Fiduciary Accounting and Tax Issues of Estates and Trusts


Fiduciary income tax is a complex blend of state accounting rates and the tax law of Subchapter J. Only by understanding this interaction can the practitioner acquire the skills and knowledge to provide income tax planning for an estate or trust and its beneficiaries, sure to be an important skill in practice in the new income tax environment.


Review of major legal and tax concepts Concepts of fiduciary accounting: Principal and income The Uniform Principal and Income Act: how specific state laws on principal and income applied to common expenditures and receipts How fiduciary accounting determines the timing and amount of distributions The crucial differences between fiduciary accounting and tax accounting Distinguishing fiduciary accounting income from distributable net income Splitting income between the fiduciary and the beneficiaries: distributable net income How to set up an accounting system for an estate or trust, prepare a judicial accounting, and record-keep for fiduciary accounting How practitioners can handle audits of estates and trusts Various exercises and problems


Distinguish fiduciary accounting income from taxable income and distributable net income Account for distributions for accounting and tax purposes Identify how the fiduciary income tax return differs from individual income tax Understand state law on principal and income

Designed For

All practitioners who wish to learn about the complex and unique accounting issues for estates and trusts


Don Cochran

Don has practiced law in both Iowa and Minnesota for over 40 years. He is currently in solo practice of law in Apple Valley, Minnesota, focusing on tax, estate planning, and small business organization and management. He was a CPA with the Small and Emerging Business practice of then-Big 8 accounting firm Touche Ross in Bloomington, Minnesota, and has served as the Vice President of Tax and CFO with various privately and publicly held companies. He also served as an advanced sales consultant with Securian Financial, Nationwide Financial, and Pacific Life Insurance Company's Annuity and Mutual Fund division, providing advanced planning support for financial advisors on topics of financial and estate planning for small to medium-size businesses and wealthy individuals.

Don is actively involved in continuing education and other seminars for financial professionals and accountants, on topics related to tax issues for individuals and small businesses; current financial planning and asset transfer; and preparing for and living through retirement. Don is much sought after as a presenter of CPE for seminars sponsored by state societies of CPAs, CPA firms, and other providers of continuing education for financial professionals, and is a featured speaker at several national tax conferences.

Don earned a Bachelor of Science in general science from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, and graduated from the University of Iowa College of Law with his Juris Doctorate. In addition to being a licensed attorney in Minnesota and Iowa, he maintains his license as a certified public accountant. He also attained the designations of Certified Financial Planner and Certified Retirement Consultant.