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  Please note: Throughout this article, reference to “partnerships” includes LLC’s taxed as partnerships, and reference to “partners” includes members of LLC’s taxed as partnerships. For tax years 2018 and beyond, the IRS will begin implementing new audit rules directed at partnerships as part of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.  A primary purpose of the new audit rules is for the IRS to be able to more effectively collect tax deficiencies from partnerships.  The…
In 2010, Warren Buffett and Bill Gates made their Giving Pledge campaign public. The Giving Pledge asks some of the wealthiest people in the world to donate at least half of their wealth to charity during lifetime or at their death. As of last year, 168 billionaires have signed the pledge. The fine print of the campaign, however, makes clear that “the pledge is a moral commitment to give, not a legal contract.” It is…
Around The Water Cooler we typically do not dive into discussions about law review articles.  However, several outstanding law review articles have been published in the past year which deserve the attention of trustees, trust beneficiaries and others involved in the administration of trusts. For the past few years, Adam Hofri-Winogradow has conducted an exhaustive survey of professional trust service providers.  After receiving over 400 responses from professional service providers all over the world (full…
Around The Water Cooler this morning, we’re talking about impact investing, family business succession planning, and estate tax liens. The rise of impact investing poses unique concerns for trustees.  Impact investments are designed to align environmental, social, governance and faith-based goals with an investment portfolio.  Casey Clark and Andy Kirkpatrick examine whether impact investing is compatible with the Uniform Prudent Investor Act in Impact Investing Under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act. The succession of…
Around The Water Cooler this morning, we’re talking about investing trust assets, trust distributions for health and education, generation skipping transfer taxes, and the Uniform Fiduciary Principal and Income Act. Emily Bruner offers considerations for investing assets of Grantor Trusts, Non-Grantor Trusts, Insurance Trusts and Charitable Trusts in Investing for Trusts. Griffin Bridgers and Christopher Harrison provide practical insights on trust distributions for the purposes of health and education in Health and Education in
Around The Water Cooler this morning, we’re talking about trust investments, the importance of updating retirement account beneficiaries, and “directed trusts.” In The (Im)Prudent Man Rule at Seeking Alpha, David Kotok provides a historical approach to the “prudent man rule” regarding trust investments. In an egregious case of imprudent investing, the New Jersey Law Journal provides a summary of Matter of the May 1, 1992 Mark Family Trust, a case in which the Trustee, a…
Around The Water Cooler this morning, we’re talking about “Generative Trusts” and taxes. Many in the trust field have long known of the work of “John A.” Warnick at The Purposeful Planning Institute.  His has long been a wise voice in the field.  If you are not aware of John A.’s work or The Purposeful Planning Institute, I encourage you to check it out.  John A. recently published an excellent piece on Generative Trusts
The Act provides unique planning opportunities, but it also presents potential pitfalls for estate plans drafted before 2018.  It is critical that clients review current plans to ensure that they meet tax and non-tax objectives and determine if they want to take advantage of the increased exemptions.   ESTATE TAX CHANGES ARE UPON US The tax bill commonly referred to as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “Act”) was signed into law by the President…
In a highly anticipated opinion, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has prevented an end around the no fault removal provision of Uniform Trust Code (“UTC”) Section 706.  As we discussed in “An ‘End Around’ Trustee Removal,” UTC Section 706 provides that a court may remove a trustee if removal is requested by all of the qualified beneficiaries and the court finds that removal “best serves the interests of all of the beneficiaries and is…
A. M. Publishing recently released its 2017 Trust Performance Report.  The Trust Performance Report is based on an annual survey of financial institutions which offer trust administration services. The aggregate data in the 2017 Trust Performance Report and its sister publication, Fiduciary Earnings and Expenses, reveals, in general, two conclusions: (1) the market rewards those trust service providers which have a tightly focused service offering and (2) the independent trust company model is more successful…