Dawn S. Markowitz

S. Markowitz
Legal Editor,
Trusts & Estates

Dawn S. Markowitz is a legal editor at Trusts & Estates magazine. Prior to working at T&E, she was a legal editor at The National Law Journal and at the Institute for Continuing Legal Education. She was formerly a commercial litigator at Shea & Gould and Ashinoff, Ross & Korff, both in New York. She is licensed to practice law in New York.

GST Tax Exemption Preserved in Sale of Farm
In a recent PLR, the IRS ruled that a proposed sale of a farm owned by two trusts wouldn’t cause the trusts to lose their generation-skipping transfer tax exemption.
“Complete” vs. “Incomplete” for Federal Gift Tax Purposes
In a recent Private Letter Ruling, the IRS addressed whether: 1) a trustor’s contribution to an irrevocable trust was a completed gift subject to federal gift tax; 2) a distribution of income to a beneficiary was a completed gift; and 3) the fair market value of the trust property was includible in the trustor’s gross estate.
Trusts & Estates Mourns Douglas Moore
We were all saddened to learn of the death of our friend and colleague, Douglas Moore, on Feb. 11, 2015.
Trustee’s Actions Regarding Beneficiary IRAs
In Private Letter Ruling 201503024 (released Jan. 16, 2015), a trustee of a trust that was a beneficiary of a decedent’s individual retirement account requested six rulings under IRC Sections 401(a)(9) and 408.
We Beg to Differ
Avi Kestenbaum and Michael Jones offer some strong opinions about the first day of the Heckerling conference
Tax Court’s Valuation is “Clear Error”
In Estate of Natale B. Giustina v. Commissioner, (Dec. 5, 2014), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the Tax Court’s determination of a partnership’s value as a going concern.
Trust Consolidation
In PLR 201448018 (released Nov. 28, 2014), the IRS ruled that a merger of two identical trusts wouldn’t cause any distributions from the original trust into the surviving trust to be subject to generation-skipping transfer tax, so long as there weren’t any post-merger additions to the surviving trust.
Fraudulent Conveyance Claim Upheld
In United States v. Nassar, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding that the government adequately plead the defendant’s general intent to defraud his creditors.
Testamentary Power of Appointment
In PLR 201444003 (released Oct. 31, 2014), the IRS determined that a testamentary power of appointment (POA) didn’t constitute a general POA under Internal Revenue Code Section 2041.
State Court Trust Reformation
In a recent Private Letter Ruling, the IRS ruled that a reformation of a trust to correct scrivener’s errors caused remainder interests to be completed gifts and as such, a trust’s assets wouldn’t be included in a grantor’s gross estate on his death.
Wealth Advisors with Heart: Eido Walny
Despite his extremely busy practice at the Walny Legal Group LLC—the boutique firm he founded in 2011—Eido Walny dedicates a portion of his pro bono time to helping Holocaust survivors and the families of those who didn’t survive.
Wealth Advisors with Heart: Shane Phillips
In 1989, 16-year-old Shane Phillips was in Corsica, France, about to embark on an exciting year abroad when his father, mother and sister died in a plane crash. Beyond the emotional devastation Shane endured, he was faced with another obstacle: His parents had done no financial planning.
Wealth Advisors with Heart: Robert Pagliarini
Robert Pagliarini co-founded The Band of Brothers, a charitable organization focused on improving the quality of life in Southeast Asia.
Wealth Advisors with Heart: Layton John 
Traumatic brain injuries—also known as “TBIs”—have received a lot of press in the context of football injuries. But for Layton John, they hit home in 1999.
Wealth Advisors with Heart: James G. Blase 
What differentiates JIm Blase, the principal of Blase & Associates LLC, adjunct professor at the St. Louis School of Law and prolific author from other estate-planning practitioners, is his commitment to making sure people have food on their tables.
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