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Wills, Trusts & Estates Newsletter - August 2015

In This Issue: - 5 Ways for Business Owners to Protect Their Assets - VA Benefits - Know What’s Out There - Excerpt from VA Benefits - Know What's Out There: For many family members helping to care for an...more

VA Benefits - Know What's Out There

For many family members helping to care for an elderly or disabled loved one, entitlement programs can be challenging to understand; particularly when there may be many demands on your time and resources may be stretched...more

New Maine Budget Would Make Numerous Tax Changes

Hoping to avoid a potential government shutdown, this week the Legislature passed a biennial budget that once again makes significant tax changes, but stops well short of the major tax reform desired by many legislators. The...more

The Estate Planner – July/August 2015

In This Issue: - Can a Broken Trust be Fixed? - Keep it in the Family: Use an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes - Tax Court: Trust Can Materially Participate in a Business - Estate Planning...more

Starting a New Job? Consider These Tips When Signing Up for Employee Benefits

When you start a new job you may be offered a wide range of employee benefits, from retirement accounts to life insurance. If you are the parent of a child with special needs, the decisions you make when signing up for these...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

Supreme Court Ruling Heightens Pressure on Fiduciaries to Monitor 401(k) Plan Investments

On May 18th, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously held in Tibble et al. v. Edison International et al., No. 13-550 (S. Ct. May 18, 2015) that ordinary principles of trust law impose on ERISA fiduciaries a duty to continually...more

Supreme Court Instructs Ninth Circuit to Consider Common Law of Trusts in Applying ERISA's Statute of Limitations

The Supreme Court has once again emphasized the importance of ERISA’s origins in the common law of trusts, this time in interpreting its statute of limitations. On May 18, the Court reversed the Ninth Circuit’s decision in...more

Guide To Doing Business in Australia: Taxation (Updated)

TAXATION - It is not possible to give a complete outline of the scope of the taxation system in this guide. A brief outline of the basic taxation principles and some of the major forms of taxation are discussed...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

Deceased Employee's ADA Claim Becomes Property of Estate

What happens when a plaintiff pursuing a disability discrimination claim under the Americans with Disabilities Act dies during administrative or judicial review? Are the claims of such a personal nature that they expire along...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

Massachusetts Unveils Limited Amnesty Program

Beginning March 16, 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue is offering an aptly described “limited” amnesty program for taxpayers with certain tax liabilities. Technical Information Release 15-2....more

Status Updates - March 2015

Forced friendship. A committee of the Arkansas Senate is expected to vote this week on a bill that would allow companies and other organizations responsible for supervising minors to require their employees to include a...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

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House

Under the Dome: Inside the Maine State House provides a high-level overview of recent activity at the Maine State House. February Vacation Results in Relatively Quiet Week in Augusta, Except the Tax Package...more

White House Budget Proposal Includes Many Retirement-Related Provisions

On February 2, 2015, the White House released its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget, which includes a number of tax code changes targeting retirement savings. If enacted as presented, the proposals would have a significant effect on...more

Court Permits Beneficiary Designations By Telephone

In a somewhat surprising case, the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that a participant may change his prior written beneficiary designation by a telephone call to the plan sponsor. The Becker v....more

2015 Tax Update Letter

Dear Clients and Colleagues: This letter is an update on the most recent estate and gift tax developments and serves as a follow-up to our past yearly tax updates, which can be accessed by clicking the “Family Wealth...more

Housing Options for Adults with Special Needs

Fifty years ago, most people with even moderate special needs were institutionalized throughout their adult lives. Now, thanks in part to societal changes and decades of litigation, most people with special needs, including...more

Report From Counsel: Insights And Developments In The Law - Winter 2014/2015

In this Newsletter: - Federal Advertising Guidelines for Businesses - Case by Case - Arbitration Clauses in Employment Contracts - Life Insurance Can Be Part of Your Estate Plan - Employment...more

And They’re Off!! The Maryland Legislative Session Has Begun

Maryland has begun its legislative session and PK Law is monitoring bills of interest. Bear in mind that the session is early on and many changes may take place during the 90 days the General Assembly is seated. Here are...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

Divorce and Beneficiary Designations—Florida Law Changes

Introduction - This article discusses a significant change in Florida law regarding the effect of dissolution or annulment of marriage on designations of one former spouse as beneficiary upon death of the insured other...more

Maine Governor Proposes Major State Tax Restructuring

Maine Governor Paul LePage has proposed a major restructuring of Maine’s tax system as part of his FY 2016-2017 budget submission. Generally, the governor’s proposal decreases the state’s reliance on income tax revenue and...more

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