Hard to Figure: The Critical Importance of Current Continuous Estate Planning

By Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. & Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, AEP (Distinguished), MBA, J.D. Reproduced with Permission by and Courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI). For information about how to subscribe to LISI, click here.   “The ‘politics’ of the estate tax have been unstable for a long time. That certainly is the case now.  Regardless of whether the estate tax is repealed next year, it might well return by reason of a sunset provision or a change in control of the White House and Congress.  Unless a client is certain to die while the estate tax is not…

Trump Wins: A Brave New World for Estate Planners

By Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. & Martin M. Shenkman, CPA/PFS, AEP (Distinguished), MBA, J.D. Reproduced with Permission by and Courtesy of Leimberg Information Services, Inc. (LISI). For information about how to subscribe to LISI, click here. “The election of Donald J. Trump as our 45th President was largely unexpected. It is difficult to forecast what that will mean during his term, and, perhaps, his second term. However, he has proposed wide-ranging changes to the nation’s tax system which will affect virtually all Americans and their advisors. Estate planners in particular face a dramatic impact on their practices.” EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The…

Feeling the Burn: The Importance of the Tax Burn in Estate Tax Planning

Download Printable Article By Steven J. Oshins Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Decades ago, Jane Fonda made the phrase “feel the burn” popular in her highly successful aerobic exercise videotapes.  More recently, “feel the Bern” became popular as the de facto slogan during Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. But in advanced estate tax planning, we feel a different kind of burn called the “tax burn”.  Very simply, our client transfers assets to an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (“IDGT”) and continues to pay all income taxes on income produced by the transferred assets, including capital gains taxes on sales of those assets. By continuing…

ABA Heckerling Reports from the 2016 Heckerling Institute

For the past 17 years, the American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law with the permission of the University of Miami School of Law, releases several extensive reports highlighting the various lectures and proceedings of the Heckerling Institute, one of the nation’s largest estate planning conferences, held every year in January. This past January 2016, marked the 50th Annual Heckerling Institute.  To view, download and access these extensive reports, please click here to visit the ABA’s website. Further, at the above website, you can also access reports from prior Heckerling Institutes as well. We, at The…

Should You Leave Assets in Trust for a Financially Savvy Beneficiary?

Download Printable Article By Jeremy Spackman, Esq. Absolutely! Traditionally, leaving assets to a beneficiary in trust, especially a financially savvy beneficiary, has been viewed as restricting the access and control the beneficiary would have over his or her inheritance. The common thought was that only spendthrifts should receive their inheritance in trust (with a third party in control of the trust), while the financially savvy beneficiary should receive his or her inheritance outright. This is not ideal since receiving an inheritance outright exposes those assets to the beneficiary’s creditors, including divorcing spouses. Instead, clients should leave assets to financially savvy…

Traps of Swap Powers

Download Printable Article By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD Swap powers have proliferated like Tribbles (you are a Trekkie aren’t you?). Most trusts that are created are structured to be grantor trusts so that the income is taxed to the settlor creating the trust. That continues to reduce the settlor’s estate by the tax paid on income inside the trust. Grantor trusts often include a swap or substitution power that permits the settlor to swap cash into the trust for appreciated trust assets. Swaps are a key to obtaining the new tax planning holy elixir of basis…

Mastering Portability

Download Printable Article By: Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA An important provision within the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (“2010 Tax Relief Act”) allows an executor of an estate of a married decedent the option to transfer any unused estate tax exemption amount to the surviving spouse.[1] Thus, for example, if a decedent used only a portion of his or her estate tax exemption, the estate could elect to have the remaining portion pass to the surviving spouse, giving the surviving spouse a larger estate tax exemption.[2] Although this portability provision…

Are You Aware Decanting Causes Tax Issues?

Download Printable Article By Robert S. Keebler, CPA/PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA Decanting is the act of distributing the assets of an old trust to a new one with more favorable terms. It provides an easy, inexpensive method for correcting errors or ambiguities, adapting a trust to changes in a settlor’s objectives or changes in a beneficiary’s circumstances, taking advantage of new planning opportunities or adding flexibility to a trust. However, because trust decanting is a relatively new estate planning strategy, its tax consequences have not yet been clearly established. The IRS is considering ways to address these tax consequences…

Our Top 10 Best Articles on Tax & IRA Planning

As part of our December 2014 Newsletter, we are featuring a special “Best Of” issue.  Below, you will find a list of our Top 10 Articles on Tax and IRA Planning.  All of these articles were authored and written by Robert S. Keebler, CPA, PFS, MST, AEP (Distinguished), CGMA. Beneficiary Designation Problems with IRAs: More Than Just the RMD Rules! (with Kristen M. Lynch, J.D., AEP, CISP, CTFA) PLR Opens Door to Post-Death Exchanges of Non-Qualified Annuities Tax-Free! (with Michael E. Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP®, CLU, ChFC, RHU, REBC, CASL) Frank Aragona Trust: What Now Constitutes Trustee “Material Participation”? Understanding…