Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

CLE on Tax Planning for Trusts and Estates

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Tax Planning for Trusts and Estates, on Friday, October 19, 2018, at the Hilton Long Island/Huntington in Melville, New York.  Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Get Practical Strategies to Ease Your Clients' Tax Burdens

The ongoing changes in federal and state tax regulations create unique challenges attorneys must face in planning for and reporting taxes connected with trusts and estates. Are you prepared to insulate your clients' estate plans from regulatory storms and ensure smooth and secure preservation and transfer of wealth? This course offers practical tax planning strategies that will help you minimize tax burdens and ensure IRS compliance. Get straightforward instruction to help you through both routine tax return preparation and the final accounting. Register today!

  • Decrease your client's tax burden through resourceful estate planning.
  • Find out how the current status of state and federal estate tax affects your ongoing cases.
  • Gain federal tax return preparation tips from experienced faculty.
  • Get practical guidance through the nuts and bolts of income tax planning for trusts and estates.
  • Learn how to handle common problems in distributions to minors and trusts after grantor's death.
  • Avoid unnecessary burden on the estate with clear delineation of income and principle.
  • Classify estate assets for the most favorable taxation.
  • Adapt your practices and update your clients' current plans according to the latest regulations.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level program will benefit:

  • Attorneys
  • Estate Planners
  • Investment Advisers
  • Accountants
  • Trust Officers
  • Fiduciary Tax Specialists
  • Tax Preparers
  • Paralegals

Course Content

  1. Gift Tax Planning
  2. Federal Estate Tax Update
  3. State Death Taxes
  4. Estate Tax Planning Considerations
  5. Federal Estate Tax Return (Form 706)
  6. Post-Mortem Tax Planning Options
  7. Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State
CLE 7.20 -  NJ
CLE 7.00 -  NY*
CLE 6.00 -  PA

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 7.00

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 7.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

June 20, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

CLE on Trusts 101

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Trusts 101, on Monday, August 06, 2018 at the Hilton Garden Inn Tulsa Midtown in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Provide your clients with the full spectrum of wealth preservation options.

When assessing complex information, it often helps to break items into basic building blocks. The same approach can be successful when dealing with asset protection. Be prepared for specific challenges associated with various types of trusts by understanding their unique characteristics. Our intensive full-day primer will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the wide variety of trusts available. Register today!

  • Determine what role the settlor will play by weighing the pros and cons of establishing an irrevocable trust over a revocable trust.
  • Learn what not to do when selecting and drafting a revocable trust to avoid common mistakes.
  • Learn how to choose the most beneficial vehicle for preserving your client's wealth: understand the purpose behind the various types of irrevocable trusts.
  • Explore the powers and duties of personal representatives in irrevocable trusts.
  • Save money on taxes with effective use of defective trusts.
  • Learn why it's important to know when to file the tax return for grantor trusts.
  • Determine whether a client qualifies as a beneficiary of a special needs trust.
  • Don't reinvent the wheel - modify our sample trust documents and use our drafting tips to create airtight trusts.

Who Should Attend

This basic level seminar is designed for the professionals involved in creating, administering and terminating trusts:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants and CPAs
  • Trust Officers
  • Financial Planners
  • Tax Professionals
  • Paralegals

Course Content

  1. Where to Begin? - An Overview of Trusts
  2. Revocable Living Trusts
  3. Trusts Used for Tax Reduction
  4. Grantor Trusts
  5. Estate Planning for the Disabled
  6. Ethical Considerations

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 8.00 *

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 8.00

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.70

National Association of Legal Assistants, Inc. – NALA: 6.60 *

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

National Federation of Paralegal Associations, Inc. – NFPA

Professional Achievement in Continuing Education – PACE: 8.00

* denotes specialty credits

June 19, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

CLE on Estate Administration Boot Camp

The National Business Institute is holding a 2-day conference entitled, Estate Administration Boot Camp, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 -Thursday, June 21, 2018, at Holiday Inn Colorado Springs Airport in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A description of the event is provided below:

Program Description

Everything You Need to Know about Effectively Administering an Estate

Are you fully confident in your knowledge of the latest court and tax rules and the most effective transfer tools to ensure each client's estate is laid to rest according to the decedent's wishes, with minimal tax burden? This comprehensive 2-day instruction will give you all the skills you need to administer estates that include trusts and/or business interests without a hitch. Register today!

  • Don't miss any crucial notice and filing requirements when opening the estate - learn what must be done right away.
  • Get helpful forms and checklists that will help you in administration.
  • Understand how income and estate tax deductions interact and find the most advantageous way to structure the tax returns
  • Learn how to use disclaimers more effectively.
  • Clarify what must be done when the trust becomes irrevocable.
  • Protect your professional reputation with a practical legal ethics guide focused on trusts and estates practice.
  • Prevent mistakes in final petition and ensure each estate is closed quickly and without disputes.

