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Estate Tax Planning with Family Entities After Powell and Strangi



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The Tax Court case of Powell v. Commissioner held that Mr. Powell's estate was considered to own the assets that he contributed to a limited partnership because he indirectly retained the power to determine if and when there would be a distribution or liquidation of the partnership. This opinion follows the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals case of Strangi v. Commissioner, and in both decisions the decedent did not have a general partner interest, but was considered to be in control over the general partner, because the general partner was named in the decedent's Durable Power of Attorney, and would been found to have a fiduciary duty to make a distribution or cause a liquidation, even though the decedent had given the 99% limited partnership interests in the partnership to a Charitable Lead Annuity Trust. 

There is much confusion over when the Powell or Strangi cases may apply, what planning strategies can still be safely used, and what to do to avoid the Powell result for existing family LLCs, limited partnerships and other arrangements. 

Here are just a few of the topics Alan Gassman and Ken Croty will review In their exclusive LISI Webinar: 

  • A brief review of the Powell and Strangi cases;
  • Common client fact patterns that are at risk, and how to spot them; 
  • Strategies to immunize family LLCs, limited partnerships and other entities from the application of these holdings;
  •  Sample form language that can be used in partnership and operating agreements to help avoid imposition of the result in Powell and Strangi.



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Alan S. Gassman, J.D., LL.M., is a partner in the law firm of Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A., and practices in Clearwater, Florida. He is a frequent contributor to LISI, and has published numerous articles and books in publications such as BNA Tax & Accounting, Estate Planning, Trusts and Estates, Interactive Legal and Haddon Hall Publishing. The Alan Gassman Channel at Interactive Legal has recently opened, and features many books and resources, including many Florida and Federal based materials, forms and resources. He is also the Moderator for Bloomberg BNA's 2017 Estate Planning Webinar Series. On February 24th Alan and his partners Christopher Denicolo and Ken Crotty will present a Bloomberg BNA Webinar at 12:30 EST on Innovative Trust Planning for Uncertain Times. You can contact Alan at agassman@gassmanpa.com for more information with respect to these programs.


Kenneth J. Crotty, J.D., LL.M., is a partner at the Clearwater, Florida law firm of Gassman, Crotty & Denicolo, P.A., where he practices in the areas of estate tax and trust planning, taxation, physician representation, and corporate and business law. Mr. Crotty has co-authored several handbooks that have been published in BNA Tax & Accounting, Estate Planning, Steve Leimberg’s Estate Planning and Asset Protection Planning Newsletters and Estate Planning magazine. Mr. Crotty is a co-author of the BNA book Estate Tax Planning in 2011 & 2012. His email address is ken@gassmanpa.com.


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