Beneficiaries

News & Analysis as of

Are Your Beneficiary Designations Heir Tight?

An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form. Many participants complete their beneficiary designations incorrectly because they don’t read the instructions carefully...more

Righting a Wrong: The “Claim of Right” Doctrine and Other Tax Considerations for the Repayment of Pension Plan Overpayments

Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence. When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear. Typically, the plan administrator must seek...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...more

How will the GST tax affect your estate plan?

A new grandparent often considers making a gift to the newest member of the family. However, before taking action, it’s important to understand how the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax may affect an estate plan. The GST...more

Choosing a Trustee for a Special Needs Trust

Choosing a trustee is one of the most important and difficult issues in creating a special needs trust (SNT). Trustees must have the necessary expertise to manage the trust, including making proper investments, paying bills,...more

Unintended consequences: After divorce, review your estate plan to avoid surprises

The recently divorced have likely had their fill of legal documents and proceedings, but it’s important that they review their estate plan as soon as possible to ensure they’re protected against unintended consequences. This...more

New Investment Thinking for Trustees?

Traditionally, trustees invest the assets within a trust to ensure the assets are preserved for when they are distributed to the beneficiaries, often when the beneficiaries reach a certain age. However, this “cautious”...more

Merger Doctrine Does Not Prevent Deed of Trust Beneficiary From Extinguishing Junior Lien through Foreclosure, California Court...

The California Court of Appeal recently held that a foreclosure by the beneficiary under a first deed of trust extinguished a junior lien, even though the beneficiary acquired the property by way of a deed in lieu of...more

Real Estate Tip - Keep It in The Family?

Using a will to give a commercial building to a loved one, a business partner or even a charitable organization is not ideal planning. Adverse tax consequences, the public probate process and operational difficulties aside,...more

IRS Takes Money From Dead Mom to Pay For Son’s Tax Debt

Most people have some strong feelings about how they want their assets to be distributed upon their death. Some want to give their money to their kids, others are charitably inclined. However, I would guess that very few...more

Tales of Hoffman: Postmortem Planning for Actor’s Estate

The tragic death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman has given us an opportunity to consider his estate planning, with lessons and strategies for the rest of us....more

Wealth Management Update - August 2014

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

Is Attorney-Client Privilege Affected By Who Pays Counsel Fees?

After receiving great interest from our “Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege” article, we provide this follow-up article to address a possible “exception to the exception” that may still protect documents...more

Recent Tax Developments

The following is a summary of the most important tax developments that have occurred in the past several months that may affect you, your family, your investments, and your livelihood. Please call us for more information...more

CFPB Provides Guidance on Ability-To-Repay Rule Application to Assumptions of Residential Mortgage Loans

The CFPB recently provided guidance on the application of the Regulation Z ability-to-repay rule (Section 1026.43) to assumptions of residential mortgage loans for purposes of clarifying the application of the rule in cases...more

CERCLA Contribution and Trust Funds: A Matter for State Law

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York recently held that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), commonly known as Superfund, does not require contribution from...more

Are Inherited IRAs Exempt Property in California Bankruptcy?

The law says that retirement funds are exempt property in bankruptcy, but the Supreme Court has held that this exemption doesn’t apply to inherited IRAs. End of story? Not quite....more

New Statutory Elective Share for Surviving Spouses in Rhode Island

A surviving spouse’s rights and interests to assets of a deceased spouse have been clarified and expanded by a new spousal “elective share” statute in Rhode Island (R.I.G.L. § 33-28-1 et. seq.). ...more

My parents died and now their creditors are calling me to pay their debts!

When your parents die owing money, are you responsible for paying that money back?...more

Cutting Your Kids Out of $300MM: That Stings a Little

Legendary rock artist Sting recently acknowledged that his fortune of approximately $300MM will not be passing to his six children. In a recent interview with the U.K.’s Daily Mail, Sting said that he told his children not...more

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....more

InfoBytes Special Alert: CFPB Guidance States That Successors Are Not Subject To The ATR/QM Rule

On July 8, 2014, the CFPB issued an interpretive rule stating that the addition of a successor as an obligor on a mortgage does not trigger the Ability-to-Repay/Qualified Mortgage Rule (“ATR/QM Rule”) requirements if the...more

Bankruptcy Court Sheds Light on MA Homestead Protection of Downstream Trust Beneficiaries

Suppose the following: Title to a home is held by Trust A. The beneficiaries of Trust A are three natural persons and Trust B. Trust B holds a 25% beneficial interest in Trust A. The sole beneficiaries of Trust B are Mom...more

CFPB Provides Guidance on Ability to Repay Rule Application to Assumptions of Residential Mortgage Loans

On July 8, 2014 the CFPB provided guidance on the application of the Regulation Z ability to repay rule (section 1026.43) to assumptions of residential mortgage loans for purposes of clarifying the application of the rule in...more

Unethical Companies Capitalizing on Employee Deaths: Protect Your Reputation with Compliance Training

It came as sort of a shock to me the other day when I came across the article in Fortune titled, “The many ways companies profit from hastening employees’ deaths.” What I took away from it was that companies are taking out...more

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