Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Court Affirms Finding Of Informal Fiduciary Relationship Between Step-Mother and Step-Son Based On Decision To Not Resuscitate...

In Shearer v. Shearer, Corrine and John were married from 1990 until 2008. No. 12-14-00302-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5685 (Tex. App.—Tyler May 27, 2016, no pet. history). John became ill in 2009 and was admitted to a hospital...more

Sole interest or best interest: Equity's traditional default loyalty principle is under attack

Some in academia have been advocating that trustees generally be held to a best-interest-of-beneficiary default standard rather than the traditional and more rigorous sole-interest-of-beneficiary default standard. See Loring...more

Appellate Court Notes

Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC36842 - Antonucci v. Antonucci - In this divorce action, the parties had been married for twenty-five years and had two adult children, and had comparable incomes of about...more

Court Increases Father’s Child Support Payment Due to Inheritance

In the 2015 Pennsylvania Superior Court Opinion E.R.L. v. C.K.L., the Court found that Father’s significant inheritance was a sufficient reason to increase his child support payment for the parties’ three children....more

Trust Planning for Your Lake Home

Part of your family legacy takes place on the lake. Lake homes are significant investments. You have memories of family trips, of children, and maybe even grandchildren, growing up at the home. Preserving the lake home and...more

How to Protect Your Personal Treasure in a Legal Lockbox

When you are in a high-profile profession—doctor, attorney, business owner—you have a lot to lose. Being in your position, you are a high liability target for lawsuits and claims. No one wants to lose their...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19384 - State v. Carter - SC19282 - State v. Peeler - Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC37262 - Dumbauld v. Dumbauld - AC37262 Concurrence -...more

Massachusetts High Court to Determine Whether a Spouse’s Trust Interest Can Be Reached in Divorce

On April 5, 2016, the collective eyes of Massachusetts divorce attorneys and estate planners were fixed on the Supreme Judicial Court, where the highly-anticipated oral arguments on “further appellate review” of Pfannenstiehl...more

May a trustee with discretionary authority to make principal distributions ever decant for the sole purpose of increasing...

The Uniform Trust Code requires that the trustee notify the qualified beneficiaries, usually the current beneficiaries and presumptive remaindermen, in advance of any change in the method or rate of the trustee’s...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Four

Action Item: This is the fourth installment of our Annual Estate Planning Newsletter, and focuses on matters of interest to married couples. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016 estate and tax...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

Berlinger v. Wells Fargo, N.A., Case No. 2:11-cv-459-FtM-29CM, 2015 WL 6125529 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 16, 2015) - Discretionary distributions to beneficiary which were used in part to satisfy alimony obligations were not...more

Employing the term "family" in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble

Employing the term “family” in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble. In §8.15.6 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2016) the authors explain why the meaning of the term in a given...more

Avoid a soap opera with updated Beneficiary forms

Yes, I will admit it: I love soap operas. My favorite show of all-time is Dallas and when I was a senior in high school and I was at home around 12:30 pm, I watched in succession: Young and The Restless, Bold and The...more

The challenge of maintaining the privacy of a non-testamentary discretionary trust with multiple permissible beneficiaries

Assume X is an innocent discretionary beneficiary of an irrevocable non-testamentary trust with multiple permissible beneficiaries (the “trust”). Y is a not-so-innocent co-beneficiary, that is to say he has not been paying...more

Tax and Estate Planning Newsletter - Winter 2015

Dear Clients and Colleagues: The holiday season brings thoughts of the New Year, with reflections on recent changes and resolutions for the future. During this season of reflection and planning, consider the effect of...more

Wills, Estates and Trusts Update: Why the New 2016 Rules for Trusts and Estates in Canada May Surprise You and Why the Department...

January 1, 2016 will bring many significant changes to the taxation of trusts and estates in Canada. These changes were passed into law in December 2014, after being announced as part of the 2014 federal budget. Most people...more

Before Signing Anything on Behalf of Someone Else, Talk to Your Special Needs Planner

People lack the ability to sign documents for various reasons. In some cases, a person has suffered from a disability since birth and has never had the mental capacity to make decisions for himself. In other cases, an injury...more

Beware of conflating power of appointment doctrine and merger doctrine in the trust context

Assume a trust that was initially for the benefit of its settlor (who is now dead) has the following additional terms: All net trust-accounting income to settlor’s surviving spouse (X) for life; trustee may invade principal...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

The Supreme Court has recently struck down state bans on same-sex marriage as unconstitutional in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 US ___ (2015), after previously striking down the federal exclusion of same-sex couples from...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2015

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

A Tale of Two Distributions: Equitable Versus Estate in the Wake of the Kardashian/Odom Divorce

The current domestic law situation between Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, although unique, is not uncommon. In December 2013, Khloe filed for divorce against Lamar, but for whatever reason, never finalized the paperwork...more

Change Your Will When Your Divorce Is Final

Hi there, All the more reason that you need to follow up with a qualified financial and estate planner after a divorce! Best,Nancy...more

Polsinelli Podcast - Selling Your Business [Video]

When planning for the sale of a business, business owners may not recognize the value of a business’ intangible assets. Or, they may not be familiar with the process of transferring or selling those assets. For certain types...more

Are You Really Divorced? Lamar Odom’s Life Placed in Khloe Kardashian’s Hands

Lamar Odom, an NBA basketball star was recently discovered in a Nevada brothel unconscious and in critical condition. He was rushed to the hospital whereby a number of drugs were discovered in his system and he was being held...more

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