Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Warning: $10 Million Estate Tax Exemption Can Overfund Trusts at Death and Harm Your Surviving Family

TrustThe increase in the generation skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption in the recent legislation may appear to be a great addition to a wealthy person's estate plan, but it could lead to issues if not calculated properly for wills or trusts executed prior to 2018. The death of one spouse could result in a "lopsided" subtrust structure that is contrary to the deceased spouse's intent.

Before the increase, married couples' estate planning documents often directed the estate tax exemption amount to pass to a "credit shelter," "family," "A-B," or "bypass" trust—usually for the benefit of a spouse and/or children—with the excess passing either to the surviving spouse outright or to a marital trust for the surviving spouse's benefit. If a married couple fails to update a "bypass trust" estate plan executed before 2018, and if one spouse dies in 2018, then all or most of the deceased spouse's assets could end up funding the bypass trust(s) without any excess flowing outright to, or in trust for, the surviving spouse (as was intended upon execution of the will or trust).

See John R. Cella, Jr., Warning: $10 Million Estate Tax Exemption Can Overfund Trusts at Death and Harm Your Surviving Family, Ward and Smith, August 3, 2018.

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

August 8, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, New Legislation, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Using Trusts in Estate Planning and Asset Protection

CLEThe National Business institute is holding a 2-day conference entitled, Using Trusts in Estate Planning and Asset Protection, on Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - Thursday, November 29, 2018 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Boston at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Successfully Handle Your Client's Trust Needs

The wide array of trusts available, combined with the numerous issues clients can bring to the table, can make choosing and using the right tool a daunting task - but it doesn't have to be. This insightful, two-day seminar will guide you through how to effectively use trusts for estate planning and asset protection. Explore a variety of planning tools that will help you tailor a trust that fits your client's specific situation. Don't miss this opportunity to make sure your trusts are thoroughly on point - register today!

Find out how to select the best trust option for each unique situation.

Protect retirement accounts with the use of IRA trusts.

Use trusts to help clients qualify for Medicaid while protecting their assets.

Discover ways to structure special needs trusts so beneficiaries still qualify for public benefits.

Learn how to minimize your client's tax burdens with the use of defective trusts.

Properly handle the administration of a trust.

Clarify who your client is to avoid conflicts of interest and other ethical violations.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level seminar is designed for professionals involved in structuring and administering trusts:

Attorneys

Accountants and CPAs

Trust Officers

Tax Managers

Wealth Managers

Paralegals

Course Content

Day 1

Trust Overview

Determining Which Trust to Use

Grantor Trusts: When and How to Use Them

IRA Trusts: Protecting Retirement Accounts

Using Trusts to Qualify for Medicaid

Charitable Trusts: Setting Aside Assets and Tax Planning

Day 2

Special Needs Trusts: Planning for Disabled Beneficiaries

Asset Protection Focus: Analysis and Tools

Using Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs)

Tax Planning with Trusts

Administering Trusts

Making Changes to Trusts

Remaining Ethically Compliant

Continuing Education Credit

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

August 8, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts | 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)

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tax Law Update: August 2018

Tax updateOver the past months there have been a couple of important tax law updates that should be highlighted.

  • Tax Court rules Internal Revenue Code Sections 2036, 2038 and 2703 applicable to multi-generational split-dollar

On Jule 18, 2018, the Tax Court denied an estate’s motion for summary judgment that IRC Sections 2036, 2038 and 2703 were inapplicable to the multi-generational split-dollar arrangement at issue. Multi-generational split-dollar arrangements typically involve a parent and child (or grandchild). An insurance trust buys a policy on the child, then the parent and the trust enter into a split-dollar agreement. The premium is often front-loaded so that the parent invests a large amount into the policy.

  • North Carolina statute taxing New York trust’s income was unconstitutional

The Supreme Court of North Carolina affirmed the North Carolina Court of Appeals decision on June 8, 2018 that a state statute taxing a trust’s income based solely on the residence of the beneficiaries in North Carolina was unconstitutional under the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina Constitution. In The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. North Carolina Department of Revenue, the sole issue of the case was whether the North Carolina Department of Revenue (NCDR) could tax the income of the Kimberley Trust pursuant to N.C.G.S. Section 105-160.2 during tax years 2005 through 2008. N.C.G.S. Section 105-160.2 allows for the taxation of trust income “that is for the benefit of a resident of [North Carolina].”

