Insurance Arrangement Found to be Split Dollar Insurance Arrangement

Split dollar life insurance arrangements can take on a number of forms, and the exact structure of the arrangement determines the tax consequences, which can become complicated quickly. In a recent case out of the District Court of Ohio, the court held that an insurance arrangement between a single member C corporation, Peter E. McGowan…
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ETA 2026 – Switching from Inclusion to Exclusion Planning for the Estate Tax

Currently (and since the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017), we, like many other practitioners, have seen an incredible uptick in inclusion planning[1] instead of the traditional exclusion planning (getting assets out of one’s taxable estate). A primary driving force for this major shift was the essential doubling of the estate tax exemption (from…
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Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts – Have your cake and eat it, too

Shortly before his passing, Benjamin Franklin uttered one of his more infamous quotes, “In this world, nothing is certain except death and taxes.” With the certainty of death implicitly comes another: everyone will transfer his or her wealth, whether in life or after death. How a person transfers wealth will affect how the other certainty,…
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IRS Reverses Position on Modifying Irrevocable Grantor Trusts

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued Private Letter Ruling (“PLR”) 201647001 in November of 2016, in which it took the position that a modification to an irrevocable grantor trust to add a discretionary income tax reimbursement clause did not change the beneficial interests in the trust, and therefore did not result in a gift, because…
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Is a Trust a Legal Entity? If Not, What is It?

Recently, an attorney friend of mine involved in a family legal matter concerning trust administration called to ask me what probably seemed like a simple question – is a trust a legal entity? The point of the question related to procedural aspects of trust administration, issues involving duties of the attorney involved, and related considerations.…
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Monetized Installment Sales – Proposed Regulations will Lead to Burdensome Reporting Requirements and Increased Scrutiny

Monetized Installment Sales, as previously written upon by Gray Edmondson,[1] have been subject to increased scrutiny by the IRS in recent years, making its “Dirty Dozen” list in each of the last three years.[2] The IRS remains on the offensive in scrutinizing such transactions, issuing proposed regulation under Internal Revenue Code Section 6011 in August…
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Mississippi Medicaid Estate Recovery and Homestead Protection

If you’ve ever owned a home in Mississippi, you are probably familiar with the concept of homestead exemption, if for no other reason than to reduce the amount of ad valorum (property) taxes you pay each year. While filing for the homestead exemption in Mississippi does provide the benefit of reducing these taxes, its main…
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Life Settlements of Life Insurance Policies: What, When, and How

Many individuals take out life insurance policies for valid planning reasons which later are no longer needed or desirable. Alternatively, the policy owner may need current liquidity. While many policies can be surrendered for their cash value or the owner may take loans against the policy, there may be other options. One of those options…
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