Attached are 10 random items relevant to estate planning that are on the minds of estate planning professionals, whether they are lawyers, CPA’s, financial advisors, or bankers:
1. Will the estate tax be repealed? Will it be phased out? If repealed, will the step-up in basis be eliminated?
2. Assuming the estate tax is repealed, what about the gift tax?
3. Assuming the estate tax is repealed, why make gifts? If still reasons to gift, certainly we shouldn’t be making taxable gifts. Should we be relying on a "formula gift" even though the IRS detests the strategy?
4. Whatever happened to the proposed "discounting regulations" under Section 2704? Will they be implemented anytime soon? Do they really eliminate discounting?
5. For purposes of "adequate disclosure," I know we need an appraisal attached to the gift tax return, but do we also need to tell the IRS the valuation may run contrary to the proposed regulations?
6. Does the Trump Administration want to eliminate a charitable estate deduction for assets passing to the decedent’s private foundation?
7. What does Congress think about stretch IRA’s?
8. What estate planning strategies remain vulnerable in the eyes of the IRS? 2-Year GRATS? Gift/Sale IDGT strategies?
9. How to build flexibility into estate planning documents?
10. Do clients need estate planning professionals as much as they used to?