10 Prob. Notes. 1 (1984-1985)

handle is hein.journals/acteclj10 and id is 1 raw text is: ACPC
Probate Notes
THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF PROBATE COUNSEL- 10964 West Pico Boulevard*Los Angeles,California 90064
Regis W. Campfield, Editor/Gerald LeVan, Asst. Editor/ @American College of Probate Counsel 1984
Volume 10, No. 1 Spring 1984
President's Message
Lawyers face changes, we are told, during the next decade or so that will
eclipse the massive changes we have undergone since 1945. What are they
likely to be, especially for probate lawyers and this wonderful organization
we call the College? In the next few issues, I plan to explore some of those
But first, I would like to bring to the surface some topics underlying the
probate practice, topics concerning inheritance (meaning all transfers of
wealth at death or during life by gift) and the taxation of inheritance.
Suppose we are called upon to state and explain the value of inheritance,
with respect to economics, politics, sociology, and morality. Could any of us
do so with adequate intellectual breadth, even after days or weeks of
preparation? Suppose we are called upon to state and explain, with respect
to those same subjects, the reasons for anti-inheritance, namely, the laws
which tax inheritance and hence prevent it to the extent of the tax. Could
any of us do so adequately?
These are not abstract suppositions, for many of us have faced, and now
face, these topics. I have in mind the many probate lawyers who carry out a
vital function of our profession, our College, and our citizenship: the reform
and improvement of the law. Today, we face these topics, for example, as
we consider the generation-skipping transfer tax and an assumption
advanced by the Treasury Department that wealth should be taxed, at
certain levels of wealth and rates of taxation, every generation. These topics
are involved in our present work to reform certain transfer tax laws and
even to an extent in our work on the reform of laws governing the income
taxation of trusts and estates. Recently, we faced those matters when
seeking and achieving an increase of the unified credit, a reduction of
transfer tax rates, and the repeal of carryover basis, as to the latter especially
when we asserted that capital gains taxes and transfer taxes were too high
when coupled and applied to appreciation. Apart from taxation, these
topics were present in the drafting of moch of the Uniform Probate Code.
True, we have never been called upon to produce a full dissertation on
these topics. We have had to operate and argue, though, on the basis of
some fundamental principles and, on occasion, to advance them as justi-
fications for our proposals.
I for one have long felt the need for all of us to be better prepared on the
fundamentals, in order to reach, advance, and defend the correct conclusions.

10 Probate Notes 1 (1984)

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