Estate Planning attorneys balance competing interests when helping clients decide who they should name as personal representative and trustee. Some of the factors that a client needs to consider are the nominee’s responsibility, financial savvy, and temperament. These factors influence the fiduciary’s ability to pay debts, expenses, claims, negotiate on behalf of the estate, and to conclude the administration of the estate or trust. While many individuals consider acting in this capacity a great honor, the role comes with serious implications, including personal liability for failure to pay taxes
IRAs have become ubiquitous components of estate plans. The SECURE Act of 2019 altered the landscape for IRAs significantly by eliminating the stretch benefit for most designated beneficiaries and forcing all designated beneficiaries other than Eligible Designated Beneficiaries to use the 10-year rule for distributions. The 10-year rule was thought to operate much like the 5-year rule that existed before the passage of the SECURE Act. Recently issued proposed Treasury Regulations dispute that and instead require annual distributions for any beneficiary subject to the 10-year rule.
Many Estate Planning attorneys shy away from business succession planning, but if you approach it like you do any other asset, it’s not so scary! First, it’s important to understand that entities involve not just the business relationship, but family relationships as well. Often, businesses start with one or maybe two members of a senior generation who have the funds, desire, and connections to create the business. It’s not always clear, though, what will happen when that senior generation retires, or worse yet, dies unexpectedly.
As you plan your strategy for 2022, it’s important to consider gifting, including spousal gifts. Your spouse could double your ability to make gifts of “annual exclusions” without being considered to have made a gift for estate tax purposes. Read on to learn more.
Even individuals with modest estates purchase life insurance which means that Estate Planning attorneys must understand the rules regarding taxation of life insurance. Retention of certain powers or certain transactions could cause negative income, gift, or estate tax consequences.