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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Incomplete Non-Grantor Trusts: A Tax Planning Tool

In recent years, estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or ING trusts, with increased frequency. The most common use of ING trusts has been to minimize state income taxes, but an often-overlooked aspect of ING trusts is their effectiveness as a tax planning tool at the federal level. ING trusts…
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Advanced SLAT Issues

In a previous article, we discussed the basics of Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts (“SLATs”).[1] Generally, SLATs are irrevocable trusts established by one spouse during such spouse’s lifetime with the other spouse being a beneficiary of the trust. Often both spouses will establish a SLAT, but they must be carefully structured and administered to prevent application…
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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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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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The Pros and Cons of Lifetime Gifting

Under current law, the unified credit against estate and gift tax sits at $10,000,000, subject to indexing for inflation (the “Exemption”).[1] As a result of the Tax Cut and Jobs Act, this number increased from $5,000,000 effective January 1, 2018 and through December 31, 2025, with the number set to drop back down to $5,000,000on…
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Monetized Installment Sale: Cash Today, Tax Today?

The U.S. Treasury recently issued its “Green Book”[1] which includes, among other items, a proposed increase in the capital gains rate up to 43.4%[2] for taxpayers with incomes over $1 million as well as an elimination of like-kind exchanges where gain deferral will exceed $500,000. This means that taxpayers will be subject to significantly higher…
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Creditors Rights to Trust Assets – Mississippi Law Update

As a basic matter, creditors of a trust beneficiary generally do not have access to assets of the trust.[1] The primary exception is that creditors generally can access trust assets distributable to the settlor of the trust, such a trust being considered “self-settled.”[2] Many states have abolished this exception for trusts that satisfy certain statutory…
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Mississippi Adopts Much Needed Updates to Estate, Trust, and Probate Laws

The Mississippi Legislature made some sweeping changes to Mississippi laws governing estates and trusts, as well as one significant change to real property law. With the passage of S.B. 2850 and S.B. 2851, Mississippi is set to get some much needed updates in these areas of law. Both bills were signed by the governor and…
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