Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Rush to Avoid Gift Taxes

Family Value: The Rush to Avoid Gift Taxes - (JEH: This is an excellent, brief article on several key trust planning concepts related to the potential use of the current $5 million estate/gift/generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption. I have posted other articles on this topic over the past year or so. Many practitioners and commentators have suggested self-settled spendthrift trusts (also known as "domestic asset protection trusts" (DAPTs)), which this article highlights, as part of this type of planning. These trusts are generally not advisable for effective protective planning, but can indeed be useful in the context of making a completed gift for federal transfer tax purposes in this current exemption scenario because they offer added flexibility (though, again, likely little if any actual protection for the grantor(s) (also known as the settlors or makers of the trust)). If you are considering this type of planning, you should commence sooner rather than later. If you wait until November or December 2012, you will probably be too late.)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

With more blended families, estate planning gets ugly

With more blended families, estate planning gets ugly - USA Today ("Feuds over estate planning more likely in a nation of blended families" -- center column of front page of March 14, 2012 issue)

Friday, March 2, 2012

"Last Chance" Estate Planning May End Soon - Tax - United States

"Last Chance" Estate Planning May End Soon - Tax - United States| Mondaq ("Much has been written about the perfect storm of estate planning: the coincidence of low values, low interest rates, valuation discounts and the $5 million ($10 million for a married couple) gift and estate tax exemption. Unfortunately, the $5 million gift and estate tax exemption ends (reverting to $1 million) after December 31, 2012. Values of certain assets are increasing. However, most importantly, valuation discounts may be severely restricted at any time by IRS regulations. Thus, the best opportunities may close well before December 31, 2012. Don't wait for this 'last chance' at once-in-a-generation estate planning.")