The Gillett Estate Management Suite (GEMS) produces federal estate returns (GEM706), gift tax returns (GEM709), fiduciary accountings (GEMAcct) and certain state estate tax returns and accountings. It’s been substantially upgraded since last addressed in the Tech Review.
GEM706 state death tax modules for Conn (including Form 706NT), Ill., Ind. (inheritance tax), Md., Mass., Minn., N.J. (inheritance tax), N.Y., Ore., Pa. (inheritance tax) and Wash. (MN and OR were added in 2012.) It offers state accounting modules for Calif., Conn., Fla., and N.Y. The Conn. Gift Tax Return module is also available.
GEMS furnishes a free download of the publication Gillett, Guzman & Bruns, Fiduciary Accountings and the Uniform Principal and Income Act, that is a technical analysis of the Uniform Principal and Income Act and its implementation in GEMAcct.
Estate Tax Return Preparation
GEM706 prepares all the schedules that comprise the federal Form 706 and posts data from the schedules to other areas of the Form 706. It also enables you to transfer all assets, liabilities and other deductions directly to the appropriate schedule on Form 706 from accounts prepared by the GEMAcct module and gift tax information from returns prepared by the GEM709 module. GEM706 makes interrelated marital deduction calculations and computes the optimum marital legacy on Schedule M, where appropriate. The state modules have been improved to function more seamlessly with the federal estate tax return module when you enter an optimum marital bequest for federal estate tax purposes.
GEM706 interfaces with EVP Systems for valuation of securities at either date of death or the alternate six months date. Users of Quicken may download asset holdings from financial institutions to GEM706 or GEMAcct.
GEM706 addresses deceased spousal unused exclusion (DSUE) portability reporting beginning with decedent information and includes extensive error messages regarding the DSUE. It imports DSUE information from the Form 709 as well. Handling of DSUE amounts and the election is extensively discussed in the GEM706 manual.
GEMS incorporated newly developed forms in GEM706, and all state modules, that are almost indistinguishable from the official ones. The new forms permit production of a higher quality PDF file.
GEM706 now includes the ability to add Statements and Preparer Notes to items on all schedules. Statements are similar to footnotes and include information that users desire to submit with Form 706. Statements are printed at the end of the return. Preparer Notes include information that you want to preserve for internal use only and are printed as a Miscellaneous report in option 14 from the Main Menu.
Users now have the option of inserting predefined codes into macros that allow the data identified by the code to be automatically included in the item’s description.
Handling of spousal joint property has been streamlined in the GEM706 module. When all items on Schedule E, Part 1, are assigned to Schedule M, it creates a single entry on Schedule M referencing all items on Schedule E, Part 1, and assigns to that value the amount shown on line 1b, Schedule E, Part 1.
Gift Tax Return Preparation
GEM709 prepares all schedules and other pages of the Form 709, including net gift calculations, and features a special format for reporting and printing Crummey transfers. It now also includes two extension forms, Form 8892 and Form 4868.
A new report under Miscellaneous Reports, option 7 on the Main Menu, details the computation of the unified credit allowable for prior periods.
New options when printing Form 709, include printing the: (1) donor’s name under the signature line on page 1; (2) donor’s name and SSN at the top or bottom of each page of Form 709 that does not already request that information; and (3) beneficiary’s address each time that beneficiary appears on each part of Schedule A.
GEM709 now permits users to compute the gift and GST tax consequences of lapsing Crummey powers. In addition, if the trust utilizes hanging powers, users can track the amount hanging for each beneficiary at the end of the year. This information is then rolled forward from year to year.
You may now also add Statements and Preparer Notes, described above, to transfers reported in GEM709.
On Parts 1 and 3, Schedule A, users can now include the donor’s spouse as a recipient of a transfer to third persons and can agree to split that gift. However, the interest transferred to the third persons must be ascertainable at the time of the gift and severable from the interest transferred to the spouse. For gift tax purposes, the value of the transfer on the donor’s return will reflect all of the transfer allocated to the spouse, and no portion of the transfer allocated to the spouse will appear on the spouse’s return for gift tax purposes. Treasury Regulations Section 26.2652-1(a)(4) provides that the donor’s spouse is treated as the transferor of one-half of the total transfer for GST tax purposes. When automatically allocating the spouses’ GST exemption, GEM709 permits users to follow the Treasury Regulations or to treat the transfer in a way that seems more logical.
In prior years, the publisher didn’t release the preliminary version of GEM709 until the Fall, but for 2014, GEM709 includes the preliminary version in the initial update for 2014, using the preliminary form until the final is released.
GEMAcct prepares reports that comply with the National Fiduciary Accounting Standards and allows you to define custom reports to comply with the requirements of a specific jurisdiction.
