I had the pleasure of recently attending the 44th Annual Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute in South Bend, Ind. In the kick-off presentation, Turney P. Berry and Charles A. Redd discussed current developments of importance to estate planners. Their panel included a discussion of case law involving surprises for both grantors and trustees in trust administration. If you didn’t make it to the conference, you can read about what happened in these cases in Charles’ Tips From the Pros column, “Unexpected Consequences of Irrevocable Grantor Trusts,” p. 10.
If you do plan on attending the conference in the future, I recommend a visit to the South Bend Chocolate Company and a tour of its factory. My colleague and I had a lot of fun learning about the chocolate-making process and eating the free samples. Also, apparently conveyor belts move a lot more slowly than they do in the classic episode of I Love Lucy.
Moving on to our International Practice Committee Report, if your clients have foreign accounts, you probably know that they must comply with certain reporting requirements. But, what if they own cryptocurrencies? According to Ruth Mattson, in her article, “Cryptocurrency and the FBAR,” p. 44, your client may need to report these on the Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR) if they exceed a certain threshold. Although the Internal Revenue Service hasn’t offered guidance on this issue, her article reviews some of the steps clients should take to play it safe and avoid losing up to half of their accounts.
Our Committee Report also takes us around the world to report on changes in Japan’s gift and inheritance tax laws, as well as the latest developments involving Israeli family businesses.