The Kaestner Case and the New Emphasis on Using Non-Grantor Trusts to Save State Income Tax

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Estate planners are constantly looking for additional ways to save taxes for their clients.  One often-overlooked concept is to use trusts to save state income taxes, especially for those clients who reside in a state with a high state income tax.  Ironically, income tax savings is generally the most appreciated work we do for our clients given that they can personally enjoy the savings, but yet the planning opportunities are frequently missed. Different states have different rules as to what creates a “resident trust” that is subject to taxation in that state.  States…

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Oshins: Nevada vs. Delaware Dynasty Trusts

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Testing his theory that in every man dwells a good and an evil force, the reserved Dr. Jekyll develops a formula that separates the two, turning him into an argumentative estate planning attorney named Mr. Oshins who tells it like it is. Dr. Jekyll soon realizes he is becoming addicted to his darker self as he unleashes his opinions on the estate planning industry. In this article, Dr. Jekyll tackles the issue of which trust jurisdiction is superior for Dynasty Trusts, Nevada or Delaware. As expected, Mr. Oshins will provide a different view…

What Trust Jurisdictions Other than Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota Are Best?

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Some of these jurisdictions are up-and-comers and others are underrated.  This article focuses on the “Other Four States”. Most practitioners focus on Alaska, Delaware, Nevada and South Dakota as the Big Four States when it comes to selecting a trust situs.  These four states collectively receive a substantial amount of the out-of-state trust business, in part because of their spectacular laws and in part because of their longevity as trust heavyweights. However, there are other states that are more than respectable and worthy of praise.  And in many aspects they are competitive with…

The Most Effective Way to Handle the Price Objection

By Philip J. Kavesh, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), CFP®, ChFC, California State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law If you were to ask most estate planning attorneys to narrow down the most common objection most people have about moving forward with their estate planning, price would definitely be on the top of the list. With the influx of cheap, online and do-it-yourself estate planning, living trusts have become a commodity and people are more price-sensitive than ever. While price may still be one of the main reasons a prospective client may choose not to do business with…

2019 ABA Heckerling Reports from 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute

For the past 22 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 week in Orlando, Florida, the 53rd Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning took place.  To view, download and access these extensive reports (which are still being updated and added), see below. Further, at the above website, you can also access reports from prior Heckerling…

529 Misconceptions About 529 Plans

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) Internal Revenue Code Section 529 was enacted in 1996 to allow interest, dividends, and capital gains that occur under mutual fund-like wrappers to be tax-free if the entire fund is spent on qualified educational expenses. The 2017 Tax Act expanded qualified educational expenses to include up to $10,000 per year for kindergarten through 12th grade tuition, beginning in 2018. There are many misconceptions and thousands of mistakes made with respect to 529 plans.  The following list and explanation should be helpful to many. #1. …

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…

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….

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…

199A – The Real Regulatory Story: Revelations From The Proposed Regulations

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) As most estate planners know, the new Section 199A proposed regulations were released earlier in August to great fanfare and curiosity.  My team and I have spent considerable time, already, poring through the language and changes. We were given the opportunity to share our thoughts and summary of these regulations in an article featured on Forbes.com.  To read this article, click here. SECTION 199A RESOURCES Here are some other Section 199A resources that may be of interest to you: PROGRAM REPLAY: “Section 199A…