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  • Posts by John Lueken
    Posts by John Lueken

    John is Chair of the firm's Estate Planning Department. He also leads the firm's Senior Partner Committee, and is a member of the firm's Finance Committee. John, a former Certified Public Accountant, began his career in the tax ...

Posted in Estate Planning
Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Beneficiaries in State Tax Case

Since our country’s inception in 1776, Americans have come to find that very few things in life are certain, with the exception of death and taxes.  In the world of trusts, these two certainties have historically gone hand-in-hand.  On Friday, June 21, 2019, however, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in North Carolina Dept. of Revenue v. Kimberly Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust laid such certainty to rest.

Posted in Estate Planning
Kentucky Rejects Tortious Interference with Inheritance

The Kentucky Court of Appeals recently ruled that Kentucky does not recognize the cause of action known as tortious interference with inheritance or gift.  This ruling confirms a previous line of several unpublished opinions which previously ruled that Kentucky does not recognize such a tort.  In this case, the daughter of the settlor of a trust argued that her mother had intentionally interfered with the daughter’s inheritance from her late father’s trust, by placing a bequest to the daughter in the mother’s own estate plan to cover any shortfall in a large specific bequest made to the daughter in the father’s trust.

20% Small Business Income Tax Deduction Available to Estates and Trusts

In February, the IRS issued both final and additional proposed regulations detailing how estates, trusts and their beneficiaries can qualify for the 20% income tax deduction for qualified business income received from partnerships, S corporations and proprietorships under Section 199A of the Internal Revenue Code. 

Posted in Estate Planning
IRS Proposes Regulations to Eliminate Clawback Risks on Large Gifts

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted in 2017 increased the federal estate and gift tax exemption to $11.18 million per person, effective for the period of 2018 through the end of 2025.  This same law provides that, starting in 2026, the gift and estate tax exemption will decrease to $5 million per person, plus inflation adjustments. 

Posted in Estate Planning
Simple POD Beneficiary Designation Costs Family Thousands In Multi-Year Litigation

Use of a Pay on Death (“POD”) beneficiary designation is often touted as a way to simplify transfers of assets at your death.  If a bank account or CD is put in the name of “Father POD Son,” then the asset will transfer automatically to Son at the death of Father.

Posted in Estate Planning
Modification of Trust Power of Appointment Given Retroactive Effect by IRS

In Private Letter Ruling 201737008, issued by the IRS on September 15, 2017, the Service gave retroactive tax effect to a court modification of the power of appointment held by the donor’s spouse over the donor’s trust.  Based on the retroactive County Court modification in this ruling, the surviving spouse’s power of appointment over the trust was held to be a special power of appointment for tax purposes from the trust’s inception, thereby avoiding estate taxation on the trust assets in the taxable estate of the spouse at her later death. 

Posted in Estate Planning

With the incoming Trump administration having a Republican majority in Congress, one can expect attempts at significant tax reform. Among these reform efforts is a push to repeal the federal estate tax. While unexpected, the effort appears to have momentum.

Posted in Estate Planning

The end of each year inevitably brings a flurry of activity for everyone. But amid the hustle and bustle, don’t forget to take advantage of the current tax breaks offered under estate and gift planning laws. If you miss these opportunities, they may not present themselves again!

Posted in Estate Planning

Some years ago, I represented family members in a dispute over a tax payment clause contained in a will. The will was prepared by a lawyer who did not take into consideration the disastrous ramifications that can occur if care is not taken with respect to payment of estate and inheritance taxes in an estate plan.

The decedent was in a same sex relationship with his longtime life partner. In ...

Posted in Estate Planning

In the new Legal Forum Column, John S. Lueken discussed several benefits of estate planning with a GRAT. Read his advice below and don’t miss our monthly Legal Forum Column in Louisville Business First.



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