See David A. Handler, Patricia H. Ring, & Thomas Norelli, Tax Law Update: August 2018, Wealth Management, July 25, 2018.

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

July 31, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Income Tax, New Cases, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 27, 2018

CLE on Estate Administration Boot Camp

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a 2-day conference entitled, Estate Administration Boot Camp, on Monday, August 27, 2018 - Tuesday, August 28, 2018, at the Hilton Garden Inn Charlotte/Ayrsley in Charlotte, North Carolina. Provided below is a description of the event:

        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

Marshalling the Assets

Key Intestacy Laws You Must Know

Handling Debts and Claims Against the Estate

Spouse Elective Share and Disclaimers

Legal Ethics in Estate Administration

DAY 2

Income Tax Returns

Portability and Estate, Gift, GST Taxes

Handling Distributions

Business Interests in Estate Administration

Trusts that Affect Estate Administration

Closing the Estate and Final Accounting

Estate and Trust Contests, Disputes, Challenges

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 12.00 *

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

July 27, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Elder Law, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Five Estate Planning Tips that Remain Relevant Regardless of Shifting Political Winds

Tax actThe much discussed legislation of the Trump administration, The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, altered many aspects of estate planning. There are items on many agendas, though, that will remain unchanged regardless of politics.

  • Schedule Routine (Estate Planning) Checkups
    • Ask clients to consider whether the individuals named in their documents are still appropriate. Think about positions including power of attorney (POA), health care agent, guardian for minor children, trustees of an irrevocable or testamentary trust, trust protectors and trustee appointers (if any)
  • "Do it for the Kids"
    • Setting up a trust for a client’s children and grandchildren allows him to tap into this reliable wealth transfer mechanism without the damage of gifting assets to them outright.
  • Move Assets off Your Clients' Balance Sheets
    • A family business is typically a long-term investment, so have the client sell it into a trust, as well as other real estate, life insurance, investment accounts and more.
  • Make the Switch
    • Assess the income tax benefits of holding assets inside a client’s estate versus the estate tax benefits of pushing them outside of his estate.
  • Give Precedence to Giving Back
    • Use foundations and charitable trusts to make philanthropy a focus for your client’s family and to help him achieve income tax benefits.

See John O. McManus, Five Estate Planning Tips that Remain Relevant Regardless of Shifting Political Winds, Wealth Management, July 18, 2018.

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

July 26, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

CLE on International Trust and Estate Planning 2018

CLEThe American Law Institute is holding a conference entitled, International Trust and Estate Planning 2018 on Thursday, November 1, 2018 - Friday, November 2, 2018, at the PARC 55 Hotel in San Fransisco, California. Provided below is a description of the event:

This course is a must for international tax and trust professionals seeking practical strategies on the ever-changing issues confronting their clients..   This reliably comprehensive two-day CLE program has been reformatted this year into specialized quadrants that devote equal time to foreign related trust issues, inbound planning issues, compliance and ethics, and outbound planning issues. These sections will allow the faculty to take a deep dive into the stewardship of the assets U.S. citizens who reside or have assets abroad, non-U.S. citizens who reside in, are moving to or want to invest in the United States, and multinational families with assets and/or family members in more than one country.   As always, this premier program is updated to offer practitioners the latest information and practical strategies about tax, trusts, and estate planning to enable you to advise your clients who have international connections. The program will also highlight issues involving tax reform that affect the planning of these trusts and estates.  

What You Will Learn

Year after year, this program delivers the latest information on the most complex aspects of international trust and estate issues, including:  

Planning for U.S. Clients Who Are Beneficiaries of Foreign Non-Grantor Trusts

Tax Transparency, Compliance, and Ethics: CRS and FATCA and related reporting

Developments in Anti-Money Laundering Rules, Transparency of Beneficial Ownership

Inbound Planning Issues for Individual Nonresident Aliens and Investors

Outbound Planning for U.S. Individuals and Investors

  In addition to the critical substantive information presented by expert faculty, this popular CLE program boasts an engaging, interactive format in which registrants’ questions are answered throughout the program as well as the unique opportunity to network with faculty members and attendees from around the world.  

Who Should Attend

Attorneys, accountants, and financial planners with cross-border practices, as well as trust officers of U.S. or foreign banks, will benefit from attending this course.  
Register two or more and SAVE! Register one person for the in-person course at full price and save 40% on all additional in-person registrations for this course from your organization. Separate discounts are also available for group webcast registrations. Click on "Group Rates" for more information. (Valid on new registrations only; discounts may not be combined.)

