On June 21, 2019, in a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held as unconstitutional a North Carolina statute that had been interpreted by North Carolina to mean that a
Continue Reading Effect of Kaestner on Non-California Trusts With California Beneficiaries

IRS announces the 2019 inflation-adjusted figures for gift and estate tax exemption amounts.

The federal gift, estate, and GST exemption amount ( the exemption amount) is the total amount
Continue Reading Federal Individual Gift, Estate, and GST Exemptions Increase to $11.4 Million in 2019

On May 4, 2017, Maryland’s Governor signed into law H.B. No. 1104, effective July 1, 2017, reducing the evidentiary documentation required from domestic partners to evidence the qualification of
Continue Reading Maryland Reduces Evidentiary Requirements to Exempt Primary Residence of Domestic Partners from Inheritance Tax

Portability refers to the ability of a surviving spouse, to make use of a deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exclusion amount (DSUE amount).  Portability was intended to simplify estate planning for married couples by eliminating the need for a bypass trust.  However, in order to preserve the DSUE amount the surviving spouse must comply with a complex set of rules, including filing a federal estate tax return for the decedent even though one would not otherwise be required.  Portability is not a substitute for traditional estate planning, particularly for high net worth individuals. However, it may prevent an otherwise unused DSUE amount from being completely lost.

Continue Reading Portability of the Estate and Gift Tax Exclusion – How Does it Work?