April 25, 2008
Tax apportionment: how it works, why it matters
~ written by Robert R. Dunn
Years ago I recall reading an article titled "The Thrills and the Chills of a Simple Will." That article has always stuck in my mind because of the truth that there really is no such thing as a simple will – despite what many people may believe.
One reason – among others – that wills and estate plans cannot be “simple” has to do with the apportionment of estate tax within a decedent’s estate. An important question is how to apportion those taxes when so often a decedent’s assets pass outside of probate by transfer-on-death designations, joint and survivorship property, and inter vivos trusts.
At this year’s Probate Law Institute (May 9) the topic of Ohio’s estate tax apportionment rules will be addressed. The Ohio Revised Code provides specific rules for the apportionment of tax among those persons interested in a decedent’s estate. A decedent’s Will can opt out of these rules, but often times standard “boilerplate” language employed within a decedent’s planning documents can have unintended consequences and lead to conflict in the administration of the estate.
At the PLI, we will provide an overview of the tax apportionment rules and their application to both estate planners and probate practitioners. The seminar will provide guidance as to how practitioners can handle the apportionment of taxes in a manner consistent with the decedent’s intent. The seminar will also address specific language a practitioner can employ in documents to track the rules codified in the Ohio Revised Code and to specifically opt out of those rules in circumstances in which the decedent would not want those rules to apply. And there will be a discussion on how the probate lawyer can provide certainty to the overall tax apportionment by utilizing the local probate court under Ohio’s apportionment rules.
The subject of estate tax apportionment should be of use to everyday practitioners planning an estate and handling the administration of probate estates in which estate taxes (federal, Ohio or another state) are an issue.
Other topics include “Attorney Fees in Probate Matters” with Judge Lawrence Belskis; “Recent Judicial and Legislative Developments” with R. Douglas Wrightsel; “Special Needs Trusts Including Applicable Ohio Trust Code Provisions” with Thomas J. Bonasera; “60 Law Office Technology Tips, Tricks and Websites in 60 Minutes” with Paul J. Unger; “Funeral Arrangements, Child Care, Mental Health, and Other Concerns of Clients in Drafting Estate Plans” by Jay E. Michael; “Charitable Gift Annuities and Donor Advised Funds” to be presented by J. Bradley Britton of The Columbus Foundation; and “Guardianship of the Estate: The Investigator, Protector, and Reporter” by Magistrate Kelly C. Patton.
Click here to register online, or phone 614/221.4112 for event #3704. The cost is $195 prepaid/$210 day of for members, $250 prepaid/$265 day of for non-members and $170 prepaid/$185 day of for paralegals. This event usually sells out, so it is a good idea to register early.