Includes Seminars A-I, Symposium I & II, and Hot Topics.
(These materials will be posted on the website as pdfs for all fellows to download for free approximately two years after the meeting).
Seminar A: Valuation Issues and the Proposed Section 2704 Regulations
Proposed section 2704 regulations released by the IRS on August 2, 2016, quickly became very controversial. What is the current thinking about the scope, effect, prospects, and timing of those proposed regulations? What did we learn from the IRS public hearing on December 1, 2016? What will be the likely planning implications and recommendations after the regulations are finalized, and while we wait for them? (If the proposed regulations are withdrawn or blocked by legislation or Trump Administration executive action, the panelists will discuss the general lessons to be learned for addressing valuation issues in the future.)
Ronald D. Aucutt, Tysons Corner, VA
Mickey R. Davis, Houston, TX
Stephanie Loomis-Price, Houston, TX
Seminar B: Charitable Bequests of Retirement Assets: Strategies, Traps, and Solutions
The panelists will examine various techniques for including charity in the disposition of qualified retirement plan assets. Topics will include restrictions on lifetime charitable gifts from IRAs; challenges when there are both charitable and non-charitable beneficiaries of retirement accounts; when an estate or trust can claim a charitable income tax deduction if charitable bequests are paid with taxable IRD; problems and solutions for pecuniary charitable bequests; how a tax-exempt two-generation CRT can solve estate planning challenges in second marriages (and also if Congress requires inherited IRAs to be liquidated in just five years). Finally, the presenters will highlight how retirement plans may play a role in a charity's planned giving marketing.
Stephanie B. Casteel, Atlanta, GA
Professor Christopher R. Hoyt, Kansas City, MO
Robert K. Kirkland, Liberty, MO
Seminar C: Do You See What I See? Tax Transparency and the Common Reporting Standard
In the rest of the developed world, the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) is now in full effect. Whilst FATCA is similar to CRS in many respects, the US is treated as a non-participating jurisdiction by CRS Jurisdictions. This creates both opportunities and challenges for US-based trustees in particular. This session will consider CRS and other transparency initiatives and their implications for practitioners dealing with cross-border work; in particular, it will also consider how international families are showing increased interest in the US as an alternative to traditional offshore jurisdictions.
Gail Cohen, New York, NY
M. Read Moore, San Francisco, CA
Seminar D: Estate and Gift Tax Audits: Practice Tips from a Trial Lawyer’s Perspective (Ethics)
The presentation will cover recognizing and avoiding conflicts of interest, protecting and asserting privileges, thinking proactively about risk, recognizing special audit situations, responding to information document requests, handling formal document requests, working with an expert, and understanding the alternatives when you disagree with the exam team. Finally, the presentation will also cover ethical issues that arise during the planning, compliance, and tax dispute stages of tax representation and how to navigate those issues in light of state bar obligations as well as Circular 230.
Charles E. Hodges II, Atlanta, GA
Jenny Johnson, Johnson Moore, Chicago, IL
Seminar E: Community Property in Common Law States: Stranger in a Strange Land?
As lawyers we are predisposed to view property law as two separate regimes: community property and common law property. Law school students in common law jurisdictions don't learn community property law because they think they won't ever have to deal with it. Lawyers in common law jurisdictions ignore community property because they didn't learn it in law school. But choice of law rules and uniform law seem to say that community property can exist in common law states. Is this true, or do those rules merely emulate community property law principles within what is still a common law property regime? Will federal law extend taxation of community property principles to property in a common law jurisdiction?
Bruce Stone, Coral Gables, FL
Jonathan D. Blattmachr, New York, NY
BethAnn Chapman, Juneau, AK
Alvin J. Golden, Austin, TX
Seminar F: The Battle Over Trusts in Divorce—Invasion and Surrender
Increasingly, ACTEC Fellows are being retained by divorce lawyers to provide advice regarding trusts. If a party to a divorce is a beneficiary of a trust, the issue is whether trust assets are subject to the claims of the beneficiary's spouse. If the trust was created by one of the spouses in connection with the couple's estate planning, common issues are whether the trust can be modified or whether the trust assets can be reacquired or redirected given the changed economic circumstances. This presentation will first examine the extent to which trusts can be compromised by spouses of beneficiaries, and how we can draft trusts to provide for more protection. It will then review the ways that parties to a divorce can surrender the benefits of prior planning through trust modifications or the reacquisition or redirection of trust assets and the potential tax consequences of such actions.
