Group and Committee News

October, 2006

Real Property

The Agribusiness Committee is preparing an article for submission to Probate & Property based on the zoning, land use, and preferential taxation portions of the Spring 2006 CLE Symposium Once Upon a Farm.  The committee anticipates reformatting Once Upon A Farm as a Real Property CLE teleconference in winter 2007. If you have any questions, please call or e-mail. Cynthia Boyer Blakeslee, Chair (Contact info available on Committee web page).

The Pro Bono Committee has completed the final draft of a booklet entitled "What a Borrower Should Know Before Obtaining a Mortgage." It is designed for use by mortgage counseling professionals intending to offer informed guidance to consumers seeking to refinance their homes or obtain new financing - particularly those consumers who may be targets of fraud or deception by unscrupulous lenders. The Pro Bono Committee is partnering with the Foundation for Financial Service Professionals (FSP) to facilitate the distribution of the booklet to organizations such as the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through the FSP's Financial Education Partners (FEP) program.


Probate and Trust

The Business Planning Group has a free telephone conference at noon Central on the first Wednesday of each month.  Our September 6 call discussed the Fifth Circuit's  McCord decision, which upheld the taxpayer's use of a defined valuation clause.  Panelists included: Stacy Eastland, who planned the transactions; John Porter and Stephanie Loomis-Price, who represented the taxpayers in court; Steve Akers, RPPT's Vice Chair in charge of its Probate & Trust Division; and Ron Aucutt, past president of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel.  Because the call was not recorded, the panelists were able to speak freely.  We had 157 callers; with many people piping the call into conference rooms, hundreds of lawyers were able to hear the discussion at no charge.  For a link to the case, Steve Akers' commentary, and information about our monthly calls, see the Business Planning Group Web Page.
The Business Planning Group co-sponsored CLEs at the Joint Fall CLE Meeting in Denver October 19-21 with the Tax Section's Closely-Held Business Committee as well as other RPPT Groups.  Friday was devoted to the general topic of E state Tax Planning for the Transfer of Business Interests.  The 8:30-11:30 program (with a break in the middle) focused on sales to irrevocable grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), self-cancelling installment notes (SCINs), preferred partnership interests, etc.  The afternoon portion included p lanning for the succession of control of assets, including choice of entity issues, and selected state and local tax considerations from 2:30-3:45 and d ispute resolution before and/or after death of the entrepreneur for unrelated families and/or dysfunctional families from 4:00-5:30.  Saturday from 2-4 was a joint Section CLE on what estate planners need to know about the Code § 409A nonqualified deferred compensation rules, including a significant segment exploring how that affects business succession planning and the interrelationship between general income tax principles, Code § 409A, and Chapter 14 rules on valuing transfers of interests in family businesses.