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If the plan fails to sufficiently preserve the claim, the claim may be subject to an attack on the basis of subject matter jurisdiction.The degree of specificity required in identifying preserved claims varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.When drafting a plan and liquidating trust agreement, parties should ensure that the applicable jurisdictional prerequisites are met.If a liquidating trustee’s standing to enforce estate claims, as an appointed representative under Section 1123(b)(3)(B), is challenged, the trustee must first demonstrate that he or she has been appointed to enforce the claim.
For example, as shown on the below chart, a Delaware corporation continues to exist for a period of three years following the filing of a certificate of dissolution, but a Delaware partnership or limited liability company’s legal existence continues indefinitely following an event of dissolution, until a certificate of cancellation is filed.In 1994, the Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Procedure 94-45 (“Rev. 94-45”), which established guidelines applicable to liquidating trusts formed to implement a Chapter 11 plan, which are similar to the considerations applicable to a liquidating trust outside bankruptcy. 94-45 lists twelve conditions which, if met, will generally result in the issuance by the IRS of an advance determination classifying the trust as a liquidating trust under Treas. The plan, disclosure statement, and any separate trust instrument must provide for consistent valuations of the transferred property by the trustee and the creditors, and those valuations must be used for all federal income tax purposes.If followed, these guidelines should ensure that the establishment of the trust will be treated as a transfer from the bankruptcy estate to the beneficiaries followed by a deemed transfer by the beneficiaries to the liquidating trust. Finally, a liquidating trust may lose its grantor trust status “if the liquidation is unreasonably prolonged or if the liquidation purpose becomes so obscured by business activities that the declared purpose of liquidation can be said to be lost or abandoned.” 26 CFR § 301.7701-4(d).The appointment is generally done in the plan, confirmation order and trust agreement. 94-45, the plan and disclosure statement must explain how the bankruptcy estate will treat the transfer of its assets to the trust for federal income tax purposes.The liquidating trustee must also demonstrate that he or she qualifies as a representative of the estate. 94-45 notes that it does not define as a matter of law the circumstances under which an organization will be classified as a liquidating trust for income tax purposes, the conditions are commonly incorporated into plans and liquidating trust agreements whether or not an advance ruling is sought. A transfer to a liquidating trust for the benefit of creditors must be treated for all purposes of the Revenue Code as a transfer to creditors to the extent that the creditors are beneficiaries of the trust.