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.

Irrevocable Gift Splitting and GST Tax Decisions
In Private Letter Ruling 201523003 (released June 5, 2015), the IRS examined the effect of gift splitting under IRC Section 2513 and the application of the generation-skipping transfer tax rules under IRC Section 2632(c) to certain transfers made to trusts.
Losing an IRA’s Tax-Exempt Status
In In re Kellerman, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court sustained objections to debtors’ exemption of an individual retirement account.
Supreme Court Revives Employees’ 401(k) Suit Against ERISA Fiduciary
In a 9-0 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that Edison International (Edison) employees, who were beneficiaries of the Edison 401(k) Savings Plan (the Plan), could sue their employer for breach of fiduciary duties.
Settlement Agreement Distributions Retain GST Tax-Exempt Status
In Private Letter Ruling 201519012 (May 8, 2015), a taxpayer requested four rulings related to a settlement agreement.
IRA Distributions Includible in Gross Income
In Morris v. Commissioner, the IRS determined that taxpayers failed to report taxable distributions in 2011 from an individual retirement account.
Charitable Donation Wasn’t Substantiated
Taxpayers who didn’t substantiate their charitable contributions were liable for a deficiency of $12,388 and an accuracy-related penalty of $2,468.
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.
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