ETA 2026 – Switching from Inclusion to Exclusion Planning for the Estate Tax

Currently (and since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), we, like many other practitioners, have seen an incredible uptick in inclusion planning[1] instead of the traditional exclusion planning (getting assets out of one’s taxable estate). A primary driving force for this major shift was the essential doubling of the estate tax exemption (from…
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Mississippi Medicaid Estate Recovery and Homestead Protection

If you’ve ever owned a home in Mississippi, you are probably familiar with the concept of homestead exemption, if for no other reason than to reduce the amount of ad valorum (property) taxes you pay each year. While filing for the homestead exemption in Mississippi does provide the benefit of reducing these taxes, its main…
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Life Settlements of Life Insurance Policies: What, When, and How

Many individuals take out life insurance policies for valid planning reasons which later are no longer needed or desirable. Alternatively, the policy owner may need current liquidity. While many policies can be surrendered for their cash value or the owner may take loans against the policy, there may be other options. One of those options…
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Threading the Needle – The Utility and Structural Requirements of ING Trusts

Estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or “ING” trusts, with increased frequency. ING trusts can be utilized for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, federal income tax planning,[1] asset protection, planning for qualified small business stock benefits, income shifting through distributions to descendants, and others. While this…
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Mississippi Medicaid Estate Recovery

None of us know how long we are going to live. This uncertainty makes planning for long term care a daunting task, especially since the average cost of a nursing home in Mississippi is over $7,000 a month.[1] Some may have purchased long-term care insurance to cover most of these costs. For many individuals, applying…
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When Asset Protection Planning Goes Wrong – Yegiazaryan v. Smagin

In asset protection planning, sometimes things go as planned. Other times, they go horribly wrong. The United States Supreme Court just issued its opinion in Yegiazaryan v. Smagin[1] which illustrates one situation where the debtor finds himself facing the potential treble damages due to alleged violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”).…
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Your Estate Plan and Life Insurance – A Complementing Pair

It is estimated that approximately 52% of all Americans have some form of life insurance. On the other hand, there are also estimates that only 27% percent of Americans have some form of an estate plan in place. This article provides a brief and simple overview of how the two are not mutually exclusive, and…
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Mississippi Probate Complications and Variations

This article is likely the final in my series on the probate and estate administration processes in Mississippi and discusses several of the potential complications one might encounter in the probate process. As mentioned in my previous article on the general probate process in Mississippi, the term “probate” technically only refers to the process of…
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The Importance of a Properly Prepared Form 709 Gift Tax Return

In a prior article, I wrote about the importance of properly prepared Form 706 Estate Tax Return, discussing a Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) that highlighted some common mistakes made on the Form 706.[1] In that article, I discussed issues related to the marital deduction and the allocation of a decedent’s unused Generation Skipping Transfer Tax…
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Mississippi Estate Administration

As mentioned in my previous article on the general probate process in Mississippi, the term “probate” technically only refers to the process of proving a will as valid.[1] However, it is most commonly used as a catch-all term to encapsulate the entire probate and estate administration processes, both for testate and intestate estates. The main…
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