Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

  By Alma Soongi Beck, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law After the historic rulings in United States v. Windsor and Rev. Ruling 2013-17, the playing field for same-sex couples has equalized dramatically.  When married, same-sex couples are finally eligible for the same kinds of planning benefits that practitioners have leveraged with opposite sex married couples for years:  Bypass trust planning, gift splitting, leveraging of the double step-up in basis for community property, joint tax return filings, among others.  Moreover, under Rev. Ruling 2013-17, federal tax recognition now applies regardless of where the…

Beyond DOMA-Repeal: Property Tax Changes Affecting Unmarried, Non-Domestic Partners in California

By Alma Soongi Beck, J.D. LL.M. Taxation, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law With so much attention on the marriage cases, practitioners advising same-sex couples may be missing two crucial changes in property tax rules from 2013 affecting co-owners of property who are not married to each other or registered in the state as domestic partners. The issue is Property Tax Reassessment, which has often been bad news for same-sex couples. California state property taxes have been governed by Proposition 13 since 1978, which in most cases sets property taxes based on the acquisition…

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs (and Llamas and Birds and Horses)

              By Eden Rose Brown, Esq. The statistics are compelling:  Over 90 million American households own companion animals – a total of more than 218 million pets of all shapes and sizes!  These pet owners spend an average of $500 on each pet, totaling more than $12 billion annually, and that does not include toys, grooming and food.  Of these pet owners, over 63% say that they consider their pets to be family members and 79% allow their pets to sleep with them. The strength of the human-animal bond is powerful. Through the years I have found that…

SPECIAL TELECONFERENCE: DOMA Update on Last Week’s Breakthrough IRS Ruling 2013-17

Since the Supreme Court’s overturning of DOMA in the Windsor decision, many questions have remained unanswered regarding its effect on income, gift and estate taxes, as well as health and retirement benefits. Until now. The IRS has spoken! On August 29th, the IRS released its breakthrough Revenue Ruling 2013-17 offering clarity and guidance on many previously open issues – – and reveals numerous planning opportunities for your clients, if you’re “in the know”. Whether you’re a CPA, financial advisor, or attorney, join us and nationally renowned CPA and tax authority, Robert Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP, on Thursday, September 5, 2013…

The Windsor Effect: Why Many Same-Sex Couples Will Be Looking to Leave Florida and Where They May Go

By Alan Gassman, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist & Christopher Denicolo, J.D., LL.M. (Estate Planning) Much buzz has followed the recent United States Supreme Court decision of United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013), where the Court held that a federal statute providing that the term “spouse” only applies to a marriage between a man and a woman was unconstitutional based on the due process clause and equal protection principles under the Fifth Amendment. In its decision, the Court deferred the definition and regulation of marriage to the separate States. This effectively causes the marital status…

New Tax Haven: Puerto Rico

By Jeffrey M. Verdon, Esq., Travor Moses, Esq. & Fernando Goyco-Covas, Esq. Puerto Rico’s politicians have aimed to spur investment and economic activity in Puerto Rico by changing their tax code.  These series of reforms, including the Individual Investors Act (Act 22-2012 and 138-2012), now mean that Puerto Rico offers the potential for exceptionally advantageous United States and Puerto Rican income tax exemptions which, as long as certain requirements are met within the United States Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “IRC”),[i] can provide remarkable income tax relief to a wide universe of US citizens, residents, and even…

LISI: The Beginning of the Post-Windsor Cases

Thanks to generosity of Robert Keebler, CPA, MST, AEP (Distinguished) of Keebler & Associates, LLP, and Leimberg Information Services, we are pleased to provide to you a recently published article on LISI, which discusses two recent cases deciding issues facing same-sex married couples. “As we all know, on June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court of the United States held that Section 3 of DOMA is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is protected by the Fifth Amendment. Section 3 of DOMA defined ‘marriage’ to mean ‘only a legal union between one man and one woman…

The Supreme Court Overturns DOMA

In a landmark ruling, the United States Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision, overturned the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), passed by bipartisan majorities and signed by President Bill Clinton. They found it to be an unconstitutional violation of the Fifth Amendment. We are holding a special 60-minute teleconference with renowned CPA, Robert S. Keebler, on Tuesday, July 9th at 9am Pacific (12pm Eastern) on this topic. For more information, click here. Also, with permission by and courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI) (for information about how to subscribe to LISI, click here), Bob Keebler did a 60-Second Planner…