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IRS Releases Inflation-Adjusted Figures for 2014

The IRS this week released inflation-adjusted numbers for 2014 for several transfer tax items.  These include the following:

  • The unified credit and gift tax exclusion amount will increase in 2014 from $5,250,000 to $5,340,000
  • The generation-skipping transfer tax exemption will also increase in 2014 from $5,250,000 to $5,340,000
  • The gift tax annual exclusion will not increase–it will remain at $14,000
  • The gift tax annual exclusion for gifts to non-citizen spouses will increase from $143,000 to $145,000

IRS Adopts State of Celebration Rule – If Valid Where Performed, You are Married for Federal Tax Purposes

Originally posted on benefitsbryancave.com

In Revenue Ruling 2013-17, the Internal Revenue Service provided clear guidance to define “spouse” for all purposes under the Internal Revenue Code. A “spouse” includes a same-sex spouse whose marriage is recognized by the state in which the marriage occurred. Use of this “state of celebration” rule will greatly simplify employee benefit plan administration for employers. However, the IRS indicated in this guidance that it will provide more direction on the impact of this definition on employee benefit plans.

How Did the IRS Define the State of Celebration Rule?

These are the bottom line holdings from the IRS guidance, which apply for all purposes under the Internal Revenue Code:

  • The terms “spouse,” “husband and wife,” “husband,” and “wife” include an individual married to a person of the same sex if the individuals are lawfully married under state law, and the term “marriage” includes

Missouri Court Of Appeals Holds That Attorney-In-Fact Violated Fiduciary Duty

With research and drafting assistance from Washington University School of Law student, Kelsey DeLong.

In Estate of Lambur, the Missouri Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether an attorney-in-fact is permitted to gift the principal’s property to herself when the gift is not expressly authorized in the power of attorney.

In 2005, Verna Irene Lambur (“Irene”) executed a durable power of attorney naming her nephew’s wife, Anna Stidham (“Anna”), and Jackie Johnson (“Jackie”) as her attorneys-in-fact. The power of attorney granted Irene’s attorneys-in-fact the following power:

“To establish, change or revoke survivorship rights in property or accounts, beneficiary designations for life insurance, IRA and other contracts and plans, and registrations in beneficiary form; to establish ownership of property or accounts in my name with others in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and to exercise any right I have in joint property; to exercise or decline to exercise

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