NAEPC Webinars:

Wednesday, May 8, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - The Generational Solution

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, June 12, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Leaving a Lasting Legacy

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

RRead more

Rather than simply transferring an inheritance to heirs, some people have a vision of the future to share for generations to come. Advisors play a key role in helping clients deepen a family’s values, philanthropic commitments, and to help keep the family connected. Learn to leave a legacy that matters. 

Dr. Weiner helps families have values-based conversations about money and inheritance as part of their tax and legal estate planning strategies. His passion is to help families define a legacy that preserves both physical assets and family relationships over time. His award-winning book “Words from the HEART: A Practical Guide to Writing an Ethical Will,” is a tool that assists families in defining what matters most in the inheritance preparation process.    

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, July 10, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Attorney-Client Privilege in a Team Environment

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

CRead more

Clients may assume that communications about their estate plans will remain confidential regardless of who is involved; but privilege doesn’t apply to all communications and can be easily waived, putting both client and attorney at risk. This program examines privilege in the estate planning context, distinguishes the work product doctrine, and particularly focuses on communications involving multiple members of the estate planning team.

Kim Kamin is a Principal at Gresham Partners, LLC, an independent multi-family office that currently serves about 100 ultra-high net worth families nationally. At Gresham, Kim serves as Chief Wealth Strategist, leading Gresham’s development and implementation of estate, wealth transfer, philanthropic, educational and fiduciary planning activities, and advising clients.

David C. Blickenstaff leads Schiff Hardin LLP’s national trust and estate controversy practice. In addition to handling high-stakes trust, estate, and guardianship cases, he helps corporate and individual fiduciaries avoid litigation by proactively managing their risk and defusing difficult situations before they reach the courthouse.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, August 14, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Technology in Your Practice

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, September 11, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Topic TBD

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

TRead more

This intermediate level program will provide an update on elder law and special needs planning, including how to draft a plan that works and takes into account future incapacity of the client and benefiicaries.  Use of trusts will be discussed, as well as appropriate trust distribution standards.

Bernard A. Krooks is the founding partner of the New York law firm Littman Krooks LLP and chair of its elder law and special needs department. He is past president of the Arc of Westchester, the largest agency in Westchester County, NY serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

A frequent presenter at the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning and other national estate planning conferences, Mr. Krooks is immediate-past Chair of the Elder Law Committee of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Planning Group of the Real Property, Trust & Estate Law (RPTE) Section of the American Bar Association. He is past president and fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), past president and founding member of the New York Chapter of NAELA, past Chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national invitation-only non-profit organization dedicated to assisting individuals with special needs and their families.

Mr. Krooks, author of numerous articles on elder law and related topics, is chair of the Elder Law Committee of Trusts & Estates Magazine, and serves on the Wolters Kluwer Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board and the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 at 3:00pm - 4:00pm ET - Longevity

Source: The Robert G. Alexander Webinar Series

DRead more

Detailed information regarding this presentation will be posted soon.

REGISTER HERE for the individual program. To register for the 2019 webinar series, please click HERE.

Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

Susan P. Rounds, JD, CPA, LL.M. (taxation), AEP®, TEP

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in December 2017, the exemption amount against gift and estate taxes has doubled from the previous $5 million per person/$10 million per married couple to $10 million per person/$20 million per married couple. Indexed for inflation, the 2019 exemption has reached $11.4 million per person/ $22.8 million per married couple. The exemption amount applies to combined transfers made during life and at death.

This may be a significant opportunity for wealthy taxpayers, but will only last through the end of 2025. Under a sunset provision in the new law, the exemption will return to the previous amount of $5 million per person/$10 million per married couple, indexed for inflation, unless Congress extends the law. The change may affect a large number of current estate plans and create uncertainty around what decisions should be made to optimize the opportunity.

