S Corp Issues for Trusts and Estates: Qualified Shareholders, Key Tax Rules, Multiple Trusts, QSST, ESBT

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

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

Conducted on Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926
Course Materials

This CLE course will provide trusts and estates counsel guidance on critical issues relating to S corporations in estate planning. The panel will discuss principal tax rules relating to S corporations that significantly impact estate planning and offer techniques for the use of multiple grantor trusts, S corp trusts, and other items to avoid unintended tax liability.


S corporations are subject to stringent rules with limitations on who or what can be a shareholder of an S corporation. For estate planning purposes, trusts and estates counsel must recognize the impact of eligibility rules for S corps, key tax provisions, and reporting and administrative challenges to implement methods to minimize tax liability.

Succession, shareholder agreements, valuation, post-mortem planning, and basis considerations are some of the challenges of developing an estate plan for owners of S corporations. The 2017 tax reform law created significant opportunities, along with some additional complexity, for estate planners and advisers. Clients with ownership interests in an S corporation are less focused on reducing estate taxes and more focused on avoiding probate and reducing future capital gains tax through obtaining a basis step-up.

Estate planning counsel must be adept at applying key tax provisions to current and future estate plans involving S corporations. For existing ESBTs, trusts and estates counsel should determine whether the trust document allows for realignment of beneficiaries to enable use of a QSST or, in the absence of this power, whether a modification of the original trust is appropriate.

Listen as our panel provides a practical guide to the challenges and opportunities of S corporation ownership interests for trusts and estates. The panel will also offer techniques for the use of multiple grantor trusts, s corp trusts, and other items to minimize taxes.



  1. Qualified shareholders and eligibility rules for S corps
  2. Challenges of S corp ownership interests in estate planning
  3. Evaluating current S corporation trust structures to see if they still achieve optimal tax benefits
  4. Application of Section 199A and the 20% deduction on qualified pass-through business income
  5. Transfers of S corp interests
  6. Navigating reporting and administrative issues


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Critical guidance on qualified shareholders of S corporations for trusts and estates counsel
  • Principal challenges of S corp ownership interests in estate planning and methods to overcome them
  • Identifying issues in current S corporation trust structures and making modifications for optimal tax benefits
  • The application of the 20% deduction on qualified pass-through business income
  • Current differences in tax treatment between an ESBT and a QSST holding S corporation stock
  • Essential considerations for transfers of S corporation interests


Bartlett, Stefania
Stefania L. Bartlett

Cummings & Lockwood

Ms. Bartlett is Counsel in Cummings & Lockwood's Private Clients Group and is based in the Stamford office. She...  |  Read More

Santoro, Cara
Cara Howe Santoro

Cummings & Lockwood

Ms. Santoro focuses her practice on advising businesses, nonprofit organizations, and individuals on a variety of...  |  Read More

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