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Annual Estate Planning Newsletter: Part Three

Action Item: This is the third installment of our Annual Estate Planning Letter, and covers some topics of interest not discussed in our previous installments. We urge you to review this installment to ensure that your 2016...more

New Rules for 831(b) Captive Insurance Companies

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the PATH Act), as part of a 2016 appropriations bill. The PATH Act includes significant changes to Internal Revenue Code section...more

Business Succession Planning - February 2016

The transition of a family owned or closely-held business is a significant undertaking even with the best laid plan. This article will outline the issues that should be considered by the business owner in transitioning a...more

Asset protection: Back to basics

Asset protection trusts can be highly effective vehicles for protecting wealth in today’s litigious society. But these trusts can be complex and expensive, so they’re not right for everyone. For those seeking simpler asset...more

Employing the term "family" in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble

Employing the term “family” in trust instruments and trust-related legislation is asking for trouble. In §8.15.6 of Loring and Rounds: A Trustee’s Handbook (2016) the authors explain why the meaning of the term in a given...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2016

When interest rates are low, it’s high time for estate planning - Interest rates remain at record lows, and while many experts believe they’ll begin to rise soon, it’s likely they’ll rise slowly. So it’s an ideal time to...more

Alert: The Importance of Beneficiary Designations

Who really benefits? You may be surprised! If you participate in a 401(k) or other retirement plan, have one or more IRA accounts, or life insurance policies, you need to designate beneficiaries to receive the benefits...more

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

The Use of Private Placement Group Variable Deferred Annuities in Generation Skipping Trusts - Over the last several decades, trust and estate lawyers have placed great emphasis on proper planning regarding the proper...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 1/5/16

The last quarter of 2015 produced two interesting decisions from the Appeals Court. In Brady v. Citizens Union Savings Bank, 88 Mass. App. Ct. 416 (2015), the Court addressed whether legal fees and costs already paid to...more

Focus on Tax Controversy - December 2015

IRS Updates Administrative Appeals Process for Cases Docketed in Tax Court - In Notice 2015-72, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) provided a proposed revenue procedure to update Rev. Proc. 87-24, 1987-1 C.B. 720, which...more

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange

Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. An LTC insurance policy can offset these costs, but the premiums can be expensive. One potential source for funding LTC...more

Insight on Estate Planning - Year End 2015

Paying for LTC insurance using a tax-free exchange - Nothing can throw a monkey wrench into an estate plan like incurring long-term care (LTC) expenses. These expenses — for nursing home stays, assisted-living...more

Beware of conflating power of appointment doctrine and merger doctrine in the trust context

Assume a trust that was initially for the benefit of its settlor (who is now dead) has the following additional terms: All net trust-accounting income to settlor’s surviving spouse (X) for life; trustee may invade principal...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19359 - Persels & Associates, LLC v. Banking Commissioner - Noting that it has generally been the policy of the Courts to defer to the Legislature, especially as to the...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2015

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,...more

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

The Crummey trust: Keeping both the IRS and the creditors at bay is taking some fancy footwork

Since Crummey v. Commissioner was decided in 1968, the IRS has been making life difficult for the settlors of Crummey trusts. Only recently the parties again skirmished, this time over whether an in terrorem clause in the...more

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

Benefits of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust as Security for Support

Divorce or separation agreements often require one spouse to maintain life insurance as security for their support obligation. Attorneys often do not address the tax implications if the insured spouse owns the policy. ...more

Eureka: California Controller Discovers New Source of Revenue from Insurers

The California Controller’s (Controller) latest squeeze on the life insurance industry involves: sending life insurers notices of assessment of interest on unclaimed property reported and voluntarily remitted in December...more

Participant’s Estate Fails to Show a Claim For Failure to Give Notice of Right to Continue Life Insurance Coverage: Estate of...

Providing a practical lesson on determining a duty to give notice to ERISA participants, the U. S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida dismissed the claim by the estate of an ERISA group life insurance plan...more

Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts - Tax and Nontax Advantages

Creating an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT) can dramatically increase the liquidity of an individual’s estate and effectively leverage the value of the annual $14,000 per donee gift tax exclusion and the $5,430,000...more

NCOIL Revises Unclaimed Property Model Act

The National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) recently adopted an enhanced Model Unclaimed Life Insurance Benefits Act to address particular concerns regarding the Social Security Death Master File (the DMF). The...more

Morgan Stanley Agrees to Resolution of Multi-State Unclaimed Property Audit

The California State Controller announced an Audit Resolution Agreement with Morgan Stanley on December 23, 2014, which sets forth the terms and conditions for finalizing and resolving an unclaimed property audit that Verus...more

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