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Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Calculates Projected Inflation-Adjusted Figures for Estate and Gift Taxes for 2020

September 17, 2019

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Based on the inflation measure provided by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and Consumer Price Index for the 12-month period ending August 31, 2019, Thompson Reuters Checkpoint has released their projected inflation-adjusted Estate, Gift, GST tax, and other exclusion amounts for 2020, as follows:

The unified estate and gift tax exclusion amount (gift and estate tax exemptions) for gifts made and decedents dying in 2020 will be $11,580,000 (up from $11,400,000 in 2019).

The generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption for transfers made in 2020 will be $11,580,000 (up from $11,400,000 in 2019).

The gift tax annual exclusion amount for gifts made in 2020 will be $15,000 (the same amount as for gifts made in 2019 and 2018).

The annual exclusion for gifts to noncitizen spouses in 2020 will be $157,000 (up from $155,000 in 2019).

The special use valuation reduction limit for estate of decedents dying in 2020 will

Ruben Sinha named in CityWealth’s 2019 Future Leaders Top 100

July 8, 2019

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Hong Kong Senior Associate, Ruben Sinha,  has been named in CityWealth’s 2019 Future Leaders Top 100. This publication is judged by industry leaders and recognises rising talent (under 40 years old) and leading next generation advisers working within the international private wealth industry across law, private banking, trust services and asset management. This is, in part, recognition of Ruben’s experience advising ultra-high net worth clients in complex international and often high profile cases from both London and Hong Kong. His work is increasingly focused on asset protection and trusts in the context of family litigation, in particular, advising offshore trustees within international divorce proceedings. Ruben’s inclusion follows his recognition in Legal Week’s Private Client Global Elite ‘Ones to Watch’ last summer.’

Stephanie Moll Elected as STEP USA Treasurer

April 23, 2019

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Congratulations to Stephanie Moll for her election to the position of treasurer of STEP USA!  Stephanie is a partner in the private client group of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and supports primarily the Denver, Boulder, and St. Louis offices.  Her practice focuses on estate planning and administration, particularly wealth transfer tax planning.

STEP USA is the U.S. division of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners, a global organization whose primary purpose is to improve public understanding of the issues families face in relation to inheritance and succession planning and promote education and high professional standards among its members.  STEP USA includes 18 different local branches and chapters around the country.

THE TOM PETTY ESTATE: A CAUTIONARY TALE IN BUSINESS SUCCESSION PLANNING

When a celebrity’s death hits the newswires, it’s often immediately followed by reports of the size of the deceased’s estate and the identity of the beneficiaries.   In addition, not infrequently public battles among the beneficiaries ensue.  Some disputes are the result of the simple (yet, significant) error of dying without an estate plan, as in the Prince estate.  Others provide specific lessons demonstrating the need for attention to detail when creating an estate plan, such as in Tom Petty’s estate.

Tom Petty was a historically-acclaimed singer-songwriter and record producer, who performed as a solo artist and as the lead singer for the Heartbreakers.  Upon his death in October of 2017, his trust directed the trustee, his second wife, to establish an entity to be used to hold and control Petty’s sizable and valuable music catalog.  The terms of the trust ascribing control of the entity provide, as follows:

BCLP Awarded “Private Client Team of the Year 2019” by Legal Business Awards

April 2, 2019

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The Legal Business Awards recently honored Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP with its “Private Client Team of the Year” award for 2019.  The event took place at the Grosvenor House in London on March 28, 2019.

BCLP received the award based on a combination of factors, including:

  • the merger of its legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner / Bryan Cave teams into a global private client practice
  • the firm’s Middle East work, including the Shari’a advice, and UAE / ADGM work
  • its ability to work with clients across the world, with a focus Europe, USA, Middle East, and Asia
  • the range of work the firm can cover, from high net worth individuals, to wealth management institutions and family offices
  • its Family Asset Protection and divorce practice
  • its BCLP Residential practice
  • its advice on the treatment of complex Liechtenstein foundations by HMRC
  • the firm’s wider Private Wealth offering

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IRS Revises EIN Application Policy, Now Requires an Individual to be Listed as the “Responsible Party”

March 29, 2019

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The IRS announced on March 27, 2019 that in an effort to enhance security and improve transparency, the “responsible party” on applications for an employer identification number (EIN) must now be a natural person.

An EIN is the tax identification number assigned to entities such as trusts, estates, retirement plans, LLCs, partnerships, and corporations.  An entity obtains such a number by completing the IRS Form SS-4 or an online application.  One question in the application process asks the applicant to identify the “responsible party,” which the IRS defines as “the person who ultimately owns or controls the entity or who exercises ultimate effective control over the entity.” In deciding who to list as the responsible party, the IRS encourages applicants to consider whether the party has “a level of control over, or

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