New Opportunities for Charitable Gift Annuities

Written by Justin Farrell and David Wheeler Newman The Secure Act 2.0, signed by the President on December 29, opens new opportunities to fund charitable gifts with IRA distributions. The first change is to index for inflation the cap on qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) from IRAs to charity, which has been stuck at $100,000 since the “IRA rollover” was first introduced. (Indexing begins in 2024.) … Continue reading New Opportunities for Charitable Gift Annuities

Do CRTs and CLTs Need To Be Registered With the CA Attorney General?

Charitable Remainder Trusts and Charitable Lead Trusts: California Attorney General Registration Rules Written by Jeffrey Davine It is common knowledge in the nonprofit community that a charitable entity operating in California is required to register with the California Attorney General.  The initial registration is accomplished by filing Form CT-1 with the California Attorney General and paying the registration fee.  The Form CT-1 should be filed … Continue reading Do CRTs and CLTs Need To Be Registered With the CA Attorney General?

The Sky Is Falling

What to do about potential tax hikes with a possible change in Presidential Administrations Written by Allan Cutrow A recent commentary by Philip DeMuth in the Wall Street Journal suggested that a tax hike under a Biden administration would be quite severe. In addition to warning about income tax adjustments affecting rates and capital gains taxation, Mr. DeMuth cautioned that potentially significant changes to the … Continue reading The Sky Is Falling


Written by Lia Momtsios There are not many things to be thankful for during the time of COVID-19, but Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (or “GRATs”) are one of them.  GRATs are a tax planning vehicle that allows the donor to transfer income-producing assets into a trust and out of his or her estate (thereby reducing or eliminating the imposition of estate tax upon death), while … Continue reading THE MAGIC HOUR FOR GRATs

Is this the Golden Age of CLATs?

Written by David Wheeler Newman and  Daniel Cousineau

The charitable lead trust has always been a powerful vehicle to balance philanthropic and estate planning objectives.  The recent convergence of two factors that are critically important in the planning dynamic for charitable lead annuity trusts (CLATs) create a planning environment that is so favorable for CLATs, it is no exaggeration to suggest that the current period may be the golden age of CLATs, presenting a very interesting planning opportunity for wealthy families.  But that opportunity is temporary, since the convergence of these factors is unlikely to continue for very long. Continue reading “Is this the Golden Age of CLATs?”

Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19

Written by Rachel Ronca and Seth W. Krasilovsky

Preparing and properly executing estate planning documents requires much care and consideration under “normal” circumstances.  The COVID-19 pandemic, with its attendant shelter-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines, has made the estate planning process a logistically complicated necessity.  Under the California Probate Code, the execution of estate planning documents requires a combination of notarization and witnessing.  How can this be accomplished when non‑essential businesses are closed or working off‑site, and people are increasingly cautious of interactions outside of their homes?  The Trusts & Estates department at MSK is prepared to assist you through the preparation and execution of your estate planning documents, allowing you peace of mind in these uncertain and difficult times. Continue reading “Estate Planning in the Time of COVID-19”

Wealthy Californians (and their Children) Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief

Calculator with wooden house and coins stack and pen on wood table. Property investment and house mortgage financial concept
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By Joyce Feuille

Wealthy Californians, and more importantly, their children and grandchildren, can pop that champagne. The bill that would have imposed a California gift, estate, and generation skipping transfer tax appears to be dead – – at least for now. It will not get a floor vote in the California Legislature.  Absent a floor vote, the California bill will not obtain the required approval of the California Legislature to put it on the November 2020 ballot. Continue reading “Wealthy Californians (and their Children) Can Breathe a Sigh of Relief”

No Password? See You In Court?

By Seth W. Krasilovsky

Many headlines have been generated over recent attempts to recover highly desired data from a locked smart device after the death of the device’s owner.  While the legal battle between Apple and the FBI over information stored by one of the San Bernardino shooting suspects in an iPhone pitted law enforcement against the technology community, it should also serve as a high profile reminder of the need to address digital passwords as part of an estate plan. Continue reading “No Password? See You In Court?”