Worried That a Sizeable Estate or Trust Gift Was Procured by Undue Influence?

By: Melody Lynch

Do you have a loved one who recently passed away and you are concerned that their will or trust was procured by undue influence? Although the law on undue influence has not evolved much since the seminal Florida Supreme Court case of In re Estate of Carpenter in 1971, the greying of the population in Florida has resulted in an increase in undue influence claims in the courts. In order to prove undue influence in Florida, you must demonstrate that a substantial beneficiary acquired an asset via undue influence. This person must have had a confidential relationship and must have actively procured the gift in one of the following ways: (1) presence of the beneficiary at execution of the document; (2) presence of the beneficiary when the person expressed the desire to make a will or form a trust; (3) the beneficiary recommends the attorney who prepared the will or trust; (4) the beneficiary knows the contents of the will or trust prior to execution; (5) the beneficiary gives direction to the attorney preparing the document; (6) the beneficiary secures witnesses for execution; or (7) the beneficiary maintains the will or trust for safekeeping. read more

Treasury Plans to Pull Unpopular Discount Regulation

By:  Amanda Wilson

As discussed earlier this summer, Treasury and the IRS identified as a burdensome regulation the Proposed Regulations under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code, which regulations would severely impact discounts on gifts made to family members.  (Our prior discussion can be found here.)   Today, Treasury issued a report announcing that it proposes revoking the proposed regulations.  This is good news for taxpayers.


Proposed Regulations Limiting Discounts on Family Gifts Targeted for Reform

By:  Amanda Wilson

Last summer, we discussed the IRS’s issuance of new Proposed Regulations under Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code, which regulations would severely impact discounts on gifts made to family members.  (Our prior discussion can be found here.)   Earlier this year, the Trump Administration issued an executive order instructing the Treasury Department to review all significant tax regulations issued after December 31, 2015 and identify any regulations that impose an undue burden on taxpayers.  The Treasury Department and IRS have completed this review, and have identified eight burdensome regulations that should be reformed.  The good news for taxpayers is that the Proposed Regulations under Section 2704 are on this list.

The next step is for the Treasury Department and IRS to recommend their proposed reform for these regulations, which could range from modification to outright repeal.  We will have to wait and see what they propose, but for now, the fact that the Treasury Department and IRS targeted these Section 2704 regulations for reform is a big step in the right direction.

We will keep you updated as this process moves forward.

New Florida Guardianship Law Takes Effect July 1, 2015

By Jason Palmisano

Florida will have a new Guardianship Law effective July 1, 2015.  A copy of the new law can be found here.  A couple of the more interesting portions include:

  •  If a person initiates a judicial proceeding to determine an individual’s incapacity the Power of Attorney for the alleged incapacitated person is suspended unless the agent named in the power of attorney is a family member.  A family member who is an agent is not suspended unless an additional petition is filed to suspend the family member as an agent.
  •  The new law creates a new class of guardians:  For-Profit Corporate Guardians.
  •  A new section was added to address abuse, neglect, or exploitation by a guardian against the ward.
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    Estate Planning for Non-U.S. Citizens

    by Matt O’Kane and Jason Palmisano

    The laws governing the U.S. estate and gift tax system are complex.  For Non-U.S. Citizens, the U.S. estate and gift tax system is more onerous and requires a much higher degree of awareness.   We recently hosted a seminar discussing several issues Non-U.S. Citizens face in transferring their asset to their loved ones and providing strategies to minimize U.S. transfer taxes, including:

  • Basic Gift and Estate U.S. Transfer Tax Rules
  • Planning Strategies During Life to Minimize U.S. Transfer Tax
  • Planning Strategies to Incorporate Into an Estate Plan to Minimize U.S. Estate Tax at Death
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