Opening Keynote – Professor Beyer’s Top Ten from Wills, Trusts, & Estates Prof Blogwith Dr. Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech University School of Law For over sixteen years, Prof. Beyer has served as the editor of the Wills, Trusts, & Estates Prof Blog which has earned the distinction of being the most popular estate planning blawg in the nation and is ranked number fifteen overall. The ABA Journal recognized the significance of his blawg in 2015 when it inducted the blawg into its Hall of Fame. With over 11,000,000 page views, his blawg serves as a reflection of the most popular, interesting, and controversial estate-related issues. Prof. Beyer’s entertaining presentation will focus on the these topics including the estates of famous individuals such as Michael Jackson, Prince, Robin Williams, and Leona Helmsley as well as other hot issues such as assisted suicide, electronic wills, and tax legislation. By recognizing past issues receiving blawg attention, practitioners may be better able to recognize potential problems with their clients’ estates and take steps to avoid being featured in a future blawg posting.
Cryptocurrencies, NFTs & other Digital Assets: Trust and Estate Planning in this New Frontierwith Rob Massey, Deloitte Tax LLP; Victoria Richardson, Bonhams; Jared Weinman, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; and Sha Zhang, Deloitte Tax LLP; and Panel Moderator Leigh Wasson, BNY Mellon Wealth Management • Our panel will first take you on a deep dive of digital assets – cryptocurrencies, decentralized protocols, NFTs, asset-backed tokens. What is the connection of digital assets to the blockchain? How are these assets taxed? How are they viewed by regulators? What are the opportunities and limitations and how to manage the risks?
• We will then explore and discuss how we can help our clients who hold digital assets. Our panelists will discuss the tax and estate planning opportunities and challenges. What are the key risks associated with a trust that holds digital assets? What firms are acting as independent corporate fiduciaries?
• Our panel will help you visualize NFT art and discuss how these assets are taxed and review estate planning strategies.
• We will build in time to share insights among attendees and for an active Q&A with our panel of specialists.
Tax Considerations Estate Planners Should Know But Don't Think About Every Daywith Henna Shah, J.D., LL.M, CEO, WealthCounsel Attorneys beware! There are a host of tax issues outside of transfer taxes that you need to keep in mind as you implement even common estate planning strategies. In this presentation, we will look at some important rules, traps for the unwary, and planning opportunities that all estate planners should be thinking about in conjunction with their clients' estate plans.
Road Trip! What to Consider When Your Trust Crosses Borderswith Laurelle M. Guiterrez, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP and Toni Ann Kruse, Partner, McDermott Will & Emery LLP It may be a “small world” but it’s a big Country. Even during the pandemic, clients are moving in and out of California; buying and selling property in different states; residing in one state while setting up trusts in another state and, unfortunately, sometimes dying in a state other than their “home state” while leaving behind heirs and beneficiaries in many jurisdictions. While we cannot possibly cover all estate, trust, tax and property laws of the 50 states and DC in 90 minutes, we will offer an approach to the “multi-jurisdiction” or “trans-client”, provide practice tips, and point out a few traps for the unwary. It will be a fast but informative journey.
Foreign Investment in U.S. Real Estate: Tax Concerns When Acquiring or Disposing of Ownership Interestswith Ceci Hassan, Partner, Hassan International Law PLLC The U.S. federal tax rules governing investment in U.S. real estate by foreign individuals and companies are intricate; the 2017 tax reform impacted the implication of these rules, COVID impacted the practical implication of a number of rule, and the possibility of a forthcoming US federal tax reform has further impacted planning today. Counsel must be conversant with existing tax law as well as the current rules impacting foreign investment.
FIRPTA taxes foreign individuals and corporations on their dispositions (transfers, sales, gifts, exchanges) of U.S. real property interests, and in addition generally imposes reporting and withholding. Tax treatment varies with the form of ownership. The reduction of the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 21 percent will influence the choice of investment vehicle (in addition to any State level taxes that apply at the corporate level), as will new carried interest rules, new NOL limitations, limitations on interest expense, and depreciation.
Our panel will examine tax challenges and practical implications for foreign investors in U.S. real estate. The panel will discuss the tax advantages of blocker companies, choice of investment structure, and other investment vehicles, and other matters.
We will review these and other crucial issues:
• What are the tax implications of purchasing U.S. real estate individually vs. through an LLC vs. a blocker corporation or a trust?
• What are the tax reporting obligations for non-U.S. owners of U.S. real estate?
• How does FIRPTA compliance vary between different ownership structures?
• How did the 2017 tax law and COVID -19 impact approaches to foreign investment in U.S. real estate?
Representing the Under-Representedwith Professor Margalynne Armstrong, Santa Clara University School of Law and Professor Patricia Cain, Santa Clara University School of Law
Estate Planning practitioners often find themselves in situations that are unfamiliar in their practice, because they involve clients outside of the mainstream clients they normally serve. Clients from minority backgrounds and clients who are in nontraditional relationships (e.g., unmarried couples) may present new and challenging problems for planners. This panel is designed to help practitioners think about how to engage with such clients and identify problems that might be beyond the focus for mainstream clients.
Income Taxation of Cryptocurrency – An Update for Estate Plannerswith Annette Nellen, CPA, Esq. Professor, San Jose State University and David Sacarelos CPA, CGMA, Tax Partner, Seiler LLP Ownership and usage of cryptocurrency is becoming more common today as there are an increasing number of ways to acquire it. Questions need to be asked of clients by tax professionals to be sure compliance and planning is addressed. This presentation will provide the basics on cryptocurrency operation, income tax guidance from the IRS, open tax issues, unique California tax issues, compliance considerations, and income and estate planning matters. Newer issues involving tokens including non-fungible tokens will also be addressed.
