Probate & Trust Hot Tips

By Robert B. Wolf, Esq., Moderator, P&T Hot Tips Email List

Act 79 & Act 84

July 20, 2016

To new Acts of significance to estate and trust practitioners...

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Long Technical Post--Final Form 8971 & Instructions Released-Many ?? Remain

January 31, 2016

The final form 8971 and the instructions to the form have now been released and are avaialble here for your convenience. This is a form that is required to be filed for all estates where a Federal Estate Tax return is filed after August 1, 2015.

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Caution-Technical Post Follows--Do Not Drive While Reading--May Cause Drowsiness

December 26, 2015

This is actually about a week late, but it may well still be news to you---a Christmas present from the IRS courtesy of Professor Mark Gillette and your faithful reporter. The IRS has released a draft form 8971 "Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property from a Decedent" (attached) in accordance with Section 6035 of the Internal Revenue Code in order to carry out the consistent basis rule imposed by Section 1014(f), also both attached.

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IRA Charitable Rollover Made Permanent

December 26, 2015

The $100,000 IRA charitable rollover provision has been made permanent for qualifying persons and for certain individuals as may be very attractive. It only applies, however, to persons who are 70 1/2 years of age or older, and only for taxable distributions from an IRA account. Further, it must be made to a qualifying public charity and not a private foundation nor to a donor advised fund administered by a public charity (Drat!). It does, however, count towards fulfilling the taxpayer's required minimum distribution for the year in which it is made.

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Estate Tax Closing Letters and an Alternative

December 9, 2015

As you may remember from last June, the IRS no longer automatically issues Closing Letters on Federal Estate Tax Returns. If you want one, you have to ask for it by calling (866)–699–4083 and providing the following information:

  1. Name of the decedent
  2. Decedent's social security number
  3. Date of Death

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As the weather gets cooler, I pass along a very Hot Tip to warm you up.

October 4, 2015

Generally speaking, you cannot do indirectly that which would be prohibited if you tried to do it directly. But in this case the Superior Court held that the beneficiaries could it seems do just that!

Under a decision of the Pennsylvania Superior Court in Trust under Agreement of Edward Winslow Taylor, the Superior Court approved a Petition to Modify a Trust under section 7740.1 (d) filed by most (but not all) of the beneficiaries to give the beneficiaries the power to remove and replace the corporate trustee with another corporate trustee without satisfying the requirements for trustee removal under section 7766 of the Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code.

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Basis Consistency and Basis Reporting Rules

August 7, 2015

I have attached H.R. 114-3236(ih) which provides for the consistency of reporting of cost bases in estates where the value of the property increases the liability for federal estate tax. It also requires the executor of an estate required to file a return file with the Secretary and send to the beneficiaries "a statement identifying the value of each interest in such property as reported on such return and such other the Secretary shall prescribe."

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