the Estate PLANNER
Here’s a brief glance at what you’ll find in the May/June issue… see the PDF of the newsletter below.
SCIN protection: Shield your estate from excessive tax exposure
Those who have already exhausted their gift and estate tax exemption through lifetime gifts can use other techniques to transfer wealth to their loved ones tax-free. One such technique that’s particularly attractive now is the self-canceling installment note (SCIN). This article explains how a SCIN can provide income, gift and estate tax savings. But it involves a gamble, as well, so the article discusses the down sides. A sidebar notes that, to ensure that a SCIN’s cancellation feature isn’t treated as a gift, the donor must be compensated for its value in the form of a risk premium.
Are you familiar with fraudulent transfer laws?
Because asset values are low and the gift tax exemption is high, now is a good time to transfer wealth. But it’s best to first check with an estate planning advisor about fraudulent transfer laws. This article explains that, if creditors challenge gifts, trusts, retitling of property or other strategies as fraudulent transfers, they can quickly undo an estate plan. Under the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (UFTA), they can challenge transfers involving two types of fraud: actual and constructive. The latter is unintentional, yet can result in significant financial consequences.
The conservation easement: Handle with care
A conservation easement is an agreement to permanently restrict some or all of the development rights associated with a property. It can be a powerful estate planning tool, enabling donors to receive significant income and estate tax benefits while continuing to own and enjoy their property. So it’s no surprise that the IRS scrutinizes easements to ensure that they meet the tax code’s requirements. This article explains that the easement must meet one of four conservation purposes, describes the tax benefits, and lists common mistakes taxpayers make when donating easements.
Estate Planning Red Flag: You’re lending money to family members
The simplest way to provide financial assistance to a child or other family member is to get out the checkbook and make a gift. But for those concerned about gift taxes, a loan may be preferable. Intrafamily loans must be structured and managed carefully to ensure that the IRS will treat them as bona fide loans rather than disguised gifts. This article explains that the U.S. Tax Court has identified seven factors to consider in determining whether a loan between related parties is legitimate.