The Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) Imagine that there is a type of trust that you can set up where you can transfer assets and not only protect them from creditors and estate tax, but also have access to them through your spouse.  No, this is not a hypothetical world where there are rainbows and unicorns!  This world really does exist! This trust is often called a Spousal Lifetime Access Trust, or “SLAT” for short.  Most people are aware of the completed gift version where estate tax avoidance is the primary motivating factor.  However, there are really two different…

Steve Oshins: Interview About the 2019 State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) While at the WealthCounsel Symposium in Boston, we at The Ultimate Estate Planner (“UEP”) had the opportunity to sit down and interview nationally-known estate planning and asset protection attorney, Steve Oshins (“SJO”).  The interview consisted of a number of questions related to his State Rankings Charts and State Income Tax Chart. UEP: Please tell us about your charts and where they can be accessed. SJO:  I currently have four charts.  Three of the charts rank the states that have the best Domestic Asset Protection Trust laws, Dynasty Trust laws and Decanting laws, respectively. …

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…

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…

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts for the Large Estate

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The federal estate and gift tax exemption is at an all-time high, thereby leaving only a tiny percentage of people who have taxable estates.  This shift in demand for advanced estate tax planning has similarly reduced the number of estate planners who handle advanced estate tax planning, an expected result of supply and demand.  Even if an estate planner doesn’t personally practice in the high-net-worth area, the planner absolutely must be aware of certain estate tax-saving techniques such as the Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (“GRAT”). A GRAT is an irrevocable trust into which…

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…

Section 199A: Triple Net Leases Considered a Trade or Business?

By Alan S. Gassman J.D., LL.M. (Taxation), Florida State Bar Certified Specialist in Wills, Trusts & Estates, AEP (Distinguished) and Kelsey Weiss Introduction The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act introduced the new, and sometimes problematic, Section 199A to the Internal Revenue Code. Section 199A was designed to provide taxpayers with a 20% deduction for qualified business income earned through qualifying trades or business. This deduction for business owners was added, most likely, in response to the significant tax cut the Act created for large corporations.1 Unfortunately, there is no single accepted definition of “trade or business,” so many taxpayers are in…

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…

IRS Notice 2018-54 Warns Taxpayers to Avoid State Work-Arounds $10,000 SALT Deduction Cap

By Steven J. Oshins, Esq., AEP (Distinguished) The $10,000 SALT Deduction Section 11042 of The Tax and Jobs Act limits an individual’s State and Local Tax Deduction (“SALT” deduction) to $10,000 per calendar year. Adoption of State Proposals to Work Around the SALT Deduction Limitations In response to this new limitation, some state legislatures are considering or have adopted legislative proposals that would allow taxpayers to make transfers to funds controlled by state or local governments, or other transferees specified by the state, in exchange for credits against the state or local taxes that the taxpayer is required to pay. …