Prepaying State and Local Taxes in 2017

Don’t bother. 

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Last Chance for Risk-Free Roth Conversions

The rules will change–and not for the better–in 2018, assuming the Tax Cuts and Job Act passes.

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Contract Wills

Is a contract to make a will enforceable under Tennessee law?

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Charitable Solicitation in Tennessee

Charities that intend to solicit donations in Tennessee should not overlook the Solicitation of Charitable Funds Act.

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7520 Rate Will Rise Slightly in December

The 7520 rate for December 2017 will rise to 2.6%. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here. Source: Rev. Rul. 2017-24 (pdf) Posted by Joel D. Roettger, JD, LLM, EPLS

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Handwritten Modifications to Revocable Trust Deemed Invalid

In a recent case, the Tennessee Court of Appeals found that a settlor failed in her do-it-yourself approach to estate planning.

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Distribution from Donor Advised Fund to Private Foundation

Technically, it is possible, but there would be some significant strings attached.

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Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions Will Rise in 2018

The IRS recently announced inflation adjustments to various estate and gift tax items for 2018.

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2018 Retirement Plan Contribution Limits

The IRS recently announced the 2018 contribution limits for retirement plans.

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7520 Rate for Nov. 2017

The 7520 rate for November 2017 will be 2.4%. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here. Source: Rev. Rul. 2017-21 (pdf) Posted by Joel D. Roettger, JD, LLM, EPLS

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Odd Probate Case Poses Question No One is Asking

Specifically, whether Tennessee’s probate claim statute requires a creditor to provide the executor with proof of a claim before the executor must mail the creditor a copy of the published Notice to Creditors.

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Churches and 501(c)(3) Status

Must a church file an exemption application in order to be recognized as tax-exempt under I.R.C. § 501(c)(3)?

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Support Trusts

As the previous post notes, a special rule applies to a support trust in which the settlor’s spouse is a beneficiary. In that case, the trustee shall consider the spouse’s other resources (i.e., assets outside of trust) before making a distribution. But what is a “support trust” and why does the classification matter?

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Slight Decrease in October 2017 7520 Rate

The 7520 rate for October 2017 will drop to 2.2%, down from 2.4% in September. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here.

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Trustee’s Consideration of Other Resources

Consider the following scenario. A trust instrument provides that the trustee is authorized, but not required, to distribute income and principal for a beneficiary’s health, support, maintenance, and education. The beneficiary, who has significant assets of her own, requests a distribution to pay for elective surgery. The trust agreement, as is commonly the case, says nothing about a beneficiary’s other resources (i.e., assets outside of the trust). In deciding whether to approve the trust distribution, must the trustee nonetheless consider whether the beneficiary has the means to pay for the surgery on her own? 

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Other Insurance and Creditor Claims

The previous post discusses the inability of a decedent’s creditors to reach the proceeds of life insurance under Tennessee law. But what about the proceeds from other types of insurance? Are they exempt from creditors as well? 

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Life Insurance Proceeds and Creditor Claims

Are life insurance proceeds subject to the claims of the decedent’s creditors under Tennessee law? Consider two scenarios.

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Getting the Decedent’s Final Paycheck Without Opening Probate

Tennessee has a statute for it:

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Considering Serving as Executor of an Estate Subject to a Tax Lien?

A recent case from the Southern District of Indiana might make you think twice.

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September 7520 Rate Remains the Same

The 7520 rate for September 2017 will stay at 2.4%. A table showing historical 7520 rates since 2008 is here.

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Contracts to Recover Unclaimed Property

Fee agreements with third parties for the recovery of property held by the Tennessee Division of Unclaimed Property are not uncommon. Such arrangements are now governed by statute:

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When Unclaimed Property is Presumed Abandoned

The following table summarizes when unclaimed property is presumed abandoned for purposes of the Tennessee Uniform Unclaimed Property Act:

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Year’s Support and Death of Surviving Spouse

As noted in the previous post, the death of the surviving spouse prior to filing for an elective share does not necessarily mean that she forfeits the right. But what about a year’s support?  Is it also available if the surviving spouse dies before filing?

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Elective Share and Death of Surviving Spouse

If the surviving spouse dies before filing for an elective share, does her right to dissent die with her?

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Anti-Lapse Statute Trumps Testator’s Intent

A recent Tennessee court of appeals case is a reminder that there are limits to how far the law on testator’s intent will take you.

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