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An introduction to the federal regulations under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 that lawyers helping clients plan for future medical decisions should be aware of.Continue reading
Gifts in trust normally do not qualify for the federal gift tax annual exclusion, but can qualify if beneficiaries are given limited rights to withdraw gifts from the trust. These withdrawal rights, usually known as “crummey powers,” are rarely exercised, and should be carefully drafted both to qualify for the annual exclusion and to avoid adverse gift tax consequences to the beneficiaries when the powers lapse without being exercised.Continue reading
Tax deferral is usually good, but really only for income taxes. Generally speaking, gift and estates taxes are not minimized through deferral, and the most important consideration is usually the rate of tax to be paid, and not the timing of the tax payment.Continue reading
The decision whether to create a trust for the surviving spouse in order to minimize federal estate tax can be a difficult one, but in most cases the decision can be deferred until after a death has occurred, because the creation of the trust can be dependent on a “qualified disclaimer” by surviving spouse. This allows tax planning to be done “post mortem, but only if the will or revocable trust has been drafted to include “disclaimer trust” provisions, so that a disclaimer by the surviving spouse results in a trust for the surviving spouse.Continue reading
By Daniel B. Evans Copyright 1993, 2003. All rights reserved. [Note: This article was originally published by the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association in Law Practice Management, Vol. 19, No. 7, p. 26 (October 1993).] I … Continue reading