Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

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Another rejection of the intent-defeating, sole-benefit-of-the-beneficiaries principle, the policy centerpiece of the Uniform...

In §6.1.2 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2016), the authors report on the ongoing academic debate between Prof. John H. Langbein and Prof. Jeffrey A. Cooper over the merits of the sole-benefit-of...more

The Death of Prince Rogers Nelson – An Estate Tax Controversy Likely To Follow

Many of our readers have asked me about the likely controversy that will ensue following the death of Prince. In fact, two readers feel, since I have been reporting about some of the controversy surrounding the Estate of...more

Wealth Management Update - July 2016

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

Court Affirms Order Denying An Administrator’s Attorney’s Fees

In In re Estate of Williams, attorney Don Ford was appointed an administrator of an estate and hired himself as an attorney for the estate. No. 05-15-00392-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5990 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

Dead Man Talking

When there’s a suit involving someone’s estate, can you get into evidence a hearsay statement by the person who has died? If the statement falls under this exception to the hearsay rule, the dead person may have his or her...more

Court Reverses A Probate Order Requiring An Executor To Distribute Real Property Free Of Any Liens

In In re Estate of Heider, a probate court ordered that an executor should distribute real property to a beneficiary free of liens. No. 05-14-00436-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5978 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

Beware: Your Estate Plan May Contain an Unnecessary Bypass Trust

A once-popular estate planning tool included in many Last Wills and Revocable Trusts may now cost families more in taxes than it saves. Changes in the federal estate tax have made the "bypass trust" which was often included...more

NPRA Redux: Proposed NPCL Amendments Approved by Senate and Assembly

The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed a bill that, if signed by the Governor, would amend the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) and the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) to clarify and refine...more

Will Your Estate Plan Preserve the Family Vacation Home?

Now that sunshine and blue skies are upon us, people are opening their summer homes for the season. Happy memories of family vacations and gatherings often motivate parents to seek out ways to preserve their second home for...more

All Assets Are Not Created Equal When It Comes to IRA Rollovers (PLR 201547010)

When the taxpayer in PLR 201547010 decided to invest his IRA assets in a partnership, he forgot to check whether his IRA provider was able to hold an interest in a partnership as an investment in the IRAs for which it served...more

Court Reverses Decision On The Fair Market Value Of A Residence Due To The Surviving Spouse’s Interest

In Estate of Sloan, a wife died leaving her home, and her husband was the executor of her estate. No. 02-15-00198-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6465 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 16, 2016, no pet. history). The wife’s will left all...more

Virginia Supreme Court Issues New Ruling Regarding Guardianship Orders

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

Court Reverses New Trial Order After A Jury Verdict On A Trust Dispute

In In re Jones, there was a jury trial on the issue of whether a revocable trust was revoked such that the trustee, Jones, or the settlor’s executor, Coyle, had the right to the trust assets. No. 05-16-0081-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

IRS Tax Liens and Discretionary Trust Interests - Part 2

In April, I wrote how a U.S. District Court held that a beneficiary’s discretionary interest could be liened by the IRS for tax liabilities of the beneficiary. The interest was “halfway” between a purely discretionary...more

Governor Kasich Signs House Bill 229 to Create Ohio Family Trust Company Act

On June 14, 2016, Governor Kasich signed House Bill 229 into law. The bill, which was over two years in the making, allows an Ohio family to establish its own trust company to serve as trustee for its family trusts. 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

Connecticut’s New Power of Attorney Law

Effective October 1, 2016 Connecticut will have finally updated its 1965 law governing Powers of Attorney (POA’s). The new law, called the Connecticut Uniform Power of Attorney Act, or “CT UPOAA”, makes many changes that...more

The Battle Between the Estate of Michael Jackson and the IRS Continues

In March 2014, I reported on the all-out battle that was ensuing in the U.S. Tax Court between the IRS and the Estate of Michael Jackson over the value of the late pop singer’s estate. It began in 2013, when the estate...more

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

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

Will Inherited IRAs Be Used As A Tool for Protecting An Inheritance from Creditors?

A recent decision out of a New Jersey Bankruptcy Court highlights a loophole in the Bankruptcy Code which may allow Chapter 7 debtors to keep significant assets out of the hands of trustees and creditors. In In re...more

Charitable Remainder Trusts: A Viable Strategy for Building Wealth, Maximizing Tax Deductions, and Supporting a Beloved Charity

While most of us think of charitable giving around the holidays (or around tax time!), for many it is prudent to plan your giving to receive all of the benefits that are available to you. Planned giving comes in many forms...more

The Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The New UK Register of Persons With Significant Control

In Depth - From 30 June 2016 all UK companies (other than most listed companies) and LLPs will need to include details of persons with significant control or influence (“PSC”) on their annual confirmation statements...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You’re blindsided by tax on intrafamily loans

What’s worse than being taxed on income received? Having to pay tax on income never actually collected. That can happen if a family member borrows money from another loved one (an intrafamily loan) on an interest-free basis....more

Social Security loopholes close, but options remain open

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 (BBA) closed two popular loopholes for future Social Security benefits. As a result, certain retirees may now realize less in the way of benefits during their lifetime and leave a smaller...more

Till Death Do Us Part? How to Deal With Celebrity Publicity Rights When That Celebrity Passes

The tragic death of renowned recording artist Prince left many reminiscing about his meticulously crafted public image. In life, the law allowed Prince to control the commercial exploitations of his image.  At death, however,...more

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