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What Happens to My Digital Assets on Death or Incapacity?

What Happens to My Digital Assets on Death or Incapacity?

February 6, 2019

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

 

A recent New York case, Estate of Swezey (NYLJ, 1/17/19 at pp. 23, col. 3) highlights the confusion in the laws of many states regarding the administration and distribution of digital assets at a decedent’s death.  In this case, decedent’s executor asked Apple to turn over decedent’s photographs stored in his iTunes and iCloud account.  No provision in decedent’s Will specifically authorized the executor to access decedent’s digital account.  The Court relied on the relatively new section 13-A in the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”), Administration of Digital Assets which provides for different procedures for the disclosure of electronic communications, in contrast to the digital assets.  To disclose electronic communication specific user consent is required or a specific court order for an identifiable reason.  Other digital assets, such as

New IRS Addresses for Filing Estate and Gift Tax Returns

January 14, 2019

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Beginning this year, estate and gift tax returns have new filing locations, according to the instructions for Form 706 and Form 709.

As of June 30, 2019, estate tax returns (Forms 706) filed using the United States Postal Service are to be sent to:

Department of the Treasury Internal Revenue Service Center Kansas City, MO 64999

However, Forms 706 filed using an approved private delivery service are to be sent to:

Internal Revenue Service 333 W. Pershing Road Kansas City, MO 64108

The same filing addresses also already apply to gift tax returns (Forms 709), effective as of January 1, 2019.

To Do: Year-End Gifting. Check (or not)

With the end of the year approaching, we thought now would be a good time to re-post and update our annual blog entry on gifting.

For 2019, the annual exclusion gift amount will remain the same as 2018’s at $15,000, but the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption will increase to $11,400,000 (up from 2018’s $11,180,000, which doubled under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).

With eleven days left in the year, many people are still planning how to make 2018 gifts, whether by making “annual exclusion” gifts of $15,000 per beneficiary, or by taking advantage of the 2018 gift tax exemption amount of $11,180,000.  Whatever the reason for the last-minute gifting, as the end of the year approaches, people may be tempted to make a “quick and easy” gift to their beneficiaries by simply writing a check. As the year draws to a close, however, if your gift is dependent

IRS Launches Easy-to-use Tax Reform Webpage

Reposted from our charity law blog.

The IRS has launched an easy-to-use webpage, IRS.gov/taxreform, with information about how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act affects your taxes, with a special section focused on tax exempt entities.

The tax reform page features three areas designed specifically for:

  • Individuals – For example, standard deduction increase, child tax credit, withholding. Use the Withholding Calculator to make sure you’re withholding enough tax from your paycheck.
  • Businesses – For example, depreciation, expenses and qualified business income deductions.
  • Tax Exempt Entities – For example, tax reform affecting retirement plans, tax-exempt organizations and governments.

Under the Tax Exempt Entities tab, you’ll find highlights of how tax reform affects retirement plans, tax-exempt organizations and tax-advantaged bonds.

Retirement plans

  • Rollovers of retirement plan loan offsets – If your plan offsets an outstanding loan balance when you leave employment, you have
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