Transferring assets out of the estate now to reduce estate taxes later is often a good strategy, but taxpayers may be reluctant to make a large gift to take advantage of the increased exemption amount because they fear losing access to the transferred funds. Enter the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust (“SLAT”), a type of irrevocable trust that may be used to preserve the transfer tax benefit of the increased exemption amount while also building flexibility into the estate plan.

  • Structure: A SLAT is an irrevocable trust established by one spouse for the benefit of the other spouse and the couple’s children and/or grandchildren. It requires use of the donor spouse’s exemption amount to protect the transfer from gift tax.
  • Other Factors: Choosing an independent or corporate trustee is a best practice for asset protection purposes. The beneficiary-spouse can receive distributions in the discretion of the independent trustee, providing a safety-net.
  • Funding: When funding the SLAT, the grantor-spouse should use his or her separate property, as opposed to jointly owned or community property (this could make the transferred property includible in the estate of the beneficiary-spouse).
Benefits

As an irrevocable grantor trust, the SLAT may provide some of the non-tax estate planning benefits listed below, while allowing the beneficiary-spouse access to the trust funds if needed.

  • Freeze Grantor’s Estate: The transfer to the SLAT is a completed gift and therefore removes future appreciation on the contributed assets from the estate of the grantor-spouse for purposes of estate and gift taxes (as well as generation-skipping transfer tax).
  • Additional Tax-Free Gifts: A SLAT is generally treated as a grantor trust for income tax purposes, meaningthat the grantor is responsible for paying the trust’s income taxes, and not the trust itself. This effectivelyallows the grantor to make additional tax-free gifts to the trust and its beneficiaries, thereby enhancing thewealth transfer benefits of the SLAT.
Drawbacks

A few potential drawbacks to the SLAT are the following:

  • Access to Funds Is Not Unlimited: If distributions are made to the beneficiary-spouse, who consistentlyuses them to benefit the grantor-spouse, this could be considered a retained interest on the part of thegrantor-spouse and make the trust assets includible in the grantor-spouse’s estate for estate tax purposes.
  • Divorce or Death of Beneficiary-Spouse: If there is a divorce or the beneficiary-spouse dies, the grantor-spouse will lose indirect access to the trust. Accordingly, the grantor-spouse may want to limit the amounttransferred to the trust, or provide that if the grantor remarries, the new spouse will be a trust beneficiaryor that the trustee may lend trust property to the grantor.
  • Reciprocal Trust Doctrine: Couples may wish to establish SLATs for each other to ensure indirect accessto funds. To avoid the “Reciprocal Trust Doctrine,” which could effectively undo this planning, it isgenerally advisable to vary the provisions of the two trusts, such as by granting a power of appointment to only one spouse or by altering the distribution standards and classes of beneficiaries.

The SLAT is an important tool that may allow a grantor-spouse to take full advantage of the increased exemption amount while permitting indirect access to the trust funds by way of the beneficiary-spouse’s interest. Ideally, however, this access would never be needed, and as long as the grantor-spouse is still responsible for paying the trust’s income tax liability, an even greater amount of assets will pass to the next generation free of federal estate and gift tax.

Email me at editor@naepcjournal.org with your comments and suggestions.


Any suggestions contained herein are general, and do not take into account an individual’s specific circumstances or applicable governing law, which may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and be subject to change. No warranty or representation, express or implied, is made by the Bank, nor does the Bank accept any liability with respect to the information and data set forth herein. The information contained herein is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal, tax, accounting or other professional advice; it is also not intended to offer penalty protection or to promote, market or recommend any transaction or matter addressed herein. Recipients should consult their applicable professional advisors prior to acting on the information set forth herein. “Deutsche Bank” means Deutsche Bank AG and its affiliated companies. Deutsche Bank Wealth Management represents the wealth management activities conducted by Deutsche Bank AG or its subsidiaries. Trust and estate and wealth planning services are provided through Deutsche Bank Trust Company, N.A., Deutsche Bank Trust Company Delaware and Deutsche Bank National Trust Company.© 2019 Deutsche Bank AG. All rights reserved. WM1810310 028159 021319