Tag Archives: Estate Planning

Planning for Blended and Stepfamilies

This webinar discusses estate planning for clients who have blended or stepfamilies. Estate planning for clients who have blended or stepfamilies often presents significant and perplexing challenges for estate planners in the substantive planning. As if that was not difficult enough, estate planners may also encounter important ethical issues.

This webinar covers the often-counterintuitive ethical traps and landmines that estate planners face when working with blended or stepfamily clients, including:

  • How practitioners can work effectively with blended families
  • Joint and separate representation
  • Precautions practitioners can take during the initial client meeting
  • How to properly prepare for the initial meeting
  • How to update questionnaires and other forms to reflect blended family data
  • Sources of common conflicts of interest
  • What the distinction is between consentable and non-consentable conflicts
  • Specific practical estate planning situations that can present ethical challenges, including marriage contracts, joint tenancy, gift-splitting, powers of attorney, SLATs, gift tax returns, etc.

Split Dollar Life Insurance Planning After the Levine Case

This webinar sets the stage with a review of split-dollar life insurance planning. We follow prior cases that held against other taxpayers using similar techniques. Understanding what the taxpayer did right in the Levine case, and how that contrasts to what taxpayers did wrong in a prior case, Estate of Cahill, can be used to guide taxpayers contemplating such planning. But even better guidance is possible. A careful reading of the Levine case to identify steps the Levine Court found favorable, might be used to craft a roadmap of how to implement a similar plan.

Importantly, the lessons in the roadmap that are discussed should be considered by taxpayers undertaking almost any type of estate planning. While aspects of the Levine opinion are pretty narrowly limited to the split dollar insurance technique used in the case, many have broad applicability. The IRS arguments and Tax Court’s response regarding code sections 2036, 2038 and 2703 will be reviewed.

Practical Tips for Practitioners Administering Irrevocable Trusts

In this presentation, speakers Thomas A. Tietz, Esq., Jonathan G. Blattmachr, Esq. and Martin M. Shenkman, Esq. explore the following questions:

– How can practitioners (CPAs, wealth advisers, attorneys, insurance consultants) assist clients in the operation and administration of irrevocable trusts?
– What preliminary steps might be helpful to take to guide clients on proper trust administration steps?
– How can advisers help facilitate more accurate and efficient trust administration?
– Specific practical steps practitioners can use will be illustrated and explained.
– What should be done to improve the administration of grantor versus non-grantor trusts?
– How should swap and loan powers be administered?
– How should disclaimer and valuation adjustment mechanisms used in many irrevocable trusts be dealt with?
– What special considerations of 2021 planning should be reflected on 2021 gift tax returns?
– What ancillary documentation should be addressed to support various planning techniques?

GRAT and Valuation Planning After CCA 202152018: What Practitioners Need to Know

Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) provide an opportunity for your client to transfer assets that are appreciating in value to the next generation with little to no income, estate, or gift tax payments being owed. These are a type of irrevocable trust that comes with a common valuation challenge that arises for practitioners.

This presentation covers the critical impact on grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs) based on CCA 202152018, which was released on December 30, 2021. The CCA addresses a common valuation challenge, what consideration should be given to potential sales in valuing an asset?

Often there is a long continuum from no sale, to discussions with potential buyers, to a letter of intent, to a binding contract, etc. Where the business is on the continuum will affect how an appraiser will evaluate the possible implications of the status. In the CCA the possible sale had moved too far along the continuum towards an actual sale to have been ignored in the valuation. As a result, the IRS applied the reasoning in the Atkinson, and held that the valuation was so wrong that the GRAT annuity was not qualified. This would result in a deemed gift of the entire value of the property involved.

  • What does this mean to GRAT planning generally?
  • What might this mean to the use of GRATs as valuation spillovers receptacles in a defined value mechanism?
  • Might this have implications for other aspects of defined value techniques
  • What might this CCA mean to valuations generally?
  • Are there new steps and precautions practitioners might choose to take?
  • Might this signal a broader application of the Atkinson principals to GRATs and CRTs generally?

Practical Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life Insurance is a ubiquitous asset that has unique features and is uniquely (and favorably) treated under many legal systems, including for bankruptcy and for tax purposes. It is also one of the least understood properties with which Americans and their advisors face.

In this webinar, the speakers discuss:

  • Discuss how life insurance is structured, priced and taxed.
  • Provide guidance as to when life insurance should or should not be used and will explain why it almost never will be the magic bullet for avoiding estate tax.
  • Review how various types of insurance (life, disability and long term care) can be integrated into a SLAT (SPAT, DAPT, Hybrid DAPT) trust plan to safeguard the clients and even safeguard the practitioner.
  • Discuss if the trust income tax surcharges enacted as part of the House version of Build Back Better become law, life insurance may have increased importance as a tool to protect trust income from high tax rates.

Peak Trust Company provides trust administration services for trusts holding fixed, variable, and private placement life insurance policies. Due to Alaska and Delaware’s flexible LLC laws and low premium tax, we serve as trustee for many life insurance trusts. Contact Peak Trust Company to learn more.

Flex your beneficiaries: How to reduce trust income taxes and maintain creditor protection

This webinar “Flexible Beneficiary Trusts” – covers a trust strategy for keeping assets protected from creditors and potential spendthrift beneficiaries while taking advantage of the generally lower income taxes if trust income can be taxed to beneficiaries.

In this webinar, the speakers discuss:

  • Discuss when non-grantor trusts may be a better option
  • Propose a new way to structure and administer non-grantor trusts. This strategy should significantly reduce overall income tax on trust income – by taking advantage of those lower taxes if income is carried out to individual beneficiaries – but without losing the trust’s asset protection.
  • Discuss specific types of “flexible” trust beneficiaries
  • Discuss how distributions to those beneficiaries and related entities can provide these results.

Have questions about flexible beneficiary trusts or non-grantor trusts? Contact Peak Trust Company’s team of experts.

House Estate Tax Proposal Requires Immediate Action

This webinar examines the proposed $3.5 trillion spending plan proposed by The House Democrats, and the tax implications. To support that package, the Democrats have proposed tax increases to fund a large portion of that plan.

This presentation explores:

  • The House proposal, what might happen, but most important, what advisers should discuss with clients now.
  • Should GRATs and note sales be completed now?
  • Might the changes make future payments in kind from GRATs in payment of annuities and payment of any note that a trust owes to its grantor with appreciated assets income taxable for pre-enactment transactions?
  • Should old GRATs be immunized now?
  • Can mechanisms to unwind transactions be unwound since there does not appear to be retroactive changes?
  • What will become of insurance trusts (ILITs) and what should practitioners recommend now?
  • And much more…

Estate Planning Considerations for Single People

Planning Considerations for Single Clients 

This webinar provides a review of many of the nuances of estate planning for single people. Over 50% of the population, about 125 million adults are single. That has increased dramatically from 1950 when the percentage was less than half that amount, 22%. During the presentation, we discuss:

  • The continuing trend of an increased population of singles.
  • The extent in which tax laws often favor married couples
  • The way documents should be drafted differently for singles
  • How tax planning should change for singles

Have more questions about estate planning for your single clients? Our team of experts is here to help.