Finance & Banking Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Illinois Supreme Court Holds Information Provided to a CPA Is Privileged Information Held by the Accountant Alone

In examining the issue of the accountant-client privilege for the first time, the Supreme Court of Illinois recently ruled that the privilege belongs to the accountant, not the client. In Brunton v. Kruger, 2015 IL 117663...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

The Trustee's Power to Loan

Trust agreements often give trustees the power to make loans. When and how to exercise the power should be given significant thought. Upholding the fiduciary duty owed to all beneficiaries is always a key concern. ...more

Massachusetts Unveils Limited Amnesty Program

Beginning March 16, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is offering an aptly described “limited” amnesty program for taxpayers with certain tax liabilities. Technical Information Release 15-2....more

Who will get Your Assets – The Hazards of Beneficiary Designations

Most people assume that their Wills will control where their assets go after they die. Increasingly, however, beneficiary designations are controlling how assets are distributed, and sometimes with unexpected results. ...more

Pensions Fit – DC Governance and Charge Capping In Occupational Pensions

There are a growing number of people with Defined Contribution pensions, particularly following the introduction of automatic enrolment in 2012, which has led to a rapidly increasing focus on DC governance over the last few...more

PA Unclaimed Property Filings Due April 15: Legislative Changes Impact Reporting Requirements and Enforcement Powers

The deadline for filing a 2014 Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Report with the Pennsylvania Treasury Department is April 15. Major changes were made to PA's Disposition of Abandoned and Unclaimed Property Act (the...more

Tax Policy Update

NUMBER OF THE WEEK: 8 percent. The increase in the total amount of corporate profits kept abroad, according to the latest analysis of securities filings by Bloomberg News. The report confirms what U.S. companies have as much...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

Extremely Low Interest Rates: Your Estate Planning Opportunity is NOW

Janet Yellen this…. Janet Yellen that – good for business, bad for savers. In March 2015, the rates the IRS requires be used for estate planning are as low as ever. There are three estate planning opportunities that thrive on...more

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

White House Budget Proposal Includes Many Retirement-Related Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes a number of tax code changes targeting retirement savings. If enacted as presented, the proposals would have a significant effect on...more

(US) Revised Pennsylvania Statute Creates Power of Attorney Chaos

The Pennsylvania Legislature enacted extensive changes to Title 56 of the Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries Code affecting powers of attorney, effective as of January 1, 2015. The amendments create a number of issues for...more

2015 Tax Update Letter

Dear Clients and Colleagues: This letter is an update on the most recent estate and gift tax developments and serves as a follow-up to our past yearly tax updates, which can be accessed by clicking the “Family Wealth...more

Trust and Estate: Passage of The ABLE Act Could Provide Additional Planning Options For Disabled Individuals (2/15)

In late December 2014, President Obama signed into law the "Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014" (known as the ABLE Act). The Act extends the 529 college savings account rules to allow for similar, tax-free "ABLE...more

Pennsylvania Statute May Jeopardize Powers of Attorney and Confessions of Judgment in Loan Documents – Deja Vu All Over Again

Pennsylvania’s power of attorney law has recently undergone significant changes by virtue of legislation that went into effect January 1, 2015. Among other instruments and transactions affected, the new law will impact all...more

Debtor-trustees can run but they can’t hide behind the Fifth Amendment

Judgment debtors often try to use the Fifth Amendment’s privilege against self-incrimination to avoid post-judgment discovery of their assets and income. However, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri...more

The Use of Delaware Statutory Trusts in Like Kind Exchanges Under Section 1031 of the Internal Revenue Code

Revenue Ruling 2004-86 (July 20, 2004) held that (a) the Delaware statutory trust (“DST”) described therein qualifies as an investment trust under IRC §301.7701-4(c) that will be classified as a trust for federal tax...more

An Overview of the Delaware Statutory Trust Act in Structured Finance Transactions

While Delaware is nationally known as the preferred jurisdiction for corporations, it is likewise recognized as a leader in the area of statutory trusts. The State of Delaware, in 1988, adopted the Delaware Business Trust...more

Uses and Advantages of Delaware Statutory Trusts and Delaware Limited Liability Companies in Structured Finance Transactions

Over the past 10-20 years, a large number of secured equipment finance and asset securitization transactions have been structured using either a Delaware Statutory Trust (a “DST”) created pursuant to the Delaware Statutory...more

Aviation Orphan Trust Structure

The use of traditional leveraged lease transactions for the financing of commercial aircraft has dropped dramatically in the last 5 to 10 years. Due to changes in economic conditions, tax laws, and accounting procedures,...more

New 529A Accounts for Severely Disabled Individuals

Many are familiar with section 529 college savings accounts, from which tax-free distributions must be used for qualified higher education expenses. The “Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014” or the “ABLE Act of...more

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Bank Regulators Release Public Sections of “Living Wills”

On January 15, the Federal Reserve and the FDIC issued a joint press release making available the public sections of resolution plans of firms with less than $100 billion in qualifying nonbank assets. The Dodd-Frank Act...more

State of the Union Surprise: President Targets Inherited Assets in Middle-Class Tax Reform

After the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, many in the estate planning community thought that tax law dealing with estates and trusts was settled for some time. President Obama’s earlier budget proposals calling for a...more

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