Is a Revocable Trust a Trust (and Related Topics)?

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion that discusses a number of topics especially important to asset protection and trust attorneys.[1] Some of the issues discussed involve trust law, tax law, asset protection law, and contract law. As recognized in the dissent, the court’s conclusions on a number of these issues…
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Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts Basics

Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (“SLATs”) are one of the many estate planning tools available to taxpayers, and have seen a surge in popularity recently, such that they are one of the most used options for utilizing taxpayers’ federal lifetime gift and estate tax exclusion (“Exclusion”) during life. Each taxpayer’s Exclusion amount, or the amount which…
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What is your Business Worth? Buy-Sells and the Connelly Case

Is your business worth more to the IRS than it is to you? Will you owe estate tax on more value than you receive? A recent tax case illustrates how this is possible.[1] It is very common, even advisable, that closely-held business owners enter into buy-sell agreements limiting transferability of interests and setting forth procedures…
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Court Says No to IRS Attempt to Aggregate Gifts for Discount Purposes

In a recent case out of the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the Court denied the IRS’ motion for summary judgment and refused to aggregate the gift of partial interests in real estate together for purposes of valuing the gifts and thus determining appropriate discounts.[1] The IRS alleged that no discount…
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Michael Jackson’s Estate, Valuation Battle of the Century

In May of this year the U.S. Tax Court issued a memorandum of opinion on the value of several assets included in the Estate of Michael Jackson (“Estate”) for federal estate tax purposes.[1] This opinion comes more than a decade after Jackson’s death in June of 2009 and provides some resolution (albeit subject to appeal)…
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Update on President Joe Biden’s Proposed Tax Policies

Introduction Last year I discussed President Joe Biden’s Proposed Tax Policy For Individuals, Charles J. Allen discussed the tax plans of the democratic presidential candidates, and Josh Sage discussed some of Biden’s potential changes. We are now a few months into President Biden’s tenure and the first ripples of tax reform can be felt by…
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President Joe Biden’s Proposed Tax Policy for Individuals

INTRODUCTION In a prior article, Charles J. Allen previously discussed the tax plans of the democratic presidential candidates, while Josh Sage discussed some of Biden’s potential changes here. With the Associated Press calling the presidential race for former vice president Joe Biden on November 7th, time is running short for many taxpayers to take advantage…
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Gifting Appreciated Stock Before Redemption – Dickinson

Introduction Generally, a taxpayer may deduct the fair market value of appreciated property donated to a qualified charitable organization.[1] This provision expands the benefits available to taxpayers with respect to charitable deductions. The result, in effect, is that a taxpayer may gift an appreciated asset in lieu of selling the asset, paying tax, and then…
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