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Post-Mortem Trust Planning, Modifications, and Allocations: Tax Elections Available to the Executor

Modifying Trusts Post-Mortem to Minimize Income Tax, Utilize Deferral Opportunities, and Optimize Basis Adjustments

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

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

Conducted on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE/CPE course will provide estate planning counsel with an advanced and practical guide to post-mortem planning, including trust modification and allocations. The panel will offer tools to help fiduciaries and trust administrators navigate post-mortem planning challenges and opportunities, including how to manage conflicting duties in the administration of trusts. The program will also detail options for post-mortem trust modification, and discuss the possible tax impacts of post-mortem modifications.


Post-mortem tax and distribution planning often presents significant challenges for fiduciaries and estate planning counsel. This is particularly true of complex estates with assets located or trusts sitused in multiple states. In addition to complying with state and local law and tax reporting requirements, administrators frequently are faced with distribution decisions, evaluating tax elections and trust modifications in reaction to post-mortem events and changes in circumstances.

Planners and administrators may achieve significant income tax savings by evaluating trust structures and utilizing advanced strategies to gain step-ups in asset basis. Additionally, fiduciaries should be on the lookout for tax deferral opportunities, such as utilizing the provisions of IRC 6166 and other planning options.

With changes to the estate tax regime over the past decade shifting the emphasis from estate tax avoidance to income tax minimization, estate planners and administrators must have a thorough understanding of the post-mortem strategies available to avoid income tax while still honoring the decedent's testamentary intent.

Listen as our experienced panel provides a thorough and practical guide to advanced post-mortem planning strategies, risks, and opportunities.



  1. Trust conversions and beneficiary designations
  2. Post-mortem tax deferral elections
  3. Six-month alternate valuation election
  4. Tax deferral elections
  5. Trust modification opportunities and risks


The panel will review these and other key topics:

  • Turning a bypass trust into a grantor-type trust with the beneficiary as grantor
  • Discounting the value of assets after death of the first spouse to die without adverse consequences
  • Deferring tax using Section 6166, testamentary CLATs, and "Graegin loans"
  • Getting a full step-up on basis at both the first and the second death
  • Unfunded trusts
  • Income tax planning for partnerships after death


Dougherty, James
James I. Dougherty

Dungey Dougherty

Mr. Dougherty focuses his practice on probate, tax, trust, and estate issues. He assists executors and beneficiaries...  |  Read More

Doyle, Jere
Jeremiah W. (Jere) Doyle, IV

Senior Vice President
Bank of New York Mellon

Mr. Doyle provides clients with integrated wealth management advice on how to hold, manage and transfer their...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. CPE credit is not available on recordings. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video