Beneficiaries Trusts

News & Analysis as of

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

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

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

The Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015: Important Changes Affecting Tax Filings for...

On July 31, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015 (the "Act"), which revised a number of different federal tax laws relevant to individuals,...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

Trustee Duties are Not for the Faint of Heart

One of the most important and farthest-reaching decisions involved in the creation of a trust is the naming of a trustee. It may seem simple enough at the outset to choose either oneself or a family member in place of a...more

Update on Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Congressional Proposals: H.R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, was passed by the House, as amended, on Apr. 16, 2015. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes...more

A trust is not an agency

The trustee is not an agent of the beneficiary. The trustee's duty not to delegate the administration of the trust could well be implicated if the trustee without authority were to behave as if he were the beneficiary's...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

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...more

No Split Gift Election Where Spouse Was a Potential Beneficiary

A husband created a Family Trust for the benefit of his wife and their descendants. Under the trust, an independent trustee may pay to or use for the benefit of the wife, or any one or more of husband’s descendants and their...more

The Estate Planner – July/August 2015

In This Issue: - Can a Broken Trust be Fixed? - Keep it in the Family: Use an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes - Tax Court: Trust Can Materially Participate in a Business - Estate Planning...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

The Evolving Duty of Trustee Communication with Beneficiaries

Trustee communications with beneficiaries have followed an interesting legal path in Kentucky. The original Kentucky statute regarding communication with the beneficiaries required that the trustee must keep the beneficiaries...more

Trust Matters Update - May 2015

The Trust Matters Update is a periodical summary of cases, case comments, consultations, publications, legislative developments, legal updates, articles and news in the area of trust law and related issues. 1. Can...more

Benefits of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust as Security for Support

Divorce or separation agreements often require one spouse to maintain life insurance as security for their support obligation. Attorneys often do not address the tax implications if the insured spouse owns the policy. ...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

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

Best in Law: Head Off a Contest: Bolster Your No-Contest Clause

The inherent problem with safeguarding your wishes after death is that you are not here to defend them. To discourage litigation and protect your requests, most trusts contain a “no-contest” clause. The clause typically...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

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

The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege: A recent development

In a suit by the beneficiary against the trustee, is the trustee entitled to assert the attorney-client privilege against the beneficiary, or is there a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege? As to...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter – August 2014 #2

In Lowell v. Talcott et al., Case No. 13-p-1053, 2014 Mass. App. LEXIS 98 (August 18, 2014), the Appeals Court considered whether a child born in the 1960s while her mother was married to a man who is not the child’s father...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

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