Estate Planning and Tax Reform: Wealth Transfer Structures Under the New Tax Law

Recording of a 90-minute CLE/CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Program Materials

This CLE/CPE webinar will provide estate planning counsel and advisers with a critical first look at the practical impact of the new tax overhaul/reform legislation signed into law in December 2017. Estate planning authority James Blase, Esq., will detail specific provisions of the new law relevant to estate planning and offer concrete guidance for estate planners and fiduciaries to achieve beneficial tax results and avoid potential pitfalls arising from changes to estate and trust tax treatment.


The new tax reform law represents the most sweeping changes to the U.S. income tax code in over 30 years, changes that will impact virtually every aspect of American society. For estate planning counsel and advisers, the new law creates significant challenges in wealth-transfer strategy and emphasis.

The law alters a number of key provisions in the estate and wealth-transfer tax system. By doubling the amount exempt from estate tax, tax reform will require estate planning advisers to focus more than ever on income tax minimization on transfer of accumulated assets.

The law's impact on estate and wealth-transfer planning will likely yield unexpected results. Because many of its most far-reaching provisions are scheduled to sunset in 2025 (unless extended by a future Congress), planners face significant uncertainty in constructing long-range estate plans. Further complicating matters for estate advisers is the likelihood that a number of states will keep lower estate tax exemptions than the new federal amount. Planners will need to structure wealth transfer plans that take state estate and gift taxes into account while planning within the federal framework.

An additional challenge for planners will be reconciling past transactions and structures to the framework of the new law. The IRS has yet to issue guidance on how it will apply the new exemption amounts to prior reporting of taxable gifts that exceeded the previous exemption amount.

Likewise, certain existing wealth-transfer structures may not be tax-efficient under the new provisions. Estate planning advisers need to have a thorough grasp of the permanent and non-permanent changes to wealth-transfer taxes brought about by the new law.

Listen as estate planning expert James G. Blase provides a critical first look at the wealth-transfer implications of the new tax reform law.



  1. Wealth-transfer regime provisions in new tax law
  2. Planning steps in light of a Dec. 31, 2025, sunset provision
  3. Planning where no changes in the generation-skipping transfer tax
  4. Planning for states with much lower estate tax exemptions
  5. Planning to maximize income tax basis step-up opportunities


The webinar will review these and other key issues:

  • Key provisions and changes in the tax reform act for estate planning
  • Structuring wealth-transfer vehicles in light of Dec. 31, 2025, sunset provision
  • Designing estate and wealth transfer plans in states with lower estate tax exemptions than the new federal rate
  • Reconciling past transactions and structures to correspond to the framework of the new law
  • Planning to maximize income tax basis step-up opportunities


Blase, James
James G. Blase, CPA, JD, LLM

Blase & Associates

Mr. Blase's practice focuses on tax, estate and business succession planning, including preparation of...  |  Read More

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