Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Family Law

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You're Not the Boss of Me: Parents Don't Answer to Children

Should the Court consider why a donor is making or revoking a Power of Attorney? This was the question before the Court in Pirie v Pirie, 2017 ABQB 104....more

Ferri v. Powell-Ferri

Ferri v. Powell-Ferri: A trust decanting decision that is less than meets the eyeMassachusetts

The Supreme Court of Connecticut (SCC) certified three trust-decanting questions of law to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) incident to a divorce proceeding. On March 20, 2017, the SJC rendered its answers to...more

How to protect your family-owned business from your child’s spouse

For most people, a child’s wedding is one of those great life moments that is filled with months of planning and excitement. However, for people who own a family-owned business, the old myth that 50 percent of marriages end...more

When the Wall of Secrecy Collapses

Foreign Accounts, Shell Companies, Blind Trusts, Asset Protection Trusts, Offshore Trusts, Global Citizenship and US Residency are just a few of the Terms highlighted in the mega divorce proceedings of a Palm Beach County...more

Are You Considering Remarrying in Your Senior Years?

Finding love later in life may be unexpected and exciting. The considerations are much different for an older couple with adult children and retirement plans than for a young couple just starting out. Before deciding on next...more

Court Affirms Ruling That Adopted Adult Children Were Beneficiaries Of A Trust

In Andresakis v. Modisett, the trustors signed trust agreements in 1976 and 1981, and each agreement created three trusts, one for their daughter, one for their son, and a third trust for their only grandchild, Andresakis....more

Estate Tax Impact of Life Insurance Required by Divorce

Please see chart below for more information....more

Can it be that in Nevada a trustee by statute may now decant an income-only trust into a trust whose trustee has current...

Even in the absence of statutory authority a trustee with equitable discretionary authority to make principal distributions to or for the benefit of the beneficiary has long had equitable authority to distribute some or all...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 control,...more

Pro Bono Appeal: Navigating Inconsistencies in Posthumous DNA Testing Statutes

Family Court Act § 519 and Estates Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”) § 4-1.2 both address a child’s right to prove paternity after the putative father’s death. However, DNA testing may be considered under Family Court Act § 519...more

House Held In Trust Lost Marital Asset Status

In the afterglow of a wedding, the spouses probably don’t immediately start thinking how the bliss they feel may end spectacularly and expensively. Chances are they may even start estate planning, thinking how they can...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - December 2016

The last several weeks have brought us two decisions in which issues of family law intersected with T&E issues. First, the decision in Heystek v. Duncan, Case No. 15-P-1201, 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1113 (Nov. 21,...more

Update Beneficiary Designations After Divorce or Annulment

On July 1, 2015, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held, with a few exceptions, upon entry of a final judgment of dissolution or annulment, any provision of a will that “affects” a former spouse is void under...more

Personal Planning Strategies - December 2016

2017 Estate, Gift and GST Tax Update: What This Means for Your Current Will, Revocable Trust and Estate Plan - As we previously reported, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the "Act") made the following permanent:...more

Was Prince Married? How Does Marriage Affect an Estate?

Several months after his death, a woman came forward claiming she was married to Prince and that she was the sole heir of the estimated $300 million estate. She additionally claimed to have possession of a will signed by...more

The Uniform Trust Decanting Act's conflicting commentary

The texts of the myriad trust-related uniform statutes could be better coordinated and synchronized. So also could the official commentaries that accompany the myriad sections of the individual uniform statute. Take, for...more

A Post-Mortem, Spousal Surprise: Can My Husband Write Me Out of His Will?

Imagine this potentially devastating situation. Your spouse unexpectedly dies. You find his will and discover, shockingly, that he left everything to his adult son (or his mistress)! Is there anything you can do? This...more

2016 Year-End Estate Planning Advisory

In 2016, we continued to experience a period of relative stability in our federal transfer tax system and have been able to plan without expecting imminent significant changes to the system. Under the American Taxpayer Relief...more

Picking A Conservator: Speak Now Or The Court May Forever Hold Your Peace

Guardianships and conservatorships are seldom happy events. Despite whatever may have precipitated the need for financial or personal protection, there must be an attempt to respect the desires of the ward, if possible. ...more

The public policy case against retroactively applying new trust law

The Supreme Court of Bermuda by statute amendment (Dec. 11, 2015) has been granted a power to declare that the rule against perpetuities shall not apply to a trust instrument executed before the amendment’s effective date,...more

For Love or Money: Considering Prenuptial Agreements

The question of prenuptial agreements comes up often in multi-generational family- owned businesses. The question is typically raised by mom or dad, or maybe grandmother or grandfather, and goes something like: “We’re all...more

Court Holds That Trust No Longer Owned Vehicle Because It Allowed Beneficiary’s Wife To Drive It

In In the Interest of H.D.V., a husband appealed from a bench trial in a divorce proceeding. No. 05-15-00421-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 9520 (Tex. App.—Dallas August 26, 2016, no pet. history). His mother had set up a trust for...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2016

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

Holding Assets in Trust for the Next Generation

Over the past few years, we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of clients interested in holding assets in trust for their children. This is a trend we are noticing across the board, regardless of the size of the...more

Estate Planning During and After Divorce

At a minimum, we recommend that our clients review their existing estate planning documents every few years, and also when big life changes are happening. Going through a divorce is one of those times. ...more

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