The Beneficiary Controlled Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The Beneficiary Controlled Trust name was first introduced to the estate planning industry by my father and I in our two-part article, “Protecting & Preserving Wealth into the Next Millennium,” published in the September and October 1998 issues of Trusts & Estates magazine.  [Portions of this article were taken from the 1998 article.]  Since that time, the Beneficiary Controlled Trust concept has been widely used by estate planners all over the country.  This article describes this philosophy. Background Most trust scriveners draft trusts that make mandatory distributions to the beneficiaries upon reaching certain…

CHECKLIST: 2017 Tax Act & Recent Developments

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP (Distinguished), J.D. Summary: The 2017 Tax Cut and Jobs Act has changed almost every aspect of planning.  Consider the following. √ Sec. 199A: The 20% QBI deduction applies for 2018 – 2025. Consider the sunset of this tax bennie when evaluating the cost of planning to enhance whatever benefits you can get. Example: Before restructuring a business, will the payback over the years remaining be worth the cost? √ Charity: The new doubled standard deduction may eliminate any tax benefit from donations. Consider setting up a non-grantor trust to salvage that deduction. Example: You create an irrevocable…

Dynasty Trust Situs Battle Royale

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) A “Dynasty Trust” is an irrevocable trust that continues for as long as the applicable state law allows.  For as long as it continues, the trust assets can be protected from estate taxes and, depending upon the choice of situs and how the trust is drafted, can also be protected from divorcing spouses and other creditors. The jurisdictional competition for Dynasty Trust supremacy is alive and well.  In this cut-throat industry where billions of dollars are being passed through Dynasty Trusts, the stage is now set for the Dynasty Trust Situs Battle Royale….

The LeBron of Asset Protection Trusts

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) What does LeBron Symbolize? LeBron James is the greatest current basketball player on the planet.  In fact, he is arguably the greatest of all time.  [If this article were written 20 or 30 years ago, it would have been called, “The Michael of Asset Protection Planning Trusts” to recognize Michael Jordan’s similar greatness.] LeBron symbolizes greatness.  In the asset protection industry, there are a number of different techniques, but only one technique can be the greatest.  That technique is simply the LeBron of asset protection techniques. The Different Asset Protection Options There are…

Identifying an Asset Protection Trust Candidate

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) If I had a Nickel for Every Time… If I had a nickel for every time an estate planning advisor called or emailed me with a prospective client that they deem to be an absolutely perfect asset protection trust candidate “because they’re in a lot of trouble”, I would be a rich man! This is How the Conversation Often Goes Bernie the Attorney:  Hi, Steve.  I have the perfect referral for you for an asset protection trust. Steve Oshins:  Great!  Tell me a little about the referral. Bernie the Attorney:  Well, my client…

Toni 1 Trust v. Wacker: A Rare Domestic Asset Protection Trust Case

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) To this date, there still isn’t even one DAPT case where a creditor reached into the trust and grabbed assets in a non-bankruptcy, non-fraudulent conveyance scenario. Let me repeat this:  To this date, there still isn’t even one DAPT case where a creditor reached into the trust and grabbed assets in a non-bankruptcy, non-fraudulent conveyance scenario. Toni 1 Trust v. Wacker A new court decision in the Supreme Court of Alaska was issued on March 2nd.  A handful of asset protection planners who promote foreign asset protection trusts wrote articles and blogs about…

ABA Heckerling Reports from the 2018 Heckerling Institute

For the past 19 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 2018, marked the 52nd 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…

Trump Tax Act Restricts Deductibility of State Income Taxes: So What? Use a NING Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The dust has settled.  The Trump Tax Act has been finalized.  Who stands to lose the most from the new tax rules?  Those who live in a state with a high state income tax.  That’s who. Prior to the Trump Tax Act, state income taxes paid were deductible against federal income tax.  However, the Trump Tax Act limits the amount of the federal income tax deduction for state income taxes paid, real property taxes paid and sales taxes paid to a cumulative (yes, cumulative!) total of $10,000 per year.  The $10,000 is used…

Impact of Potential Tax Reform on Business Owners and Possible Steps to Take in 2017

By Edwin P. Morrow III, J.D., LL.M. (Tax), CFP®, CM&AA® On November 2, 2017, the Speaker of the House, with the backing of the President, finally introduced the long-awaited bill that represents Republican efforts at comprehensive tax reform, to be titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”. Of course, the Senate will propose significant changes, and there is opposition from both parties about the direction of the bill and the trillions it could add to the national debt. That said, there is a very strong chance of something close to the bill being passed this year or early next year. What are…

Top 5 Dumbest Comments Made by Estate Planners

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Having practiced estate planning for more than two decades, I have seen and heard my share of comments and representations that are true head-scratchers that often make you roll your eyes.  This epidemic seems to have gotten much worse through the years, possibly because of the pressure to perform and thrive in a very competitive environment.  This article will highlight some of my favorites. DUMB COMMENT #1: “Bad facts make bad law!” The “bad facts make bad law” excuse has been around for many years.  Obviously, every case that has a result we…