Find out more about current trends in international estate planning and asset protection.
Questions on Estate Planning Covered
Here are some of the questions covered during this event:
- What are the top 5 trends in the Estate Planning?
- How important it is to add life insurance to your client’s legacy planning strategies? Why? Who on a planning team should initiate this discussion with the client? What are typical examples of when life insurance solutions were successfully used to address clients' needs and desires?
- How would you have foundations and privately held investment funds ranked in terms of (a) robustness and (b) popularity for international estate planning?
- In an environment of exchange of information among jurisdictions and increased transparency, anonymity is no longer tolerated. Nevertheless, data protection remains a crucial issue for HNWIs for many a reason. How is data protection in international estate planning best addressed nowadays? Are there any specific steps advisors can take to best serve their HNWI clientele with respect to data protection?
- As many of us know, RE property is often purchased via SPVs located in offshore jurisdictions. For instance, “Client A” is a shareholder of a BVI Co., which in turn owns an apartment in London. When he dies accidentally without any will or testament, what inheritance laws will govern all issues related to the transfer of this asset to his heirs?
- Since tax laws change so rapidly to cater to tightened money-laundering rules, etc., how can tax consultants feel confident that the advice they give this year will still be workable within the next 5 years? Even if the consultants review their clients' positions on a periodic basis, would it be too costly to switch from one type of planning to another?
- On USA and UK situs assets:
- USA: Will a South African taxpayer with USA situs assets pay USA death duties and no spousal rollover, or do exemptions apply? What is the threshold and which assets are included or excluded? Are USA situs assets held by a USA vs. offshore trust (funded by USA tax alien) treated the same? Are US-denominated loans between SA residents and a trust in the Channel Islands or UK subject to USA death duties?
- UK: Has UK now introduced a pre-emigration (actually pre-domiciled) trust, i.e., as of 6 April, a trust created before the beneficiary is domiciled will see the trust income only being taxed in the beneficiary's name on actual distribution (or this is what I understand to be the rules for UK income tax), yet what is the IHT position? Will the pre-domicile (emigration) trust be excluded for IHT even if it's a UK apartment?
- For the US, how do the recent changes with regards to disregarded entities affect the current structures and would you suggest a revision of already structured investments where disregarded entities are used?
- How will the implementation of OECD's BEPS action plan affect estate planning? Any changes in approach or structures you would suggest from the perspective of your jurisdiction?
- What are your thoughts on the position of the protector of a trust for CRS purposes? In particular, on the basis that protectors are treated as account holders for CRS purposes, do you see a move away from the protector concept (especially where the protector’s role is largely limited to appointment and removal of trustees) to other arrangements that have similar functions but without the CRS reporting requirement?
- The United Kingdom was the first country in the world to introduce a year ago a public register of beneficial owners for companies registered at Companies House. The UK government made a clear point to exclude trusts from inclusion in the public register requirement. Two European Parliament committees have voted recently to amend the Fourth EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, which will also require trusts and trust-like entities to publicly identify their beneficial owners. The original version of the directive was adopted by all EU institutions in May 2015. It required member states to create national registers of beneficial ownership of companies and some express trusts. What is your position on these requirements for public registers for companies and trusts worldwide?
- Many clients residing in countries adopting CRS desire to move their funds to the US to avoid reporting. What are the obstacles and traps they will encounter in the US?
- What strategies are used to own US assets without subjecting to US estate tax?
- How is the practical experience with regards to the changes (I believe the IRS issued the relevant notice in 2008) that allow beneficiaries to exercise more powers in trusts (e.g., with regards to making investment decisions)? Is this something that may (over time) (further) weaken the position of the Protector?
Submit Your Questions
If you have any follow-up questions for our panelists, please submit as many questions as you’d like on our forum.
Moses & Singer LLP ,
New York, USA
As Chair of Moses & Singer's Trusts and Estates and Asset Protection practices, Gideon Rothschild focuses on domestic and international estate planning and asset protection. He is a nationally recognized authority on the use of offshore trusts and estate planning strategies for wealth preservation and succession planning. His practice also includes estate administration and the representation of clients in taxpayer disputes at the federal, state and local levels.
Gideon serves high-net-worth individuals with assets ranging from $5 million to more than $1 billion. His clients include professionals, entrepreneurs, real estate developers and owners, closely held business owners and directors of publicly held companies.
Gideon is the Immediate Past Chair of the ABA's Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section, a Fellow of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel, an Academician of the International Academy of Estate & Trust Lawyers and a Vice-Chair of the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners (STEP) - US Region.
Clients describe Gideon as "one of the top asset protection attorneys in the country" and is regarded by peers as "a leading authority on asset protection." Since 2006, Gideon has been listed in New York Super Lawyers®, appearing as one of the "Top 100 New York Super Lawyers" - the only Trusts and Estates lawyer who received the highest point totals in the New York Metro area. Gideon has been peer-recognized by Best Lawyers in America for over 10 years. He further has the distinction of being an AV® Preeminent™ Rated lawyer and one of New York's Top Rated Lawyers in his field by Martindale-Hubbell.
Gideon is the co-author of BNA Tax Management Portfolio on "Asset Protection Planning" and is a member of the Advisory Boards of BNA Tax Management and Trusts & Estates magazine. He has served as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law and New York Law School Graduate Programs.
Advanced Financial Solutions, Inc.,
British Virgin Islands
Michael Malloy, CLU, is the author of the Life Insurance Law Newsletter and specializes in life insurance planning for high-net-worth individuals, high-level corporate executives and successful entrepreneurs. He works closely with tax advisors (attorneys, accountants and trust officers) designing and implementing sophisticated life insurance strategies to solve a variety of needs. Michael is also the founder of Malloy Insurance Services, a property and casualty insurance agency.
Dr Goran Studen,
Dr Goran Studen is the founding partner of the law firm Jakob Studen Partner in Zurich. He has specialized in Estate and Wealth Planning, Asset Protection, Corporate Law and Philanthropy. Jakob Studen Partner advises national and international individuals (HNWI/UHNWI), beneficiaries, trustees and corporations on all aspects of inheritance, trust and foundation law, including cross-border issues.
Beth D. Tractenberg,
Steptoe & Johnson LLP,
New York, USA
Beth D. Tractenberg leads the firm's Trusts and Estates practice. She concentrates her practice on all aspects of personal representation of high-net-worth individuals and families, as well as representation of fiduciaries. She has a particular focus on international and domestic estate planning, contested matters, estate administration, and the creation and advising of exempt organizations. She provides comprehensive tax, personal, and business advice to families, working closely with their family offices and other advisers. Ms. Tractenberg’s practice successfully balances intra-family dynamics with efficient tax planning.
Ms. Tractenberg has particular experience advising international clients as to cross-border and pre-immigration planning, gifting, estate planning, and other tax issues. Ms. Tractenberg frequently assists in resolving business disputes and succession planning across generations of family members. Ms. Tractenberg also counsels private equity and hedge fund managers on their estate planning issues and has significant experience counseling clients on estate planning opportunities that arise in connection with both the formation and sale of closely held businesses.
Ms. Tractenberg is recognized as a thought leader on legal developments and unique estate planning techniques through her frequent speaking and writing engagements. Her speaking engagements include the American Law Institute, Practising Law Institute, the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, National Financial Partners, and the New York Society of Securities Analysts. She served as an adjunct professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, teaching Tax Exempt Organizations in the Graduate Taxation Program.