLE 1.50 -  NY*
CLE 1.50 -  OH
CLE 2.00 -  OK
CLE 1.50 -  OR
CLE 1.50 -  PA
CLE 1.50 -  RI
CLE 1.50 -  SC
CLE 1.50 -  TN
CLE 1.50 -  TX*
CLE 1.50 -  UT
CLE 1.50 -  VA
CLE 1.50 -  VT
CLE 1.50 -  WA
CLE 1.50 -  WI
CLE 1.80 -  WV
CLE 1.50 -  WY

Continuing Professional Education for Accountants

Credit Hrs State
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  AZ
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  NY*
CPE for Accountants 1.50 -  WA
CPE for Accountants 1.00 -  WI

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 1.50 *

* denotes specialty credits

September 6, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

CLE on Drafting IRA Trusts

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a video webcast entitled, Drafting IRA Trusts, on Thursday, October 18, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Central Time. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Provide Your Clients with a Thorough Understanding of IRA Trusts

Be prepared for specific challenges associated with IRA trusts by understanding their unique characteristics. Our essential primer will provide you with a comprehensive overview of these popular trusts, including drafting tactics, advantages of an IRA trust and critical sample forms needed to complete the process. Register today!

  • Determine the pros and cons of establishing an IRA over other trusts.
  • Gain a better understanding of IRA minimum distribution rules, such as individuals as beneficiaries and trusts as beneficiaries.
  • Learn different tax issues associated with an IRA trust, including income and estate tax.

Who Should Attend

This legal program is designed for attorneys looking to increase their knowledge of IRA trusts. This course may also benefit accountants and CPAs, estate planners, and trust officers.

Course Content

  1. Overview of IRA Trusts
  2. IRA Required Minimum Distribution Rules
  3. Retirement Account Rollover Rules and Mistakes
  4. Drafting an IRA Trust
  5. Tax Issues
  6. Sample Forms
  7. Using Self-Directed IRAs to Create LLCs for Non-Traditional Investments
  8. Ethics in Estate Planning Practice
  9. Distribution and Termination of IRA Trusts in Estate Administration

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State
CLE 6.00 -  AK*
CLE 6.00 -  AL*
CLE 6.00 -  AR*
CLE 6.00 -  AZ*
CLE 6.00 -  CA*
CLE 7.00 -  CO*
CLE 6.00 -  CT*
CLE 6.00 -  DE*
CLE 7.00 -  FL*
CLE 6.00 -  GA*
CLE 6.00 -  HI*
CLE 6.00 -  IA*
CLE 6.00 -  ID*
CLE 6.00 -  IL*
CLE 6.00 -  IN*
CLE 7.00 -  KS*
CLE 6.00 -  KY*
CLE 6.00 -  LA*
CLE 6.00 -  ME*
CLE 6.00 -  MN*
CLE 7.20 -  MO*
CLE 6.00 -  MP
CLE 6.00 -  MS*
CLE 6.00 -  MT*
CLE 6.00 -  NC*
CLE 6.00 -  ND*
CLE 6.00 -  NE*
CLE 6.00 -  NH*
CLE 7.20 -  NJ*
CLE 6.00 -  NM*
CLE 6.00 -  NV*
CLE 7.00 -  NY*
CLE 6.00 -  OH*
CLE 7.00 -  OK*
CLE 6.00 -  OR*
CLE 6.00 -  PA*
CLE 7.00 -  RI*
CLE 6.00 -  SC*
CLE 6.00 -  TN*
CLE 6.00 -  TX*
CLE 6.00 -  UT*
CLE 6.00 -  VA*
CLE 6.00 -  VT*
CLE 6.00 -  WA*
CLE 7.00 -  WI*
CLE 7.20 -  WV*
CLE 6.00 -  WY*

Continuing Professional Education for Accountants

Credit Hrs State
CPE for Accountants 7.00 -  AZ
CPE for Accountants 7.00 -  NY*
CPE for Accountants 7.00 -  WA
CPE for Accountants 7.00 -  WI

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 7.00

* denotes specialty credits

 

September 4, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Current Events, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Impact of US Tax Reform on Cross-Border Estate Planning

Foreign flagsThe massive tax reform of 2017 temporarily increased the gift and estate tax exemption, which will revert to its previous limit of $5.49 million in December of 2025. Transfer taxes (gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer taxes) are now twice what they were for United States citizens and those that are domiciled in the states, and allows high net worth individuals within those guidelines to transfer assets to family members and trusts tax free.

Non-U.S. decedents with U.S. situs assets continue to have an exemption of only $60,000 from the U.S. estate tax and a small per-donee annual exclusion from the gift tax, currently $15,000 per donee per year. The act also left in place the special succession tax applicable to “covered expatriates," former U.S. citizens and green card holders, to current U.S. citizens.

The act also significantly reduces the U.S. corporate income tax rate to 21%, down 35%. Now non-United States citizens can hold real estate within the country through a foreign corporation and not feel the brunt of corporate taxation so harshly. The legisation makes a number of changes to the controlled foreign corporation (CFC) regime. Historically, this regime has required certain U.S. shareholders of foreign corporations to pay tax on passive income that the corporation earns, whether or not the corporation makes distributions.

