Estate Planning (Portfolio 800)


William Streng

Professor of Law

University of Houston Law Center

At a glance

I. Introduction
II. Inventory of the Client's Assets and Objectives
III. Preliminary Estate Planning Considerations
IV. The Basic Federal Transfer Tax and Income Tax Structure
V. Fundamental Testamentary Planning
VI. Lifetime Asset Transfers
VII. Intrafamily Transfer Alternatives to Gifts
VIII. Generation-Skipping Transfers
IX. Special Nonprobate Planning Situations
X. Special Business Planning Situations
XI. Special Executive Compensation/Deferred Benefits Estate Planning
XII. Post-Mortem Estate Planning
XIII. Estate Planner-Client Relationship


Bloomberg Tax Portfolio, Estate Planning, No. 800, is designed as an authoritative and practical working tool for attorneys, accountants, and others involved in estate planning practice. The basic estate, gift, and trust planning concepts are presented in a descriptive and conveniently accessible form. The topics treated include: the development by the advisor of an estate planning strategy for the client; fundamentals of the federal transfer tax system and related federal income tax rules; lifetime donative asset transfers; gratuitous property transfers at death; generation-skipping transfers; special property transfer planning considerations (e.g., community property, life insurance, charitable transfers, closely held corporations); and post-mortem planning. Other Portfolios in the Bloomberg Tax Estates, Gifts, and Trusts series provide detailed coverage of the various specific planning topics surveyed in this Portfolio. These Portfolios are identified at appropriate locations in the text of this Portfolio.

Effective estate planning (particularly, the federal tax planning component) enables a person to make both lifetime and testamentary transfers of assets to that person's beneficiaries of choice and, in the process, conserve wealth for those recipients (often family members). Various methods may be employed to both (i) achieve the estate planning client's objectives regarding the completion of these transfers and the port-mortem management and disposition of the property, and (ii) minimize income, gift and estate tax liabilities on the asset transfers. Effective estate planning, however, requires a working knowledge of both the federal and state tax rules (income, estate, and gift) and the non-tax reasons for using traditional wealth shifting mechanisms such as wills, trusts, gifts and powers of appointment. Therefore, a familiarity with various state property, trust and business laws is also essential for the estate planner. This Portfolio provides the practitioner with an overview of the estate planning concepts necessary in advising clients concerning these several elements of wealth transfer planning.

The federal transfer tax planning discussed in this Portfolio is primarily focused on the period beginning with the year 2013 and thereafter. After a decade of uncertainty, in 2013, Congress finally made permanent many of the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax changes that were enacted in 2001 and 2010.

This Portfolio may be cited as Streng, 800 T.M., Estate Planning.

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