Virginia Legislature Makes Major Change to Elective Share Statute
In 2017 and going forward, what a surviving spouse is eligible to receive under the elective share statute will be quite different from years past.
Virginia Code § 64.2-308.3 was amended to remove the distinction of whether a decedent was survived by children or other descendants.
The elective share a surviving spouse can claim is now set at 50 percent of the marital property portion of a decedent's augmented estate, regardless of whether the decedent left other descendants besides the surviving spouse. This means that a surviving spouse could elect to receive 50 percent of a decedent's estate, even if the decedent is survived by multiple children and other descendants.
Multiple States Reducing Estate Tax Threat for Families and Businesses
Since 2014, approximately nine states have eliminated or lowered their estate taxes. This was accomplished primarily by modifying and increasing specific exemptions thereby reducing the number of households that could be hit with a large estate tax bill.
For example, Maryland is planning to raise its current $3 million estate tax exemption to $4 million in 2018. The District of Columbia is ahead of the game. In 2014, D.C. passed a major tax reform deal that included increasing its estate tax exemption amount from $1 million to $2 million at the start of 2017 and to ultimately match the generous federal exemption level ($5.49 million for 2017, indexed for inflation), starting in 2018,
according to Forbes.
Other states are going even further. For example, New Jersey plans to eliminate its estate tax entirely, according to the Wall Street Journal. Currently, six states have repealed their estate taxes over the past 10 years, including Virginia.
The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) recently approved the Uniform Limited Liability Company Protected Series Act (ULLCPSA) to help provide consistency in the language used to structure Series LLCs. This was necessary since the series LLC is a fairly new concept for structuring ownership in a business, but it appears to be gaining popularity across the country. Eight states have already enacted their own Series LLC laws.
What Exactly is a Series LLC?
The Series LLC is a limited liability company comprised of a master LLC and other subservient LLCs that are separate from each other to reduce liability exposure. Some people have compared the Series LLC to a corporation that owns and manages multiple subsidiaries. Each LLC has its own set of assets that are distinct from the other LLCs, while the master LLC controls all LLCs in the series. Each LLC has its own owners and is only liable for its own debts and obligations. A good way to think of a Series LLC is like a condominium complex. The condo association controls the entire complex, but separate owners are responsible for the management of each unit within the complex.
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