Who Should Attend

This two-day, basic level seminar is designed for:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants/CPAs
  • Tax Professionals
  • Financial Planners
  • Trust Officers/Administrators/Managers
  • Paralegals

Course Content

DAY 1

  • Forms of Administration and When They are Used
  • First Steps and Notices, Executor Duties, Opening the Estate
  • Key Intestacy Laws You Must Know
  • Marshalling the Assets
  • Spouse Elective Share and Disclaimers
  • Trusts that Affect Estate Administration
  • Legal Ethics in Estate Administration

DAY 2

  • Income Tax Returns
  • Portability and Estate, Gift, GST Taxes
  • Handling Distributions
  • Business Interests in Estate Administration
  • Handling Debts and Claims Against the Estate
  • Closing the Estate and Final Accounting
  • Estate and Trust Contests, Disputes, Challenges

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 14.00 *

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 1.20

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 14.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

June 13, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Intestate Succession, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Will the Next Generation Squander the Largest Wealth Transfer in History?

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-29/d1840b2d-6173-4f9d-b52d-b60953d06e1b.png"Accenture reports that over the next 30 to 40 years, $30 trillion in assets will pass from boomers to their heirs in the U.S. alone. What many people don’t realize, however, is that 70% of those intergenerational wealth transfers will fail by the time they reach the second generation, according to The Williams Group, a financial advisory firm."

There are 3 possible ways to make inheritances and wealth transfers respected rather than squandered.

  • Make Wealth a Family Discussion
    • Talk to your family about the importance of financial security, and the hopes you have of what you would like them to accomplish with your money.
  • Focus on Values - Not Balances
    • Place the emphasis on legacy and possibly social awareness rather than the dollar amount in a transfer of wealth.
  • Establish a Clear Purpose for Your Wealth
    • Stipulate that certain funds must be used for particular purposes, either in a will or in a trust. Your children (and even grandchildren!) may thank you in the end.

See Jess Stonefield, Will the Next Generation Squander the Largest Wealth Transfer in History?, Market Watch, May 29, 2018.

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

May 29, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 28, 2018

CLE on Trusts: The Ultimate Guide

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Trusts: The Ultimate Guide, which will take place Monday, June 04 and Tuesday, June 05, 2018, at the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Midtown at USC in Los Angeles, California. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Make the Best Use of Today's Top Trusts

We've expanded on our top "Trusts 101" course to give you even more unique trust structures, sample provisions language, and reasoning for which planning tools better suit specific client situations. Understand the key structures and uses of today's top trusts and anticipate administration challenges and tax consequences. Register today!

  • Get an update on the current laws and tax regs governing the trusts practice.
  • Analyze all key factors in selecting the best trust option for each unique situation.
  • Learn when and how IRA trusts are used.
  • Define powers and duties of all trust parties to smooth implementation and prevent disputes.
  • Save drafting time with sample trust language.
  • Clarify who your client is to avoid conflicts of interest and other ethical violations.
  • Minimize your client's tax burdens with effective use of defective trusts.
  • Get practical guidance for drafting unique, single purpose trusts for pets, QDOTs for non-citizen spouses, and etc.

Who Should Attend

This basic level seminar is designed for professionals involved in drafting and administering trusts:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants and CPAs
  • Trust Officers
  • Tax Managers
  • Wealth Managers
  • Financial Planners
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Paralegals

Course Content

Day One

  1. Key Parties, Terms, Legal Concepts
  2. Revocable vs. Irrevocable and Revocable to Irrevocable
  3. Living vs. Testamentary Trusts
  4. Marital/Disclaimer Trusts Post-ATRA
  5. Grantor Trusts
  6. IRA Trusts
  7. Medicaid-Planning Trusts
  8. Special Needs Trusts

Day Two

  1. Asset Protection Trusts: Domestic and Offshore
  2. Charitable Trusts
  3. Legal Ethics
  4. Trust Decanting, Modification, Dissolution, and Constructive Trusts
  5. Tax Deduction with Trusts
  6. Other Trust Structures and Issues

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 12.00 *

Financial Planners – Financial Planners: 14.00

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 1.20

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 14.00 *

Professional Achievement in Continuing Education – PACE: 14.00

* denotes specialty credits

May 28, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 25, 2018

GST Tax Exemptions in Jeopardy

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-25/02fc22e7-9cd4-49d7-a482-7452b3182461.pngChapter 13 of the Internal Revenue Code specifically deals with the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax, the tax which deals with transfers to individuals more than one generation below the donor. The belief of Congress is that property should be transferred once at every generation, so assets left to grandchildren should not avoid a taxation.

