Insurance Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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The financial advisor who sells a trustee an insurance contract that is inappropriate in light of the trust's purposes risks...

It is an understatement that the Minnesota Court of Appeals in In re: Amendment and Restatement of Revocable Living Trust of Alfred J. Berget dated February 15, 2005 [A13-2295, Dec. 8, 2014] afforded the trustee who had...more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

Florida Court Says it’s Not Fraud When Misrepresentations are Made During Settlement Negotiations

When settling a case, litigators are naturally focused on avoiding “Round 2” of the litigation for their clients. Toward this goal, lawyers avoid drafting settlement agreements that include any sort of representations or...more

The Charitable Split Annuity – A Little Bit Country and a Little Bit Rock and Roll

I have written several articles discussing the powerful tax benefits of pooled income funds in the current low interest environment. I have also written on the tax benefits of charitable lead annuity trusts (CLAT). The pooled...more

How Likely Are You to Need Long-Term Care?

Planning for retirement and deciding whether to buy long-term care insurance would be a lot easier if you knew your odds of needing long-term care, as well as at what age and for how long. Unfortunately, there's no definite...more

Life Settlement Disclosure Legislation

What are an insurer’s duties to insureds about disclosing the possibility of a life settlement? At least three recent cases have addressed an insurer’s duty to inform insureds about the existence and availability of life...more

Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Three

Action Item: This is the third installment of our Annual Estate Planning Letter, and covers some topics of interest not discussed in our previous installments. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016...more

New Rules for 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), as part of a 2016 appropriations bill. The PATH Act includes significant changes to Internal Revenue Code section...more

Business Succession Planning - February 2016

The transition of a family owned or closely-held business is a significant undertaking even with the best laid plan. This article will outline the issues that should be considered by the business owner in transitioning a...more

Asset protection: Back to basics

Asset protection trusts can be highly effective vehicles for protecting wealth in today’s litigious society. But these trusts can be complex and expensive, so they’re not right for everyone. For those seeking simpler asset...more

Employing the term "family" in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble

Employing the term “family” in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble. In §8.15.6 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2016) the authors explain why the meaning of the term in a given...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2016

When interest rates are low, it’s high time for estate planning - Interest rates remain at record lows, and while many experts believe they’ll begin to rise soon, it’s likely they’ll rise slowly. So it’s an ideal time to...more

Alert: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Who really benefits? You may be surprised! If you participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, have one or more IRA accounts, or life insurance policies, you need to designate beneficiaries to receive the benefits...more

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The Use of Private Placement Group Variable Deferred Annuities in Generation Skipping Trusts - Over the last several decades, trust and estate lawyers have placed great emphasis on proper planning regarding the proper...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 1/5/16

The last quarter of 2015 produced two interesting decisions from the Appeals Court. In Brady v. Citizens Union Savings Bank, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 416 (2015), the Court addressed whether legal fees and costs already paid to...more

Focus on Tax Controversy - December 2015

IRS Updates Administrative Appeals Process for Cases Docketed in Tax Court - In Notice 2015-72, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided a proposed revenue procedure to update Rev. Proc. 87-24, 1987-1 C.B. 720, which...more

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange

Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. An LTC insurance policy can offset these costs, but the premiums can be expensive. One potential source for funding LTC...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2015

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange - Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. These expenses — for nursing home stays, assisted-living...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

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2015

September Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The September § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs,...more

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

The Crummey trust: Keeping both the IRS and the creditors at bay is taking some fancy footwork

Since Crummey v. Commissioner was decided in 1968, the IRS has been making life difficult for the settlors of Crummey trusts. Only recently the parties again skirmished, this time over whether an in terrorem clause in the...more

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

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