SLG's Publications and Resources
Estate, Trust and Tax Planning Resources
Tailor-Made Estate Planning - SLG Newsletter - Q4 2013 - An estate plan should not be one-size-fits-all. Instead, it can be tailored to your specific needs of and desires for your family, businesses, properties, charitable interests and even pets, all while considering tax efficiency.
How to Disclose Foreign Financial Assets and Tax to IRS When Late - As of July 2014, IRS has several compliance paths for U.S. taxpayers who are late in paying tax on non-U.S. income and have not disclosed all their non-U.S. financial accounts, inheritances, trusts, retirement accounts and gifts. The major compliance paths include the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP), Streamlined Domestic Offshore Procedures (SDOP) and Streamlined Foreign Offshore Procedures (SFOP). This handout includes 1) a flowchart tracing the three major paths for the late filing of forms and paying of taxes; 2) descriptions of the OVDP, SDOP, and SFOP; 3) a diagram with the SDOP/SFOP test for determining residency; and 4) a list of ten forms used to disclose offshore accounts. The compliance path chosen depends largely on whether a taxpayer filed all tax returns and paid all required U.S. taxes on foreign income, and whether the taxpayer was willful in not paying taxes owed or in not filing the required informational forms.
Role of Trustee Checklist - This handout briefly describes the role of a trustee for a decedent’s estate. While each trusteeship is unique, this checklist will assist you as you begin to administer the trust. See your progress as you check off each completed item.
Dynasty Trusts - Dynasty trusts are long-term trusts that the Rockefellers, Fords, Carnegies and many other well-heeled families have created to pass wealth from generation to generation without incurring transfer taxes such as estate and gift tax. Dynasty trusts are also used as a creditor-protection tool and much more.
Health & Education Exclusion Trust ("HEET") - The Obama Administration's new fiscal year 2015 budget repeats several proposals in his previous budgets that target and eliminate the future use of tax and estate planning techniques. This article discusses one targeted technique, the Health and Education Exclusion Trust ("HEET"). Further, Obama proposes to significantly lower and freeze the current unified gift and estate tax exclusion amount of $5.34 million per person to an estate tax exclusion of $3.5 million and the gift tax exclusion of $1 million (i.e., 2009 levels) effective in 2018.
College Savings Plans - This two-page summary of 529 plans and Coverdell Education Savings Accounts ("ESAs") highlights the types of programs available, contribution limits, restrictions, and relevant tax implications of such education saving accounts.
Tax Considerations for Non-U.S. Businesses Investing in U.S. Real Property - This one-page chart outlines gift, estate and income tax implications for non-U.S. entities seeking to maintain anonymity while investing in U.S. real property.
Law Review Articles
Too Big to Fail and Too Big to Pay: States, Their Public-Pension Bills, and the Constitution - The subject of a state defaulting or repudiating any type of debt has received relatively little attention in the legal literature because until recently, the legal issues concerning state defaults on debt, or in particular defaults on state pension funds, were considered too remote to attract the attention of legal scholars. Yet in recent years, more than a few economists, reporters, academicians,lawyers, and politicians are arguing about legal solutions for pension liabilities that are too big to pay, including possible federal bailouts for states that are deemed "too big to fail." This article presents the legal limitations that many states face if they were to default on or repudiate any of their pension obligations, and analyzes two proposed solutions to the states’ expanding pension liabilities.
Titans and Trolls Enter the Open-Source Arena - Open-source software has become a prominent part of the software industry, due in part to its applications in mobile devices, online social networks, and cloud computing. As a result, the open-source community is an increasingly attractive litigation target for patent trolls and titans. While in the past the open-source community focused primarily on ensuring license compliance, it now must reach beyond open-source licensing agreements and vigilantly employ multiple current or as yet untested defensive maneuvers to withstand the threats of patent lawsuits.