Study Materials

Going green in 2018! Course materials will be available in electronic format for download the week before and during the course. Print materials will not be distributed. All registrants are advised to bring laptops or tablets to the course to view the course materials, including updates.

July 25, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 23, 2018

CLE on Flexible Trusts and Estates for Uncertain Times

CLEThe American Bar Association is holding a webinar entitled, Flexible Trusts and Estates for Uncertain Times, on August 15, 2018 at 1:oo p.m. - 2:00 p.m. A description of the event is provided below:

Attorney and author Jerold I. Horn will provide an extensive analysis of the options for creating and completing wills, trusts and other instruments. This program is designed for lawyers who already possess a sophisticated understanding of estate planning and will and trust drafting issues, but lawyers new to the area will find a great deal of helpful information as Attorney Horn will provide the framework for understanding concepts.
 
 
We find ourselves in uncertain times—and uncertainty promises to be the state of risk and demand flexible and creative solutions. Join Attorney Jerold I. Horn as he provides solutions on flexible trusts and estates.

Discussion will include:
    • Guidance on use of beneficiary-interested and independent trustees
    • Comprehensive advice on how to craft documents
    • Information on dispositive provisions, including discretionary, annuity and unitrust interests
    • Instructions on using testamentary powers of appointment to attract trust and estates law tax and avoid generation-skipping tax

July 23, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Your Mid-Year Estate Planning Checklist

BeachSummer can be a busy time with kids out of school and vacations in full swing, but it can also be a prime period to review your estate plan and see if there needs to be any adjustments. Below is a checklist that could assist to make sure you cover the essential points.

  • Review your existing Will and any trust agreements.
  • Consider whether your named fiduciaries are still appropriate.
  • Review your beneficiary designations.
  • Consider income tax planning.
  • Review existing insurance coverage (life, homeowners, umbrella, disability, long-term care, etc.).
  • Review your investments – and your investment advisors.
  • Review how your assets are titled.
  • Fund your trust(s)
  • Determine/confirm your estate tax domicile.
  • Get educated – meet with your estate planning attorney and financial professionals to discuss all of the above.

See Lisa P. Staron, July 11, 2018 - Trusts and Estates Group News: Your Mid-Year Estate Planning Checklist, Murtha Law, July 11, 2018.

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

July 17, 2018 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 16, 2018

CLE on 30 Steps to Perfect Probate

The National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, 30 Steps to Perfect Probate, on Thursday, October 11, 2018 - Friday, October 12, 2018, at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Jacksonville Baymeadows in Jacksonville, Florida. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Gain Valuable Strategies for Every Step of the Probate Process

Are you confident you're taking advantage of every strategic opportunity the probate process has to offer? Experienced faculty will share their insights into maximizing the benefits of each step at this essential program. With a special focus on strategic decision-making to minimize tax burdens, speed up the process and alleviate conflict; this guide to probate is just what you need to take your practice to the next level. Register today!

  • Spend two full days learning how to strategically navigate the probate process.
  • Shore up your knowledge with a tactical guide to probate inventory - and leave no stone unturned.
  • Get tips from the pros on how to tackle creditor claims and troubleshoot debt repayment.
  • Minimize tax burdens for both the decedent and the beneficiaries with a full guide to timely and prudent tax planning and reporting.
  • Maximize the use of exceptions when handling Medicaid estate recovery.
  • Hone your final disbursements skills to prevent disputes and re-openings.
  • Use probate litigation to its fullest advantage.

Who Should Attend

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

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants/CPAs
  • Trust Officers/Administrators/Managers
  • Tax Professionals

Course Content

  1. Probate Process Overview and First Steps
  2. Executor Strategies
  3. Will Admission Techniques
  4. Inventory, Appraisement and Management Tactics
  5. Creditor Claims: Tips From the Pros
  6. Medicaid Estate Recovery Insights
  7. Insolvent Estate Tips and Tricks
  8. Tax Minimization Tactics
  9. Final Accounting Secrets
  10. Distributions: Insights From the Pros
  11. Estate Closing Strategies
  12. Legal Ethics
  13. Probate Litigation Tactics

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 14.50 *

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

July 16, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Intestate Succession, Professional Responsibility, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)