Pennell's Estate Planning and Drafting, 3d

West Academic Publishing
Primary Subject
Estate Planning
American Casebook Series
Publication Date
eBook - Lifetime digital access to the eBook, with the ability to highlight and take notes.


Updated through August 1, 2020, the third edition of Pennell’s Estate Planning and Drafting focuses on every-day planning for “middle-rich” clients. For example:
  • Traditional planning for couples who may not have as much wealth as double the basic exclusion amount but who anticipate that the exclusion amount may decline in the future. They must consider whether to qualify 100% of the estate of the first to die for the marital deduction (and defer all taxes), or instead to shelter the unified credit of the first to die in a nonmarital trust. In either case they also need to decide whether to elect portability for any unused exclusion amount.
  • A sharper focus on family trust planning for clients with enough wealth to worry about protecting their beneficiaries (and wealth) but for whom sophisticated tax-minimization techniques are not needed.
  • A new brief explanation of Code Chapter 14 illustrates its application but notes that most middle-rich clients will not stumble into estate freezing techniques.
  • The coverage of retirement benefits is updated to reflect the SECURE Act changes to the required-minimum-distribution rules, and elimination of most stretch-payout planning.
  • The chapter on charitable giving is streamlined and simplified in recognition that most middle-rich clients do not make extensive use of private foundations or split-interest trusts.
  • Information about postmortem planning and fiduciary administration stresses state and federal income taxation and state death taxation in situations that do not trigger federal wealth transfer taxation.
  • The text explains essential tax fundamentals that inform traditional techniques (e.g. Crummey powers), without overemphasis on the tax-oriented practices that led to their original adoption.

There are over 100 pages of annotated forms illustrating basic planning documents, including a pour over will, self-trusteed declaration of trust, irrevocable life insurance trust, family and marital deduction trusts, and a third-party special needs trust.