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    The Lawletter Blog

    Matthew T. McDavitt

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    ESTATES: Depletion of Eventual Probate Estate Through Inter Vivos Transfers

    Posted by Matthew T. McDavitt on Tue, Apr 14, 2015 @ 13:04 PM

    The Lawletter Vol 40 No 2

    Matt McDavitt, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         One problematic issue regarding the administration of probate or intestate estates is that in which the property of mentally or physically incapacitated persons is found to have been significantly depleted through lifetime transfers in the period just prior to death. The Virginia Supreme Court recently addressed this problem, establishing that where such lifetime transfers benefit persons standing in a confidential relationship to the grantor, a rebuttable presumption of fraud arises so as to protect decedent estates from the depredations by third parties upon whom the decedent relied at the end of life.

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    Topics: estates law, depletion of property in estate, inter vivos transfers, confidential relationship

    TAX: IRS Announces Its Position on Bitcoin

    Posted by Matthew T. McDavitt on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 17:10 PM

    Jim Witt, Senior Attorney, National Legal Research Group

         The virtual currency known as "Bitcoin," created by anonymous computer programmers, has been traded on online exchanges as an item of investment, subject to few fees and no government regulation. The price has fluctuated wildly, from a few cents to more than $1,000 per Bitcoin unit. Programmers are able to obtain new coins through a computer technique known as "mining."

         With a growing number of merchants now accepting Bitcoin as payment and general pressure on governments to regulate virtual currency (especially in view of the collapse of the largest virtual currency exchange, Mt. Gox), the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") has announced its position on the income tax treatment of Bitcoin. I.R.S. Notice 2014-21, 2014-16 I.R.B. 938.

         The IRS defined "virtual currency" as "a digital representation of value that functions as a medium of exchange, a unit of account, and/or a store of value," id. sec. 2, and noted that Bitcoin fit this definition as a form of currency convertible into legal tender.

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    Topics: IRS will treat as property rather than currency, Bitcoin, virtual currency, Bitcoin subject to capital gains tax

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