Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure

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Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: SCOTUS on Bankruptcy: Jurisdiction and Inherited IRAs Clarified

In a rare burst of bankruptcy enthusiasm, the US Supreme Court in June issued two decisions on matters important to the administration of bankruptcy cases. In re Bellingham, decided June 9, addressed a seemingly...more

Fourth Circuit Rejects Widow’s Claim for Equitable Relief

The Fourth Circuit recently rejected fiduciary breach and equitable estoppel claims for life insurance coverage by Leslie Moon, the widow of a deceased employee, who claimed that the employer’s actions resulted in Mr. Moon’s...more

CERCLA Contribution and Trust Funds: A Matter for State Law

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, does not require contribution from...more

How to Fight a STOLI Scheme: Court Rulings Offer Clues

Two recent court decisions provide potential road maps for insurers in the fight against Stranger-Originated Life Insurance (STOLI) schemes. Ohio Nat’l Life Assurance Corp. v. Davis involved a STOLI scheme so obvious that...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

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...more

Is Death A Defense To CERCLA Liability?

In contrast to the early days of Superfund when no argument for extending CERCLA liability was too far-fetched, the Second Circuit recently rejected one of the all-time “Hail Mary” passes for CERCLA contribution. The case,...more

Bankruptcy Protection for Inherited IRA

The already complicated subject of how to handle Individual Retirement Accounts following the death of an IRA holder just got a little more complicated with the recent Supreme Court decision in Clark v. Rameker. The issue in...more

U.S. Supreme Court Asked to Decide Whether Wrongful Death Suits are Subject to Arbitration

The United States Supreme Court was recently asked to determine whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts a state law rule that prohibits enforcement of pre-dispute arbitration agreements in certain wrongful death...more

No Refund Of Extension Overpayment Followed By A Code §6166 Election

If an estate files to extend the due date of its Form 706 estate tax return, it can elect to defer the portion of the estimated estate tax that will be deferred pursuant to its Code §6166 election. It does not make the...more

Legal Implications of the Sterling Trust Dispute

While the attention of most Miami basketball fans was focused on the Heat’s bid for a third consecutive title, Clippers fans look forward to a new owner in Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. Donald Sterling is challenging the...more

Supreme Court Holds Inherited IRAs Not Exempt from Bankruptcy Estate

The Bankruptcy Code permits an individual in bankruptcy to exempt from the bankrupt estate “retirement funds” in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) or certain other tax-advantaged vehicles. In a recent case, the U.S....more

Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs Available to Creditors in Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014 the United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker, 13-299, ruling that inherited IRA accounts are available to creditors in bankruptcy. At issue was a Bankruptcy Code provision that...more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Inherited IRAs are Available to Pay Creditors

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clark v. Rameker[1], opening up another source of recovery for creditors and Chapter 7 trustees in bankruptcy proceedings. In Clark, a Chapter 7 debtor inherited...more

The U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Inherited IRAs Are Not Exempt In Bankruptcy

On June 12, 2014, the United States Supreme Court unanimously held in Clark v. Rameker Trustee that funds in an individual retirement account (“IRA”) inherited from someone other than the bankrupt debtor’s spouse are not...more

Inherited IRAs Are Not Bankruptcy-Exempt as “Retirement Funds”

On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Clark v. Rameker that an inherited individual retirement account (IRA) does not qualify for the “retirement funds” exemption in the Bankruptcy Code and is not...more

When is a Retirement Account not a Retirement Account?

Q: When is a retirement account not a retirement account? A: When it's an inherited IRA and the owner is bankrupt. That's what the Supreme Court said last week in a case involving the Bankruptcy Code's exemption...more

The Battle Over Casey Kasem’s Medical Care: Lessons in Incapacity Planning

Last month I mentioned that every person should have a basic estate plan, including a medical directive. This directive is not only necessary for the elderly, but also for anyone who could find themselves incapacitated...more

More On Inherited IRAs And Creditor Protection

Our post from yesterday discussed how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Clark v. Rameker that inherited IRAs are not exempt from creditor claims in bankruptcy. Here are some more observations on that case...more

Inherited IRA Exposure To Creditors – Resolution At Last

We have written on the question whether inherited IRAs are exempt from creditors in a federal bankruptcy action. The various courts that have addressed the issue have gone in both directions....more

Supreme Court Decides Retirement-Fund Bankruptcy Exemption Case: Clark v. Rameker

On June 12, 2014, the United States Supreme Court decided Clark v. Rameker, No. 13-299, holding that funds in an individual retirement account (IRA) that a bankruptcy debtor obtained through inheritance are not "retirement...more

Appellate Court Notes

Plaintiff was appointed conservator over a young woman with psychological issues. A married man befriended her over the internet. She then suffered a stroke, limiting her mobility, and the married man started visiting her...more

Delaware District Court Affirms Order Approving Gifting In Chapter 11 Case

The U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware has affirmed a bankruptcy court order which approved both a sale of the debtors’ assets and the establishment of an escrow account, which essentially provides a “gift” to...more

Life Insurance Unclaimed Property Litigation in 2014: Will Regulator Positions Withstand Judicial Scrutiny

Amidst ongoing multistate unclaimed property audits of many life insurers, and despite many regulatory settlements, the insurance industry and state regulators continue to disagree over the application of unclaimed property...more

Eighth Circuit Decisions Reminds Employers Of Importance Of Granting ERISA Plan Administrators Discretion To Interpret Plan Terms

Recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit released an opinion which highlights the importance of ensuring ERISA plan documents grant plan administrators the discretion to construe and interpret the...more

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