Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Tax

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Becomes the 36th State to Allow Same-Sex Marriage

On August 21st, 2014, U.S. District Court Judge, Robert L. Hinkle, in the case of Brenner v. Scott, ruled that Florida’s constitutional and statutory bans on same-sex marriage were unconstitutional. Same-sex couples were...more

The liability of a trustee who honors a fraudulent exercise of a power of appointment

A trustee who transfers trust property to a permissible appointee for the benefit of an impermissible appointee such that the fraud on a special power doctrine is implicated incurs no liability as a consequence, unless the...more

The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning Tool

The federal estate tax marital deduction is one of the most important estate planning tools available to a married couple. The basic marital deduction rule is that, upon the death of the first spouse, the value of any...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2014

In This Issue: - Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises - Protecting your real estate assets - How will the GST tax affect your estate plan? - Estate...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

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

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

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

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

Equal Tax Treatment for Same-Sex Couples in the Wake of Recent Supreme Court Ruling and IRS Guidance

Same-sex marriages now are being recognized under federal tax law for the first time. In June 2013, the Supreme Court released its decision in United States v. Windsor, 530 U.S. 12 (2013), declaring Section 3 of the federal...more

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