We’ve had some significant developments in the estate-planning world this past year. Most notably, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Obergefell v. Hodges. By a 5-4 majority, the Supreme Court ruled that a state can’t prohibit same-sex marriages and must recognize valid out-of-state same-sex marriages, as both are protected under the due process and equal protection clauses of the fourteenth amendment. We covered this decision in both our print magazine and in e-newsletter articles. As George D. Karibjanian noted in his article, “Obergefell: The Final Word (But Not Really) on Same-Sex Marriages,” Trusts & Estates (August 2015), at p. 34, due to the retroactive effect of the decision, it could have repercussions for property transfers and devises. As we head into 2016, we’ll be keeping an eye out for guidance on this issue and pass it along to you.
In 2016, we also expect to see the enactment of new regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704, expanding the definition of “applicable restriction” when valuing an interest in a family-owned entity. Once the regulations are issued, we’ll provide you with full coverage.
Another item to be on the look out for in 2016: our first e-book, titled Estate Planning for Family Businesses. The e-book covers a variety of issues, including succession planning, selling the family business and charitable planning with closely held business interests.
We’ll also be continuing our free webinars in 2016. To start off the year, Martin M. Shenkman will present his annual “Highlights of Heckerling” on Jan. 20, and Robert S. Keebler and Steven J. Oshins will follow with “The 10 Best Estate-Planning Strategies in 2016” on Feb. 2.
If you have any other suggestions for topics you would like to see covered in 2016, email me at [email protected] From all of us at T&E, we wish you all a happy new year!