Beneficiaries

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South Carolina Legislative Update

Prefiled Legislation - The Senate finished their prefiling this week on December 10 and the House prefiled over 180 bills on December 11. Highlights from this week’s prefiles include measures related to: ethics...more

Wills, Trusts and Estates Newsletter - December 2014

In This Issue: - Managing Your Online Presence after Death - Estate Planning Questions: Naming a Beneficiary to your Accounts - Looking for a New Acronym? Try QLAC - Excerpt from Estate Planning...more

Estate Planning Questions: Naming a Beneficiary to your Accounts

Why not just add a child or loved one to your accounts? We often see instances where an elderly parent has added the name of a child or other loved one to their bank accounts, CDs or brokerage accounts. Normally the...more

Trustee Selection: Choose Wisely if Your Family-owned Business Will Be Held in a Trust

Let’s assume that you and your spouse are the sole owners of a very successful business. You have established an estate plan with trusts in place to utilize the estate tax exemptions of both spouses for Washington state and...more

Managing Your Online Presence after Death

As we become an increasingly technology-dependent society, so much of what we do is online. Between email, Facebook, photos, music and documents stored online or in the cloud, most of us will have built a considerable online...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Assignee Health Care Providers May Sue Health Plans Under ERISA for Payment of Benefits

In an opinion with mixed implications for both insurers and health care providers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit recently ruled that when plan beneficiaries assign their claims for payment of benefits to...more

Tenth Circuit Finds Plan Administrator Has No Duty to Inquire into Authenticity of Participant’s Beneficiary Designation

Plaintiff Kristopher Towles, the son of a deceased participant of a life insurance plan, challenged the plan’s decision to pay the life insurance proceeds to the deceased’s husband, contending that the beneficiary form...more

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

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