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

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

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)

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)

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

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

Top Trends in Charitable Giving for High-Net-Worth Individuals

GiveProvisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Acts (TCJA) has shifted the shifted the focus of charitable-giving to high-net-worth individuals and decreased the incentive for moderately wealthy individuals to donate to charitable organizations. The following are a few vehicles and concepts that high-net-worth donors and some moderately wealthy donors should be considering.

  • Gift Bunching Combined with DAFs
    • Many Americans no longer itemize their deductions now that the TCJA increased the standard deduction to $24,000 per couple. The charitable deduction is an itemized deduction, so there is less incentive. For those that were used to giving less than the new standard deduction, a moderately wealthy individual can now set up a donor advised fund (“DAF”) either with a local community charity or with a financial institution-sponsored fund and give the aggregate amount to the DAF.
  • Grantor Charitable Lead Annuity Trusts—CLATs
    • Grantor charitable lead annuity trust, or CLATs, can be set up where one or more charitable organizations receives a series of periodic payments for a number of years from a trust, after which time, the remaining amount left in the trust is paid to non-charitable beneficiaries, generally family members or trusts for their benefit, free of gift and estate tax.
  • Holistic Tax And Estate Planning
    • Wealthy individuals can maximize the efficiency of charitable giving while retaining control over investments (such as family limited partnerships) and reducing taxes by integrating such charitable vehicles with FLPs or FLLCs.
  • Almost Charitable LLC
    • An interesting current technique is actually no technique and produces no immediate charitable deduction. This is the use of a standard LLC as a centralized charitable giving fund. In this case, an individual forms an LLC and funds it with cash or other assets that he ultimately plans to give to charity.

See Seth Kaplan, Top Trends in Charitable Giving for High-Net-Worth Individuals, Financial Advisor, July 27, 2018.

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

July 31, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, New Legislation, 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)