Tread Lightly: Ethical Considerations for the Trust Administration Intake and Engagement Processwith Yvonne Eckert , VP, Practice Success, WealthCounsel It can be an ethical landmine when a revocable trust matures and requires administration by someone other than the original grantor. This session will cover ethical considerations in the following areas: conducting the intake and engagement meeting, identifying the client, defining the scope of representation, drafting the engagement letter, obtaining waivers, counseling multiple fiduciaries, and communicating with non-clients.
Complex Assets, Regulatory Compliance, and Impactful Givingwith Ted Hart, ACFRE, CAP®, President and CEO of CAF America and CAF Canada and Megan R. Worrell, Managing Director, J.P. Morgan Private Bank The shared challenges we face in our globalized world transcend borders. In international philanthropy however, borders can present formidable regulatory, risk, and reputational obstacles to your clients’ desire to be impactful in their charitable planning. In this conversation, learn about donating complicated assets, staying compliant in a rapidly changing global regulatory landscape, and the steps that must be considered in the creation of impactful charitable planning. While the barriers of cross-border giving can threaten donor ability to distribute critical funding to the issues that matter to them the most, a skilled awareness of domestic and global mechanisms and legal contexts to giving will help your clients realize their charitable vision.
Saving Taxes on Real Property After Prop 19: Why LLCs, LPs and Joint Tenancies Now Must Be Kept As the Sharpest Tools in the Toolbox For Tax Planners Dealing With Clients With Real Propertywith Brian Shetler, Partner, Berliner Cohen After Prop 19, tax planning for property taxes and other local taxes now must include consideration of the use of limited liability companies (LLCs), limited partnerships (LPs) and joint tenancies with rights of survivorship for any estates that include real property. Prop 19 has essentially repealed the parent-child exclusion and grandparent-grandchild exclusion from reassessment. In addition, a limitation on the deductibility of state and local taxes on real property in the 2017 Tax Act inspired California to pass a workaround (AB 150) that encourages entity ownership of California real property and provides a non-property tax reason to form such entities and avoid the step-transaction rules. This necessitates a look at entity planning or at least joint tenancy planning as workarounds for passing real property without reassessment (and maximizing federal deductions). This program will cover not just the “why do it” but also some specifics on “how to do it” for planning professionals to help them sharpen these tools in their toolbox.
Session To Be Announcedwith Speaker TBA Session Description to Come.
Friday, October 8
General Session — Locking Down on Recent Developmentswith Vivian L. Thoreen, Executive Partner, Holland & Knight LLP and Patrick Kohlmann, Managing Partner, Temmerman, Cilley & Kohlmann, LLP This program is an annual review of recent case law and statutory changes. The Panelists will discuss key developments, including new legislation and court decisions, which are most significant to California trusts and estates practitioners.
2021 Federal Transfer Tax and Retirement Benefits Update - Recent Developments and Related Planning Considerationswith John W. Prokey, Partner, Ramsbacher, Prokey, Leonard LLP and Michael J. Jones, CPA, Thompson Jones LLP Recent developments affecting estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer taxes, and retirement benefits, including court rulings, IRS pronouncements and private letter rulings.
Will Your Life Insurance Survive (You)?with Jeff Ostrum, Managing Principal, Palo Alto, Financial Architects Partners and Joseph Bragdon, CFA, Vice President, Financial Architects Partners Most life insurance carriers have reduced crediting rates, cap rates, and dividends, and repriced products. Some policies may be at risk of early lapse, decreased death benefits, or increased premiums. Which products should be used for wealth transfer planning?
Get updated on what to look for and how to replace volatility with guarantees to the ILIT. Also, funding an ILIT with AFR loans, lifetime exemptions, and Bank Financing.
Estate Planning in the new Remote Environmentwith Karen Boxx, Professor, University of Washington School of Law; Patricia Cain, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law; and Darin Donovan, Shareholder, Hopkins & Carley I A Law Corporation Session Description To Come.
Collecting Fees in Trust & Estate Litigationwith Jim Cummins, Principal, Barulich Dugoni & Suttman Law Group, Inc.; Ryan D. Cunningham, Hopkins & Carley I A Law Corporation; and Scott Fraser, Crist I Biorn I Shepherd I Roskoph APC Session Description To Come.
Income Tax Deferral for Taxpayers Who Anticipate Selling Appreciated Assets While Livingwith Jerome M. Hesch, Adjunct Professor of Law, Florida International University and Boston University Individuals who anticipate selling appreciated assets while living cannot take advantage of the step-up in basis at death. Several income tax techniques allow the gain realized upon the sale of an asset for cash to be deferred if the income tax rules in the Code are followed. Examine how (i) related party installment sales to a non-grantor trust, (ii) contributing appreciated assets to a charitable remainder unitrust, and (iii) charitable gift annuities can be used to defer the reporting of the realized gains. Learn which of these deferral techniques can be used for marketable securities, closely-held business interests and even encumbered real estate with liabilities in excess of tax basis. These planning techniques are illustrated using accounting balance sheets that enable the advisor to describe the technique to their clients in an understandable manner.
Closing Keynote — Planning in 2021 and Beyond: What Now and What Next?with David A. Handler, P.C., Partner, Kirkland & Ellis LLP and Paul S. Lee, Chief Tax Strategist I Senior Vice President I Managing Director, Wealth Management and Global Family & Investment Offices Group, Northern Trust We will discuss the proposals coming from the White House and Congress that could significantly impact estate planning in the future. On the table are decreasing exemptions, eliminating basis step-up, gain recognition on lifetime and testamentary transfers, changes to grantor trusts and GRAT rules, eliminating discounts and higher income and capital gains tax rates. We will discuss which are more likely to be enacted and what practitioners might advise their clients to do before any changes are enacted.