Civil Procedure Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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How Far Can A Grantor Go In Eliminating The Duty To Account?

Trusts are often used to transfer wealth privately without the messiness of a public estate administration. That financial privacy can get blown, however, when trusts become the subjects of very public litigation. ...more

The Uniform Trust Decanting Act's conflicting commentary

The texts of the myriad trust-related uniform statutes could be better coordinated and synchronized. So also could the official commentaries that accompany the myriad sections of the individual uniform statute. Take, for...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - November 2016

There has not been much case law of particular relevance in the T&E area since our last newsletter, but three recent federal court decisions—one from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and two from the United States District...more

Federal Court Dismisses Beneficiary’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim For Lack of Jurisdiction

In Strouse v. Strouse, a beneficiary sued an executor of an estate for breach of fiduciary duty. No. 4:16cv707, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155630 (E.D. Tex. September 27, 2016). Federal district courts are courts of limited...more

The Georgia Superior Court/Probate Court Dance

No procedural or jurisdictional issues in Georgia fiduciary litigation can cause as much headache as the sometimes exclusive and sometimes concurrent jurisdiction of the superior and probate courts. The Georgia Court of...more

Parental Power of Attorney: The Legal Document Needed for Those Caring For Your Children

Whether the kids will be with Grandma and Grandpa for the holidays or a nanny when you go on a quick business trip, it is important to consider whether the person caring for your children has the legal tools necessary to care...more

A Trustee's Duty To Disclose In Texas

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, presented his speech on a “Trustees’ Duty To Disclose In Texas” to the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Business and Estate Section’s membership lunch in...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19516 - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America Corp. SC19516 Concurrence - Doe v. Boy Scouts of America...more

Executor Loses Out on Fees Due to Section 6166 Lien

A personal representative/executor for an estate granted a special estate tax lien under Code §6324A to the U.S. as part of a Section 6166 election to defer payment of federal estate tax. At the time, the executor had been...more

Beyer Beware: An Examination of a Family Limited Partnership Gone Wrong

The opinion issued on Sept. 29, 2016, in the case of Estate of Edward G. Beyer v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue was the culmination of an estate planning exercise that had an unfortunate ending for everyone involved (other...more

Transferee Liability: The [Unlikely] Situation that your Nonprofit Receives a Charitable Gift with Expensive Tax Strings Attached

The case of Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner - On August 15, 2016, the Tax Court decided in Salus Mundi Foundation et al v. Commissioner, T.C. Memo. 2016-154, that two foundations were liable as transferees...more

New Uniform Power of Attorney Act, Effective January 1

Washington’s new Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPAA) will repeal and replace the current Power of Attorney Act, effective January 1, 2017. While an existing power of attorney document (POA) that was valid when executed will...more

Wealth Management Update - October 2016

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

New Delaware Unclaimed Property Decision Further Complicates Landscape

Another federal judge slams Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodology but rejects the holder’s reliance on the priority rules as a defense to the audit demands. See Marathon Petroleum Corp. et al. v. Cook et al., No....more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19586 - Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission - The Court started off by saying..... We have not previously had occasion to squarely address..... [this]...more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update: 2015-2016

The fiduciary field in Texas is a constantly changing area. Over time, statutes change, and Texas courts interpret those statutes, the common law, and parties’ documents differently. This paper is intended to give an update...more

The Four Corners Of The Trust Instrument Get Tighter

When a court is called upon to decide a trust dispute, it starts by looking at the intent of the settlor. Invariably there is some statement about the court being bound by the “four corners” of the trust. Only if the language...more

Revoking a Power of Attorney

If for any reason, you become unhappy with the person you have appointed to make decisions for you under a durable power of attorney, you may revoke the power of attorney at any time. There are a few steps you should take to...more

IRS Attempts Collection Against Surviving Spouse and Marital Deduction Property

In a recent U.S. District Court case from the Southern District of California, the court ruled on several motions to dismiss relating to the IRS' attempt to impose liability on a surviving spouse for estate taxes on the...more

Court Of Chancery Denies Inspection When The Board Has An Obvious Defense To A Claim Of Wrongdoing

In general, the bar is low for exercising inspection rights to investigate claims of wrongdoing. Plaintiffs need provide only some evidence to suggest a credible basis from which the Court can infer possible mismanagement or...more

Application of Home Country Inheritance Law

The Personal Status Law provides in Art. 1(2) the general rule that" the provisions of this law shall apply to non-UAE nationals" and the exception that "unless the foreigner elects to apply his or her personal status law"....more

Wealth Management Update - September 2016

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

SC Court of Appeals Holds that Intervenor Rights Trump Plaintiff's

Order which adds a party is really an order granting intervention - Introduction - The South Carolina Court of Appeals recently released the decision of Dorn v. Cohen, Op. No. 5432 (S.C.Ct. App. filed Aug. 3,...more

Court Dismisses Appeal From Order Appointing A Temporary Administrator And Reverses Temporary Injunction

In Harris v. Taylor, Harris challenged a probate court’s interlocutory order appointing a temporary administrator and a temporary injunction order enjoining her from accessing certain financial accounts. No. 01-15-00925-CV,...more

Court Affirms Dismissal Of Will Contest Based On Public Policy Arguments Arising From Sexual Abuse Allegations

In Merrick v. Helter, a daughter who accused her father of sexual abuse attempted to void her father’s will based on public policy grounds. No. 03-14-00708-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8966 (Tex. App.—Austin August 18, 2016, no...more

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