U.S. Supreme Court’s Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision, United States v. Windsor, opens up important tax planning opportunities for same-sex couples who marry in states that recognize same-sex marriage. In Windsor, the Court held that Section 3 of the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional because DOMA is subject to “intermediate scrutiny” under the Equal [...]

ESTATE AND TAX PLANNING Federal Estate and Gift Tax Rules Made “Permanent”?

Legislation passed by both Houses of Congress, and then signed by the President on January 2, 2013, has fixed the applicable Federal estate and gift tax exemption at $5 Million, indexed for inflation. The top applicable estate and gift tax rate has been increased from 35% to 40%. Details relating to the new law, The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the “Act”), remain to be stated in Regulations. *   *   * [...]

ESTATE AND TAX PLANNING Important Changes for Estate Planning Clients

As we prepare to move into the latter part of 2012, this Report will provide guidance on recent developments affecting estate and tax planning. IRS Issues Temporary Regulations Governing Portability Portability was introduced under the 2010 Tax Act which granted a surviving spouse the opportunity to use his or her deceased spouse’s unused Federal estate [...]

ESTATE AND TAX PLANNING Administration’s Budget Proposals Include Important Changes for Estate Planning Clients

In the last several months, President Obama introduced his Fiscal Year 2013 Budget Proposals, including several key provisions that would be of significance to estate planning clients. Some of the most important of these proposals are as follows: Restoration of the Less Favorable 2009 Exemptions and Rates The Budget Proposals call for a 45% maximum estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax rate, an exemption of $3.5 Million for estate and GST taxes, and a $1 [...]

News for Estate Planning in 2012

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2012 Now in the last quarter of 2011, the investment marketplace continues to be volatile, Congressional leaders are still posturing, another potential debt crisis is ahead of us, “Wall Street” is said to be “occupied,” unemployment continues to be high, and Republican Presidential candidates are debating one another three monthsbefore the first [...]

Unitrust Administration

Many trusts created in the past were set up as ‘income-only” trusts in which the net income would be payable to the beneficiary during lifetime or during the term of the trust. A typical example of such a trust would be the QTIP Marital Deduction Trust set up for a surviving spouse. Given the modest [...]

The Tax Act of 2010 Estate Planning Under The New Law

The Tax Act of 2010 (the “Act”), signed by President Obama on December 17, 2010, makes important changes in our Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax rules. In many situations, the new rules present significant estate planning opportunities during the next two years. This Report summarizes some of these changes. I. Key Estate and Gift [...]