Mississippi Estate Administration

As mentioned in my previous article on the general probate process in Mississippi, the term “probate” technically only refers to the process of proving a will as valid.[1] However, it is most commonly used as a catch-all term to encapsulate the entire probate and estate administration processes, both for testate and intestate estates. The main…
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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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Mississippi Probate Review

Probate, a word that strikes fear into the hearts of untold masses. Everyone knows that probate is an extremely complex, time consuming, and expensive process. But is it really? Certainly, in many circumstances it can be, but such is not always the case. In this article, I will outline the basics of the probate process…
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Checks Written Before But Cashed After Death Includible in Gross Estate

In a recent Tax Court case[1], the Court held that the combined value of ten checks written prior to the decedent’s death, but cashed after his death, was included in the gross estate of the decedent. However, as discussed below, the IRS had conceded that three of the ten checks were not included in 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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New Estate and Gift Tax Clawback Proposed Regulations

On November 26, 2019, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued final regulations under Section 2010 which provided taxpayers with some much needed assurance that they would not be punished for utilizing their gift and estate tax exclusion (“Exclusion”) during their lifetime if Exclusion amounts were lower when they died (“Anti-Clawback Regulations”).[1] See Josh Sage’s…
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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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Proposed Tax Changes in the Updated Build Back Better Act

Earlier this year I discussed President Joe Biden’s proposed tax policies, which was prepared in anticipation of President Biden’s impending announcement regarding the Build Back Better Act.[1] As we approach the end of the Biden administration’s first year, tax professionals are on the edge of their seat. A plethora of different legislative changes directed at…
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Michael Jackson’s Estate, Valuation Battle of the Century

In May of this year the U.S. Tax Court issued a memorandum of opinion on the value of several assets included in the Estate of Michael Jackson (“Estate”) for federal estate tax purposes.[1] This opinion comes more than a decade after Jackson’s death in June of 2009 and provides some resolution (albeit subject to appeal)…
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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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