From the GEMAcct Utilities menu, you may proceed to download securities holdings from financial institutions through Quicken, open the EVP pricing interface to value securities or import EVP portfolios, import certain data from Excel files created with the Fast Tax FPS (Fiduciary Practice System), import data from the EstateWorks system and import a text file with user-definable input specifications.
GEMAcct has eliminated the need to Refresh Transactions to update the account tree. It now automatically keeps all transactional information current.
When you change the value of an inventoried item or edit a transaction, you may review all subsequent transactions posted to that account. If you subsequently change the inventory value of an already posted sale of an inventoried asset, GEMAcct displays the sale transaction and adjusts the previously recognized value.
GEMAcct now has the ability to customize the headers on National Fiduciary Accounting reports. You can now change the order (thus, the page numbering) of the individual reports that comprise these reports.
GEMAcct now can maintain lots for individual stock and bond accounts. When a trust purchases additional shares of a security it already owns, users have the option of adding the additional shares to the original account and directing GEMAcct to maintain the separate cost basis in each lot. When lots are sold, you now may manually select those shares sold or direct the program to select the low basis lots (to maximize gain or minimize loss) or the high basis lots (to minimize gain or maximize loss).
On occasion, beneficiaries are required to return a distribution. GEMAcct now has the ability to enter a “reverse” distribution under option 7 on the Main Menu.
In the past, GEMAcct required you to enter the payee and memo for each check at the time you printed the check. You can now enter all of the required information at the time you post the initial cash disbursement. You now have more flexibility in defining check-writing positions and may use any preprinted checks in connection with the check writing module.
GEMAcct now has a search option on the account tree which permits searching short descriptions, long descriptions, income description and CUSIP number for specific text strings and has similar search capabilities in the transaction filter when using option 4 on the Main Menu, permitting users to search transactions for keywords.
GEMAcct now includes 1041 and Schedule D–Capital Gains and Losses reports. When properly configured, the 1041 report lists all transactions comprising each line on Form 1041. All taxable interest received during the year will appear on the report to support the entry for line 1, Form 1041. The Schedule D report shows all short- and long-term capital transactions, which appear in a format suitable to attach to Form 1041.
General Features and Enhancements
The GEMS program provides an Updates option directly on the introductory screen that appears when you launch the program. When you update, GEMS now installs newly licensed annual versions, together with the new authorization code(s), thus eliminating the need to manually enter the codes and then download the new version.
GEMS now gives you the option of adding watermarks (for example, “For Review Only”) and footers to the reports.
All the program modules include spell checking, advanced word processing and formatting capabilities.
You now have the ability to password protect certain aspects of the program, and the network administrator can limit access to each module. You can also password protect other key features, such as the ability to update GEMS.
From the initial Administrator screen at Preferences, you now have the option of limiting network sharing and access to cover letters, macros, other preferences and the recent files list that GEMS populates when a user accesses a module displaying those files worked on most recently on a network-wide basis.
You may now define an unlimited number of cover letters in each main module. By inserting predefined codes, you can easily create form letters to send to fiduciaries, beneficiaries and taxing authorities.
What About Help and Support?
A comprehensive, regularly updated and searchable manual in PDF format is furnished for each of the program modules. The program doesn’t, however, provide context sensitive help topics.
Free customer support is provided to licensed users by email or by telephone (from 8:30 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. Central Time.)
A 30-day demo of the GEMS system (currently the 2014 edition) is available from the publisher’s website, with the data you enter on the demo remaining available if you later purchase the system.
A single user version of the entire GEMS system is $1,295, with an annual renewal of $650. The network version is $1,995, with annual renewal of $1,000. The license includes GEM706 and GEM709 for the selected year and GEMAcct for periods one year after the end of the selected year. Each state module is $395 for a single user and $595 for multiple users, with annual renewal of $200 and $300, respectively.
Purchase of GEMS may be made through the Sales Department at:
Gilett Publishing LLC
3334 West Main
Norman, OK 73072
Phone: 888-GEMS706 (436-7706)
Email: [email protected]
The GEMS modules for computation and reporting of estate and gift tax returns and fiduciary accountings have been enhanced with a number of useful and sophisticated features that increase their efficiency and usefulness.
Trusts & Estates magazine is pleased to present the monthly Technology Review by Donald H. Kelley—a respected connoisseur of the software and Internet resources wealth management advisors use to further their practices.
Kelley is a lawyer living in Highlands Ranch, Colo. and is of counsel to the law firm of Kelley, Scritsmier & Byrne, P.C. of North Platte, Neb. He is the co-author of the Intuitive Estate Planner Software, (Thomson – West 2004). He has served on the governing boards of the American Bar Association Real Property Probate and Trust Section and the American College of Tax Counsel. He is a past regent and past chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
Trusts & Estates has asked Kelley to provide his unvarnished opinions on the tech resources available in the practice today. His columns are edited for readability only. Send feedback and suggestions for articles directly to him at [email protected].