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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Donald Sterling Loses Appeal of Clippers Sale: Court of Appeal Rejects Bid To Regain Team’s Ownership

The California Court of Appeal today affirmed the sale in August 2014 of the Los Angeles Clippers for a record-shattering price of $2 billion to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. In a unanimous decision, the three justices...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Affirms Striking of 24-Year-Old Default Judgment, and Holds That Leasing Is Not Enough to Claim...

The development of the Marcellus Shale in Pennsylvania has led to a number of disputes about historical judgments that purportedly divested reserved oil and gas rights from their owners. During the 20th century, surface...more

Do Frequent Flier Miles Expire When You Do?

Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after somene dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail? The answer to...more

Goodbye TEFRA, Hello New Partnership Audit Rules

Last week, President Obama signed into law the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. As I mentioned in a prior post, the budget bill contained a proposal to revamp how partnerships are audited. Specifically, TEFRA (the 1982 Tax...more

Succession Planning: “If I get hit by a bus tomorrow…”

Let’s face reality. We are all going to pass on someday, so we might as well be prepared and lessen the burden for those following behind us. One of the first steps in effective succession planning is to gather in one place...more

How to Avoid Needlessly Exposing a Client's Assets to Creditors in an Estate Plan or Trust

Estate planners often recommend that their clients hold title in community property or in a trust in which the real property interests are held as community property. They do this primarily to give the client the benefit of...more

New Partnership Audit Rules Heading Our Way?

The budget bill introduced yesterday includes a proposal to revamp/streamline how partnerships are audited. Specifically, it would repeal the much maligned TEFRA (1982 Tax Equity and Fiscal Responsibility Act) rules....more

Unusual Area Of Law For The NC Business Court: Life Estate In A Beach House

When Governor McCrory appointed Judge Gregory McGuire to the Business Court, I doubt that he had any concern whether Judge McGuire had any expertise in the area of trusts and estates. After all, that area of law is not...more

The European Succession Regulation: Important New Estate Planning Risks and Opportunities for Americans Living, Investing or...

The European Succession Regulation (the "Regulation"), also known as Brussel IV, enacted on July 4, 2012, became effective on August 17, 2015. The Regulation, which has been adopted by 25 countries throughout the European...more

Intellectual Property: Happy Birthday to You (10/15)

If you have ever been to a Chili’s restaurant, odds are you have heard this birthday jingle. Perhaps you have also heard different birthday greetings at other chain restaurants. More likely than not, you have not heard any...more

Transferring the Family Business Timing is Everything

One of the most important factors to consider in any business succession plan is the timing of the transition of ownership. Whether a sale or a gift (or combination of the two), no transition should occur before the next...more

The Case of the Vanishing Guaranty—Issues Facing Commercial Real Property Lenders Regarding Revocable Trust Borrowers

I have recently received numerous questions from commercial lender clients regarding structuring and enforcing commercial real property loans involving revocable trusts. Their concerns have largely centered on how to...more

Regulations Modify Basis Rules for Term Interests in CRTs

The Treasury recently issued final regulations that modify the rules for determining the basis of an income interest in a charitable remainder trust in order to curtail a perceived abuse of the general rules. To understand...more

Is a Hungarian trust a clone of the Anglo-American trust, or just a type of contract?: Parsing the asset-management provisions of...

On March 15, 2014, the Hungarian Parliament enacted into law the New Hungarian Civil Code (NHCC). The NHCC creates out of whole cloth a civil law fiduciary asset-management vehicle (FAM) that in form and function bears some...more

Anticipated IRS Regulations May Impact Discounts On Intra-Family Transfers of Closely Held Business Interests

Action Item: It is anticipated that Treasury will soon issue new regulations that will affect the valuation discounts applicable to intra-family transfers of interests in closely held entities. It may be advisable to review...more

New Tax Provisions Affecting Filing Deadlines For Partnerships, Corporations and Trusts (8/15)

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law P.L. 114-41, the "Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015." Although this new law was primarily designed as a 3-month stopgap extension...more

Premarital planning - Protecting your assets without a prenup

Protecting family assets in the event of a divorce is particularly significant for family business owners, who typically want to avoid sharing ownership with their ex-spouses or their children’s ex-spouses. A prenuptial...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Planning For The Unexpected Departure Of A Business Owner

In the business world, the unexpected can happen. That is just a fact of life. There are many ways this principle can apply, but we’ll speak here specifically about the unexpected departure of a business owner or corporate...more

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising...more

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

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