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  Regardless of whether the estate tax is repealed next year, it might well return by reason of a sunset provision or a change in control of the White House and Congress.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…

What a Donald Trump Presidency Means for Estate Planning

By Jeramie Fortenberry, J.D., LL.M. (Taxation) Executive Editor & Legal Education Faculty WealthCounsel, LLC In a surprising upset, Republican candidate Donald J. Trump defeated Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton on November 8, 2016, to become President-elect of the United States. Republicans maintained a majority in the Senate and the House of Representatives, creating alignment between the White House and Congress and paving the way for Republican-backed legislation. Given the emphasis on taxes by both the incumbent Republican leadership and President-elect Trump, significant tax reform is more likely now than it has been in recent years. Trump’s tax plan is largely aligned…

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…

Investment Opportunities Involving Private Foundations And Pension Plans

Download Printable Article By Bruce Givner, Esq. Introduction. Private foundations (a particular type of which are charitable remainder trusts) and pension plans are attractive structures since they both involve (i) tax deductible contributions and (ii) no tax on the funds accumulating in them.  Despite their obvious advantages, we find that clients shy away from adopting them due to the tax laws’ restrictions on what they can do with the funds invested in the two structures.  Let’s first discuss the significant advantages of each.  Then we’ll discuss the restrictions and at least hint at the ways to exploit those limits. Private…

Pre-Election Estate Tax Proposals: Clinton vs. Trump

By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD Are major estate tax law changes in the offing? Perhaps, but my Ouija board smoked when I asked the question. So, barring that type of guidance, what assurance can there be? The election hasn’t occurred yet, so there’s certainly no way to know which candidate will win. Party platforms haven’t even been finalized. And, there’s no assurance that the winner’s proposals will be enacted. In spite of the above, practitioners should put all clients involved in active planning on notice of Clinton and Trump’s proposals because they’re so dramatically different. No…

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…

Reducing Or Eliminating Capital Gains On The Sale Of Businesses And Real Estate

Download Printable Article By Bruce Givner, Esq. Most people are familiar with the use of a Section 1031 tax-deferred exchange as a way to handle the disposition of real estate.  Some people are familiar with the use of a charitable remainder trust as a way to handle the disposition of unmortgaged real estate and stock in a “C” corporation.  However, Section 1031 exchanges have undesired time constraints; CRTs are disliked because (i) the taxpayer can’t use the sales proceeds and (ii) nothing is left to go to the children (not necessarily true). The best approach is to talk to clients…

Planning for 2704 Proposed Regs: Be Wary of the Step Transaction Doctrine

Download Printable Article By Martin M. Shenkman, CPA, MBA, PFS, AEP, JD The Ultimate Estate Planner recently ran a series of teleconferences on the 2704 Proposed Regs and received numerous responses from our attorney community.  Here’s one we wanted to share with you. Introduction Practitioners are still grappling with the intricacies and complexities of the Proposed 2704 Regulations. But it is vital to start addressing some of the long existing tax doctrines that might undermine planning for the new Regs. Because of the incredible focus on the Regs themselves, little has been written yet on ancillary considerations. Once such potential…

Can a Wrong IRA Beneficiary Designation be Corrected After Death?

Download Printable Article By Michelle L. Ward, JD, LLM, CSEP In recent PLRs 201628004 through 201628006, the IRS considered the effect of a state court action that modified the named beneficiary after the death of the IRA owner. In the rulings, the decedent had originally named three trusts as beneficiaries of his IRAs. The trusts qualified as designated beneficiaries under the IRC Section 401(a)(9) Regulations. When his IRAs were moved to a new custodian, however, the beneficiary was changed to his estate. It was represented that, although the decedent signed the new beneficiary designation form, he merely intended to move…