The new law that averted the “fiscal cliff” contains major changes for estate and gift tax rules that will affect not only the advice lawyers give to their clients, but the future landscape of estate planning law for years to come.
WASHINGTON – For estate planning attorneys, the unstable nature of federal tax law has become the new normal. But the prospect of skyrocketing estate tax rates and the potential loss of key estate planning tools with certain federal laws set to expire is spurring them to get their clients to act – and quickly.
Gift taxes paid by the donee trustees of a Qualifying Terminable Interest in Property (QTIP) trust should have been included in the transferor’s gross estate for purposes of calculating federal estate tax, the 9th Circuit has ruled in affirming judgment.
When a wife’s father said that a $15,000 payment was for “y’all,” he made a joint gift to the couple, despite his later testimony that he intended only to help his daughter, a Virginia trial court has ruled.
The lack of a federal estate tax, and the uncertainty about whether it will return, has encouraged some clients to transfer their wealth by making gifts.