Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Missing Wills

The Virginia Supreme Court recently issued a ruling relating to missing wills and the legal standard courts must apply when an original will cannot be found and therefore an executor seeks to probate a copy of the will. While...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

Supreme Court Decides Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif

On May 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided Wellness International Network, Ltd. v. Sharif, (No. 13-935), holding that Article III does not prevent bankruptcy judges from entering final judgment on claims that seek only...more

Partition Me? Unmarried Joint Tenants with Full Rights of Survivorship Fail to State a Claim

In the recent case of Hrit v McKeon, No 317988, 2015 WL 447474 (Mich Ct App Feb 3, 2015), the Michigan Court of Appeals held that a plaintiff failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted when she filed an action...more

Supreme Court Ruling Heightens Pressure on Fiduciaries to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments

On May 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Tibble et al. v. Edison International et al., No. 13-550 (S. Ct. May 18, 2015) that ordinary principles of trust law impose on ERISA fiduciaries a duty to continually...more

Supreme Court Instructs Ninth Circuit to Consider Common Law of Trusts in Applying ERISA's Statute of Limitations

The Supreme Court has once again emphasized the importance of ERISA’s origins in the common law of trusts, this time in interpreting its statute of limitations. On May 18, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in...more

Lessons Learned from the Robin Williams Litigation

Robin Williams died on August 11, 2014, and it did not take long for litigation to be filed over his estate, or more specifically, his living trust. Mr. Williams last rewrote his trust in January 2012, not long after marrying...more

Daubert In Virginia State Court: Where Do Things Stand Now?

The past few months have seen a flurry of developments as to the extent to which Daubert and its progeny are authoritative in Virginia state court proceedings....more

Socially Aware - Volume 6, Issue 2 - May 2015

In This Issue: - Court Protects Anonymity of Yelp Users - FTC Issues Landmark Report on Internet of Things - Who Will Update My Status When I’m Dead?: The Biggest Social Media Platforms’ Policies on...more

Trust Matters Update - May 2015

The Trust Matters Update is a periodical summary of cases, case comments, consultations, publications, legislative developments, legal updates, articles and news in the area of trust law and related issues. 1. Can...more

North Carolina Business Court Rules Tax on Trust Unconstitutional

The North Carolina Business Court held North Carolina’s taxation of a trust unconstitutional in Kaestner v. North Carolina Department of Revenue. N.C. Gen. Stat. § 105-160.2 imposes a tax on the undistributed income of a...more

Wealth Management Update - May 2015

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

T&E Litigation Newsletter- May 2015

In Lesanto v. Lesanto, Case No. 12-P-1111, 2015 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 318 (April 21, 2015), the Appeals Court reversed a judgment of the Probate Court reforming a trust. ...more

Texas Considers Asbestos Transparency Legislation

Texas is the latest state to consider legislation aimed at increasing transparency between the civil tort and asbestos bankruptcy trust systems. Four states, most recently West Virginia, have enacted such legislation. Texas...more

Court Of Chancery Explains How To Prove Bad Faith

While not a corporate case, this decision is useful in explaining how to prove a party acted in bad faith so as to be outside the exculpation provisions of a trust or Sec. 102(b)(7). ...more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Planning for Incapacity

While an estate plan has obvious uses - i.e., planning for the disposition of estate assets after the death of a testator - some of the lesser-known benefits of a well-written plan are the provisions that provide for both...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 10, No. 1

Recent Case Illustrates Importance of Keeping Legal Entities in Good Standing - A recent United States Tax Court case illustrates the importance of keeping legal entities in good standing. In Medical Weight Control...more

West Virginia Becomes Latest State to Adopt Asbestos Transparency Legislation

On March 15, 2015, West Virginia became the fourth state to enact legislation aimed at increasing transparency between the civil tort and asbestos bankruptcy trust systems. Senate Bill 411, also known as the Asbestos...more

Ruling Highlights the Need for Testamentary Intent for Holographic Codicil

Last month, the Fairfax, Virginia Circuit Court issued a written opinion that, while it does not break new law in Virginia, illustrates how a writing must demonstrate “testamentary intent” to qualify as a valid holographic...more

Deceased Employee's ADA Claim Becomes Property of Estate

What happens when a plaintiff pursuing a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act dies during administrative or judicial review? Are the claims of such a personal nature that they expire along...more

Copyright Co-Owner’s Ability to Grant an Exclusive Right to a Third Party - Corbello v. DeVito

Revisiting the issue of a copyright co-owner’s right to grant an exclusive right to a third party, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit clarified its prior ruling in Sybersound v. UAV, and explained that a...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- April 2015

On April 6th the Appeals Court issued a decision concerning standing in guardianship proceedings under the Massachusetts Uniform Probate Code (“MUPC”) that may influence future cases involving the interpretation of other...more

Illinois Supreme Court Holds Accountant is Holder of Privilege, No Testamentary Exception

Late in the March term, the Illinois Supreme Court handed down its opinion in Brunton v. Kruger, an opinion with potentially significant implications for Illinois accountants. Brunton posed three related questions about the...more

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