Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2015

In This Issue: - Premarital planning: Protecting your assets without a prenup - The ABLE account: A good alternative to a special needs trust? - Make net gifts to reduce your gift tax rate - Estate Planning...more

Domestic Partnership Agreements: The Home and Joint Expenses

Partners may acquire a home together, and they may contribute different amounts toward the purchase price. During their relationship, they may contribute different amounts toward improvements, the mortgage, insurance, and...more

The Effect of Obergefell v. Hodges for Same-Sex Couples

issued on the second-to-last decision day of the term, and provides that same-sex couples have had a constitutional right to marry since at least the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling may come as a surprise to...more

The Obergefell Decision and Property Considerations for Married Same-Sex Couples

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, determined that prohibitions on same-sex marriage are an unconstitutional infringement of Fourteenth Amendment rights. This decision throws the doors...more

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down State Laws Banning Same-Sex Marriage - Same-Sex Couples Should Review Their Estate Planning...

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 1039 (June 26, 2015),answered definitively the lingering questions following the Court’s decision last year in Windsor about whether states could...more

A Nationwide Right: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in a Monumental Decision and its Impact on Estate Planning

June 26, 2015. A date that will undoubtedly be added to our history books and remembered for generations. This is because on this day, the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Update Beneficiary Designations After Divorce or Annulment

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held, with a few exceptions, upon entry of a final judgment of dissolution or annulment, any provision of a will that “affects” a former spouse is void under section 732.507(2),...more

Moving Toward True Marriage Equality

With the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court, same-sex couples now have the freedom to marry, and divorce, throughout the Country. There is finally marriage equality. Certainly, being able to marry is important...more

Supreme Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage: Tax and Legal Implications for Same-Sex Spouses

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires all states to license a...more

A trust is not an agency

The trustee is not an agent of the beneficiary. The trustee's duty not to delegate the administration of the trust could well be implicated if the trustee without authority were to behave as if he were the beneficiary's...more

Eight Key Estate Planning Opportunities Arising from the Supreme Court's Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The landmark ruling in the combined cases known...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

New Florida Guardianship Law Takes Effect July 1, 2015

Florida will have a new Guardianship Law effective July 1, 2015. A couple of the more interesting portions include: If a person initiates a judicial proceeding to determine an individual’s incapacity the Power of...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

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

When Can I Modify My Estate Documents During a Divorce?

Often clients ask when estate documents can be modified during a divorce. You should consider changing everything immediately. There are essential documents that everyone needs in his/her estate plan to be prepared to...more

Why trustees need to know something about will residue clauses

The Anglo-American trust is an invention of the judiciary, specifically the English Court of Chancery. The will, a testamentary instrument, on the other hand, is a creature of statute. The testamentary trust is a product of...more

Life After Death: No Longer Inconceivable

Recent legislation provides a framework for inheritance rights of children conceived after the death of one or both parents in very specific circumstances....more

Trust Law’s Material Purpose Doctrine, the Traditional Protector of Settlor-Intent is Under Attack: The TEDRA Factor

In recent years, reformers of trust law have been hard at work defanging the plain meaning rule, primarily by liberalizing the doctrines of reformation and deviation. The rule is discussed generally in §8.15.6 of Loring and...more

Same Sex Couples Now Have Options

Before yesterday, when I prepared estate planning documents for same-sex couples there was a quagmire of issues that had to be addressed, since the State of Florida did not recognize same-sex marriages. As of yesterday, all...more

Bus Driver’s Aneurysm Found Compensable

The South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion on February 18, 2015, wherein it found a bus driver’s death due to an aneurysm compensable and the driver’s common-law wife entitled to benefits. ...more

Does the trustee who socially invests entrusted funds breach his/her/its fiduciary duty of undivided loyalty, absent express...

On February 8, 2015, The University of California Student Association [which purports to represent all 240,000 students enrolled in the UC system’s 10 campuses] passed [9-1-5] the following resolution, which, in part, calls...more

Does a Tenant Cohabitate?

Marital agreements and trust agreements often employ the term “cohabitate” or “cohabitation.” Typically, these agreements provide for the end of trust distributions, alimony, occupancy of property, or other benefits, when the...more

Family Law: Corporate and Trust Challenges to Service of Process and Jurisdiction (Updated)

The president of a corporation, manager of a limited liability company, trustee of a family trust, or principal of another business entity receives a summons in a Florida divorce case. One spouse contends the other’s control,...more

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