Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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ERISA Fiduciary Obligations: More on Application to Life Insurance Coverage

This article examines the case of Biller v. Prudential Insurance, in which the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia denied a motion to dismiss a claim brought against an employer by the beneficiaries of a...more

Wealth Management Update

September Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The September § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...more

Florida DFS Unclaimed Property Grab “Clearly Erroneous”

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal filed an opinion yesterday in Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s appeal from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services interpreting Florida’s...more

Third Circuit Reaffirms the Difficulty of Binding a Non-Signatory to Arbitration

Federal law’s much-talked-about presumption in favor of enforcing arbitration clauses has its limits. On August 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit identified one of those limitations: the...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suit Brought by Expired Trust

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that the trustee of an expired trust does not have capacity to pursue a derivative suit unless authorized by state law, or in the trust instrument. In April 2009, shareholders of...more

Florida Court Rejects "Date of Death" Trigger for Escheating Life Insurance Death Benefits Under Florida's Unclaimed Property Act

On August 5, Florida's First District Court of Appeal reversed a ruling issued by Florida's Department of Financial Services ("DFS") that would have triggered an insurer's duty to escheat life insurance benefits under...more

Unclaimed Property: Court Holds Life Insurer’s Escheatment Duties Not Triggered By Insured’s Death

In an opinion filed August 5, 2014, the Florida First District Court of Appeal held that under Florida’s unclaimed property law, life insurance proceeds are not “due and payable,” and the dormancy period does not begin to...more

Affiliate Transfer: Fraudulent Conveyance or Unwinding Resulting Trust?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside as a debtor’s transfer of her interest in property held jointly with her husband to her husband’s corporation as a constructive fraudulent conveyance. The bankruptcy court agreed that...more

Hastings-Bass and Mistake: Should the BVI follow Jersey’s example?

On 25 October 2013 the States of Jersey introduced never before seen statutory provisions which seek to clarify, as a matter of Jersey law, the existence and nature of the Hastings-Bass principle and the doctrine which allows...more

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

Timing of judgment creditor's entitled fee petition key to enforcement

In Conservatorship of McQueen the California Supreme Court decided a unique issue concerning the interpretation of Code of Civil Procedure Section 685.040. Under that statute, a judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable...more

Intervention Generally Not Permitted After Final Judgment

In this trust litigation case, the Attorney General of Delaware sought to intervene in a case involving a charitable trust providing for children with physical disabilities in the State of Delaware. In 2004, additional...more

Florida Court of Appeal Holds Insured’s Death Alone Does Not Trigger Unclaimed Property Law Obligations

In an opinion filed August 5, Florida’s First District Court of Appeal held that Florida’s unclaimed property law does not make life insurance proceeds due and payable at the time of the insured’s death and does not impose an...more

The enforceability of a trust accounting clause’s failure-to-object provision (the non-judicial settlement of trustees’ accounts)

It is common for the accounting clause of an inter vivos trust instrument to contain a provision along the lines of the following: “The written approval of such an account by the person or persons thus entitled to such...more

51 Flavors: A Survey of Small Estate Procedures Across the Country

Properly navigating a probate administration in any one state can be challenging enough, but often the client’s estate—and the attorney’s practice—is not so neatly confined within one state’s boundaries. Fortunately, for...more

Is Attorney-Client Privilege Affected By Who Pays Counsel Fees?

After receiving great interest from our “Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege” article, we provide this follow-up article to address a possible “exception to the exception” that may still protect documents...more

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with the...more

Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: SCOTUS on Bankruptcy: Jurisdiction and Inherited IRAs Clarified

In a rare burst of bankruptcy enthusiasm, the US Supreme Court in June issued two decisions on matters important to the administration of bankruptcy cases. In re Bellingham, decided June 9, addressed a seemingly...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

CERCLA Contribution and Trust Funds: A Matter for State Law

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, does not require contribution from...more

How to Fight a STOLI Scheme: Court Rulings Offer Clues

Two recent court decisions provide potential road maps for insurers in the fight against Stranger-Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) schemes. Ohio Nat’l Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis involved a STOLI scheme so obvious that...more

In Frank Aragona Trust, Tax Court Holds that Trustees’ Activities as Employees Count for Purposes of Material Participation Under...

The issue of whether a trust has passive or non-passive income from its investment in a pass-through entity has taken on increased importance in light of the tax imposed on net investment income under Code Section 1411 of the...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

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