General Business Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read need-to-know updates, commentary, and analysis on General Business issues written by leading professionals.
News & Analysis as of

Unclaimed Property Audits: Don’t cheat on escheat!

The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts has contracted with out of state third parties to perform unclaimed property audits on holders of property. National banks are subject to these reviews provided there is “reasonable...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

Life Insurance Can Be Part Of Your Estate Plan

Even if you have a relatively modest estate, life insurance can be an important aspect of estate planning for the obvious reason that it can substantially increase the value of your estate. Where the death of a person is...more

Pennsylvania Statute May Jeopardize Powers of Attorney and Confessions of Judgment in Loan Documents – Deja Vu All Over Again

Pennsylvania’s power of attorney law has recently undergone significant changes by virtue of legislation that went into effect January 1, 2015. Among other instruments and transactions affected, the new law will impact all...more

In California We Trust: A Sensible Expansion Of The Voluntary Disclosure Program

Trusts administered outside California often are susceptible to not filing California income tax returns. This is because California has an atypical legal threshold for filing: trusts must file if a trustee or beneficiary...more

An Overview of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act in Structured Finance Transactions

While Delaware is nationally known as the preferred jurisdiction for corporations, it is likewise recognized as a leader in the area of statutory trusts. The State of Delaware, in 1988, adopted the Delaware Business Trust...more

Delaware Statutory Trusts

Business trusts have been recognized by the Delaware common law since 1947, however, there was no express statutory recognition of the business trust in Delaware until the passage of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act...more

Uses and Advantages of Delaware Statutory Trusts and Delaware Limited Liability Companies in Structured Finance Transactions

Over the past 10-20 years, a large number of secured equipment finance and asset securitization transactions have been structured using either a Delaware Statutory Trust (a “DST”) created pursuant to the Delaware Statutory...more

Aviation Orphan Trust Structure

The use of traditional leveraged lease transactions for the financing of commercial aircraft has dropped dramatically in the last 5 to 10 years. Due to changes in economic conditions, tax laws, and accounting procedures,...more

Problems And Solutions In Business Succession Planning, P.2

We’ve already briefly discussed the importance of planning for a fitting successor, emphasizing that it is important to begin this process sooner rather than later....more

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Problems And Solutions In Business Succession Planning, P.1

As we’ve previously mentioned on this blog, business succession planning is critical in maintaining the strength and integrity of a business during and after changes of leadership. Experts in business planning say that...more

Maine Governor Proposes Major State Tax Restructuring

Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed a major restructuring of Maine’s tax system as part of his FY 2016-2017 budget submission. Generally, the governor’s proposal decreases the state’s reliance on income tax revenue and...more

NCUA Sues U.S. Bank and Bank of America for Allegedly Failing to Comply with RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 16, National Credit Union Administration filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against U.S. Bank N.A. and Bank of America N.A., in their capacity as trustees for...more

Unclaimed Property New Year Checklist

There is much to consider in 2015 with respect to unclaimed property. Here are some of the highlights and action items to focus on as you move into the new year...more

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