Beneficiaries Trusts

News & Analysis as of

Should You Create Trusts for Your Kids?

If your children are under age eighteen, you should have trusts for them in your Wills, in the event you and your spouse should die before all your children reach age 18. If minors receive assets prior to reaching age...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- March 2017

This week has brought a much-anticipated decision by the Supreme Judicial Court regarding trust decanting, and the past month also brought the latest chapters in two cases that we reported on previously....more

A Sea Change for Beneficiaries' Right to Information?

The Court of Appeal’s ruling in Dawson-Damer v Taylor Wessing offers beneficiaries rights of access to personal data held by trustees and their legal advisers. This is a landmark case in which our clients, the claimants,...more

Michigan’s Legislature Passes Significant Laws During the Last Days of 2016

In late 2016, Michigan lawmakers passed a good deal of new legislation. One of the laws, the Qualified Dispositions in Trusts Act, enables an individual (the “settlor”) to create a trust that, in certain circumstances, can...more

A Guide To: How to Challenge a Trust in Michigan

The death of a loved one is a difficult and emotional event. In addition to dealing with the loss, family members, friends and/or trusted advisors are tasked with settling the decedent's final affairs, which, in many...more

Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust

A traditional trust can sometimes create a conflict among the lifetime and remainder beneficiaries. This makes it more difficult for an estate plan to achieve its objectives and places the trustee in a difficult position. The...more

Insight on Estate Planning - February/March 2017

In This Issue: - Stretch out estate tax on business interests - Maintaining family harmony: Balance beneficiaries’ needs with a total return unitrust - Is a donor-advised fund right for you? - Estate planning...more

Court Affirms Ruling That Adopted Adult Children Were Beneficiaries Of A Trust

In Andresakis v. Modisett, the trustors signed trust agreements in 1976 and 1981, and each agreement created three trusts, one for their daughter, one for their son, and a third trust for their only grandchild, Andresakis....more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - December 2016

The last several weeks have brought us two decisions in which issues of family law intersected with T&E issues. First, the decision in Heystek v. Duncan, Case No. 15-P-1201, 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 1113 (Nov. 21,...more

Update Beneficiary Designations After Divorce or Annulment

On July 1, 2015, the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held, with a few exceptions, upon entry of a final judgment of dissolution or annulment, any provision of a will that “affects” a former spouse is void under...more

What You Should Know About Determining Capacity in Ohio

One definition of “capacity” refers to the maximum amount/number that something can contain (e.g., a freezer’s capacity is 1.1 cubic feet; the capacity of a public room is 140 people). “Capacity” also describes an ability to...more

When The Power To Amend Doesn’t Actually Mean You Can Amend

Circumstances, laws, and taxes all change. And, when they do, many settlors don’t want their beneficiaries to have to go into court to get permission to roll with the changes. That’s why you often find a trust provision...more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update 2015-2016

David F. Johnson, lead writer for the Texas Fiduciary Litigator blog, spoke at the Tarrant County Probate Bar’s Litigation Seminar and presented “Fiduciary Litigation Update 2015-2016.” David discussed recent Texas precedent...more

Washington’s New Trustee Delegation Law: Allowing Fiduciaries to More Easily Keep Businesses in the Family

If you are a family business owner in Washington who wants to place control of your business in the hands of a trustee until your beneficiaries are ready to assume control, or for other reasons, a recent change in Washington...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2016

Gift giving made easy - Annual exclusion reduces your taxable estate - How can you reduce the size of your taxable estate? There are many ways to accomplish this objective, including the use of irrevocable trusts...more

Texas Fiduciary Litigation Update: 2015-2016

The fiduciary field in Texas is a constantly changing area. Over time, statutes change, and Texas courts interpret those statutes, the common law, and parties’ documents differently. This paper is intended to give an update...more

When Will Trust Assets Be Considered Available Assets When Applying For Medicaid In Connecticut?

A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision, Pikula v. Department of Social Services (SC 19533; released May 10, 2016), confirms the guidelines for determining if trust assets are considered “available assets” for purposes of...more

Court Holds That Trust No Longer Owned Vehicle Because It Allowed Beneficiary’s Wife To Drive It

In In the Interest of H.D.V., a husband appealed from a bench trial in a divorce proceeding. No. 05-15-00421-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 9520 (Tex. App.—Dallas August 26, 2016, no pet. history). His mother had set up a trust for...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2016

In This Issue: - Alternate valuation date: Flexible postmortem planning a plus when markets are volatile - The write stuff: A letter of instructions - Making the most of your GST tax exemption - Estate...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In the Matter of Estate of Leon C. Chamberlain, 135 A.D.3d 1052 (N.Y. App. Div. Jan. 7, 2016) - Modification of trust terms is appropriate where limitations on investments permitted under trust instrument frustrated the...more

State Court Retroactive Change to IRA Beneficiary Not Given Tax Effect by IRS

A decedent had 2 IRAs. The death beneficiaries of the IRAs were trusts that qualified as "look through" trusts, such that the payout period for the IRAs after the decedent died could be computed using the life expectancy of...more

NPRA Redux: Proposed NPCL Amendments Approved by Senate and Assembly

The New York State Assembly and Senate have passed a bill that, if signed by the Governor, would amend the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) and the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) to clarify and refine...more

Will Your Estate Plan Preserve the Family Vacation Home?

Now that sunshine and blue skies are upon us, people are opening their summer homes for the season. Happy memories of family vacations and gatherings often motivate parents to seek out ways to preserve their second home for...more

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Nobody likes to think about death, but failing to plan for it can cause unintended consequences for loved ones. Prompted by the death of Prince, a client recently came to see me. He had read in the news that heirs to...more

How Non-Probate Assets Can Affect Your Estate Plan: A Few Cautionary Tales

When you think about the control of your possessions and assets after your death, you probably think of a Will and probate. A Will is a written, legally enforceable declaration that states how you wish your assets to be...more

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