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Estate Planning Family Law Legal Topics Tax Law

Whither Windsor: What to Do About the Estate Tax Marital Deduction While the Court Considers DOMA

hands_147261872Updated: The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Windsor v U.S. on March 27, 2013, with negative implications for domestic partners, as discussed in the April 2013 issue of CEB’s Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter.

The U. S. Supreme Court’s grant of review in Windsor v U.S. puts the marital deduction in doubt for same-sex surviving spouses but it doesn’t change the advice: for now, practitioners should keep filing estate tax returns claiming the marital deduction until someone tells them to stop.

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Elder Law Estate Planning New Legal Developments Tax Law

Estate Planning in the Age of Obama: Where Is Tax Law Headed?

The unexpectedly decisive re-election of President Obama, and the apparent stability of his electoral coalition, confronts estate planners with a new political reality. Here are my thoughts on where tax law is likely to go.

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Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics New Legal Developments Tax Law

Marilyn Monroe and the 50-Year Hitch: Star’s Heirs Bound to New York

It’s hard to argue that a decedent who died at home was a resident of somewhere else, but the estate of Marilyn Monroe, who was found dead in her Brentwood home in 1962, has always maintained that she was a domiciliary of New York. The estate’s executor took that position in probate proceedings and in dealings with California tax authorities, which found that most of Monroe’s assets were exempt from state inheritance taxes. But now Monroe’s heirs are claiming she was domiciled in California because they prefer California law on the right of publicity.

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Employment Law Legal Topics Tax Law

Is the Money You Got in Your Employment Case Taxable?

If you are skilled and fortunate enough to get a nice monetary recovery for your client in an employment case, you need to understand what part of that recovery is taxable. From your client’s perspective, this issue will be critical.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics Real Property Law Tax Law

Joint Tenancy Transfers in Trust May Avoid Reassessment—But Not For Much Longer

Updated 2/22/17. Another 5 years have passed and the State Board of Equalization (BOE) still has not eliminated the loophole that allows property owners to avoid reassessment on a joint tenancy transfer at death to a person not eligible for exclusion as a spouse, registered domestic partner, cotenant, parent, or child of the transferor. As amended in 2013, the regulations continue to provide that tenants-in-common can transfer property to themselves as joint tenants and become original transferors under Rev & T C §65. This means there will be no change in ownership on the subsequent death of a joint tenant. For example, siblings receiving property as tenants in common on the death of a parent may postpone reassessment until the death of the survivor by retaking title as joint tenants. See 18 Cal Code Regs §462.040(b)(1), Example 4; Letter to Assessors No. 2013/044 (Sept. 2013).

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Employment Law Legal Topics Tax Law

When Is a Tip Not a Tip?

You may think that the 20% tip you leave when you are out for a romantic dinner for two is the same as the 18% service charge the restaurant adds to your bill when you have a celebratory dinner for eight, but there’s a difference. A new IRS ruling shines a light on this sometimes confusing area.

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Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

What’s the Value of Illegal Art?

If an inherited artwork is illegal to sell, should the beneficiaries of the artwork be taxed on a value of zero or on the appraised value as if the artwork were legally salable, or possibly somewhere in between? That’s the issue in a case discussed in a recent New York Times article and it raises an interesting debate among experts on estate taxation.

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Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

Charitable Giving and Getting

Of course giving is its own reward, but most people appreciate the tax breaks that come along with charitable giving. Attorneys on both sides of the transaction — prospective donors and California nonprofit charitable organizations — need to understand these tax incentives to maximize the benefit of charitable giving for those who make these contributions and the charities that receive them.

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Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

The “Zuckerberg Tax” and the Buffett Rule: More Fiscal Facebook Fallout

Updated May 15, 2012: Eduardo Saverin, the Brazilian-born co-founder of Facebook with a 4 percent stake in the company (worth about $4 billion) reportedly renounced his U.S. citizenship last year to avoid or at least minimize the tax bill from future sales of stock in the company, and other investments. Unlike most countries, the United States imposes income tax on citizens as well as residents, and the capital gains tax on existing investments cannot be avoided entirely just by dropping citizenship, but it can sometimes be reduced. By renouncing his citizenship, Saverin will be taxed on the much smaller estimated gains that likely would have occurred if he had sold his stock last year, well before the initial public offering. For a detailed discussion of the so-called expatriation regime (exit tax), go to CEB’s California Estate Planning §§16.85–16.90A.

Facebook has announced that Mark Zuckerberg will exercise 120 million options to purchase the company’s stock in connection with its planned initial public offering, potentially resulting in a $2 billion tax bill.

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Business Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Tax Law

Both a Borrower and a Lender Be: Using Graegin Loans to Pay Estate Tax

In the too-good-to-be-true department of estate planning, it is sometimes possible to take a loan from a family trust or other entity controlled by the decedent and family members to pay estate tax and deduct the interest on the estate tax return. Such loans are very useful when the estate or trust needs liquid assets and money is available from other sources to pay estate taxes.