Beneficiaries Estate Planning

News & Analysis as of

The Rise of Litigation Involving Trust Protectors

Disputes involving trust protectors are increasing in number and will likely only further increase in number in the coming years. This blog post discusses what a trust protector is, whether trust protectors owe fiduciary...more

New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Beneficiaries

Recent federal legislation adds fresh compliance burdens to an old concept in federal tax law: the step-up in tax basis of appreciated property at death. New reporting requirements will apply to estates required to file a...more

Spendthrift Trusts – How to (Properly) Protect A Beneficiary From Herself

Much of the estate planning process is engaged with protecting vulnerable persons from negative outside influences. We name guardians to take care of minor children, utilize Powers of Attorney to facilitate substitute...more

Family Drama in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

George Lucas recently stated that Star Wars is “actually a soap opera, and it’s all about family problems.” Distributing the assets of a deceased loved one is a problem that almost all families will eventually face. So, in...more

Estate Planning For Real Property

Often the most difficult asset for which to plan in an estate plan is non-commercial real property such as a family farm, a hunting cabin or other recreational property. This is especially true when the property makes up a...more

New Reporting Requirements for Property Received from an Estate

What you need to know: On March 2, 2016, the Treasury Department released proposed regulations (REG-127923-15) implementing a new law that requires consistent reporting of value of certain assets received from an estate....more

4 Steps To Take If An Estate Dispute Is Brewing

If an estate dispute is brewing (but is not yet in litigation), there are several important steps that people can take to maximize their odds of success if the matter proceeds to litigation. In the vast majority of...more

The "New" New Jersey Uniform Trust Code: Creating Uniformity for Beneficiaries, Trustees and the Professionals that Advise Them

As an estate planning attorney, it is hard to contain my excitement that a version of the Uniform Trust Code (“NJUTC”) was enacted in New Jersey on January 19, 2016 with an effective date of July 17, 2016. With its passage,...more

7 Ways You Can Prepare for Your First Estate Planning Meeting

Somewhere on every grown-up person’s to-do list is an entry that reads something like “tackle estate plan”. You may even find it among your New Year’s resolutions. The prospect of planning your estate with an attorney can be...more

Tax and Estate Planning Newsletter - Winter 2015

Dear Clients and Colleagues: The holiday season brings thoughts of the New Year, with reflections on recent changes and resolutions for the future. During this season of reflection and planning, consider the effect of...more

California’s New Transfer on Death Deed

As of January 1, 2016, California law allows the use of transfer on death (TOD) deeds for real property. A TOD deed is a revocable beneficiary deed, involving the transfer of an individual’s residence (limited to multi-unit...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

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

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Death and Bitcoin: How Digital Currencies Affect Estate Planning

It may not be at the forefront of your digital currency interests, but cryptocurrencies have unique characteristics that require careful consideration for estate planning. If you have bitcoin, for example, but your...more

The Effect of Obergefell v. Hodges for Same-Sex Couples

issued on the second-to-last decision day of the term, and provides that same-sex couples have had a constitutional right to marry since at least the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling may come as a surprise to...more

Estate Planning for Young Families

Proper estate planning for young families is essential, despite often being overlooked by both clients and attorneys. Many young families view their estate as being “simple” because in their minds they “don’t have much,” and...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

Trustees Beware: Which Fiduciary Standard Applies to Your “Business Judgments”?

To what legal standard must a trustee adhere when he or she also participates in the control of a family or closely held business? Courts continue to grapple with this question. The high courts in both Georgia and Nebraska...more

The Dangerous Path of Property through Intestacy: The Need for Estate Planning with Respect to Real Estate

Winding up an estate is a difficult task, one that can take a toll on a group of the decedent’s family and loved ones. This process, however, is exponentially more challenging when a person dies intestate....more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You haven’t named backup beneficiaries

To ensure that a person’s wealth is distributed according to his or her wishes, it’s important to designate both primary and secondary (or “contingent”) beneficiaries for a will, trusts, retirement plans and life insurance...more

Estate Planning for Digital Assets

Traditionally, estate planning provides for the transfer of your assets through a will or a trust. These documents name an executor or trustee, respectively, to handle your affairs after your death, including the transfer of...more

Requesting, Obtaining and Reporting the Personal Information of the Beneficiaries of a Trust

With another tax season recently behind us, the Internal Revenue Code and its many reporting requirements are fresh in our minds. Do you encounter beneficiaries who want to know why you need so much of their personal...more

Important Changes Proposed to New York Estate Tax and New York Income Taxation of Trusts, Grantors and Beneficiaries

Important legislation has been introduced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that, if passed, would substantially change the New York estate tax regime and would also significantly change the income tax rules regarding certain...more

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