Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Civil Procedure Family Law

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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In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life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

Bus Driver’s Aneurysm Found Compensable

The South Carolina Court of Appeals issued an opinion on February 18, 2015, wherein it found a bus driver’s death due to an aneurysm compensable and the driver’s common-law wife entitled to benefits. ...more

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

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

Ex-Husband Fails in Attempt to Use Texas Law to Impose Constructive Trust on Former Spouse’s Survivor Annuity

A former husband’s attempt to use Texas law to deprive his first wife of a survivor annuity under his pension plan has been firmly rejected by the U. S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. Vanderkam v. Vanderkam,...more

U.S. Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Cases Regarding the Constitutionality of Same-Sex Marriage Bans

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear four cases from Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, and Tennessee, respectively, regarding the constitutionality of same-sex marriage bans by the states. ...more

Illinois Supreme Court Debates Scope of Accountant-Client Privilege in Will Contests

Last week, the Illinois Supreme Court heard oral argument in Brunton v. Kruger.  Brunton involves the scope of the accountant-client privilege – specifically, what happens to that privilege after the client dies, and how the...more

The liability of a trustee who honors a fraudulent exercise of a power of appointment

A trustee who transfers trust property to a permissible appointee for the benefit of an impermissible appointee such that the fraud on a special power doctrine is implicated incurs no liability as a consequence, unless the...more

Appellate Court Notes

?AC35507 - State v. Wright - ?AC35289, AC36395 - Southport Congregational Church-United Church of Christ v. Hadley - The doctrine of equitable conversion did not apply when the decedent contracted to sell real...more

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with 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

Could it be that the Uniform Trust Code would effectively immunize the trustee of a revocable inter vivos trust from liability for...

Section 603 of the Uniform Trust Code provides that while a trust is revocable and the settlor has capacity to revoke the trust, rights of the beneficiaries, such as the equitable remaindermen, are subject to the control of,...more

Spendthrift & Discretionary Trusts in Florida: Further Analysis of Berlinger v. Casselberry

In Berlinger v. Casselberry, Case No. 2D12-6470, 6 (Fla. 2d DCA Nov. 27, 2013), the Florida Second District Court of Appeal upheld a writ of garnishment issued by a trial court against the trustee of a discretionary trust...more

Celebrity Trusts & Estates: Paul Walker Leaves His $25 Million Estate to His Teenage Daughter

It was recently revealed that the late Paul Walker left his entire estate—valued at approximately $25 million—to his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow....more

Family Law: Corporate And Trust Challenges To Service Of Process And Jurisdiction

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...more

Federal Tax Treatment of Married Same-Sex Couples

On August 29, 2013, the Internal Revenue Service ruled that married same-sex couples will be treated the same as married heterosexual couples for all federal tax purposes, including income and gift and estate taxes. Revenue...more

Same-Sex Spouse Is Entitled To Death Benefits Under ERISA-Qualified Plan

Following on the heels of the Supreme Court’s decision in U.S. v. Windsor, a federal district court in Pennsylvania recently held that the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee is entitled to receive death benefits under the...more

State Law Will Not Help Out In All Divorce Situations

Many states, including Florida, automatically terminate former spouses as beneficiaries under life insurance policies, annuities, and other beneficiary-designated accounts upon divorce....more

The trustee is not relieved of the duty to defend the trust just because the beneficiary happens to be getting divorced.

The trustee's primary allegiance is to the beneficiary, not to the non-beneficiary spouse or ex-spouse, unless the express terms of the trust provide otherwise. Thus, when there is marital discord, the trustee must suppress...more

Court Affirms §2035 Three Year Rule Applies To §2519 Termination Of QTIP Trusts

For those of you with a great memory, you will remember that in December 2009 we wrote about the case of Morgens v. Commissioner. For those with a more typical memory, you can read the original post on the case here. In...more

Cook Islands Asset Protection Trustee Subject To New York Courts Jurisdiction

Southpac is a trust company that operates in several non-U.S. jurisdictions, including the Cook Islands and Nevis. Not by coincidence, the Cook Islands and Nevis have aggressive asset protection laws that seek to attract...more

Illinois Supreme Court Sets Civil Argument Schedule for May

Yesterday the Illinois Supreme Court published its Oral Argument Calendar [pdf] for the May term, and the Court will hear oral argument in eight civil cases. The cases, with the issue or issues presented in each, are... ...more

Legal Writing Sample

Sample legal writing document of a Motion for Summary Judgment. This was based on a law school exercise case....more

New Pennsylvania Rules Require Immediate Appeals in Matters Involving Trusts, Charities, and Other Proceedings Heard by...

On February 13, 2012, new amendments to the Pennsylvania Rules of Appellate Procedure took effect and made substantial changes to the right to appeal from orders entered by Pennsylvania’s Orphans’ Courts. The...more

Turbervilles Private Client Newsletter - Autumn 2011

Welcome to our autumn newsletter. In this edition, we are pleased to tell you about how Turbervilles has been awarded the Law Society’s prestigious Conveyancing Quality Mark, meaning that the high standards of our...more

Wealth Management Update - July 2011

In This Issue: - July Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - Malpractice claim against an estate was too uncertain to be deductible as...more

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