News & Analysis as of

Decedent Protection

When Should I Get a Last Will and Testament?

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Lexis Nexis claims that 55% of American adults do not have a last will and testament or some kind of an estate plan. This means that more than half of American estates have their personal assets pass via intestacy - without a...more

Who Can Bring Forth a Challenge

by Moskowitz LLP on

Following Richard Pratt’s death in 2009, Madison Ashton claimed that she had left her profession as a sex worker to become the Australian billionaire’s kept mistress. Pratt had apparently promised the former Penthouse Pet a...more

Til Death Do Us Part – Second Circuit Vacates Deceased Former New York State Senator’s Criminal Fine and Special Assessment under...

In United States v. Libous, 15-3979 (2nd Cir. May 30, 2017) (Katzmann, Winter, Stein), the Second Circuit vacated the jury conviction of former New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous’ and remanded the case to the district...more

Florida Wills go Electronic

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

A bill has cleared both Houses of the Florida legislature authorizing electronic wills and electronic will execution in Florida. Absent an unexpected veto by Gov. Scott, the last wills of testators may now precede them into...more

Ohio’s New Laws Governing the Management of Digital Property After Death

by Reminger Co., LPA on

When Ohio House Bill 432 and Ohio Revised Code Chapter 2137 became effective on April 4, 2017, estate fiduciaries were given new tools for managing a decedent’s digital property....more

Speculation, Estate Planning, and Legal Malpractice

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

In some will contests, lawyers will speculate that the decedent may have misled people as to his true estate plan, either out of weakness, to keep the peace, to measure reactions, to avoid uncomfortable conversations, and...more

Accidental Disinheritance: Update Wills, Estate Plans Annually

by Lewitt Hackman on

So you have an estate plan? Good for you. You funded it? Even better. But have you updated it and your will in the last year? If you haven’t, your loved ones or favorite charities may be in for an unpleasant surprise. Your...more

Understanding Disinheritance: The Structure of an Ohio Post Mortem Dispute

by Reminger Co., LPA on

Great wealth, in the trillions of dollars, will be transferred from one generation to the next as our population ages. While most estates proceed as intended, there will always be greed and dysfunction among a small...more

Fifth DCA Reaffirms Protections Against Surprise Tactics at Trial

by Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell on

This past January, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal found that a trial court had committed reversible error by allowing a party to argue and present previously undisclosed expert testimony and evidence to the jury at...more

Fiduciary Access To Digital Assets

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

I don’t need to tell you that social media has become a mainstream way to communicate ideas, photos, and information. Even the President uses this technology as a prime form of expression. Have you considered what happens to...more

Michael Jackson Estate Tax Case Moving Forward

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

Most estate tax practitioners will tell you estate tax it is all about valuation when assets are other than cash and marketable securities. The estate tax case of the Michael Jackson estate is an ideal demonstration. Tax...more

IRA Owner Taxed on Distribution, Even Though Funds Were Improperly Rolled into IRA

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

A deceased husband's IRA was incorrectly rolled over into an IRA of his widow, instead of being paid to his estate. The widow then distributed funds from the IRA to her stepson....more

Executor’s Duties Before Receiving Letters

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

A nominated executor is obliged to secure estate assets even before the issuance of letters testamentary, or preliminary letters testamentary (see Matter of Schultz, 104 AD3d 1146 [4th Dept. 2013]). Courts have recognized...more

IRS Permits Trust Division Without Adverse Federal Tax Consequences

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

In Private Letter Rulings 201702005 and 201702006, the IRS favorably ruled on federal tax consequences of a proposed trust division. But for a minor change in facts, the two rulings are identical, so we will focus only on...more

10 Arguments Against Pre-Death (Antemortem) Probate and Will Contests

by LeClairRyan on

There are a handful of states that allow a person to probate a will (and challengers to contest the validity of a will) before the testator (the person enacting the will) dies. In recent years, there has been a trend to...more

NY DFS Issues Circular Letter Addressing Life Insurance Unfair Claims Settlement Practices During the Contestability Period

by Carlton Fields on

On January 26 – in its first-issued circular letter of the year – the New York Department of Financial Services (DFS) reminded life insurers doing business in the state that they can only contest claims following the death of...more

Lessons to be Learned From the Power of Attorney

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Powers of attorney and trust instruments have each been the subject of many an estate plan. They each have also been the subject of multiple estate litigations. In combination, the two have served as fodder for controversies...more

What Happens to your "Social Media" and other "Digital" Life when you Die?

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Over the holidays, it’s likely that you or a loved one received some type of computer or device that connects to internet websites, e-mail and applications. Or that pictures were taken and stored on such a device, or that...more

Sharp as a Tack . . . Clear as a Bell

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Very often, when the proponent of a will (and sometimes even the attorney-draftsperson or witness) is questioned about the decedent’s mental state and the decedent’s instructions, the reflexive response is that the decedent...more

iWill or iWon’t

Ever wondered what will happen to your Facebook page when you die? The California Legislature has recently weighed in. Effective as of January 1, 2017, California will have its first law to specifically address the handling...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - December 2016

by Goulston & Storrs PC on

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

by Carlton Fields on

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

Wealth Management Update - December 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

December Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The December § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

Oregon State Court of Appeals Recognizes Federal Slayer Law

Oregon, like many states, has on its books a “slayer statute,” which generally prohibits a slayer or abuser of a decedent from obtaining benefits by virtue of the death of the decedent. The parents of Julianne Herinckx...more

California Passes Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

On September 24, 2016, the Governor of California approved the California Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which “would authorize a decedent’s personal representative or trustee to access and manage...more

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