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IRS Releases Revised Instructions for Form 706

September 20, 2012


The IRS has released Draft Instructions for Form 706 for the estates of decedents dying in 2012.

Just as we cautioned when we announced the IRS Release of the Draft 706, it is important to note the caution at the beginning of the draft:

“This is an early release draft of an IRS tax form, instructions, or publication, which the IRS is providing for your information as a courtesy.  Do not file draft forms.  Also, do not rely on draft instructions and publications for filing.”

IRS Releases New Draft Form 706 for 2012 Decedents

August 18, 2012


The IRS has released a new draft Form 706 for estates of decedents dying in 2012.   It is important to note the IRS’ caution at the beginning of the draft Form:

“This is an early release draft of an IRS tax form, instructions, or publication, which the IRS is providing for your information as a courtesy. Do no file draft forms. Also, do not rely on draft instructions and publications for filing. ”


Georgia Will And Revocable Trust Were Invalid Products Of Undue Influence


Let’s just jump right into this one: in 2010, a Houston County, Georgia jury declared that a Will and a Revocable Trust executed by Thomas Hines, Sr., in 2002 were invalid, as they were the product of undue influence.

In Davison v. Hines, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed the jury verdict.  The reason we just jumped right into the discussion of this case is because undue influence cases are fact-intensive.  So, let’s look at the facts that supported the verdict.

– Thomas’s 2001 will left the bulk of his estate to his wife for her life, and upon her death, divided the estate equally between his sons.  Thomas’s 2002 will, however, gave Steve Davison and his wife, Deborah, control over Thomas’s assets and estate.  Deborah was a granddaughter of Thomas.

– In December 2001, although Thomas didn’t want to move from his home,

When a Woman Loves a Woman (With Apologies to Percy Sledge…): Another Federal Judge Strikes Down DOMA

The year was 1963, the restaurant Portofino – an eclectic restaurant in Greenwich Village, a part of New York City known as one of the centers of the gay and lesbian liberal movement. It was this night that Edie Windsor met Thea Spyer. “We immediately just fit,” said Thea, in the award-winning 2009 documentary film, Edie and Thea: A Very Long Engagement by Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdotir. After sharing their lives together as a couple in New York City for 44 years, the two women wed in Canada, where same-sex marriage was legal. Two years later, Thea died of complications of multiple sclerosis. At that time the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), a 1996 federal statute, took effect, transforming Edie’s story from a personal tragedy to a public trial.

New Portability Regulations to be Published on June 18

The IRS is scheduled to publish new Regulations regarding “Portability of a Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount” on June 18.   On Monday, you will be able to view the published Regulations here.  If you’re eager to read them before Monday, a pre-publication PDF version is also available.

Missouri Legislature Passes Comprehensive Trust Protector Statute

On their way out the door on May 18, 2012, the Missouri Legislature approved S.B. 628, which included a revision to R.S.Mo. 456.8-808 setting forth a first of its kind, comprehensive statute governing the powers, rights and duties of “trust protectors.” Unless derailed by the Governor, this statute would become law on August 28, 2012 and could set an example for other states grappling with the roles trust protectors play within the modern estate planning world.

So what is a “trust protector” anyway? Under the Missouri statute, a trust protector would be someone other than a settlor, trustee, or beneficiary who is given power over the trust by the trust instrument. Trust protectors are used in modern estate plans to provide flexibility in trust administration and can be given any powers set forth in the trust instrument necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and intentions of

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Regarding Social Security Benefits for Children Conceived after Parent’s Death

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in the case of Astrue v. Capato, No. 11-159, holding that children conceived after a parent’s death through the use of in vitro fertilization are not automatically entitled to survivor benefits under the Social Security law, depending, in part, on whether applicable state law would allow posthumously conceived children to inherit from a parent’s intestate estate (that is, who would inherit under state law if the parent does not have a Will).

New reproductive technology is changing the landscape of determining who qualifies as a child or descendant under the laws of inheritance.  For a more detailed explanation about how this evolving technology could affect your estate planning, see our blog post from September 6, 2011, How Reproductive Technology Can Affect Your Estate Plan in Unforeseen Ways.

Estate Planning in 2012

Estate Planning in 2012

April 24, 2012

Authored by: Mary Ann Mancini

Generally, there are three basic goals of estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax planning: (1) the reduction of estate and gift taxes upon transfer; (2) the deferral of the estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax burden; and (3) ensuring for the necessary liquidity to pay the taxes when they come due.

We are in the midst of very volatile times which, at least for a foreseeable future, although no one knows for how long, can provide opportunities to achieve these goals in particularly beneficial and tax-efficient ways. This is the result of the present low interest rates and the drop in value of most types of assets, which allows clients to engage in some estate planning that may not be available when interest rates rise and values are driven higher.

Please see full Article for further information.

A Very Merry Un-Taxday To You

With research contributed by Melissa Fernley.

As the old saying goes, the two things you can’t avoid are death and taxes. But while the grim reaper may arrive unplanned, it’s generally understood in the U.S. that the taxman comes calling on April 15th – except when he doesn’t. This year, today, April 17th, is Tax Day. And last year, in 2011, it was April 18th. What causes this variation in the tax filing deadline? And why is Tax Day April 15th (ish) anyway? Read on for answers to all of your tax questions (that don’t actually relate to your taxes).

Bryan Cave Recognized as #2 in Client Service

December 15, 2011


Bryan Cave has been ranked number 2 out of approximately 650 law firms which serve Fortune 1000 companies, in BTI Consulting Group’s annual “Client Service A-Team.” BTI’s annual survey of law firm client service performance is designed to identify and recognize those firms which deliver best-in-class service. This marks the 4th consecutive year in which Bryan Cave has been included in the top 30 firms in the survey. “The results of this independent survey are a very important confirmation of our emphasis on client relationships and service,” said Don Lents, Chair of Bryan Cave LLP.   Read More.

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