See Amy E. Heller & Erin M. Fischer, Impact of US Tax Reform on Cross-Border Estate Planning, Skadden.com, June 19, 2018.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 4, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Reasons Why You Should Consider a Living Trust

UnicornTrusts can be an extremely important feature in an estate plan, but they are not magical - they cannot do anything and everything imaginable. There are various types of trusts, but one that many people have heard of but unaware of their features is that of a living trust. A living trust is one that you make while you are still alive and can be either revocable or irrevocable. Depending on the language of the trust document, here are a few things that a living trust can do for you:

  • Reduce your estate tax
  • Protect minor children
  • Save your adult children from themselves
  • Keep your assets in the family
  • Take the sting out of the fling (in case you fear a tryst by a family member may put your assets in danger)
  • Avoid probate
  • Ensure your family's privacy
  • Protect yourself while you are alive

See Christine Fletcher, 9 Reasons Why You Should Consider a Living Trust, Forbes, August 16, 2018.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

August 16, 2018 in Current Affairs, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

CLE on 2018 Fall Tax Meeting

CLEThe Section of Real Property, Trusts, and Estates Law and the Section of Taxation of the American Bar Association is holding a conference entitled, 2018 Fall Tax Meeting, on October 4, 2018 - October 6, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta in Atlanta, Georgia. Provided below is a description of the event:

Atlanta, GA welcomes the ABA Section of Taxation and the Trust and Estate Law Division of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law to the 2018 Fall Tax Meeting, October 4-6, 2018!

Join us and take advantage of the opportunity to meet with the country’s leading attorneys and government officials to discuss the latest federal tax policies, initiatives, regulations, legislative forecasts and planning ideas. In addition, you will have the opportunity to earn valuable CLE and ethics credits and network with Tax Section and Trust and Estate Division members and government guests. The Hyatt Regency Atlanta will serve as the host hotel.

August 14, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 13, 2018

3 Tax Breaks That May be Better in the Long Run

The tax overhaul that was pushed through Congress last year, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), has left some agencies and professionals still grappling with its effects. Many of the changes have to do with the little details of taxes and short-term tax benefits, that may not be the best thing to do for greater benefits later. The tax changes and exemption increases are not yet permanent, and until that time they should be deemed temporary. Mitchell Drossman, national director of wealth planning strategies at U.S. Trust explains, “This tax law is a temporary provision because most of the individual tax provisions sunset at the end of 2025.”

Short-term benefits may look desirable, but here are three tax breaks that may be better in the long run:

  • Estate Tax
    • For the very wealthy, an important question is whether to make substantial gifts to heirs now or to leave it to them later in a will. It has become a big issue because the estate and gift tax exemption is now $11 million per person or $22 million for a couple. If they gift them now, the recipients will have to only pay capital gains tax rather than estate tax, and the gifting party will end up saving on taxes. But debating a large gift solely on the basis of taxes is a difficult decision, and advice may need to be sought.
  • Capital Gains Tax
    • Indexing an investment’s purchase price to inflation could also reduce the amount of a loss a taxpayer could claim as a deduction in the long run. Not all investments rise. And the ones that lose money can be carried forward on tax returns until future gains soak them up.
  • Charitable Giving
    • The standard deduction has been increased to $12,000, and there is no itemized deduction for charitable giving. For those that are privy to donating a certain amount that is less than this threshold, they may worry about how to achieve their goal of giving while receiving the benefit of the deduction. One solution is front loading a donor-advised fund, allowing them to give each year while initially getting over the itemized deduction amount.

See Paul Sullivan, 3 Tax Breaks That May be Better in the Long Run, New York Times, August 10, 2018.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

August 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 6, 2018

CLE on Estate Administration From Start to Finish

The National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Estate Administration From Start to Finish, on Tuesday, September 11, 2018, at the Best Western Plus Ramkota Inn in Sioux Falls, North Dakota. Provided below is a description of the event.

Program Description

A Step-By-Step Guide to Estate Administration

Designed for attorneys who are new to estate administration or need a basic refresher, this course will provide you with a comprehensive overview of estate administration, including proper asset valuation and distribution, taxation, and account closing procedures. You'll also learn how to correctly deal with thorny estate administration debt issues, including jointly held assets, business ownership and complex tax issues. Equip yourself with real-life, practical knowledge to ensure you are fully prepared to handle the entire estate administration process from start to finish - register today!

Learn how to meet every deadline, follow procedures and complete essential forms.

Identify key estate administration pitfalls you need to avoid.

Acquire strategies to ensure you can help your clients through every step of the probate process.

Manage your client's entire estate administration procedures properly and effectively.

Learn how to tackle complex estate administration issues such as tax issues, jointly held assets and will contests.

Understand how to properly transfer and distribute assets.

Explore proper procedures and processes when dealing with insurance claims and debt during estate administration.

Gain a better understanding of the probate court's procedures so that you can avoid common pitfalls and mistakes.

Get the latest information on allowances and elections against the will.

Identify how to properly distribute assets to minors, surviving spouses and trusts.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level seminar is designed for professionals who want to be more effective in the estate administration process, such as:

Attorneys

Paralegals

CPAs and Accountants

Financial Planners and Wealth Managers

Tax Professionals

Trust Officers

Course Content

Initial Steps and Information Gathering

Marshalling Assets

Handling Creditor Claims and Debt

Complex Issues in Estate Administration

Handling Estate Administration Tax Issues

Distribution and Closing of the Estate

Ethics and Estate Administration

Continuing Education Credit

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 8.00

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.70

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 8.00 *

Professional Achievement in Continuing Education – PACE: 8.00

* denotes specialty credits

August 6, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)