Change your Facts, Same Tax

Generally speaking, tax follows the facts. One can of course change those facts, but when done so merely superficially, intended results may not follow. Some may be more familiar with the phrase “putting lipstick on a pig.” Well, that seems to be more or less the case in the recent opinion released in the Eighth…
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Inheritance Planning

A recent survey prepared by The Motley Fool found that two-thirds of high-net-worth individuals are concerned about leaving their descendants too much inheritance.[1] Interestingly, the larger the inheritance received by those participating in the survey, the more likely they were to express these concerns. The predominate concerns included: Inheritance would be used irresponsibly (58.74%); Beneficiaries…
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A Tale of Two Charging Orders

Many practitioners think limiting creditors of an LLC member to a “charging order” is a panacea. Other practitioners think the benefits of charging orders are overblown. Who is correct? Can a member’s judgment creditor access LLC property? In addition to a recent case from the Alabama Supreme Court[1], two other recent cases illustrate how charging…
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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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Celebrity Conservatorships – What Can We Learn?

In yet another set of headlines involving a conservatorship, Hank Williams, Jr.’s son, Sam Williams, has posted on social media that his family has placed him in a conservatorship, starting in August 2020, which he wants to end.[1] Apparently, this conservatorship was opened to protect Sam while grieving after the death of Sam’s sister in…
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Once Again, the “Tax Plan” Fails

On February 2, 2022, the Tax Court issued a memorandum opinion in the case of John M. Larson (“Larson”).[1] This case involves a dispute going back more than 20 years. Mr. Larson was an attorney and CPA. He and two other men, Robert A. Plaff and David Amir Makov, promoted a fraudulent tax shelter transaction…
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Recent CCA Addresses Valuations

The IRS Office of Chief Counsel recently issued CCA 202152018 (“CCA”), in which the IRS is attacking yet another business valuation.[1] The IRS takes the  position in the CCA that because the valuation used failed to account for a potential acquisition, the grantor retained annuity trust (“GRAT”) failed to properly qualify as a GRAT even…
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