November 2010      
Team Tisser Foundation (TTF) is a non-profit corporation founded by Doron M. Tisser and his wife Laurie. TTF raises money for various charitable purposes and does not focus on any one charity or charitable purpose. The goal is to raise as much money as possible to "Help Make A Difference" by "Improving Life for Others." TTF has made donations to Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Challenged Athletes Foundation, as well as charities helping people affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and the Tsunamis. Since 2000, TTF has donated almost $175,000 to over 25 different charities. Friends and clients generally donate money to TTF to support Doron's participation in triathlons and marathons. If you would like more information about TTF, please contact Doron at doron@tisserlaw.com, or visit www.teamtisser.org
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About
Doron M. Tisser

Doron M. Tisser has specialized in estate and gift planning, tax planning, trust and probate administration, charitable giving, buy-sell agreements and related areas forover 27 years. Mr. Tisser is one of less than 100 attorneys in California who has been designated as both a Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law, and as a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He was chosen by his peers as a 2009 Super Lawyer for Southern California, and enjoys an "a.v."rating by Martindale- Hubbell Law Directory, which is the highest possible rating and is based on ethical considerations and legal skills. Mr. Tisser has published over 65 articles and chapters in books on various estate and tax planning subjects and is a frequent speaker and lecturer at estate and tax planning seminars. Mr. Tisser competes in triathlons, including Ironman races, and raises money for charities through Team Tisser Foundation, a non-profit corporation he co-founded with his wife Laurie.

What’s Happening
On August 10, 2010, Doron M. Tisser was part of a panel discussion for the San Fernando Valley Group, Los Angeles Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants in which he discussed Estate Tax Planning in 2010 and the Use of Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

On September 29, 2010, Doron spoke at the Back to The Future for Estate Planning Seminar for Paradigm Insurance on Current Estate Tax Planning.

On December 7, 2010, Doron M. Tisser will be speaking for the San Fernando Valley Evening Discussion Group, Los Angeles Chapter of the California Society of Certified Public Accountants. He will be discussing Estate Tax Planning in 2010 and the Use of Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

If you would like to receive information on Team Tisser Foundation or Doron’s training, or if you would like to make a donation, please contact Doron at doron@teamtisser.org.
2010: The State of Estate Tax Confusion and Opportunity

2010 will be known as the year of estate tax confusion. Here are some of the issues.

Will Congress give taxpayers the choice of using the 2010 estate tax laws or the 2009 estate tax laws for people dying in 2010?

If a married person died in 2010, will all of his or her assets be funded into a bypass trust, rather than a marital (QTIP) trust?

Will the estate tax exemption remain at $1 million for 2011, or will Congress increase it?

While these and other issues remain open, there are certain issues that you should address before the end of 2010.

Gifting. If you want to reduce your estate for estate tax purposes, 2010 is the year to do this through gifting. In 2010, the maximum gift tax rate is 35%; the gift tax will rise to 55% in 2011. By gifting in 2010, you will pay lower gift tax than you would pay in estate tax or gift tax in future years. In addition, future appreciation is taken out of the your estate.

Generation-Skipping Tax Planning. If you want to make gifts to grandchildren, 2010 is a year for this gifting. In 2010, there is no generation-skipping transfer tax, so that an unlimited amount can be transferred to grandchildren this year with no generation-skipping taxes. With generation-skipping taxes generally being equal to the maximum estate tax bracket, this will save your family a tremendous amount of money in taxes.

It is important to remember, however, that there is some issue as to what the generation-skipping tax would be if transfers are made in trust for grandchildren. The safer route would be to make transfers directly to grandchildren. If, however, a transfer needs to be made in trust, there are certain strategies that can be used to try to protect against an unforeseen generation-skipping tax.

If you are a beneficiary of a trust which is not exempt from generationskipping taxes, so that all distributions trigger a generation-skipping taxes, 2010 would be the year to take distributions from that trust. With no generation-skipping taxes this year, distributions from that trust would not be subject to such a tax.

Fractional Discounts. There have been proposals in Congress to eliminate the use of fractional discounts on transfers between family members. If this occurs, many of the tax planning strategies we use to minimize estate and gift taxes may go by the wayside. If you are thinking of making transfers to family members, you should consider doing this as soon as possible in order to take advantage of fractional discounts, in case discounts are eliminated.

Grantor Retainer Annuity Trusts. If you are thinking about establishing a grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT), 2010 is the year to do this. The minimum interest rates required by the Internal Revenue Service are at an all-time low and make the use of a GRAT a very attractive tax saving technique. It should be pointed out that there have been proposals in Congress to require GRATs to have a term of no less than 10 years, which may effectively eliminate the use of GRATs for most taxpayers.

Sales to Intentionally Defective Trusts. With the value of real estate having come down the last few years, and with the low interest rates in effect, this is the perfect time to consider selling assets to an intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT) in order to pass a lot of assets to family members with no tax costs. With interest rates so low in 2010, the use of a self canceling installment note (SCIN) with a sale to an IDGT is more attractive than it had been in prior years. The potential downsides of using a SCIN can be hedged against by creating a SCIN-GRAT, in which the SCIN and additional assets are transferred to a GRAT.

Summary. If you would like to do estate tax planning and take advantage of various tax planning strategies, 2010 presents many options that should be considered. As the value of real estate rises, interest rates rise and Congress changes the estate tax laws, many of these planning opportunities will no longer have the benefits they do at this time.
Tisser Law Group | 5425 Farralone Ave, Suite 100 | Woodland Hills | CA | 91367
doron@tisserlaw.com - Doron M. Tisser, Esq.
adrienne@tisserlaw.com - Adrienne H. McKay, Esq.
brian@tisserlaw.com - Brian H. Standing, Esq.
judy@tisserlaw.com - Judy Schwarz, Legal Assistant
erica@tisserlaw.com - Erica May, Legal Assistant
laura@tisserlaw.com - Laura Stein, Admin. Assistant
karina@tisserlaw.com - Karina Kogan, Admin. Assistant
This communication published by the Law Office of Doron M. Tisser is intended as general information and may not be relied upon as legal advice, which can only be given by a lawyer based upon all the relevant facts and circumstances of a particular situation. Copyright Doron M. Tisser, Esq. 2010. All Rights Reserved.