This tax generally applies to transfers made after October 22, 1986, but Congress grandfathered in transfers from irrevocable trusts that were in existence on September 25, 1985, but only if the transfer wasn’t made out of trust property that was added to the trust after that date or to income attributable to such later-contributed property. Altering these types of trusts can be tricky so that they do not lose their GST exemption. Modifications may generate irreversible damage to the trust and its beneficiaries. Any alterations, even simple ones, must be examined with a careful eye to ensure there are no unintended gift tax consequences and no accidental estate tax inclusion and that any exclusion from the GST taxing regime is retained. 

See Andrew M. Nernery and Brianna L. Guerrea, GST Tax Exemptions in Jeopardy, Wealth Management, May 18, 2018.

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

May 25, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Not So Simple Estate Planning Considerations After 2017 Tax "Simplification"

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-20/a482af22-dcf9-48f3-ad84-1aae27624a2e.pngAfter the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in December of 2017, the majority of the public's focus has been on the changes to personal and business income tax. There has not been a lot of media attention or awareness on the legislation's modifications to how people should approach their estate planning.

The estate and gift tax exemption and the generation-skipping transfer tax exemption were both increased  to $11,180,000 per person. Therefore, during lifetime and at death, a married couple may now transfer a combined $22,360,000 to family and friends without any gift tax or estate tax. However, this increase only lasts until December 31, 2025.

Most individuals and couples believe that due to the change, there is less of a need for them to seek the advice of an estate planner. But with the magic that is the American government, Congress and the President have the ability to reverse the exemptions to 2017 amounts at any time, and with several elections in the time frame before the end of 2025, that possibility of fluctuation is all too real. In general, it is vital that anyone with an estate plan that has seen no alterations in 3 years speak to their estate planning attorney as soon as possible.

See Megan L.W. Jerabek, Not So Simple Estate Planning Considerations After 2017 Tax "Simplifications," National Tax Review, May 17, 2018.

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

May 20, 2018 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Estate Planning for Private Equity: What’s There to Know?

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-08/de3579e5-ca35-41b5-bdce-0f1e5c057336.pngPrivate equity managers have the ability to use giving to unlock more gifts. There are a few tips to know about estate planning for private equity.

Irrevocable gifts below the annual limit of $14,000 do not require the person giving the gift nor receiving the gift to pay taxes on it. Transferring assets at the moment of death will prevent them from being part of the taxable estate.

Defective grantor trusts and grantor retained annuity trusts are terrific tools to save money and transfer funds efficiently. But with the complexities that still exist from interest rates and taxes, it is never a bad idea to retain an estate planning attorney.

See Estate Planning for Private Equity: What’s There to Know?, FINSMES, May 4, 2018.

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

May 8, 2018 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (1)

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Family Conflict Top Estate Planning Challenge

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-04/067ef570-f71f-45b8-a653-5996dea62023.pngNo family is perfect, and this fact is most clear when individuals are faced with the daunting task of designating potential beneficiaries and guardians. A recent TD Wealth survey at the 52nd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning revealed that 44% of planning professionals believe that family conflict is the currently strongest threat to estate planning.

The loss of a loved one is never easy, but planning for it could make the emotional trauma more manageable. Ray Radigan, Head of Private Trust at TD Wealth, encourages clients to talk with estate planning professionals, tax advisors, and their family members as early as possible to decrease this challenge: “Losing loved ones can be difficult, and talking about what happens when a loved one is gone can be even tougher. We encourage families to start the dialogue early, and make sure they have the right people around the table from the beginning. That includes financial advisors, tax advisors, lawyers, accountants and family members.”

See David H. Lenock, Family Conflict Tops the List of Estate Planning Challenge in 2018, Wealth Management.com, March 28, 2018.

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

May 5, 2018 in Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Guardianship, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 4, 2018

Is Estate Planning Now Dead?

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-05-04/322ada81-6b7e-416f-b021-87558018c5c8.pngThe tax reform of 2017 increased the federal gift, estate, and generation-skipping tax to more than $11 million per person and $22 million per married couple. This increase means that less than 1% of Americans will be subject to these taxes. But these are not the only expenditures to be considered during estate planning.

SA number of states still have an estate and gift tax. For some taxpayers, it might prudent to change domiciles prior to passing away to avoid additional taxation. Another estate planning concern is probate. This process can be costly and inconvenient, and it can be greatly beneficial to avoid it if at all possible. Blended, as well as traditional families, have additional complications when it comes to the needs or issues of particular beneficiaries.

See Tracy Craig, Is Estate Planning Now Dead, Kilpinger, May 1, 2018.

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

May 4, 2018 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)