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Joseph Frabizzio of Robson and Robson. Joseph Frabizzio of Robson and Robson.

Estate planning strategies such as family limited partnerships and gifts to charitable trusts are part of an estate planning professional’s toolbox to achieve client goals such as minimizing taxes, effectuating philanthropic plans, teaching younger generations about a family business and passing on wealth. In the best-case scenario, attorneys and their clients have time to review how the plan will work, allow younger generations to evaluate their role in the plan, evaluate the goals it will achieve, and recognize any risks associated with the plan. Whether a client’s estate is of a significant amount or of a more modest size, recent experience with COVID-19 highlights the need for individuals to take care of their planning while they have time to consider all issues involved versus rushing to implement a plan when there is a serious illness or fear of one driving their actions. These concerns are magnified, of course, when one must consider federal estate and gift tax issues. A recent memorandum opinion by the U.S. Tax Court provides an example of a last-minute, complex plan that may have been doomed from the start or headed off the rails in its implementation. See Estate of Howard V. Moore v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Docket Nos. 21209-09, 22082-09 (U.S. Tax Ct. April 7, 2020).

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