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Estate and Elder Law

Modern Estate Planning

Modern Estate Planning is a comprehensive treatise covering estate, gift, income and generation-skipping transfer taxation. It guides the practitioner through the issues and challenges in advising a wide range of clients. The 5 volumes cover three distinct areas of estate planning: estate planning principles (Vols. 1 and 2); wealth transfer planning and drafting (Vols. 3 and 4); and return filing and procedure (Vol. 5). The volumes are loaded with practice features such as: client questionnaires; sample forms and agreements; drafting checklists; practice and planning notes; hypothetical examples; and filled-in estate, gift and fiduciary income tax returns.  Click the chapter links below to learn more, and purchase by chapter.

Chapter 1: Federal Estate Tax Basics

This chapter of Modern Estate Planning summarizes the federal estate tax. It provides a brief history of the federal wealth transfer tax, which includes the estate and gift tax and the generation-skipping transfer tax. It also describes the decedent estates subject to the federal estate tax. Next, the chapter generally explains how to calculate the federal estate tax, and describes what constitutes the taxable estate. Then, it examines the impact of lifetime gifts on the estate tax calculation. Further, the chapter discusses the tax rate; credits against the federal estate tax; and filing the federal estate tax return and payment of the estate tax. Finally, it describes a special exemption for certain U.S. military personnel, victims of terrorist attacks, and astronauts.

Chapter 2: Gift Tax Basics

This chapter of Modern Estate Planning discusses the imposition of the gift tax. It also discusses application of the gift tax based on citizenship and residence. Next, the chapter defines a gift for taxation purposes. Then, it describes the requirements for completed gifts, including delivery; retention of powers over the gift; promise or contract; checks; notes and loan guarantees; non-statutory stock options; transfers using a power of attorney; and government securities. In addition, the chapter discusses the valuation of gifts. Further, it discusses exclusions from the gift tax; the annual gift tax exclusion; exclusions for certain medical and tuition payments; exclusion for waiver of spousal rights under qualified retirement plans; exclusion for loans of qualified works of art; and the exemptions for certain political contributions. Finally, the chapter discusses available gift tax deductions; computation of the gift tax; valuation of prior gifts for purposes of computing the gift tax; and the election to split gifts.

Chapter 3: Nonresident Alien Estate and Gift Tax Basics

This chapter of Modern Estate Planning deals with taxation relating to nonresident aliens. It discusses estate taxation of nonresident aliens, including what constitutes United States citizenship, United States residence, and residence in United States possessions. It also considers gifts by and to nonresident aliens, as well as the applicability of the generation-skipping transfer tax. Next, the chapter discusses the gross estate of a nonresident alien. Then, it covers the situs of the property, including real estate and tangible property; corporate stock; and intangible property in the form of debt obligations, bank deposits, and life insurance. Further, the chapter discusses testamentary transfers of United States property; gifts within three years of death; and the computation of a nonresident alien's estate tax. In addition, it considers deductions, including the marital deduction. Finally, the chapter discusses credits against estate tax; multiple taxation of the nonresident alien's estate; and estate taxation of expatriates.

Chapter 4: Transfer of Property Owned by Decedent

This chapter of Modern Estate Planning discusses the transfer of property tax owned by a decedent. It describes the transfer of real and tangible personal property. It also discusses the transfer of cash, stocks, bonds, notes, and other intangibles; income earned prior to death; death benefits; claims and refunds; remainders and reversions; and the elective share and homestead rights.

Chapter 22: General Principles of Income Taxation of Trusts and Estates

This chapter of Modern Estate Planning discusses the income taxation of trusts and estates. It provides information on general income tax rules; the general business credit; and the alternative minimum tax. It also discusses the final return of the decedent. Next, the chapter examines gain from a qualified small business stock; charitable contributions; charitable deduction for contribution paid in the following taxable year; amounts permanently set aside for charity; the uncertainty of charitable use and loss of the deduction; will contests and charitable deductions; and income taxation of charitable trusts. Then, the chapter discusses contributions from the trust's business income; charitable donations from long-term capital gain income; and the interplay of charitable and distribution deductions. Further, the chapter covers the throwback rules. In addition, the chapter examines distribution of property in kind; gifts or distributions of specific property; and distributions of property in satisfaction of a right to a specific pecuniary distribution. Finally, the chapter discusses the fiduciary income tax return and estimated tax payments.

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