General Business Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
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Tax Policy Update

The top estate tax rate under Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ proposal to tax the wealthiest Americans and narrow income inequality in the U.S. The proposal splits the estate tax into four brackets...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

Guide to Doing Business in New Zealand: Major Forms of Business Organisation (Updated)

MAJOR FORMS OF BUSINESS ORGANISATION - A foreign company or investor proposing to establish a business in New Zealand may choose from a number of different entities or forms of business organisation. Each of these...more

Connecticut Tax Developments 2015 - Tax Increases...Again

Four years after enacting the largest tax increase in Connecticut history, the Connecticut General Assembly has adopted a new $40.3 billion biennial state budget that contains $1.5 billion in tax and fee increases. Few...more

Tips For Successful Succession Planning

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” ? Abraham Lincoln - Your company is built to last. But when you are ready to step back and let go of the reins, will the next...more

Insights Newsletter - Spring 2015

In This Issue: - The Importance of Accredited Investors for Small Business Capital Formation - “All Appropriate Inquiries”: Update on the Environmental Due Diligence Standard - A Hunt for Justice Erodes...more

Buy-Sell Agreements: Good For Business and Good For Your Estate Plan

From unwanted business partners to burdensome estate taxes, the death of a business co-owner can have negative implications for surviving owners as well as for the estate of the deceased. A well drafted buy-sell agreement can...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In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life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

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Taxation (Updated)

TAXATION - It is not possible to give a complete outline of the scope of the taxation system in this guide. A brief outline of the basic taxation principles and some of the major forms of taxation are discussed...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

For the record: A review of the British Virgin Islands Trustee (Amendment) Act, 2015

On 30 March 2015 a new section (the New Section) relating to trustees’ obligations to maintain trust records was inserted into the British Virgin Islands’ (BVI) Trustee Ordinance. The provisions of the New Section are not...more

Benefits of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust as Security for Support

Divorce or separation agreements often require one spouse to maintain life insurance as security for their support obligation. Attorneys often do not address the tax implications if the insured spouse owns the policy. ...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

Eureka: California Controller Discovers New Source of Revenue from Insurers

The California Controller’s (Controller) latest squeeze on the life insurance industry involves: sending life insurers notices of assessment of interest on unclaimed property reported and voluntarily remitted in December...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: $1.4 Trillion. The estimated total of individual income taxes the Internal Revenue Service is expecting to collect on April 15. The U.S. House of Representatives has returned from recess and is planning to...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

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts - Tax and Nontax Advantages

Creating an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) can dramatically increase the liquidity of an individual’s estate and effectively leverage the value of the annual $14,000 per donee gift tax exclusion and the $5,430,000...more

NCOIL Revises Unclaimed Property Model Act

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) recently adopted an enhanced Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to address particular concerns regarding the Social Security Death Master File (the DMF). The...more

Morgan Stanley Agrees to Resolution of Multi-State Unclaimed Property Audit

The California State Controller announced an Audit Resolution Agreement with Morgan Stanley on December 23, 2014, which sets forth the terms and conditions for finalizing and resolving an unclaimed property audit that Verus...more

The Unexpected Consequences of Modifying Pennsylvania’s Powers of Attorney Statute: Potential Impacts on Commercial Loans & Leases

Confession of judgment provisions in commercial documents remain in a state of flux until legislation pending in the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee is approved and enacted. Until such time, we will keep readers...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

PA Unclaimed Property Filings Due April 15: Legislative Changes Impact Reporting Requirements and Enforcement Powers

The deadline for filing a 2014 Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Report with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is April 15. Major changes were made to PA's Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (the...more

Punishing Good Deeds in California

Most state treasurers now demand that life insurers search public databases, such as the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File (DMF), for potential claims. State treasurers similarly require insurers to remit...more

Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Recommendations of the Uniform Law Commission Working Group

The Uniform Law Commission (ULC) Life Insurance Working Group (Working Group) has released its recommendations to revise the life insurance provisions of the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act of 1995 (1995 Uniform Act or...more

(US) Revised Pennsylvania Statute Creates Power of Attorney Chaos

The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted extensive changes to Title 56 of the Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code affecting powers of attorney, effective as of January 1, 2015. The amendments create a number of issues for...more

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