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Constitutional Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read Constitutional Law updates, alerts, news, and analysis from leading lawyers and law firms:

Edith Windsor: Saying Farewell to a Brave Woman

by Bowditch & Dewey on

In law school, I wrote papers on the tax consequences of death and divorce for same-sex married couples. The conclusions I drew in those academic exercises included advising same-sex married couples to plan for tragedy well...more

Litigating trust matters in the federal courts (U.S.): A jurisdiction primer

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The diversity jurisdiction of the federal courts generally does not extend to state probate matters. However, this so-called “probate exception to federal diversity jurisdiction” does not apply to trust disputes. See...more

Standing Up to Your Siblings: Who Can Bring a Financial Elder Abuse Claim?

by Downey Brand LLP on

While financial elder abuse is a serious problem in California, not just anyone can sue to protect an abused elder. This is especially true if the elder does not want to bring suit in the first place. On April 19, 2017, the...more

Discretionary Trust Beneficiary Had No Standing to Challenge Adoption [Florida]

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Since many estates and trusts define beneficiaries by description (e.g., “child” or “lineal descendant”) and it is a natural propensity for persons to gift or leave property to lineal descendants, the adoption of an...more

Sometimes It’s Just a Question of Standing

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

A person’s standing to interpose objections to probate is governed by SCPA §1410, which provides that, - any person whose interest in property or in the estate of the testator would be adversely affected by the admission...more

Jury Trials in Surrogate’s Court Removal Proceedings

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

As parties prepare for trial before the Surrogate’s Court, a question that oftentimes arises is whether the parties have a right to a trial by jury. The right to a jury trial is anything but universal in Surrogate’s Court...more

Statute of Limitations and Collections Process Against Executrix and Agent for Estate Tax Deficiency

United States v. Holmes - 2016 WL 4363398 (SD Tex. Aug. 16, 2016) Summary - Summary judgment was sought by both the taxpayers and the Government for an estate tax liability. The taxpayers contended that the...more

Can it be that in Nevada a trustee by statute may now decant an income-only trust into a trust whose trustee has current...

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

Even in the absence of statutory authority a trustee with equitable discretionary authority to make principal distributions to or for the benefit of the beneficiary has long had equitable authority to distribute some or all...more

Family Law: Corporate and Trust Challenges to Service of Process and Jurisdiction

by Carlton Fields on

The president of a corporation, manager of a limited liability company, trustee of a family trust, or principal of another business entity receives a summons in a Florida divorce case. One spouse contends the other’s control,...more

The public policy case against retroactively applying new trust law

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Supreme Court of Bermuda by statute amendment (Dec. 11, 2015) has been granted a power to declare that the rule against perpetuities shall not apply to a trust instrument executed before the amendment’s effective date,...more

New Delaware Unclaimed Property Decision Further Complicates Landscape

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Another federal judge slams Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodology but rejects the holder’s reliance on the priority rules as a defense to the audit demands. See Marathon Petroleum Corp. et al. v. Cook et al., No....more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update: 2015-2016

by Winstead PC on

The fiduciary field in Texas is a constantly changing area. Over time, statutes change, and Texas courts interpret those statutes, the common law, and parties’ documents differently. This paper is intended to give an update...more

Federal Court Decision Warns Delaware: Be Prepared to Defend Audit Practices in Court

by Reed Smith on

The United States District Court for the District of Delaware dismissed a lawsuit against the Delaware State Escheator, Abandoned Property Audit Manager, and the Secretary of Finance, and Kelmar Associates, LLC, but it came...more

Settlement Reached in Temple-Inland; Delaware Internally Reviewing Unclaimed Property Audit Practices

by McDermott Will & Emery on

The court case challenging Delaware’s unclaimed property audit methodologies has settled following an opinion brutalizing Delaware’s position. This settlement leaves the US District Court for the District of Delaware...more

Do the Provisions of the Judicial Code Automatically Apply in Eminent Domain Cases? The Commonwealth Court Recently Said No.

On June 22, 2016, the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court decided the case of Township of Millcreek v. Angela Cres Trust of June 25, 1998, 1725 C.D. 2015, which decided whether 42 Pa.C.S. § 5505 applies to eminent domain cases. ...more

North Carolina Appellate Court Affirms that Taxation of Trust’s Income is Unconstitutional

by Alston & Bird on

On July 5, 2016, the Court of Appeals of North Carolina affirmed the 2015 decision by the superior court in The Kimberley Rice Kaestner 1992 Family Trust v. N.C. Dep’t of Revenue, which held that North Carolina was...more

Breaking News: Federal Court Finds Delaware’s Unclaimed Property Enforcement “Shocks the Conscience”

by McDermott Will & Emery on

On June 28, 2016, the much-anticipated memorandum opinion of the US District Court for the District of Delaware in Temple-Inland, Inc. v. Cook et al., No. 14-654-GMS was released on the parties’ cross-motions for summary...more

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Guardianship Orders

by LeClairRyan on

A recent Virginia Supreme Court case highlights the importance of using precise language in an order appointing a guardian, as well as ensuring that when a guardian files suit on behalf of a ward, the guardian sues in the...more

Tables Turned: 21 States Tell Delaware to “Fork Over Our Unclaimed Property!"

The latest salvo in an ongoing battle against Delaware was fired on June 9, when 21 states, led by Texas and Arkansas, filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court to force Delaware to return to the States between $150 million...more

Unclaimed Property Hunger Games: States Seek Supreme Court Review in ‘Official Check’ Dispute

by McDermott Will & Emery on

Background - As detailed in our blog last month, MoneyGram Payment Systems, Inc. (MoneyGram) is stuck in between a rock and a hard place as states continue to duel with Delaware over the proper classification of (and...more

New Gun Trusts Laws Take Effect July 13, 2016

Firearms such as short-barreled rifle or shotguns, silencers or suppressors, and machine guns (i.e., Title II firearms) are regulated by the federal government as to their purchase, transfer and manufacture. ...more

Bank of America as Trustee v. Commissioner of Revenue: Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Will Hear Case in 2016

by M. Robinson & Company, P.C. on

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC) will hear the appeal of Bank of America against the Massachusetts Commissioner of Revenue in 2016. The SJC accepted Bank of America’s application for Direct Appellate Review on...more

IRS Proposed Regs Redefine the Terms “Husband” and “Wife”

by Cole Schotz on

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

Treasury and the IRS Issue Proposed Regulations Implementing Supreme Court Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

by Franczek Radelet P.C. on

In recent guidance, the Department of Treasury and the IRS issued proposed rules that clarify under the Internal Revenue Code (Code) that the terms “spouse” and “husband” and “wife” refer to individuals who are lawfully...more

The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained...

by M. Robinson & Company, P.C. on

Background - Before addressing the Bank of America case, it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.20.1: Income Tax on Estates and...more

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