Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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CFPB Clarifies Heirs, Divorcees and Estate Planning Transferees Are Not Subject to Ability-to-Repay Rules

The CFPB issued an interpretive rule to clarify that when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower’s heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Bureau’s Ability-to-Repay rule. This clarification will...more

Spotlight on Mississippi: Domestic Asset Protection Trust Legislation

Mississippi recently became the 16th state to pass legislation permitting the creation of domestic asset protection trusts. The new law was effective July 1, 2014. Under the new Mississippi Act, a domestic asset...more

Colorado Court Leaves Valuation Question Unanswered When Valuing GRAT Appreciation

On March 20, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals, in Malias v. Malias, upheld the trial court’s determination that grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) remainder interests were “property interests” for property division...more

Control Is Everything

In Private Letter Ruling 201423043, (“PLRs” only apply to the taxpayer involved but are often used as “guidance”, and not “precedent”, by taxpayers and the IRS.) the IRS ruled that a surviving spouse could roll over her...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

Your dead ex-spouse's debt can become your problem

This CNN Money Article features quotes by Kirton McConkie attorney Geoff Germane. If you're divorced and your ex-spouse dies, you might find yourself dealing with a range of emotions. You might be surprised to learn...more

Lift of Prohibition on Same-Sex Marriages in Pennsylvania Provides New Estate Planning Opportunities

On May 20, 2014, in the case of Whitewood v. Wolf, Judge John E. Jones III of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania struck down Pennsylvania’s ban on same-sex marriages. Like many of the rulings...more

Gift tax Consequences of Real Estate Transfers

Often times, one partner in a same-sex couple owns real property and seeks to add the other partner to the title or deed for no consideration (i.e. when no money or other type of payment is received in return). Though this...more

The confusion being engendered by the Uniform Trust Code’s default trust-revocation methodologies (§ 602(c)).

In the pre-Uniform Trust Code UTC), unless the terms of a revocable inter vivos trust provided otherwise, the trust could not have been revoked by the settlor’s will. A will speaks at the time of the testator’s death, an...more

"Insights" Newsletter - Spring 2014

In this issue: - Supply Chain Finance as the "New Normal" - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Implements Regulations for Covered Mortgage Loans - Arbitration Guidelines - Navigating Foreclosure...more

Privacy or Property? Arizona Court Adopts Post-Mortem Right of Publicity In Intra-Family Online Dispute

The right of publicity, i.e., the right not to have others appropriate your name or image for commercial purposes, is an odd duck. It was described by Professor Prosser in 1960, and later in the Restatement of Torts, as of...more

Baby Boomers: California Dreaming Requires Planning When Divorcing

There are 80 million Baby Boomers and they are getting divorced in record numbers. Recent and newsworthy divorces in this demographic involved Al and Tipper Gore, and the unforgettable daily onslaught of Frank and Jamie...more

Is a quiet (silent) trust illusory?

Is a quiet or silent trust illusory? The question is intentionally ambiguous. Is the question whether the trust itself is illusory, or just its quietness? A quiet or silent trust has been defined as “an irrevocable trust...more

LLC Preferred Interest Qualifies For Marital Deduction

In a recent private letter ruling, the question was raised whether an LLC interest that received a preferred return with additional LLC cash flow going to other common interests could qualify for the marital deduction if...more

Could it be that the Uniform Trust Code would effectively immunize the trustee of a revocable inter vivos trust from liability for...

Section 603 of the Uniform Trust Code provides that while a trust is revocable and the settlor has capacity to revoke the trust, rights of the beneficiaries, such as the equitable remaindermen, are subject to the control of,...more

Who Gets Your IRA? – Six Common Mistakes

Do you want your heirs to have to chase after your 401K or IRA money? It is important to make sure you have an up-to-date beneficiary form. On January 26, 2009, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in the case of...more

Distributions From A Texas Trust Deemed Separate Property

Conventional wisdom is that a spouse’s earnings from separate property are community property. But it’s not that simple. In Benavides v. Mathis a Texas court denied wife Leticia’s claim to one-half of the income derived from...more

What Are the House Ownership Options When Parents and Adult Children Live Together?

Increasingly, several generations of American families are living together. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census data, more than 50 million Americans, or almost 17 percent of the population, live in...more

It’s Not Too Late to Use Your Spouse’s Unused Estate Tax Exclusion

In Revenue Procedure 2014-18 the IRS provided an extension of time to those who wished to be sure that a decedent’s surviving spouse could benefit from the concept known as “portability”. In the Procedure, the IRS provides...more

5 Estate Planning Mistakes You Should Try to Avoid

In your experience, what’s the most costly mistake people make when preparing estate plans, and what can they do to fix them? That’s the question we recently put to attorneys writing on JD Supra....more

Spendthrift & Discretionary Trusts in Florida: Further Analysis of Berlinger v. Casselberry

In Berlinger v. Casselberry, Case No. 2D12-6470, 6 (Fla. 2d DCA Nov. 27, 2013), the Florida Second District Court of Appeal upheld a writ of garnishment issued by a trial court against the trustee of a discretionary trust...more

2014 Tax Update Letter

Dear Clients and Colleagues, This letter is an update on the most recent gift and estate tax developments, including new provisions applicable to same-sex couples, and presents our current thinking regarding wealth...more

Simplified IRS Relief for Same-Sex Couples and Others

On January 27, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced in Revenue Procedure 2014-18 a simplified procedure for certain estates to make a late portability election under section 2010(c)(5)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code....more

"Portability" and Your Estate Plan

“Have you heard about portability?” “What does it have to do with my estate plan?” These are two questions we often hear from clients. “Portability” allows a widow or widower, in most cases, to add any unused estate...more

Estate Planning After Divorce

A good estate plan should be flexible and structured to account for foreseeable life events. However, even the best estate plan cannot accommodate every turn your life may take. Periodic review and tweaking of an estate plan...more

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