Residential Real Estate Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

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Dead Man “Kwoking”: Estate Planning Property Transfers Can Trigger Title Insurance Nightmares

Estate planning attorneys regularly advise their clients about the tax and other advantages of transferring real property to irrevocable trusts or similar estate planning vehicles. But they may not consider the potentially...more

International Estate Planning and the Question of Domicile

Home is where the heart is, right? Unfortunately, the matter is not quite that simple when it comes to international estate planning. Establishing where you home – referred to officially as your domicile by attorneys and the...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees to Decide Whether Trustee May Rescind Reverse Mortgage

During its September term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide an issue of importance to property and banking practitioners: is the statutory right to rescind a reverse mortgage limited to the original property owner?...more

International Estate Planning: Establishing Your Domicile

In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the legal term “domicile” and outlined exactly why it is so important to establish the correct domicile during the estate planning process. If you are part of an international...more

Waiver of Florida Spousal Homestead Rights by Deed Upheld

A recent Florida appellate decision finds that the joinder of a spouse on a deed of homestead property to a trust constitutes a valid waiver of homestead rights, even though the deed contains no waiver language....more

Understanding United States Estate Tax Treaties & Gift Tax Treaties

Purchasing foreign property often comes with being closer to family, rewarding cultural experiences, international adventure, and the realization of long-held dreams. It could also mean having a home away from home in a...more

Estate Planning for a Vacation Home

If you are lucky enough to own a vacation home, then you need to figure out what will happen to it after you are gone. Many parents hope to keep vacation homes in the family, but guaranteeing that can be tricky....more

Report From Counsel: Insights and Developments in the Law - Fall 2014

In this Report: - Homeowners’ Insurance: The Devil Resides in the Details - “Cybersmear” Lawsuits - Age Discrimination in Employment - The Marital Deduction: A Valuable Estate Planning...more

Federal Tax Lien Did Not Survive Death of Joint Tenant

Two individuals (Cunning and Wren) acquired real property in the U.S. Virgin Islands as joint tenants with rights of survivorship (JTWROS) in 2005. In 2010 the IRS filed a federal tax lien against Cunning in the U.S. Virgin...more

New Law Effective in 2015 is an Important Win for Cottage Owners

On October 9, 2014, PA 310 of 2014 (HB 5552) was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As stated in our previous blog, "Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House...more

Strong Arm Powers: What Can Be Done With An Avoided Lien?

DeGiacomo v. Traverse (In re Traverse), 753 F.3d 19 (1st Cir. 2014) – A chapter 7 trustee sought to avoid an unrecorded first mortgage and to preserve the lien for the benefit of the bankruptcy estate. In response, the...more

Reinsurer Not Allowed To Intervene In Action Involving Cedent’s Risk

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York denied a reinsurer’s motion to intervene in an interpleader action in which Battenkill Insurance Company argued it had an 85% interest in the funds at...more

Homestead Status Without Current Use Or Possession; Interaction Of Homestead Successor Rights With Terms Of Marital Settlement...

Under Florida law, a decedent will be restricted in devising his or her homestead property at death. If those restrictions apply, surviving spouses and heirs received the interests they would receive under intestacy law. For...more

August 2014 Estate Planning Update: Protecting Investment Properties

Investment properties can be subject to lawsuits by other creditors because they are not protected by Nevada’s homestead law. Under Nevada homestead law, many classes of assets are automatically protected from creditors. ...more

Affiliate Transfer: Fraudulent Conveyance or Unwinding Resulting Trust?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside as a debtor’s transfer of her interest in property held jointly with her husband to her husband’s corporation as a constructive fraudulent conveyance. The bankruptcy court agreed that...more

Hastings-Bass and Mistake: Should the BVI follow Jersey’s example?

On 25 October 2013 the States of Jersey introduced never before seen statutory provisions which seek to clarify, as a matter of Jersey law, the existence and nature of the Hastings-Bass principle and the doctrine which allows...more

Protecting your real estate assets

When preparing an estate plan, asset protection for real estate is particularly challenging, because it’s the only asset that can’t be moved. Gifting it is one option, but this leaves the property exposed to creditors. This...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2014

In This Issue: - Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises - Protecting your real estate assets - How will the GST tax affect your estate plan? - Estate...more

Recent Tax Developments

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past several months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information...more

New Statutory Elective Share for Surviving Spouses in Rhode Island

A surviving spouse’s rights and interests to assets of a deceased spouse have been clarified and expanded by a new spousal “elective share” statute in Rhode Island (R.I.G.L. § 33-28-1 et. seq.). ...more

“Ladybird Deed” Language Removed from Michigan Tax Guidelines

Many people have heard of a "Ladybird Deed," but few understand how Ladybird Deeds work. In essence, this type of deed allows property to pass automatically upon an individual's death without the need of probate, offering a...more

CFPB Clarifies Heirs, Divorcees and Estate Planning Transferees Are Not Subject to Ability-to-Repay Rules

The CFPB issued an interpretive rule to clarify that when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower’s heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Bureau’s Ability-to-Repay rule. This clarification will...more

Bankruptcy Court Sheds Light on MA Homestead Protection of Downstream Trust Beneficiaries

Suppose the following: Title to a home is held by Trust A. The beneficiaries of Trust A are three natural persons and Trust B. Trust B holds a 25% beneficial interest in Trust A. The sole beneficiaries of Trust B are Mom...more

In Frank Aragona Trust, Tax Court Holds that Trustees’ Activities as Employees Count for Purposes of Material Participation Under...

The issue of whether a trust has passive or non-passive income from its investment in a pass-through entity has taken on increased importance in light of the tax imposed on net investment income under Code Section 1411 of the...more

Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House Bill

On December 27, 2012, HR-4753 was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As discussed in our previous blog post, "HR-4753: An Early Christmas Gift for Michigan Cottage Owners!", this law prevents the uncapping of...more

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