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Presidential Election and Coronavirus-Ravaged Economy Provide Impetus to Review Estate Plans
Posted by Chrissy Hammond on Thu, Aug 13, 2020 @ 08:30 AM

It is always important when considering year-end tax planning to include estate and gift tax considerations, but this year’s presidential election paired with the economic downturn makes estate planning especially important. It has been reported that Presidential candidate Joe Biden wants to roll back the estate tax exemption to as little as $3.5 million from the current amount of $11.58 million. He has stated that he also wants to remove many provisions of the tax reform law commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), particularly those that benefit wealthy individuals. And lowering the exemption would be consistent with a campaign that is predicated on tax increases for the wealthy.

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Topics: estate planning, estate tax, COVID19, Coronavirus, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act, Biden

3 Reasons Why Now is the Time to Rethink Estate Planning
Posted by Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa on Tue, Apr 21, 2020 @ 03:24 PM

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic upended everyone’s plans for the year, 2020 looked like a good time to revisit estate plans. A federal election on the horizon brings the potential to change some of the estate tax reforms made by the law commonly known as the Tax Cuts and Job Acts (TCJA).

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Topics: estate planning, Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa, COVID19, Coronavirus, CARES Act, Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act

Trust and Estate Income Tax Considerations After the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017
Posted by Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa on Wed, Sep 19, 2018 @ 05:40 PM

The tax law known as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the TCJA) impacts income tax planning for trusts and estates, at least until Dec. 31, 2025 when many of the provisions are scheduled to expire.

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Topics: estate planning, estate tax, Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, estate income tax, trust income tax, Elizabeth Lindsay-Ochoa

IRS Proposes Curbing Estate and Gift Tax Valuation Discounts
Posted by Stephen Houlihan on Mon, Sep 19, 2016 @ 10:50 AM

The IRS recently issued proposed regulations eliminating important valuation discounts commonly used in gift and estate tax planning. If finalized as currently proposed, these changes could increase an individual’s gift and estate tax liabilities by more than 60 percent. The Obama administration has attempted to limit valuation discounts on family-owned businesses for several years but has been unable to impose these restrictions through legislation. Now the Treasury Department has decided to achieve this goal through the regulatory route. Taxpayers have a small window of opportunity to take action before these regulations are finalized and become effective, which we anticipate to be sometime in 2017.

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Topics: IRS, estate planning, Stephen Houlihan, valuation discounts, gift tax, estate tax

Proposed Changes to Family Valuation Discounts
Posted by Stephen Houlihan on Wed, Sep 23, 2015 @ 09:51 AM

The use of valuation discounts is an important tool for estate planning. Discounts are commonly claimed for lack of control (minority interest discount) and lack of marketability. Applying such discounts in the context of family-controlled entities has long been a point of contention for the IRS. Unsuccessful in attempts to restrict the use of valuation discounts through legislative changes, the Treasury Department is contemplating new regulations to accomplish this goal.

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Topics: estate planning, Stephen Houlihan, valuation discounts

IRS Grants Extension of Time to Make Late Portability Election for Certain Estates
Posted by Kristen Shepley on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 @ 04:28 PM

In estate planning, the concept of "portability" of a deceased spouse's unused exclusion (DSUE) amount is relatively new. For decedents dying after December 31, 2010, if a first-to-die spouse has not fully used the estate tax exclusion, the DSUE amount can be transferred to the surviving spouse. This was originally passed as a two-year temporary provision (effective for 2011 and 2012) until it was made permanent in the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Portability provides an alternative approach to fulfill a common estate planning goal of a married couple to take full advantage of both spouses' estate tax exclusions. Prior to portability, this was typically accomplished by funding a "bypass trust" (also known as a credit shelter trust) at the death of the first-to-die spouse with the exclusion amount and leaving the balance of the estate to qualify for the unlimited marital deduction. Now that portability is also an option, estate planners should determine which approach is better for a specific situation. Portability may be beneficial for certain estates and not others, but that is beyond the scope of this article.

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Topics: IRS Updates, estate planning, portability

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