Around The Water Cooler this morning, we’re talking about impact investing, family business succession planning, and estate tax liens.

  • The rise of impact investing poses unique concerns for trustees.  Impact investments are designed to align environmental, social, governance and faith-based goals with an investment portfolio.  Casey Clark and Andy Kirkpatrick examine whether impact investing is compatible with the Uniform Prudent Investor Act in Impact Investing Under the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.
  • The succession of a family business can often be akin to Odysseus’ passage through Charybdis, a treacherous whirlpool, and Scylla, a man-eating, cliff-dwelling monster in Homer’s Odyssey.  Approximately 70% of family businesses fail to successfully transition to the second generation, and 90% fail to successfully transition to the third generation.  In Advising Family Businesses in the Twenty-First Century, Scott Friedman, Andrea HusVar, and Eliza Friedman apply new insights from the fields of social neuroscience and positive psychology and offer a new approach to the succession of family businesses.
  • The IRS has issued Interim Guidance which clarifies the process for obtaining a Release of an Estate Tax Lien.  At the moment of death, an automatic estate tax lien is imposed on a decedent’s property, and the lien attaches to all property of the estate.  If an estate wishes to sell property before receiving closing letters from the IRS, the estate would prepare and file IRS Form 4422, “Application for Certificate Discharging Property Subject to Estate Tax Lien.”  In the summer of 2016, the IRS began requesting additional documentation and requiring that the net proceeds of the sale be paid over to the IRS or held in escrow until IRS closing letters are issued.  In Update on New IRS Release of Estate Tax Lien Requirements, Shaina Kamen and Michael Schwartz detail the Interim Guidance and new requirements.