1. For a Limited Time Only! IRS Continues Simplified Procedure for Obtaining Extension to Elect Portability (Rev. Proc. 2017-34)

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    Background.  After portability became effective on January 1, 2011, the deceased spouse’s unused exclusion (“DSUE”) could be “ported” to the surviving spouse for use in making gifts and sheltering his own estate.  The 2017 exclusion is $5.49M, meaning a married couple can shield $10.98M from federal estate and gift taxes....
  2. Colorado’s Trust Decanting Statute

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    Colorado joined 23 other states when it enacted the Uniform Trust Decanting Act (“Act”) in 2016, C.R.S. §15-16-901, et seq. The Act provides a statutory framework for a trustee to modify an irrevocable trust based on the trustee’s discretionary power to make distributions.  (For lay persons, “revocable” trusts are trusts...
  3. Colorado End-of-Life Options Act

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    The Colorado End-of-Life Options Act, C.R.S. § 25-48-101, et seq., became effective December 16, 2016, when it Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the voter-passed initiative to allow terminally ill adults to end their lives with prescribed medication.  Five other states, California, Montana, Oregon, Vermont and Washington have similar laws. Who...
  4. Same-Sex Marriage Now Legal in a Majority of States

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    The landmark case of U.S. v. Windsor, 133 S.Ct. 2675 (2013), found § 3 of the federal Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) unconstitutional and opened the door to federal benefits for same-sex couples married in marriage states.   However, Windsor did not specifically address state same-sex marriage bans remaining in...
  5. What do you have in common with an NFL owner?

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    Longtime Buffalo Bills owner, Ralph C. Wilson, Jr., died on March 25, 2014 at age 95.  Loyal Bills fans have been heartbroken by their team many times.  They are the only team to lose four consecutive Super Bowls.  Regardless, their fans do not want to see the team leave Buffalo. ...
  6. Civil Unions in Colorado and the Demise of DOMA

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    What does this mean for your estate plan? I spent this morning in court on a final adoption hearing.  Second-parent adoptions were first authorized in Colorado in 2008 and provided a way for same-sex couples to legally adopt one another’s children.  Adoptions are typically happy occasions.  Unfortunately, the process was...