Finance & Banking Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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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

President Signs Tax Bill with Medicare Provisions, Ebola Treatment/Vaccine Bill

In December 2014, President Obama signed into a law H.R. 5771, a tax extender bill that includes the “Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014.” ...more

Achieving a Better Life Experience: An Overview of the ABLE Act

On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Stephen Beck, Jr., Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act of 2014 into law. The ABLE Act amended Section 529 of the IRC to enable the creation of state-specific tax free...more

Who is “Disabled” under ABLE?

The recently-enacted federal ABLE statute provides a long-awaited vehicle for tax-exempt investing to meet future disability-related expenses of disabled individuals. Although new Section 529A of the Internal Revenue Code is...more

NCUA Sues U.S. Bank and Bank of America for Allegedly Failing to Comply with RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 16, National Credit Union Administration filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York against U.S. Bank N.A. and Bank of America N.A., in their capacity as trustees for...more

U.S. Bank Reaches $6 Million Settlement of Claims for Breach of RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 17, the parties in Oklahoma Police Pension and Retirement System v. U.S. Bank, N.A., No. 11-cv-8066 (S.D.N.Y.) asked the court to approve a $6 million settlement of class action claims asserted against U.S. Bank...more

Unclaimed Property New Year Checklist

There is much to consider in 2015 with respect to unclaimed property. Here are some of the highlights and action items to focus on as you move into the new year...more

NCUA Sues Wells Fargo for Allegedly Failing to Comply with RMBS Trustee Duties

On December 22, National Credit Union Administration sued Wells Fargo, as an RMBS trustee, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. NCUA filed the suit in its capacity as liquidating agent...more

Ambac Sues Countrywide For Alleged Fraud in Connection with $1.7 Billion in RMBS

On December 27, Ambac Assurance Corporation filed a complaint against several Countrywide entities and Bank of America Corporation in New York state court, seeking to recover at least $600 million in damages in connection...more

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