March 2009 TOC

The Table of contents for the March 2009 issue of Trusts & Estates Magazine

On The Cover

There reportedly are 7,180 pieces in the Rose Art Museum that Brandeis is threatening to sell to mitigate the university’s financial problems caused by a flagging endowment. But the bulk of the Rose collection’s worth may lie in just three or four paintings.

One of those stars is pictured on our cover: Roy Lichtenstein’s “Forget It/Forget Me” was painted in 1962.

Today, Lichtenstein’s piece (about six-and-a-half feet by five-and-a-half feet) reportedy could sell for tens of millions. (Brandeis’ budget is said to be $10 million short this year.)

Other standouts in the Rose collection are, according to Richard Polsky, author of the upcoming I Sold Andy Warhol (Too Soon) (Random House, New York, September 2009): Andy Warhol’s 1964 “Saturday Disaster” and Robert Rauschenberg’s 1961 “Second Time.”

One of the lesser known, but intriguing pieces from the Rose collection is Gregory Crewdson’s “Untitled Digital C-Print “Untitled (Ophelia),” from his 2001 series “Twilight,” see p. 40.

Whether Brandeis chooses to sell the whole lot and shut down the Rose or just a few pieces, observers expect there will be lawsuits filed. (See “Driven To Defy Donor Intent?” for a more complete report on Brandeis’ move.)


9/ Tax Law Update
By David A. Handler, partner, & Alison E. Lothes, associate in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Elli

  • Private Letter Ruling 200901023 — Internal Revenue Service says a wife’s lifetime and testamentary transfers of art to a foreign trust would qualify for the estate and gift tax charitable deductions—even if the trust didn’t apply for tax-exempt status under Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3).
  • Estate of Susteric and Lopatkovich v. United States — The U.S. Court of appeals for the Sixth Circuit okays the use of IRS annuity tables to value lottery payments.
  • Estate of Litchfield v. Commissioner — The U.S. Tax Court upholds the vaulation discounts proposed by an estate’s expert on interests in two family-owned companies for lack of control and for built-in capital gains, but adjusts these discounts for lack of marketability.


Estate Planning & Taxation

13/ The Increased Exemption Creates Opportunity
By Karen E. McMahon & Ann B. Burns

Good news for taxpayers: this year, individuals can transfer $3.5 million free of federal estate and gift tax. Married couples can transfer $7 million—and may no longer be subject to the estate tax at all. So there’s a wealth of new opportunities in gifting, asset allocation and tax planning for your clients. Help them rethink estate strategies in light of this increased exemption amount. And while you’re at it, coordinate with your clients’ attorneys, accountants and financial advisors to make sure that tax and estate issues are understood by each member of the planning team.

Karen E. McMahon is a principal in the Minneapolis office of Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett, P.A.
Ann B. Burns is a principal in the Minneapolis office of Gray Plant Mooty Mooty & Bennett, P.A.


21/ The Estate Planner’s Guide To International Philanthropy
By David T. Leibell, Mark E. Haranzo & Phyllis Maloney Johnson

Those who are charity-minded should be rewarded, not penalized, right? But to those seeking to give to foreign charities beware: There’s a host of complex tax rules and federal regulations that make international giving tricky—so tricky, that you can end up in jail for contributing to a terrorist organization. Advisors must counsel clients well, so that they can deduct contributions to foreign charities, prevent paying excise taxes, and avoid unwittingly violating the anti-terrorist laws.

David T. Leibell is a partner in the Stamford, Conn. office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP.
Mark E. Haranzo is a partner in the New York office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP.
Phyllis Maloney Johnson is an associate in the New Haven, Conn. office of Wiggin and Dana, LLP.


Coping with the Economic Crisis

31/ Is This Time Different?
By Jon Ruff & Vincent L. Childers

To understand the current financial crisis, authors Jon Ruff and Vincent L. Childers closely analyze 15 prior systemic banking failures—the run-up in lending before each crisis, and the after-effect of deleveraging. While no one can predict what lies ahead for the U.S. economy, the authors suggest that a look at these past credit cycles is a window into our current situation. Plus, if today’s government remedies prove more effective than those of the past, we may weather this storm with even less painful deleveraging than might otherwise be expected.

Jon Ruff is a director in the Wealth Management Group at Bernstein Global Wealth Management in New York.
Vincent L. Childers is a research analyst in the Wealth Management Group at Bernstein Global Wealth Management in New York.

41/ They Want To Sell Their Company Now?
By Robert M. Held

It may be a terrible time for your client to sell his business. Then again, it may not be. Know how to assess the place of your client’s closely held company in the marketplace, help him position his company to obtain the most bang for his business, and find someone to help him sell. Here’s what you as the wealth advisor need to know for clients looking to unload their firms—in any market.

Robert M. Held is a partner at The Watermill Group—a private equity and consulting firm based in Lexington, Mass.

50/ Fees: How To Charge, Collect and Defend Them
By Louis S. Harrison & Emily J. Kuo

Seems like everyone is nervous about their finances. Today more than ever, we need to show our clients the value our estate-planning services provide. Hourly billing may not necessarily be the way to go, and alternative methods to bill for services may make more sense. Know your options. And learn some new, positive lingo.

Louis S. Harrison is a partner in the Chicago-based firm of Harrison & Held LLP. He is also a member of the Trusts & Estates advisory committee on estate planning & taxation. Emily J. Kuo is a partner in the Chicago-based firm of Harrison & Held LLP.

58/ Driven to Defy Donor Intent?
By Karen Donovan

No one is spared from this economic mess—not even pillars of education. Two months ago, Brandeis University’s board of trustees voted unanimously to close its Rose Art Museum and sell its holdings, valued at $350 million. Donors were stunned, but do they have a right to challenge the sale of their donated pieces? Historically, they haven’t, although there’s a handful of cases that have nipped away at this prohibition. You may want to start advising clients to include restrictions on their gifts of art to charities. But, beware, some philanthropy experts say that in the long run, such restrictions are counterproductive.

Karen Donovan is a journalist based in Cape Cod, Mass.



60/ Long-term Care Lawsuits Will Just Keep Coming
By Beth Slagle & Richard T. Victoria

There’s an avalanche of lawsuits against long-term care insurers from disgruntled policyholders, and more to come. Help your client avoid jumping on the bandwagon by educating him on precisely what is covered in a policy, before he signs on the dotted line.

Beth Slagle is a partner specializing in insurance and business law at Meyer, Unkovic, Scott LLP in Pittsburgh. Richard T. Victoria is a partner specializing in insurance and business law at Meyer, Unkovic, Scott LLP in Pittsburgh.

TAGS: Research
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