Category: Estate Planning

Lauren Fitte

GSRJ Associate Lauren Fitte Named Texas Rising Star

For the first time ever, GSRJ associate Lauren Fitte has been selected for inclusion in the 2018 Texas Super Lawyers Rising Stars list! Lauren has been with GSRJ since early 2017. She specializes in designing tax-efficient structures for U.S. and non-U.S. families and advises with regard to both inbound and outbound investment planning, inheritance planning, asset protection, tax compliance matters, international trust and estate planning, and pre-immigration planning. Ms. Fitte is a certified mediator who has published several articles on international estate planning and taxation. She is also a contributing editor to the four-volume treatise Asset Protection: Domestic and International Law and Tactics, published by Thomson/West group and updated quarterly.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The selection process includes independent research, peer nominations and peer evaluations. No more than 2.5% of up-and-coming lawyers in Texas are named to Rising Stars, as determined by Thomson Reuters.

Hailey Bobella Promoted to Paralegal

In the wake of Sandra Bonham’s retirement earlier this year, Hailey Bobella has taken over as the paralegal for the estate planning department. She works primarily with Derry Swanger and Steven Baker to help clients create and maintain domestic estate planning structures and administer decedents’ estates. Ms. Bobella will also continue to act in her capacity as business development specialist, focusing on the firm’s business development, marketing, and branding efforts, and offering administrative support to Edgewater Consulting Group, Ltd.

IRS Proposes New Regulations: What You Need to Know

On August 4, 2016, the United States Treasury Department issued proposed regulations to Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code. These new regulations,  if put into effect as currently written, will significantly impact the ability of taxpayers  and their advisors to utilize previously available valuation discounts when determining the value of interests in family-owned limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations for gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. That is to say, some strategies that estate planners use to decrease the burden of gift taxes for lifetime transfers and estate taxes after a taxpayer’s death may no longer be viable if the proposed regulations become final.

There will be a brief period of time before these new regulations become final during which clients can take advantage of valuation discounts for commonly used estate planning strategies. Gifting plans, if desired, should be enacted with expediency, as they may no longer be valid after the regulations become final. By way of example: taxpayers who created family limited partnerships with the intention of transferring their interests at a later date will, after the passage of these regulations, potentially no longer be able to discount the value of the gift.

The proposed regulations could go into effect as early as the first quarter of 2017, after a scheduled public hearing on December 1. It is not yet known whether they will undergo changes before being officially enacted.

As always, a holistic and well-considered estate plan is crucial in planning for your family’s future. We invite you to reach out to your attorney for a better understanding of these new regulations, and to have a discussion about how your estate planning goals might be attained.