Bryan Cave  Life Death and Taxes

Trust Bryan Cave

ARCHIVE

Main Content

Update: Rev. Proc 2014-18s Effect on Same-Sex Married Couples and Portability Elections

Under the portability rules a surviving spouse can elect to have the deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption (currently $5.34 Million) added to the surviving spouse’s estate tax exemption amount. But to do this, a federal estate tax return has to be filed within 9 months of the death of the first spouse, even if there is no taxable estate for estate tax purposes. The federal estate tax return is the only way to take advantage of the portability election.  The nine month time limit has proved to be an issue in regards to same-sex spouses, whose marriages were not recognized by the IRS until the Windsor decision on June 26, 2013.  Click here, here, and here to read about the Windsor decision. We believed the Windsor decision may have opened the door to the otherwise “late” portability elections for same-sex spouses, but were not sure how

IRS Issues Revenue Procedure Regarding Portability Election

Yesterday, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2014-18, which provides a simplified method for certain taxpayers to obtain an extension of time to make a “portability” election, allowing a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount (deceased spousal unused exclusion amount, or DSUE amount)  to the surviving spouse’s subsequent transfers during life or at death.  For more discussions on portability, see our prior posts herehere, here, here and here (can you tell portability has been a hot topic in recent years?)

Under section 2010 (c)(5)(A) of the Code, a portability election must be made on a timely filed Form 706 (Estate Tax Return).  If an executor would not otherwise be required to file an Estate Tax Return, the executor may file for an extension of time under section 301.9100-3 to make the portability election.  In general, such an extension will be granted if the taxpayer establishes that the taxpayer

Private Foundations: A Trend Towards Program Related Investments

A program related investment (PRI) is a powerful tool for a private foundation to positively influence social enterprise while advancing its philanthropy and satisfying its 5% annual minimum distribution requirement. Traditionally, private foundations have used grant-making activities as the primary means to satisfy their 5% annual minimum payout requirement and to accomplish their tax exempt purposes. However, modern trends reveal a new focus of private foundations on PRIs to achieve the same results.

What is a PRI?

A PRI is an investment, rather than a grant, whose primary purpose is to achieve one or more of the private foundation’s tax exempt purposes and no significant purposes of which is the production of income or the appreciation of property. However, the fact that an investment produces significant income or capital appreciation is not conclusive evidence that income or appreciation was a significant purpose of the investment, and, therefore, does not preclude

Estate Planning and Your Pets – Real Life “Aristocats”

Recently, a man who died in Tennessee left his two cats a life interest in his estate. Upon the death of the surviving cat, the remaining estate will pass to the man’s family. Comments on the internet have focused on the cats’ safety, which reminds me of the old Disney move, The Aristocats, where a wealthy old lady leaves her estate to her cats for their lives and the remainder to her butler. After the will is drawn up, the butler tries to dispose of the cats, so he will inherit the estate immediately upon the lady’s death. When her cats expose the butler’s plan, with the aid of several other animals, the lady writes him out of her will and adds the animals that helped save her cats into her will.  You can read more about the Tennessee Aristocats here.

Leaving one’s entire estate to the pets is

Bankruptcy Ruling Highlights Potential Problems of Using Deeds As Estate Planning Tools

From BryanCaveFiduciaryLitigation.com

Northern District of Oklahoma Chief Bankruptcy Judge Terrence L. Michael’s introduction to the opinion in In re Harrison (2013 WL 6859303) serves as a good introduction to this post:

Whether for carpentry or estate planning, it is usually a good idea to use the right tool for the job. Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning and asset transfer, people are often ill-informed about the tools available to them and the perils of choosing the wrong one. If a parent wants to gift an asset to a child only upon the parent’s death or incapacity, state law provides tools to accomplish that end. Unfortunately, use of the wrong tool could unwittingly result in a present transfer and the unintended loss of the asset.

Your Estate Planning New Year’s Resolution Checklist

Need a New Year’s resolutions to kick start 2014? Here is an idea you probably hadn’t considered: review your estate planning documents.

If you are like most people, you are probably thinking that reading legal documents does not sound like an even remotely enjoyable way to start a new year. But, it doesn’t have to be as unpleasant as it sounds. Reviewing your documents does not mean you have to read them cover to cover. If you know what are the most important elements, it is easy to review your will, trust, and powers of attorney regularly to ensure they still comply with your wishes. These documents not only determine who will receive your property when you die, but also likely determine who has the right to make financial and major medical decisions during your lifetime. Needless to say, it is important that you are still comfortable with the designations

Proposals to Change New York State Transfer Tax System

Proposals to Change New York State Transfer Tax System

January 13, 2014

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

There is has been much talk recently about changing the New York State estate and gift tax structure. Currently, New York State estate tax is based on Federal law from 1998.  New York State imposes a state estate tax on estates valued at $1M. Just this week Governor Cuomo proposed increasing the estate tax threshold from the current $1M to $5.25M and lowering the top estate tax rate to 10% over the next four years. His hope would be that beginning in 2019, the New York State estate tax exemption would equal the Federal exemption, which is indexed to inflation.  This plan would ultimately exempt nearly 90% of estates from New York state estate tax and would eliminate any incentive for New Yorkers to move out of state and migrate to states with no estate tax imposed on its residents.

Private Client Group Receives Best Law Firms Ranking

January 10, 2014

Categories

U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® have released the 2014 “Best Law Firms” rankings. Our Private Client Group received Tier 1 rankings nationally, and in the Atlanta and St. Louis regions, as well as a Tier 2 ranking for Orange County, California. Bryan Cave received numerous national and metropolitan rankings in the fourth edition of this annual analysis.

The rankings of more than 11,000 law firms by practice area are based on a rigorous evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from leading attorneys in their field and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process. All data was combined into an overall “Best Law Firms” score for each firm.

The national first-tier rankings were featured in the November U.S. News & World Report’s Money issue. The publication rankings can be viewed in their entirety at

Review of Income Tax Deduction Rules for Charitable Gifts

zuckerbergThe Chronicle of Philanthropy recently released its list of the Top 10 biggest charitable gifts of 2013 (which is really the Top 15, since 5 gifts tied at 10th place), and do they make me wish I qualified as a charity!

Topping the list at Number 1 were Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook, and his wife, Priscilla Chan, who gifted $992.2 million of Facebook shares to the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. Number 2 on the list were Nike Chairman Phil Knight and his wife, Penelope Knight, who made a $500 million pledge to the Oregon Health and Science University Foundation.

The list continues:

3. Michael Bloomberg: $350 million pledge to Johns Hopkins University

The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.