Dog Bites Man: GRAT Property Included in Gross Estate on Grantor’s Death During Trust Term

The district court decision in Badgley v U.S. (ND Cal, May 17, 2018, No. 17–cv-00877–HSG) 2018 US Dist Lexis 83537 confirms what we have long believed: The value of a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) is included in the grantor’s estate if the grantor dies during the term of the retained annuity interest. Continue reading

The Times They Are A-Changing (for Estate Planners)

The corporate tax cut is permanent, but most individual provisions of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (Pub L 115–97, 131 Stat 2054) are set to expire for tax years beginning after December 31, 2025. These expiring provisions will tax the ingenuity and patience of estate planners and their clients. What to do? Continue reading

Using Life Estates to Protect Property and Avoid Reassessment

Proposition 13 has allowed many homeowners and other property owners to perpetuate low historical assessments for years or generations using the interspousal exclusion and parent-child (or grandparent-grandchild) exclusion from a change in ownership at death. Rev & T C §§63, 63.1. These property tax opportunities are an important part of California estate planning, and life estates play an important role in making it work. Continue reading

The Net, Net Gift That Keeps on Giving (But It’s Risky)

145154888

Good news, bad news. The Tax Court has approved a gift tax avoidance scheme, but there’s a catch. Continue reading

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. Continue reading