Beneficiaries

News & Analysis as of

The Law of Gift-Giving

The holidays are upon us. Soon children will be writing their letters to Santa and imagining what treasures might be left under the Christmas tree. Over the next several weeks, people of all ages will be trying to come up...more

Beware of Unintended Beneficiary Designations

Beneficiary designations are commonly used to name the individuals or entities who are to receive the proceeds of life insurance policies or retirement plans after the death of the owner. An increasing number of financial...more

When Should I Begin Estate Planning?

Many people have the misconception that estate planning is reserved for the very old or the very rich. However, estate people can help the majority of people protect the ones they love, protect themselves, and protect the...more

Digital Insights & Trends: "Digital Assets"...or Liabilities?

Delaware’s Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets and Digital Accounts Act (H.B. 345) makes Delaware the latest state to regulate access to “digital assets” after death. Unless the account-holder instructs otherwise, legally...more

Laches as a Limit on the Duty of a Trustee to Account

Doris Corya was a trustee (or co-trustee) of four trusts that failed to provide fiduciary accountings to a beneficiary otherwise entitled to receive accountings under Florida law. The failure to account went back many years –...more

Caution with Automatic Removal of Ex-Spouse as a Beneficiary Upon Divorce

Fla.Stats. Section 732.703 provides for the automatic removal of a spouse as a beneficiary of a life insurance policy upon divorce. Many other states have similar provisions. It is easy to become complacent in expecting this...more

Amendments to Virtual Representation Statute Take Effect on January 1, 2015

There is increasing interest among trustees and beneficiaries to resolve disputes and modify trust documents without going to court. For many years, the primary mechanism to accomplish that in Illinois has been the Virtual...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2014

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

Who Should Be My Life Insurance Beneficiary? #EstatePlanningAttorney

The question, “who should be your designated beneficiary under your life insurance policy” is a very important family decision that should be made after careful consideration of all relevant family and financial goals in...more

Warner Bros.’ Super Victory: U.S. Supreme Court Effectively Ends Lengthy Superman Copyright Dispute

Warner Bros. and its DC Comics subsidiary can now breathe a bit easier, as the U.S. Supreme Court has recently declined to intervene in the ongoing dispute over the ownership rights to Superman. And so ends (at least for...more

Who Do You Trust?— New Ruling Highlights the Need for Care in Deciding How to Open Your Joint Bank Account

Florida law recognizes, and most banks offer, multiple forms of account designation to meet the desires and needs of individual customers. Keep in mind, however, that the standard demand deposit account agreement (whether...more

DOL Issues Guidance on Missing Participants in Terminated Plans - The Guidance Focuses on How to Search for Missing Participants...

The Department of Labor (DOL) Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2014-01 provides guidance on (1) how fiduciaries should go about searching for missing participants or beneficiaries in terminated defined contribution plans; and...more

California Estate Planning: What to Do if You Inherit a Library

One of the most difficult tasks facing someone taking care of a loved one's estate is figuring out which items are valuable. We all know that inherited fine art can be very valuable and should be evaluated by a professional...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

National Estate Planning Awareness Week

This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It is a common misconception that only the very wealthy need estate plans. This may explain why 55% of Americans do not have estate plans. However, the truth is...more

California Guardianship Law: Transferring Assets to a Non-Resident Guardian

California guardianship law can be confusing and complex, and guardianship issues that involve a non-resident guardian can be even more complicated. If you have nominated a guardian who does not live in the United States, you...more

Should I Name My Minor Child as a Beneficiary or Contingent Beneficiary of My Life Insurance Policy?

As an estate planning attorney in Mesa, Arizona I am frequently asked the question by parents: Should I name a minor child as a beneficiary or contingent beneficiary of a life insurance policy? This question has very...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: Watch out for IRA traps

An IRA can be a valuable estate planning tool, offering tax-deferred growth (tax-free in the case of a Roth IRA) and asset protection. But two recent developments create traps for the unwary: the “one-rollover-per-year” rule...more

The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years

Traditionally, trusts used in estate planning contain “Crummey” withdrawal powers to ensure that contributions qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. Now that the gift and estate tax exemption has reached a higher level,...more

California Trust Attorney – Three Things You Should Know About a Trust

What is a trust and how does it differ from a will? Before planning your California trust you should know three important things: 1. A Trust Defined - A trust provides for the allocation of assets when you...more

ERISA: 11th Circuit Says “Show Me The Money” In Equitable Recovery Of Medical Expenses Even After Disbursement Or Commingling Of...

Can the Plan get reimbursed even when the beneficiary’s settlement funds have been disbursed or commingled? Yes in the 11th Circuit. But watch out in the 9th Circuit....more

What We Can Learn About Estate Planning From Robin Williams’ Death

When Robin Williams died of an apparent suicide on Monday, August 11, he left behind millions of long-time fans, dozens of memorable movies, and a successful career in comedy and acting. He also left behind three children and...more

Fifth Circuit Court Reverses Tax Court Ruling on Fractional Interest Valuation Discounts

On September 15, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit reversed a 2013 Tax Court decision that had allowed only a nominal, 10% fractional interest discount for artwork included in a decedent’s estate....more

Solicitors’ negligence – loss for intended beneficiary under a will

The NSW Court of Appeal has found that the fact that a person has reached a great age does not necessarily mean they are at death’s door or about to lose their marbles....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

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