Estate

Memphis Proposes Registry for Rental Properties

The City of Memphis has plans for a real property registry intended to monitor and track rental properties, compile data and make focused decisions regarding allocation of resources to those that have a history of code violations, the Memphis Business Journal reports. The registry would require landlords to have a local, registered agent to consult regarding code violations and other matters in attempts to prevent blight and ensure accountability from property owners. This would be the first step for the city’s 3.0 comprehensive land-use plan, with prospective tax changes and other affordable housing measures on the horizon.

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Metro Council to Consider Development Incentives Proposal

A Metro Nashville Council proposal would link economic and community development incentives to investment and support for affordable housing. Councilmember Fabian Bedne has introduced a bill which would require Metro to make matching payments to the Barnes Fund for Affordable Housing when awarding incentive grants to companies seeking to relocate to the city, The Nashville Post reports. According to the Mayor’s Office of Economic and Community Development, total incentive grants in the 2018 fiscal year were $1.53 million. The bill is set to be considered at next week's Metro Council meeting. 

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Family Fights Trustees Over Control of Denver Broncos

An intrafamilial battle has erupted over control of the Denver Broncos NFL team, The New York Times reports. Franchise owner Pat Bowlen was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and relinquished control of the organization to three trustees in 2014, who set a succession plan regarding the transfer of ownership between his seven children. One of Bowlen’s daughters, Beth Bowlen Wallace, is at the center of the dispute, arguing that she is best suited to direct the team because of her philanthropic work, experience as a manager of various businesses, her time as a director of special projects at the Broncos and her law degree. Several of Bowlen’s family members have now filed a lawsuit against the trustees demanding an independent overseer, a move the trustees have asked the NFL to arbitrate. The Broncos are currently valued at $2.6 billion.

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Tax Changes to be Aware of in 2019

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 has made sweeping changes to U.S. tax code, affecting estate planning, retirement contributions and insurance penalties. In addition, the IRS will be updating its tax brackets for 2019 to adjust them for inflation. This brief summary from CNBC puts these changes in a nutshell, offering a synopsis of issues relevant to your practice and allowing you to stay on top of these recent developments.

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Greene County Commission to Consider Resolutions Regarding Clerk and Master

The Greene County Commission will consider resolutions next week to try to quell recent controversies involving its Office of the Clerk and Master, The Daily Post-Athenian reports. Commissioner Lloyd “Hoot” Bowers has sponsored a resolution to potentially end an appeal regarding a Washington County Chancery Court lawsuit where the court ruled in favor of Greene County Clerk and Master Kay Solomon Armstrong after the commission declined to budget staff positions requested by her, with 1st Judicial District Chancellor John C. Rambo ordering Mayor David Crum to add additional employees deemed necessary by the Clerk and Master. Another resolution seeks to transfer the County’s Clerk and Master position into an elected one. The meeting will begin on Monday at 6 p.m., EST at the Greene County Courthouse.

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Meigs County Landowners Fight TVA Land Access

A Meigs County landowner is fighting back on TVA’s plans to run a high-voltage transmission line across his property, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reports. Georgetown farmer Greg Vital has filed a suit contesting U.S. District Court Judge Sandy Mattice's grant of a temporary easement allowing access to several properties to survey potential tower sites for the transmission line, which will serve the organization's new 185,000-square-foot power control center in Chattanooga. TVA maintains that it chose the rural Meigs County site to provide greater security and make it less vulnerable to electromagnetic pulse attacks or other potential threats to TVA's power grid.

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FTC Says Americans Spent $100 Million on Belize Real Estate Scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission filed suit on what it alleges is a $100 million real-estate investment scam targeting Americans who wish to retire abroad, The Wall Street Journal reports. Belize’s Atlantic International Bank was selling parcels in a remote jungle area — which the bank said would become a luxury resort community — and reportedly pocketing the investors’ money. Several investors sued the developers in 2016, however, their Belizean attorney was fatally shot in his home, which local authorities labeled a suicide. The project operated under various names over a span of 13 years and involved more than 1,000 investors.

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Nashville Passes Ordinance Limiting Use of Proceeds From Property Sales

The Nashville Metro Council voted 34-0 last week to prohibit the sale of real property owned by Metro government to pay for city operating expenses, the Tennessean reports. Mayor David Briley had proposed the sale of three Metro properties in June, with the proceeds going to the 2018-19 city budget, however, those sales did not materialize. Under the new ordinance, revenue from the sale of city-owned properties will go toward paying off the city’s debt.

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IRS Proposal Protects Large Gifts from Estate Tax

The IRS last week issued a proposal to suspend the estate tax on large gifts made between 2018 and 2025 that are currently exempt from the gift tax, Bloomberg reports. The proposed regulations are intended to protect those who made large gifts during a period when higher exclusion amounts applied. The IRS has scheduled a public hearing on March 19, 2019, to solicit input on the proposal. Comments can also be sent electronically via the Federal eRulemaking portal at http://www.regulations.gov (IRS REG-106706-18), or by mail at CC:PA:LPD:PR (REG-106706-18), Room 5203, Internal Revenue Service, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044.
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Tomorrow: Estate Planning & Probate Forum 2019

This year’s Estate Planning & Probate Forum to be held at the Embassy Suite Cool Springs on Friday! The annual staple allows you to learn from seasoned practitioners and top players in the field while being a beneficiary of necessary CLE credits. Topics for the forum will include:
  • Income tax planning for estates
  • Medicaid protection
  • Charitable planning
  • Legislative updates
  • Ethics in estate planning
  • A Clerk and Master’s panel
  • And more
A networking event will follow the program. Don’t sleep, missing out is irrevocable.
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