Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Tax

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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

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

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

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2015

In This Issue: - The net investment income tax and your estate plan: How one affects the other - Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals - Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 10, No. 2

Borrowing Against Art Collections - Your art collection may not be as illiquid as you think. It is possible to raise cash by borrowing against works of art. Although some banks do not offer art-secured loans because of...more

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples After Obergefell

Many areas of the law are left unanswered by Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell , but the fundamental question of whether same-sex individuals can marry has now been answered. There have traditionally been many obstacles...more

Some Tax Implications of Same Sex Marriage

By now, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges holding that the Fourteenth Amendment requires all states to license a marriage between two people of the same sex has been widely reported upon, including in...more

Premarital planning - Protecting your assets without a prenup

Protecting family assets in the event of a divorce is particularly significant for family business owners, who typically want to avoid sharing ownership with their ex-spouses or their children’s ex-spouses. A prenuptial...more

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

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

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