Congratulations to the Nationals!

With interest rates at near record lows, it is a great time to consider a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT).  GRATs are a planning technique in the Internal Revenue Code to remove future appreciation in the asset gifted to the GRAT out of the grantor’s estate.  The grantor contributes an asset

The Tax Court in Estate of Aaron U. Jones upheld the use of tax-affecting in the valuation of gifts made of S corporation and limited partnership interests.  The business involved timber, and the income method is typically used to value an ongoing timber business.  Tax-affecting is adjusting the value to reflect an after tax value

Some well known planners, such as Stacy Eastland, are recommending consideration of the BDOT for families with significant wealth to plan with the existing $11.2 million exemption.  Most of you are aware of the Beneficiary Defective Inheritor’s Trust (BDIT), which is funded with only $5,000, and provides that all of that $5,000 may be withdrawn

Proposed regulations were issued in November under Code Section 2010 addressing the possibility of “clawback” when the temporary high exemption amount reverts to pre TCJA levels (adjusted for inflation).  The good news is that the proposed regulations state that clawback will not occur if one fully uses his or her exemption amount prior to sunset. 

In theory conservation easements are simple- a landowner grants a perpetual easement on a portion of his land for a charitable purpose and gets an income tax deduction for the reduction in value to the land encumbered by the easement.   Many wealthy landowners have successfully done conservation easements.  However, they have been highly abused over

The legal role of the probate lawyer is to admit the decedent’s will to probate, advise the newly appointed executor on their responsibilities and duties, help the executor inventory all of the assets of the decedent’s estate, settle debts and distribute the assets to the beneficiaries named in the will.  Of course, numerous legal issues

One of the changes made by the new tax act was to increase the standard deduction to $12,000 or $24,000 for a married couple filing jointly.  The upshot of that will be that many people will claim the standard deduction rather than itemize.  If they make any charitable contributions but total itemized deductions are still

The new tax act temporarily increases the lifetime estate exemption to $11.2 million.  This change took effect on January 1, but sunsets on December 31, 2025.  On January 1, 2026, the exemption reverts back to the current $5.6 million, subject to inflation adjustment.  It is quite possible that the larger exemption doesn’t make it to

As we wait to see if Congress can pass a tax bill, we now know that estate taxes for the very wealthy will not be repealed immediately or at all.  The House bill that was passed yesterday bumps the lifetime exemption to $10 million indexed for inflation and retains the estate tax through 2023.   The