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Recommended Review of Estate Plan Due to Tax Law Changes

As a result of the dramatic changes in the federal tax laws created by the 2017 Tax Act, it is important that consideration be given to the comparative benefits of excluding property from a taxable estate to avoid estate tax as opposed to receiving an income tax basis step-up for the property and including it in the taxable estate. 

The benefits of basis step-up include additional depreciation that becomes available and the reduction of gain on the sale of property. In the past, these benefits were outweighed by the reduction of estate tax that was accomplished by removing property from a taxable estate. 

Now it is possible that the very reverse may be true; i.e., the benefits could be greater if property is subject to estate tax but obtains a step-up in income tax basis. 

Every situation is different and a review of an individual’s estate and tax plan is needed to determine the best option. 

© 2019 Wilson Elser

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About this Author

Sheila Tarabour Estate Planning Attorney
Partner

Sheila Tarabour, formerly of Lampf, Lipkind, Prupis & Petigrow, practices in the areas of estate planning and administration, taxation, elder law and special needs planning. Sheila provides services with great enthusiasm and is skilled in communicating complex and sensitive matters to her clients. 

Areas of Focus

Estate Planning and Administration
Sheila focuses on advising individuals and families in their personal, philanthropic and business planning needs, including complex estate planning (gift, estate, generation-skipping transfer and income...

973.735.5761
William Lipkind Tax Attorney
Partner

William Lipkind, chair of Wilson Elser’s Tax Planning & Controversies practice, concentrates his practice in the areas of wealth preservation, asset protection, and state and federal income taxation. He is experienced in the laws, regulations and nuances surrounding gift and estate taxation and tax controversies, and he counsels closely held businesses and their owners on optimal tax structures, internal governance, and mergers and acquisitions. Bill is valued for his sensitivity to estate planning issues, counseling corporate entities as well as high-net-worth individuals on asset protection, wealth preservation, asset protection and intergenerational issues. Bill served as law secretary to Justice Nathan Jacobs, Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Areas of Focus

Tax Planning & Tax Controversies

Bill performs a number of services for various corporate, partnership and LLC business entities, including advising on business matters, state and local taxation, succession planning, tax audits and litigation, tax-free mergers and acquisitions, sales and use tax, executive compensation, employee benefits and international tax issues. Bill is well known for his innovative use of private placement variable life insurance policies and other income and estate planning techniques involving life insurance.

Foreign nationals entering the United States to work and U.S. citizens living abroad are faced with complex income and estate tax issues as a result of being subject to the laws of multiple countries. Bill, in conjunction with relevant tax specialists in foreign countries, provides counsel and structure for such persons that fully integrate asset ownership with the tax laws of both jurisdictions.

Wills, Trusts & Estates

Bill handles contested wills, estate planning, living wills, probate, inheritance and successions. He helps clients faced with difficult choices, such as providing for children with special needs and arrangements for the disabled, and advises on the special circumstances of the elderly and unmarried couples.

Bill is widely known for his strategies involving the use of non-grantor trusts to eliminate state income taxation. Having obtained the pioneering PLR 201310002 from the Internal Revenue Service approving his structure, Bill subsequently obtained numerous private letter rulings and lectured widely before professional and lay organizations on the structure.

Bill also obtained the landmark PLR 9332006, wherein the Internal Revenue Service ruled that an offshore trust of which the settlor was a beneficiary would be excluded from the settlor’s federal gross estate upon his death.

Wealth Preservation

Protecting a client’s wealth from unforeseen creditors, matrimonial issues, and income, gift and death taxation is a guiding principle of Bill’s counseling and the foundation of everything he does. This includes establishing trusts and other structures that not only protect the client but also protect the client’s descendants.

973.735.5749