Tennessee Enacts New Rules on Unclaimed Property

Tennessee has adopted the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA). It became effective on July 1, and is codified at T.C.A. § 66-29-101, et seq. It replaces the Uniform Disposition of Unclaimed (Personal) Property Act.

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August 7520 Rate Announced

The 7520 rate for August 2017 will go back to 2.4%. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here.

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Tennessee Quietly Makes More Probate Changes

While much attention has been given to the 2017 Probate Omnibus Bill (SB0769, now codified as Public Chapter 290), a little-known bill that also became effective on July 1 makes several important probate changes that should not be overlooked.

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Concealing or Destroying a Will

It’s a crime under Tennessee law: Any person who destroys or conceals the last will and testament of a testator, or any codicil thereto, with intent to prevent the probate thereof or defraud any devisee or legatee, commits a Class E felony. A Class E felony is punishable by not less than one (1) year nor […]

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For a Limited Time Only: IRS Grants Extension to Elect Portability

Executors who discovered too late that they should have made a portability election have gotten a reprieve. 

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More on the Primacy of Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations trump a will. Tennessee has a statute on it:

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Spousal Rollover When RLT is Beneficiary

Is a spousal rollover available when the beneficiary of an IRA is a revocable trust? Surprisingly, in some cases, the IRS says yes.

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Rushed Prenup Invalidated by Court

How much time must pass between the execution of a prenuptial agreement and the wedding of the parties in order for the agreement to be enforceable?

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Sales of Personal Property by Executors

How much leeway does an executor have when it comes to selling the personal property of an estate?

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Joint Revocable Trust: Gift on Creation?

Not if the non-contributing spouse has the unilateral power to revoke:

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July 7520 Rate Announced

The 7520 rate for July 2017 will drop to 2.2%. This is the lowest rate so far for the year. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here. The effectiveness of various estate planning and charitable planning techniques is measured in terms of the 7520 rate. These techniques include Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), […]

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Reasonable Compensation of Executors

Serving as an executor is not an honor, it is work. As such, the person serving in this position will often want to be compensated for his, her, or its time. A common question is: how much is appropriate? The Tennessee Code simply provides that an executor is entitled to “reasonable compensation.” To wit: The […]

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Percentage Fees in Probate Matters

Is it unlawful or unethical for an estate attorney to charge a fee based on a percentage of the estate? That was one issue raised in In re Estate of Bessie Adcock Bingham. In that case, the executor entered into a contract with an estate attorney, whereby the attorney agreed to represent the estate for a […]

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Children Born after the Will is Executed

A good Last Will and Testament will address the issue of children born after the document is executed. Nonetheless, the Tennessee Code has the situation covered: A child born after the making of a will, either before or after the death of the testator, inclusive of a mother-testator, not provided for nor disinherited, but only pretermitted, […]

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Revocable Trust as Post-Nup?

Can a revocable trust created by one spouse after marriage constitute an enforceable postnuptial agreement for divorce purposes? This question arose in a recent case decided by the Tennessee Court of Appeals. The facts are as follows: Husband and Wife were married in 2006. It was a second marriage for both parties. In 2009, Husband […]

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TISTs: Who SHOULD be Trustee?

A previous post discusses who can legally be the trustee of Tennessee Investment Services Trust (TIST). A better question might be: who should be the trustee of a TIST? Choosing the wrong trustee could expose a TIST to creditors. One argument in favor of piercing a TIST is that the trustee is beholden to the grantor. […]

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June 7520 Rate Announced

The 7520 rate for June 2017 will remain at 2.4%. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here. The effectiveness of various estate planning and charitable planning techniques is measured in terms of the 7520 rate. These techniques include Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs), […]

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If You Want an Estate Tax Closing Letter, You Now Have to Ask for It

For estates that are required to file a Form 706, United States Estate (and Generation-Skipping Transfer) Tax Return*, it is advisable not to close the estate until you know that the IRS has completed its examination of the return and has accepted it (either with or without adjustment). Until relatively recently, the IRS would notify you that […]

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Health Insurance and Gift Tax

Are payments of health insurance premiums for a child, grandchild, or other party subject to federal gift? No, provided the payment is made correctly. I.R.C. § 2503(e)(2) excludes from gift tax any amount paid on behalf of an individual: (A) as tuition to an educational organization described in section 170(b)(1)(A)(ii) for the education or training […]

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Estate Planning for Retirement Assets in a Nutshell

When the owner of an IRA or 401(k) plan dies, the plan must pay out over some period of time. This is true regardless of whether the IRA/401(k) is a traditional account or a Roth account. The only exception is when the surviving spouse is named a beneficiary. In that case, the surviving spouse has […]

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Forms of Asset Protection

Ownership by the Other Spouse–It is not uncommon for a spouse with high liability exposure to transfer assets to his or her spouse with a lower risk profile. Tenancy by the Entirety (TBE)–TBE refers to assets titled in the name of husband and wife. A creditor of one spouse may not reach TBE property unless […]

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Amateur Sports and 501(c)(3)

Can an amateur sports league qualify as 501(c)(3) organizations? Yes, but only if the organization is organized and operated for purposes that are not merely recreational and not for the sole benefit of its members. Case in point: an adult men’s baseball league applied for tax-exempt status under I.R.C. § 501(c)(3). It claimed to be […]

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The Right for Trusts to Remain Silent

Under the Tennessee Trust Code, is a trustee required to give beneficiaries information about their trust? Not necessarily.

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Executive Order on Electioneering by Nonprofits

A recent Executive Order (EO) purports to ease the political speech restrictions on religious organizations, but what does it really do?  Section 2 of the EO, captioned “Respecting Religious and Political Speech,” announces the general rule:  All executive departments and agencies shall, to the greatest extent practicable and to the extent permitted by law, respect and […]

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2018 HSA Limits Announced

The IRS has announced the maximum amount an individual can contribute to a Health Savings Account (HSA) in 2018. For individuals with self-only coverage, the HSA limit will be $3,450. For individuals with with family coverage, the limit will be $6,900. In order to qualify for an HSA, you must be enrolled in a “high deductible […]

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