Katarinna McBride, Chicago, IL
James D. Spratt, Jr., Atlanta, GA
Michael Stegman, Cincinnati, OH
Seminar G: Estate Planning and Tax Issues Affecting C Corporations: Section 1202 Small Business Stock, Built-In Gain Discounts, Shareholder Contributions, Corporate Distributions and Other Related Issues
C Corporations present certain challenges for estate and tax practitioners. The Panel will address select critical topics, including the much overlooked Section 1202 Small Business Stock rules and benefits and judicial and administrative developments which affect the valuation of Built-in Gain Discounts - including the potential impact of the Proposed Section 2704 Regulations. The Panel will also address the income tax consequences of both shareholder capital contributions to C Corporations and of corporate distributions, including the circumstances when dividend treatment, as opposed to redemption treatment, is warranted, with particular attention to the special rules under Section 303 that apply to the redemption of stock to pay estate taxes and expenses.
Richard H. Greenberg, Woodbridge, NJ
Stuart J. Kohn, Chicago, IL
Kevin Matz, White Plains, NY
Seminar H: Settlement Agreements: Considerations When Negotiating, Drafting and Enforcing Settlement Agreements Involving Probate, Trust and Guardianship Disputes
Contested probate, trust and guardianship matters are often resolved prior to trial. A few are resolved by summary judgment. However, the majority are settled. This presentation addresses various issues that should be considered when resolving probate, trust and guardianship litigation by agreement and drafting the applicable documentation. The panel will present an overview of these considerations, including estate, income and gift tax issues relating to settlement agreements reached in will contests, trust disputes, and breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits. The extensive program materials will include a number of sample provisions.
Robert D. Borteck, Livingston, NJ
Frayda L. Bruton, Sacramento, CA
Gerald I. Carp, West Orange, NJ
Homer Parent, III, Louisville, KY
Gary M. Ruttenberg, Los Angeles, CA
Glen A. Yale, San Antonio, TX
Seminar I: A Tempting But Dangerous Marketing Strategy – “Wills on Wheels” – Don’t Be Caught By an Unauthorized Practice of Law Claim (Ethics)
Between important clients heading south (much to the delight of your panelists!) and wills online through "services" like LegalZoom, we are facing many market challenges as T&E practitioners. How is a good lawyer supposed to (ethically) keep a thriving practice? The panel will discuss what T&E services we are permitted to provide to clients in other states; and, the threat or opportunity presented to us if non-lawyers are allowed to provide T&E services across state lines. The panel also will discuss who defines and regulates the practice of law, Ethics Rules 5.5 and 8.5 and various cases regarding the unauthorized practice of law. Finally, the panel will examine how the North Carolina Bar tried (unsuccessfully) to kick LegalZoom out of its state and possible ways to improve the quality of T&E services by having limits imposed on who can provide such services.
Nancy C. Hughes, Birmingham, AL
William Thomas Hennessey, III, West Palm Beach, FL
Brian T. Williams, Birmingham, AL
Symposium I: Planning for Privacy in a Public World: The Ethics and Mechanics of Protecting your Client’s Privacy and Personal Security (Ethics)
As public access to information increases, clients are seeking solutions to secure their privacy and personal security. This panel will discuss how the professional advisor can structure estate plans, charitable gifts, and financial transactions in a confidential manner and protect clients against physical and cyber-attacks.
John F. Bergner, Dallas, TX
Kris Coleman, RedFive Security, McLean, VA
Brian Hill, Computer Forensic Services, Minnetonka, MN
Symposium II: Issues with S Corporations or Look at that S Car Go
With over 4 million tax returns affecting over 7 million shareholders and nearly $7 trillion of annual business receipts, S corporations are a force to be reckoned with. After a brief introduction to why this choice of entity is so popular, the speakers will discuss issues that estate planners encounter in working with owners of S corporations. Placing S stock in trust can create obstacles when a strategic buyer comes along, increase or decrease tax burdens and complexity, and affect dispositive provisions. After a shareholder's death, holding an S corporation can change how quickly one wants to fund trusts, and one might take steps to overcome the lack of basis step-up of the S corporation's assets that normally occurs. Only certain taxpayers can own S corporations, and estate planners should know how to prevent these restrictions from being an obstacle to passing the business as the client wishes. This symposium will help one spot and avoid hidden traps and provide practical approaches to helping clients deal with this creature.
Steven B. Gorin, St. Louis, MO
Clinton Eugene Wolf, El Paso, TX
Panelists will review and discuss the most recent developments, cases, and rulings in the estate planning area.
Stephen R. Akers, Dallas, TX
Miriam W. Henry, New Orleans, LA
Howard M. Zaritsky, Rapidan, VA