Estate planning

Protecting Your Charitable Deduction – The IRS Issues Final Guidance.

Topics: Charitable giving, Estate planning, Trusts

To support and encourage charitable giving, the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) provides an income tax deduction for contributions to qualified charities. After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“Tax Act”), this is one of the only substantial deductions left to wealthier taxpayers. However, the substantiation rules for claiming this income tax deduction are…

Outlook Not So Good:  Tax Court Speaks to Possible Estate Tax Treatment of Generational Split Dollar (GSD).

Topics: Estate planning, Irrevocable trusts, Split-dollar, Trusts

For the first time, two very recent Tax Court opinions (Est. of Cahill v. Commissioner and Est. of Morrissette v. Commissioner) have discussed the court’s view of the estate taxation of economic benefit GSDs. These arrangements generally involve a parent who enters into a private split-dollar agreement with a life insurance trust agreeing to pay…

Flipping the Script: Nongrantor Trusts with Grantor Trust Benefits – Can It Be Done?

Topics: Estate planning, Grantor trusts, Non-grantor trusts, Trusts

Grantor trusts, which tax the trust’s income to the trust creator (“donor”), have long been a planning mainstay, as they can enhance growth in the trust and offer significant flexibility in transactional planning with the donor. As discussed in WRMarketplace No. 18-03, however, new limits on tax deductions, including for state and local taxes, may…

A View from the Experts: Select Insights from the 2018 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning

Topics: Estate planning, Transfer taxes

Presenters at the 2018 Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning identified several enhanced areas of focus for legacy and life insurance planning post tax-reform, including (1) basis adjustment planning, (2) the potential benefits and pitfalls of portability, especially in light of the doubled federal transfer tax exemptions, and (3) the need to review and refresh existing…


Topics: Estate planning, Estate tax, IRS, Regulation

A U.S. District Court determined that the IRS did not follow applicable published guidance and therefore was not substantially justified in its position in pursuing claims for personal liability against the beneficiaries and fiduciaries for an estate tax deficiency.


Topics: Estate planning

The Mississippi Court of Appeals held that a decedent’s father, as her surviving heir, lacked authority to change the beneficiaries of a life insurance policy owned by decedent on her nephew’s life.


Topics: Charitable giving, Estate planning

The Tax Court held that a business was entitled to a charitable contribution deduction for land sold to a church equal to the difference between the sale price and fair market value of land. The court reasoned that, since the business held the land as a long-term capital asset for investment purposes and not in…

Decoding Tax Reform: Grantor vs. Nongrantor Trusts – Which Way Do I Go?

Topics: Estate planning, Grantor trusts, Trusts

H.R. 1 (“Tax Act”) has dramatically altered the tax consequences and economics of many common irrevocable trust plans given the combination of higher exemptions for gift, estate, and generation skipping transfer taxes (collectively “transfer taxes”) and changes to the taxation of individuals and trusts. Grantor trusts, which tax the trust’s income to the trust grantor,…