Beneficiaries

News & Analysis as of

Use Checklists to Avoid a Will Dispute

One of the easiest steps that an estate planning attorney can take to try to prevent a will that he drafted from being challenged is to have the witnesses to the will utilize a checklist in order to create a documented record...more

60 Crummey Withdrawal Beneficiaries Allowed

For many years, courts have recognized that gifts to a trust can qualify for the gift tax annual exclusion as “present interest” gifts if withdrawal powers are granted to beneficiaries.The IRS is hostile to persons being...more

Life After Death: No Longer Inconceivable

Recent legislation provides a framework for inheritance rights of children conceived after the death of one or both parents in very specific circumstances....more

California Estate Planning Myths & Misconceptions (Part 2)

In our last post, we outlined four common myths surrounding estate planning in California. Today, we’ll look at four more common misconceptions that we hear in our office from individuals new to estate planning....more

California Estate Planning Myths & Misconceptions (Part 1)

One of the reasons that far too many people don’t take care of their basic estate planning needs is that they hold common misconceptions about what estate planning is, how it works, and whether they need to worry about it....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

Bob Marley’s Heirs Lanham Act Win Upheld - Fifty-Six Hope Road Music v. A.V.E.L.A., Inc.

Addressing the issue of when the use of a celebrity’s likeness or persona in connection with a product constitutes a false endorsement that is actionable under the Lanham Act, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit...more

Non-Qualified Plan Sponsors: Beneficiary Designations May Require Attention

A recent court decision highlights the importance of up-to-date beneficiary designations for participants in non-qualified retirement plans. Without up-to-date designations, the payment of the benefits of a deceased...more

Forced Heirship and International Estate Planning

Should you have the ability to choose who inherits your assets, and whether or not to disinherit certain family members? Or should your closest family members have a right to some of your property in the event of your death?...more

Estate Planning for the Digital Life

While individuals will eventually pass on, the internet is forever. Online accounts from games, apps and social media are becoming increasingly valuable. In an age of expanding online presence, estate planners and...more

International Estate Planning & Drafting Multiple Wills

You may have heard that it is always a mistake to have multiple wills – and this is true if you are a United States citizen who does not have foreign property or assets. However, this rule does not apply to those who may...more

Recent Trends in Succession & Estate Planning

The traditional model for business owners to pass their assets on after death to spouses, children and grandchildren is for their professional advisors to suggest a tax-efficient structure which becomes embodied in wills,...more

Direct vs. Indirect Probate Court Jurisdiction Over Foreign Realty

A state probate court generally does not have jurisdiction over real property situated in another state or country that was owned by the decedent. Generally, such property must be administered in those local jurisdictions,...more

The Coming Silver Tsunami: Families May Lose 70% in Wealth Transfer

Record Wealth Transfer. Over the next 30-40 years about $12 trillion from those born in 1920s and 30s will be transferred to the baby boomers, and the boomers are expected to transfer some $30 trillion to their heirs, with...more

Reach Out And Designate Someone?

The seemingly staid world of retirement plan beneficiary designations was surprised by a recent federal appeals court decision suggesting that a new beneficiary could be designated by a telephone call. ...more

The Trustee's Power to Loan

Trust agreements often give trustees the power to make loans. When and how to exercise the power should be given significant thought. Upholding the fiduciary duty owed to all beneficiaries is always a key concern. ...more

Ninth Circuit Rules Beneficiary Designation Forms Are Not Documents and Instruments Governing the Plan

In Becker v. Mays-Williams, 13-35069-cv, 2015 WL 348872 (9th Cir. Jan 28, 2015), the Ninth Circuit – in a matter of first impression – concluded that beneficiary designation forms were not “documents and instruments...more

Why it is Crucial to Designate a HSA Beneficiary?

As high deductible health insurance plans are becoming more popular, an important component is health savings accounts (HSA). In addition to having current tax advantages, there is specific tax treatment of HSA accounts upon...more

Who will get Your Assets – The Hazards of Beneficiary Designations

Most people assume that their Wills will control where their assets go after they die. Increasingly, however, beneficiary designations are controlling how assets are distributed, and sometimes with unexpected results. ...more

Insurance Review (Australia) - February 2015

In This Issue: - REGULATORY: - The Financial System Inquiry - Insurance Reform In The UK - CYBER: - Top Five Privacy And Cyber Predictions, Trends And Issues Impacting Insurers In 2015 And...more

Same-Sex Marriages Recognized for Inheritance and Realty Transfer Tax Purposes

In Inheritance Tax Bulletin 2015-01 and Realty Transfer Tax Bulletin 2015-01, issued on February 25, 2015, the PA Department of Revenue announced its policy concerning same-sex marriages and the impact of the May 20, 2014...more

Same Sex Couples Now Have Options

Before yesterday, when I prepared estate planning documents for same-sex couples there was a quagmire of issues that had to be addressed, since the State of Florida did not recognize same-sex marriages. As of yesterday, all...more

The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions with regard to how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning,...more

Why Creating a Basic Estate Plan is Necessary — At Any Age

At 16 you can drive a car. At 18 you can vote and serve in the military. And at 21 you can order a drink in a bar. But, when is the right time to create an estate plan? When should you create the basic documents that will...more

Threat of Litigation Eliminates Charitable Set Aside Deduction for Estate

Estates and trusts with charitable beneficiaries often seek to employ the Code Section 642(c) charitable set aside deduction for income earned by the estate and trust that will eventually (but not in the current tax year) be...more

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