Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (“GRAT”) Planning

Written by Hollis F. Russell, in 2008

A GRAT is an irrevocable trust. Its intended purpose is to transfer property to children or trusts for their benefit with either little or minimal gift or estate tax. A GRAT is successful if and when the property transferred to it outperforms the IRS interest rate in effect in the month when the GRAT is created. From July 2003 forward, the IRS rate has been as high as 6.2% and as low as 3.0%, with monthly changes based on fluctuations in market interest rates.

Estate planning and the GST exemption

Written by Hollis F. Russell, in 2008

This memorandum provides an overview of the estate planning considerations for generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax purposes of the so-called “GST exemption”. Under tax legislation enacted in 2001, the GST exemption amount is set at $2,000,000 for 2006 through 2008, and $3,500,000 for 2009. The generation skipping transfer tax under current law is scheduled to be repealed in 2010 but to be reinstated in 2011 (with an exemption limited to $1,000,000). These increases for
subsequent years track similar provisions enacted in 2001 for the exemption equivalent for federal estate tax purposes.

Representing the Buyer of Environmentally Contaminated Commercial Property

Written by James A. Bradley, in 2004

by James A. Bradley I. Relevant Statutes A. Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (“CERCLA”). 42 U.S.C. § 9601 et seq. 1. Elements of Liability: (1) Hazardous substances within the meaning of CERCLA were disposed at a facility, which is defined as anyplace where hazardous substances have come to be located; (2) there has been a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance into the environment; …

Giving Testimony at a Deposition

Written by John M. Brickman, in 2004

Whether a party to, or witness in, a legal action, you might find yourself with the obligation to be deposed. This article offers in easy-to-digest form detailed advice regarding how to prepare for and give testimony at a deposition.

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do – So Plan Now To Protect Your Interest

Written by John M. Brickman, in 2002

Every experienced professional – – physician, dentist, chiropractor, psychologist, social worker, therapist, podiatrist, nurse, consultant, lawyer, accountant, designer, planner, engineer, or architect – – knows, often first-hand, the horrors of a practice fallen apart. Breakups cost practitioners lost income as well as sleepless nights and diversion from their primary mission, the delivery of professional services; they jeopardize the quality of patient care or client service, and heighten the risk of malpractice claims. Breakups always have been difficult and painful.

How to Win a Franchise Arbitration

Written by John M. Brickman, in 2002

The Supreme Court has expressed a strong federal preference for the rapid and unobstructed enforcement of arbitration agreements. This is good news for most franchisors, who traditionally favor arbitration for resolving disputes with franchisees. Arbitration enjoys the reputation of simplicity and economy. Yet success in arbitration, and in its difficult interplay with litigation, requires substantial experience and sophistication.

Joint Representation of Spouses in Estate Planning: The Saga of Advisory Opinion 95-4

Written by Hollis F. Russell and Peter A. Bicks, in 1998

After extended proceedings commencing in 1995, the final text of Advisory Opinion 95-41 was approved by The Florida Bar Board of Governors at its May 1997 meeting. Advisory Opinion 95-4 provides guidance regarding confidentiality and conflict of interest concerns for attorneys undertaking to represent spouses as joint clients in estate planning matters.2 A summary of Advisory Opinion 95-4 is contained in its headnote prepared by the Ethics Department of The Florida Bar.

Multiple Representation in Estate Planning: Beyond Advisory Opinion 95-4

Written by Hollis F. Russell, in 1998

The holdings and procedural history of Advisory Opinion 95-4 [1] are examined in detail in an earlier article: Joint Representation of Spouses in Estate Planning: The Saga of Advisory Opinion 95-4, 72 FLA. B.J. 39 (Mar. 1998). This article addresses the impact of the holdings of Advisory Opinion 95-4 on engagement arrangements for joint representations of spouses in estate planning and also considers how its holdings affect intergenerational representations in trust and estate matters.

Practical Guidance for Charitable Remainder Trust Planning for Residential Property Real Property

Written by Hollis F. Russelll, Matthew E. Brady, and Colette K. Meyer , in 1996

A valuable residence having a low cost basis may be a particularly attractive candidate for an inter vivos charitable remainder trust [1] if the owner wishes to move to more modest quarters and enjoy the income stream from the proceeds of sale. This is because the tax law provisions regarding the roll-over of gain upon a sale of a principal residence [2] and the $125,000 one-time exclusion for taxpayers age 55 and over [3] may afford little relief from substantial capital gains taxation, particularly if the value of the residence is very substantial – say, in the range of several million dollars. The capital gains tax may be avoided if the owner conveys the property to a charitable remainder trust, and sale is thereafter made by the trust. In addition, the property owner may receive a charitable income tax deduction (tied to present value of the charitable interest) upon the establishment of the trust.[4]

Coordination of PPT Credit and QTIP Marital Deduction Planning: A Practical Perspective

Written by Hollis F. Russell, in 1991

In the administration of the estate of a married individual, the tax professional may be confronted with the difficult task of evaluating the merits of whether to make a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) [1] election to defer all estate tax until the death of the survivor or to elect to pay some estate tax in the predeceased spouse’s estate with a view toward obtaining a credit for property previously taxed (PPT Credit) at the survivor’s death [2] The QTIP election qualifies the property for estate tax marital deduction treatment in the estate of the first spouse to die, whereas the PPT Credit can allow an estate tax credit to the surviving spouse’s estate with respect to property subject to estate tax in the predeceased spouse’s estate. This article evaluates and illustrates the inter-relation between the operation of the PPT Credit and the marital deduction provisions of the federal estate tax.