Focus Series

Our unique Focus Series offers an in-depth look at the issues surrounding intra-family wealth transfers including planning with portability, obtaining greater divorce/creditor protection, using GRATs and other freeze techniques, planning for the retirement accounts of married couples, and business succession planning.

Monday, January 9, 2017  (9:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.)
Portability: Lots of Questions, Few Easy Answers
Lester B. Law, Howard M. Zaritsky
Portability creates a new paradigm in estate planning. The program will discuss portability from its inception through the most recent developments; address many issues planners will face in advising clients; suggest “portability-type” plans; cover state law issues (including pre-marital planning); and discuss the basis adjustment mechanisms for those with traditional bypass (or similar) trusts.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017  (9:50 – 10:40 a.m.)
Getting Gratifying GRAT Results
Carlyn S. McCaffrey
This session will focus on techniques for enhancing the likelihood that a GRAT will produce a positive balance at the end of the term, including the use of split- interest and leveraged GRATs. It will also explore the possibilities of protecting a GRAT’s positive balance from the generation-skipping transfer tax.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 (10:55 – 11:45 a.m.)
Retirement Accounts in First and Second Marriages: The Fun Begins
Christopher R. Hoyt
After summarizing the rules governing required distributions from inherited retirement accounts, this presentation will examine the estate planning and income tax challenges of funding a trust with retirement assets, especially a trust for a surviving spouse. It will then explore the added challenges of a second marriage and a blended family.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017 (2:50 – 3:40 p.m.)
With Great Power Comes Great Liability: Helping Trustees Avoid Pitfalls in Common Transactions
Lauren J. Wolven
Trustees are often asked to engage in loans to related parties or beneficiaries and other transactions with related trusts, closely-held assets and real estate. For a trustee who is not careful, even a seemingly simple act like making a loan to a beneficiary can lead to liability. This session will explore methods to reduce fiduciary risk in common trust transactions.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – Special Session I-A  (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Frozen Tasting Menu – A Comparison of GRATs, Sales to Grantor Trusts and Other Estate Freezes
Carlyn S. McCaffrey, N. Todd Angkatavanich, S. Stacy Eastland
This program will explore the currently available techniques for freezing the value of an individual’s assets while shifting future income and appreciation to trusts for members of the individual’s family. It will cover the advantages and disadvantages of each of the approaches.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – Special Session I-D  (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Extraordinary, Efficient, Elegant, Evolutionary: The Annual Taxable Gifts  Approach and Testamentary CLAT Remainder
Richard S. Franklin, Lester B. Law
This presentation proposes that wealth be transferred to family during lifetime using the annual taxable gifts approach to entirely eliminate estate taxes. The panel will also review the merits of combining this approach with a zeroed- out testamentary CLAT to both eliminate estate taxes and endow the family’s foundation. Through a quantitative analysis, the astonishing results will be revealed.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – Fundamentals Program  (2:00 – 5:20 p.m.)
GST Tax: Math, Mistakes & Mitigation
Julie Miraglia Kwon, Carol A. Harrington
This program will review practical basics of GST tax planning and compliance, including automatic allocations of GST exemption, reporting and elections on gift and estate tax returns, inclusion ratios, common snafus, and options to address prior mistakes. These concepts will be explained with concrete examples.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – Special Session III-A  (2:00 – 3:30 p.m.)
Protecting the Estate from In-Laws and Other Predators
Gideon Rothschild, Scott L. Rubin, Bruce M. Stone
The panelists will explore the use of lifetime QTIPs, discretionary trusts and other strategies to provide greater divorce/creditor protection. Recent case developments and drafting suggestions will be included.

Thursday, January 12, 2017 – Special Session IV-A  (3:50 – 5:20 p.m.)
Nothing Succeeds Like Successful Succession
Turney P. Berry, Christopher J.C. Jones, Charles A. “Clary” Redd
Transitioning a private business, usually family-owned, from one generation to the next is one of the trickiest estate planning conundrums. This panel will review successful strategies to minimize taxes and pay for those that remain, encourage orderly leadership changes, compensate owners and non-owners, and take steps to position a business for future success. Among the non-tax topics discussed will be incentivizing outside managers, limiting conflicts over business perks and dividend payments, and the role of outside advisors and board members in a family enterprise.