News & Analysis as of

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

Control Is Everything

In Private Letter Ruling 201423043, (“PLRs” only apply to the taxpayer involved but are often used as “guidance”, and not “precedent”, by taxpayers and the IRS.) the IRS ruled that a surviving spouse could roll over her...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...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

Wills, Trusts and Estates Newsletter - May 2014

In This Issue: - A Contrarian View on Bypass Trusts - Getting More Out of Trusts: The Total Return Unitrust - Estate Planning for Your Eighteen Year Old: What You Need to Do Now May Surprise You -...more

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Constructive Trust in Favor of Unnamed Beneficiaries

The Ohio Court of Appeals imposed a constructive trust over the proceeds of an ERISA governed life insurance policy for the benefit of the decedent’s children even though the children were not named beneficiaries of the...more

Significant Changes to New York Estate and Income Tax Enacted

We previously alerted you to proposed legislation affecting New York estate tax law, the tax treatment of gifts by New York residents, and New York income taxation of certain trusts. This month Governor Cuomo signed final...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

5 Estate Planning Mistakes You Should Try to Avoid

In your experience, what’s the most costly mistake people make when preparing estate plans, and what can they do to fix them? That’s the question we recently put to attorneys writing on JD Supra....more

How the New Washington Trust Act and its 2013 Amendments Affect You and Your Clients - December 2013

In 2011, the legislature adopted a new Washington Trust Act (the “2011 Act”). The 2011 Act took effect on January 1, 2012, and codified many changes to the duties of trustees and the rights of trust beneficiaries. Within 18...more

What Is a Pooled Trust and How Does It Protect My Family Member?

Because beneficiaries of programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid must be quite poor to qualify, they can lose their benefits when they come into an inheritance, receive money in their own names from an...more

Now, How Do I Decant a Trust?

Decanting has been Texas law for almost three months and several articles have discussed what can be accomplished by decanting (e.g., Bill Pargaman’s 2013 Legislative Update). This article will discuss the documents needed...more

Wealth Management Update - November 2013

Federal Exclusion from Gift, Estate and Generation-Skipping Transfer Taxes Increases to $5,340,000 in 2014 - In Revenue Ruling 2013-35, the IRS announced certain inflation adjustments to tax exemptions and deductions....more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2013: To preserve your wealth, consider a DAPT

For affluent families with significant liability concerns, foreign asset protection trusts (FAPTs) probably offer the greatest protection against creditors’ claims. But those who prefer to avoid the complexity and expense of...more

Charitable Lead Trusts With Private Foundation Lead Beneficiary

Transfers to charitable lead trusts during lifetime can provide tax benefits to the donor, and can avoid inclusion of the transferred property in the gross estate of the donor for federal estate tax purposes at death....more

The trust decanting statutes: Nuisances that should be repealed.

Inherent in a trustee’s discretionary authority to make a distribution of trust property outright and free of trust to a permissible beneficiary of the trust may well be the authority to distribute the property instead to...more

Suit To Modify Trusts Did Not Violate No Contest Clause

Texas courts narrowly construe no-contest clauses. In Di Portanova v. Monroe, grandparents set up eight trusts for a grandchild that had a mental disability. No. 01-20-01019-CV, 2012 Tex. App. LEXIS 9859 (Tex. App.—Houston...more

C. Court Did Not Abuse Discretion In Denying Attorney's Fees To Successful Beneficiary In Declaratory Judgment Action

In Estate of Richardson, a remainder beneficiary of a trust filed a declaratory judgment action to declare that the trust would terminate five years after its creation. No. 14-12-00516-CV, 2013 Tex. App. LEXIS 2664 (Tex....more

The Trust Being a Multi-Party Relationship, Whom Legal Counsel Represents Can Get Complicated

The trust being a multi-party relationship, it is not always that easy to discern at any given time whom legal counsel is representing, or should be representing, in matters relating to the trust’s creation and...more

Disclaimer Of Income Interest Was Not Taxable For Nonresident

Code §2501(a)(2) provides that, except as to certain expatriates, U.S. gift taxes do not apply to the transfer of intangible property by a nonresident not a citizen of the United States. This exemption is big enough to drive...more

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