Is a Revocable Trust a Trust (and Related Topics)?

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has recently issued an opinion that discusses a number of topics especially important to asset protection and trust attorneys.[1] Some of the issues discussed involve trust law, tax law, asset protection law, and contract law. As recognized in the dissent, the court’s conclusions on a number of these issues…
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MTC Partnership Update

Last year, I wrote about the Multistate Tax Commission’s (“MTC”) undertaking called the Project on State Taxation of Partnerships (“Project”).[1] Throughout the Project, the MTC has updated the Project website with summaries, notes, markups to draft documents, and other useful information.[2] The most recent Project meeting was held on July 25, 2022.[3] Broadly speaking, the…
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IRS Eases Portability Late Relief with Rev. Proc. 2022-32

“Portability” is the ability of a surviving spouse to elect to add his or her predeceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption to their own estate tax exemption. For many clients, adoption of portability in 2010 (and making portability permanent in 2012) meant that complicated estate plans could be greatly simplified. Prior to portability, any unused…
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Inheritance Planning

A recent survey prepared by The Motley Fool found that two-thirds of high-net-worth individuals are concerned about leaving their descendants too much inheritance.[1] Interestingly, the larger the inheritance received by those participating in the survey, the more likely they were to express these concerns. The predominate concerns included: Inheritance would be used irresponsibly (58.74%); Beneficiaries…
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A Tale of Two Charging Orders

Many practitioners think limiting creditors of an LLC member to a “charging order” is a panacea. Other practitioners think the benefits of charging orders are overblown. Who is correct? Can a member’s judgment creditor access LLC property? In addition to a recent case from the Alabama Supreme Court[1], two other recent cases illustrate how charging…
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Celebrity Conservatorships – What Can We Learn?

In yet another set of headlines involving a conservatorship, Hank Williams, Jr.’s son, Sam Williams, has posted on social media that his family has placed him in a conservatorship, starting in August 2020, which he wants to end.[1] Apparently, this conservatorship was opened to protect Sam while grieving after the death of Sam’s sister in…
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Charging Orders – SE Property Holdings, LLC

What are the rights of a creditor to LLC interests to satisfy their claim? That question was at issue in a recent opinion from the Alabama Supreme Court.[1] In that case, the creditor received a “charging order” (discussed below) requiring that distributions from the LLC made to the debtor be instead transferred to the clerk…
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What is your Business Worth? Buy-Sells and the Connelly Case

Is your business worth more to the IRS than it is to you? Will you owe estate tax on more value than you receive? A recent tax case illustrates how this is possible.[1] It is very common, even advisable, that closely-held business owners enter into buy-sell agreements limiting transferability of interests and setting forth procedures…
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MTC Project on State Taxation of Partnerships

The Multistate Tax Commission (“MTC”) has recently started its Project on State Taxation of Partnerships (“Project”).[1] The proposed scope of the Project is to consider a number of issues relating to state taxation of income associated with partnership income or partner income from the sale of partnership interests. Importantly, the Project is commencing on the…
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Executor Liability for Decedent’s Tax Obligations

A recent Tax Court opinion[1] highlights one of the risks of serving as executor or administrator of an estate, potential liability for a decedent’s tax obligations. The case involves application of the federal priority statute[2] applicable to fiduciaries.[3] That statute provides, in relevant part, that “a representative of a person or an estate (except a…
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