News & Analysis as of

Can Correction of a Scrivener’s Error Retroactively Fix a Tax Problem with a Trust?

Yes, in a recently released Private Letter Ruling in regard to an irrevocable trust. There were actually two problems with the trust. First, the settlors retained powers to change the beneficial interests of the trust,...more

Court Held That A Beneficiary Could Not Usurp A Trustee’s Right To Direct Litigation And Did Not Have Standing To Sue The Trustee...

In In re XTO Energy Inc., a beneficiary, on behalf of the trust, sued an oil and gas operator for allegedly not paying sufficient funds to the trust and also sued the trustee for refusing to bring that claim. No....more

Do Frequent Flier Miles Expire When You Do?

Accumulated frequent flier miles can be valuable assets, but what happens to those miles after somene dies? Can a spouse or other heirs inherit them, or do the miles simply evaporate like a contrail? The answer to...more

Estate Planning Attorney | Should I Transfer My Vehicles to my Trust?

As an estate planning attorney in Arizona I am always asked if after you have signed your revocable living trust, what if anything should you do about your vehicles or other assets titled through Arizona’s Motor Vehicle...more

The Bank of America Case: May Massachusetts Tax the Trust Fund Income of Non-Resident Families with Unborn and/or Unascertained...

Background - Before addressing the Bank of America case, it is necessary to understand the Massachusetts taxation of trustees and their beneficiaries, which is described in 830 CMR 62.20.1: Income Tax on Estates and...more

OIG Recommends Reevaluation of Medicare Payment System for Skilled Nursing Facilities

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a report on September 30, 2015 finding that Medicare payments for therapy services provided at skilled nursing facilities (SNFs) greatly exceeded the cost of such services. ...more

Is the Irrevocable Trust Really Irrevocable?

I often meet with clients who have established an irrevocable trust or are beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust established by a deceased family member. Usually, these clients believe that the terms governing these trusts...more

Use a noncharitable purpose trust to achieve a variety of goals

Generally, trusts must have one or more human beneficiaries, but there’s an exception for certain “purpose” trusts. One popular type of purpose trust is a charitable trust. But don’t overlook the noncharitable purpose (NCP)...more

Preserving Assets in a Will Contest

There may come a time when one finds it necessary to contest a will, and there can be legitimate reasons for doing so. This course of action is likely to cause emotions to run high, and it could be likely that a beneficiary...more

OIG Calls for CMS to Reform Payment for Skilled Nursing Facility Services

The Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (OIG) issued a report on September 30, 2015, that calls for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to reform payment for...more

Navigating Derivative Lawsuits Against Mutual Funds After Northstar

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals this spring held that mutual fund shareholders could maintain direct claims against the fund’s trustees for breach of their common law fiduciary duties. Before Northstar v. Schwab, such...more

The Case of the Vanishing Guaranty—Issues Facing Commercial Real Property Lenders Regarding Revocable Trust Borrowers

I have recently received numerous questions from commercial lender clients regarding structuring and enforcing commercial real property loans involving revocable trusts. Their concerns have largely centered on how to...more

Is It Time To Revisit One's Estate Plan?

It can be hard enough to realize the value of an estate plan. Those who realize such value can still fall into the trap of believing that such a plan is a "one and done" proposition, a set of documents that only needs to be...more

Regulations Modify Basis Rules for Term Interests in CRTs

The Treasury recently issued final regulations that modify the rules for determining the basis of an income interest in a charitable remainder trust in order to curtail a perceived abuse of the general rules. To understand...more

It’s Just a Simple Will

Often times, people believe their wills (or other estate planning documents) are really simple and straight forward. In fact, this assumption is probably the primary reason that some websites generate significant business...more

CFPB use of behavioral economics validated by Executive Order

Since opening its doors for business, behavioral economics has played a central role in the CFPB’s regulatory agenda. Behavioral economists posit that consumers are not rational decision makers and instead have certain...more

Nevada Supreme Court Reverses Course on MERS

The Nevada Supreme Court recently reversed – or at least clarified – the impact of MERS in Nevada under the approach set forth in the Restatement (Third) of Property: Mortgages. The Supreme Court had held in 2012 that at the...more

The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege: Whose Privilege is it in Litigation?

The attorney-client privilege is a cornerstone of the legal practice. The privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between a client and an attorney from disclosure to a third party when the communications are...more

Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design Model

CMS, through the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, announced on September 1, 2015, the introduction of the Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model as part of the Health Plan Innovations...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 9/3/15

Massachusetts courts have issued decisions on several topics of interest, including whether a revocable spendthrift trust may properly be included in a marital estate, what happens to assets left to a named beneficiary who...more

Nevis Modernizes its Trust Laws to Become Even More Competitive

As a jurisdiction, Nevis is highly regarded as setting the standard among offshore trust laws, blazing new trails in this is area since 1994 with other jurisdictions attempting to play catch-up. Over time, other jurisdictions...more

OIG Issues Advisory Opinion Regarding Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Program to Provide Free Limited Drugs to Beneficiaries When...

On August 12, 2015, the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) posted Advisory Opinion No. 15-11, finding that a program to supply a limited amount of free cancer drugs to federal health...more

IRS Extends Due Date for New Basis Reporting Rules

On July 31, 2015, the laws addressing the basis of property acquired from a decedent were revised. Among other things, the new laws require an executor to provide to the IRS and to each estate beneficiary a statement...more

GAO Issues Report on Medicaid Prescription Drug Fraud Controls

In July 2015, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report concerning Medicaid pharmacy-related program integrity efforts. GAO explained that this review was pursued due to the substantial amount of funds...more

IRS Announces Delay in Consistent Basis Notice to Beneficiaries Rules

I recently wrote about the provisions of the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 that require estates to give statements to beneficiaries regarding the basis of property if an estate...more

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