Trusts and Estates

Ca. Trs. & Estates Quarterly 2016, Volume 22, Issue 3


By Michael C. Gerson, Esq.*


The July 2015 enactment of new federal tax laws has complicated the administration of decedents’ estates.1 An executor now may have a federally-imposed mandate to notify beneficiaries of the property and the values on the filed estate tax return.2 Beneficiaries of these estates now may have a duty of consistency that prevents claiming an income tax basis greater than the value as finally determined for estate tax purposes.3

This article is the first of two articles on these new duties. In this article, Part I summarizes prior law, Part II details the notification duty, Part III discusses the duty of consistency, and Part IV employs hypotheticals to explain the new duties. The second article will discuss the final regulations under these new statutes once they are issued. On March 4, 2016, the IRS promulgated proposed regulations under section 6035 and section 1014(f).4 The proposed regulations are not binding, and are subject to change.5 Therefore, this article will not discuss the proposed regulations. If adopted, however, the proposed regulations will answer many of the questions raised by this article and may provide guidance as to those issues in the interim.

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