With the 2013 federal estate tax exemption now “permanently” at $5.25 million (indexed for inflation), many practitioners have reported that their clients are no longer as interested in tax-savings strategies as they had been previously. So, practitioners are turning their attention to other issues. Some of the articles this month reflect this change in focus. In “Special Education Advocacy,” p. 17, Bernard A. Krooks and Marion M. Walsh detail what estate planners should know if they have clients with children who have disabilities (for example, what the school district is required to provide). And, in “Environmental Issues,” p. 13, Albert M. Cohen explains how to help clients who own property that has produced or may produce environmental hazards. Additionally, if you have a client who wants to establish a domicile in a different state, you’ll want to read “Exodus: The Art of Domicile,” p. 10, by Robert A. Napier. Finally, if your client has married children, it’s important to protect the assets from a former daughter- or son-in-law, as Edward D. Brown and Hudson Mead illustrate in “Protecting Family Inheritances From Divorce,” p. 22.

In addition, our Retirement Benefits Committee, led by Michael J. Jones, has been busy, as reflected in this month’s Committee Report. The report tackles a wide range of issues, including: (1) handling complications from alternative investments in individual retirement accounts, (2) calculating Internal Revenue Code Section 691(c) deductions, (3) identifying IRC Section 409A issues relating to taxation of nonqualified deferred compensation, (4) using portability for retirement benefits, and (5) considering real estate as an investment in a self-directed IRA. 

Finally, you’ll read about the winners of the “Advisors with Heart Awards,” selected by our sister publication, REP. (see p. 46). We’ll be honoring our own winners in the “Trusts & Estates Practitioners with Heart Awards,” which will appear in our October Charitable Giving Supplement.