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Fiduciary Income Taxation: Minimizing Taxes in Trust and Estate Administration

Section 645 Election, Withdrawal Powers Under Section 678, Special Planning With Existing Trusts

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

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

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide practical guidance to estate planners and administrators on complex federal and state fiduciary tax issues. The panel will discuss income tax rules and tax traps faced by fiduciaries, methods in minimizing unexpected income tax liabilities, and offer techniques to ensure income tax benefits for trusts and estates.


The taxation of estates, trusts and beneficiaries present unique and complex issues that require an in-depth understanding of various methods to minimize income tax liability. Estate planners and tax counsel must tackle challenges stemming from new federal tax law and state tax considerations impacting what items and who to tax on distributions from an estate or trust.

In the administration of estates and trusts under new federal tax law, a fiduciary's primary objective is to avoid any income tax traps. Income tax rules applicable to trusts and estates involve a critical analysis of the language within the existing estate and trust documentation, the realization and characterization of income, key tax considerations for existing trusts, and available income tax planning mechanisms.

Estate planners and tax counsel must acquire the necessary expertise to handle specific income tax planning and administrative issues regarding partnership interests, distributable net income, Section 645 elections, and other essential items impacting income taxation.

Listen as our panel discusses income tax rules and tax traps faced by fiduciaries, and available techniques to avoid unexpected income tax liability and ensure income tax benefits for decedents, trusts and estates.



  1. Overview of the taxation of estates and trusts under Subchapter J
  2. Structuring trusts to minimize income tax liability
  3. Challenges stemming from existing trusts and methods to overcome them
  4. Taxation of estates under Subchapter J
  5. Best practices for fiduciaries


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Determining what income is taxable under Subchapter J
  • Taxation of certain types of trusts and key planning considerations
  • Considerations for structuring trusts to minimize federal income tax liability for the trust and its beneficiaries
  • Overcoming challenges stemming from existing trusts
  • Calculating distributable net income
  • Section 645 elections
  • Section 678 withdrawal power over trust income
  • Income taxation of estates under Subchapter J


Bentz, Clinton
Clinton J. Bentz, CPA

Adjunct Instructor
Cannon Financial Institute

Mr. Bentz is both a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. After working as a corporate...  |  Read More

Smith, Daniel
Daniel A. Smith, CWS, CFP

Executive Vice President
Cannon Financial Institute

Mr. Smith’s extensive real-world experience brings his classroom instruction into immediate, practical and...  |  Read More

Willis, Russell
Russell A. Willis, III, JD, LLM

Planned Gift Design Services

Mr. Willis works as a freelance paralegal consultant with nonprofits, donors, and their advisors in structuring...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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