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The primary focus of this course is the federal taxation of wealth transfers, whether those transfers occur during lifetime or after death. We may also briefly examine Kentucky inheritance tax laws. In studying this material, students will gain experience working through statutory interpretation and applying statutes to problems and fact patterns to see the way that the rules work in real world situations. In this course we will also consider the goal of balancing the minimization of clients’ transfer tax obligations with the other non-tax goals clients might have. Examples of non-tax objectives include meeting the financial needs of survivors, providing for management of the property of minors and incompetents, and reducing probate and other expenses of estate administration. Finally, we will examine the policy goals behind imposing a wealth transfer tax, and the statutory and regulatory strategies used by the IRS to respond to impermissible avoidance techniques used by taxpayers.

RECOMMENDED: Taxation I (Law 860) and Trusts & Estates (Law 876) are strongly recommended.