Read Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning updates, articles, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:
Widow Foreclosure Catch-22
The 2010 Tax Relief Act and your estate plan
Are your estate planning documents protecting your assets?
Same-Sex Marriage Cases in 90 Seconds
Should you Opt-Out of the Voluntary Disclosure Program?
Death and Foreign Asset Disclosure. What you don't know can cost you…a lot
Safeguard Your MVA: Devising a Business Succession Plan that will Preserve your Most Valuable Asset
Planning for Your Social Media Accounts When You Die
Divorce can be costly, especially when it reveals undisclosed foreign assets.
Fein, Such, Kahn, & Shepard: Estate Planning
Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts, & Power of Attorney in Arizona - Putting Family First
Foreign Asset Disclosure Program
The Basics of the Fiscal Cliff Deal & Why the Lack of Sunset Provisions Is Important
On the heels of the United States Supreme Court’s recent holding in U.S. Airways v. McCutchen, where the Court held that a group health plan’s reimbursement rights are not automatically subject to equitable defenses, it...more
It is an unfortunate reality that as people get older, they become more and more susceptible to influence, abuse, and neglect. In fact, California has recognized that its elders are a disadvantaged class, that the cases of...more
In Kleveland v. Siegel & Wolensky LLP, 2013 DAR 4961(2013) the California Courts of Appeal for the Fourth Appellate District affirmed the denial of a special motion to strike and the award of costs and attorney fees as...more
The trust being a multi-party relationship, it is not always that easy to discern at any given time whom legal counsel is representing, or should be representing, in matters relating to the trust’s creation and...more
This week we reopen our Damages series with a thirteenth installment to discuss the availability of sentimental value damages for the loss of items of personal property. We examine both the general rule that such damages are...more
The scenario is not difficult to imagine: An employee designates her spouse as the primary beneficiary under her employer’s life insurance and retirement benefit plans. Years later, the couple divorces, and in the marital...more
A San Francisco appeals court has rejected a law firm’s attempt to recover $3 million billed on a trust matter on the grounds that the work did not benefit the estate....more
In In re Stockdale, the New Jersey Supreme Court addressed the availability of punitive damages in estate disputes involving undue influence claims. 196 N.J. 275 (2008). ...more
This modified excerpt from Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2013) is a primer on the wrong of Unjust Enrichment and its principal remedy, Restitution. Unjust enrichment doctrine is very much alive and well in the real...more
An “in terrorem” or “no-contest” clause in a trust instrument provides for the forfeiture or reduction of the equitable property interest of a beneficiary who contests the arrangement. In a recent New Hampshire case, Shelton,...more
This week's article focuses upon the recent Indiana Court of Appeals decision Pistalo v. Progressive in which the court held that a bad faith claim against an insurance company could progress even though the policy holder had...more
Your father has just died. You are in school and your father was paying your tuition and some of your bills. You are shocked to find out that your father left you nothing under his will. What are your options?
Offshore asset protection trusts (OAPT) typically have the following characteristics: (1) the trust is governed by the laws of a foreign jurisdiction that does not recognize the judgments or orders of courts of the United...more
In the 2012 elections, three states (Maine, Maryland, and Washington) legalized gay marriage, and one state (Minnesota) rejected a ballot measure that would have created a state constitutional amendment prohibiting gay...more
In Roberts v. Wilson, the El Paso Court of Appeals ruled that the wife of a beneficiary under a will was entitled to her husband’s interest in real property because he survived his parents and the bequeath did not have a...more
In Estate of Wong, 2012 DJDAR 8873 (2012), the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District decided an interesting attorney fee case dealing with the interplay of the Probate Code and Business and Professions...more
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
If a party is unhappy with the trial court's application of the law to the facts presented during an orphans' court matter, can the unhappy party bypass the exceptions process and go directly to the appellate courts?...more
“In probate court, nothing speaks more eloquently or provides more insight into factual and legal issues than an accounting.”
Christie v. Kimball (2d Civil No. B230286, January 26, 2012).
Under Probate Code...more
Tomorrow, the Assembly Judiciary Committee will hear several important bills that passed out of the Senate:
- SB 323 (Vargas) - This bill would enact the California Revised Uniform Limited Liability Company Act to...more
As a general rule, one assumes no personal liability when one becomes a trust beneficiary. There are some exceptions, however. Charles E. Rounds, Jr. explains in Section 5.6 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2012)....more
We complete our preview of the new civil review grants at the Illinois Supreme Court with DeHart v. DeHart [pdf], a will contest which raises a range of issues from how do you prove lack of testamentary capacity, to undue...more
The California Court of Appeal (Fourth Appellate District, Division 3) recently held that an attorney can be a joint tortfeasor with his or her client for purposes of California Code of Civil Procedure section 877. The...more
Earlier today, we previewed Bjork v. O'Meara, a case about the perils of challenging a will too late. Now we preview a case about timing your claim for attorneys fees: Rodriquez v. Department of Financial and Professional...more
The California Court of Appeal (Second Appellate District, Division 3) reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of a defendant law firm after concluding that the action was not time-barred by the running of...more
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