News & Analysis as of

Decedent Protection

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

Employee’s Wife Pleads Guilty to Charges After He Stole Patient Information

The Manhattan District Attorney announced this week that a former employee of Lenox Hill Hospital’s wife plead guilty to grand larceny, identity theft in the first degree, and criminal possession of stolen property after her...more

CFPB’s proposal for collection of decedent debt: a misguided approach (Part II)

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

In my blog post yesterday, I shared my concerns regarding the potential consequences of the CFPB’s proposed 30-day hold on all collection contacts after the date of a consumer’s death. A 30-day holding period in which...more

Labor & Employment E-Note - August 2016

by Burr & Forman on

In an article published on August 12, 2016 by Advance Healthcare Network, Bryance Metheny provides guidance to employers who need to prepare for the recent changes issued by the Department of Labor ("DOL") to the federal...more

CFPB’s proposal for collection of decedent debt: a misguided approach (Part I)

by Ballard Spahr LLP on

This blog post is the first of two on the proposals being considered by the CFPB regarding the collection of decedent debt. In tomorrow’s blog post, I will share my thoughts on the CFPB’s proposal to prohibit debt collector...more

California Passes Digital Assets Law

Following in the footsteps of numerous other states, California became the newest state to pass a digital assets bill, which allows individuals to access social media accounts, music accounts, gaming accounts or other digital...more

How can surviving family members deal with online accounts and other digital assets?

We, as a society, are gradually moving away from paper bank statements, jars with money in them, and instructions to loved ones scribbled on notepads. With the growth of our online presence, our lives can be governed almost...more

Your Confidential Employment Information Is Safe Under Tennessee's Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

by Burr & Forman on

On July 1, 2016, Tennessee’s Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act went into effect.  The Act grants fiduciaries authority to access a decedent’s digital assets.  As a result, executors, trustees, powers of...more

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

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

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

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