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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Threading the Needle – The Utility and Structural Requirements of ING Trusts

Estate planners and tax practitioners have been utilizing incomplete non-grantor trusts, or “ING” trusts, with increased frequency. ING trusts can be utilized for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to, federal income tax planning,[1] asset protection, planning for qualified small business stock benefits, income shifting through distributions to descendants, and others. While this…
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Mississippi Medicaid Estate Recovery

None of us know how long we are going to live. This uncertainty makes planning for long term care a daunting task, especially since the average cost of a nursing home in Mississippi is over $7,000 a month.[1] Some may have purchased long-term care insurance to cover most of these costs. For many individuals, applying…
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GSS Holdings – A Reminder on Economic Substance and Step Transaction

Most tax law is made up of very detailed statutes, regulations, case law, and other guidance. Layered on top of that body of law are a number of “judicial doctrines” that seek to serve as a backstop to formalistic analyses that could result in unintended tax results, allow taxpayers to place the form of transactions…
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Evaluating the Landscape: Impact of CIC Services, LLC Case on Attorneys’ Fees and Government Fairness

The recent opinion from the United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee, continues the saga of the case of CIC Services, LLC (“CIC”) and has implications for taxpayers seeking to recover attorneys’ fees under the Equal Access to Justice Act (“EAJA”) and for its broader reflections on governmental fairness, particularly those looking to challenge…
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Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum Debunks Tax Avoidance Scheme Using Trust

In a recent Chief Counsel Advice Memorandum[1] (“CCM”), the office of the IRS Chief Counsel debunks the income taxation, or lack thereof, found in promotional materials promoting a structure known as a “Non-grantor, irrevocable, complex, discretionary, spendthrift trust”, with a note that the structure may be referred to by several other similar but slightly different…
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[**Practice Alert: Corporate Transparency Act is Here: What You Need to Know**](https://esapllc.com/practice-alert-cta-mar-2024/)
[**Practice Alert: Corporate Transparency Act is Here: What You Need to Know**](https://esapllc.com/practice-alert-cta-mar-2024/)