Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
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Delaware Enacts Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

On August 12, 2014, Delaware’s governor signed into law the Delaware Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which is based on an earlier draft of the recently-approved Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Asset Act....more

Delaware Grants Access to Social Media After Death

Delaware has become the first state to enact the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the "Act") The Uniform Law Commission describes the act as a law "that will vest fiduciaries with at least the authority to...more

Someone Finally Did Things Right! Lessons from Robin Williams’s Estate Plan

Last week we tragically lost an entertainer who played a major role in my life, and, I am sure, in the lives of many others as well. Most of the time when I write about celebrities and their estate plans it is to point out...more

Give unto Caesar (but not a Dollar More!)-The Benefits and Planning Dexterity of the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust

Overview - I have to admit that I was a pretty good high school Latin student. In fact it may have been my best subject. When I got to West Point, I was in for very rude awakening. Not only did I realize too late that...more

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

Why Estate Planning Isn’t the Boring Law Practice Area You Think

Most lawyers think estate planning is boring because of the way they were taught to do it is all wrong. They also don’t understand how profound and necessary a service it is, either....more

No Disclaiming Federal Tax Liability

Chris owed money to the IRS, and had federal tax liens filed against him. He was also a 1/3 beneficiary of his mother’s estate. To avoid the IRS collecting against his share of the estate, Chris disclaimed his interest...more

Inherited IRAs May Not be Protected from the Reach of Creditors

In a recent decision, the Supreme Court in Clark v. Rameker held that, after the death of the IRA owner, assets in an inherited IRA for a non-spouse beneficiary are not “retirement funds,” and, therefore, are not protected...more

Wills, Trusts and Estates Newsletter - August 2014

In This Issue: - Thinking of Moving to Florida? Maybe a Little Further South is a Better Option - New Investment Thinking for Trustees? - Excerpt from New Investment Thinking for...more

Treachery of the Untrustworthy Trustee

In 2006, Fred Houston created the Fred L. Houston Trust and placed into it the Tenneco lease, which had been producing since 1974. Ms. Williams was the trustee. The trust instrument declared the trust “… irrevocable and may...more

Estate Planning Matters!

In This Newsletter: - When to Involve an Attorney in Your Charitable Giving - Big Changes to Minnesota Estate and Gift Taxes - Why You and Everyone You Know Needs an Estate Plan - Excerpt from...more

SEC Grants Exceptions to Family Office Rules

The SEC has previously adopted a rule to define “family offices” that are excluded from the Investment Advisers Act of 1940. “Family offices” are entities established by wealthy families to manage their wealth and provide...more

51 Flavors: A Survey of Small Estate Procedures Across the Country

Properly navigating a probate administration in any one state can be challenging enough, but often the client’s estate—and the attorney’s practice—is not so neatly confined within one state’s boundaries. Fortunately, for...more

McNees Insights: Estate Planning - Summer 2014

In This Issue: - Transitioning The Family Business to the Next Generation - Charitable Trusts and Estate Planning - Recent Tax Developments - Excerpt from Transitioning The Family Business to the...more

This is Why You Need a Will

Let’s talk title disputes, especially ones between those with record title and those claiming title by possession: - They are complicated (There were 229 defendants in today’s case) - They happen when there is a lot...more

Designating Your Same-Sex Spouse as the Sole Beneficiary in Your Will

Estate planning can be a very stressful time for all married couples, especially when children and other relatives need to be considered. However, under normal circumstances, one need not be overly concerned with the...more

Charitable Trusts and Estate Planning

There are a number of ways in which clients can incorporate their desire to benefit charities into an estate plan. At the most basic level, the Internal Revenue Code (the “Code”) generally provides for a federal estate tax...more

Estate Planning Is Not Just for the Rich and Famous

It can be hard to get folks to think about estate planning—especially the younger ones in the beginning stages of their careers. They believe that there will be many changes in their life before end-of-life planning becomes...more

Federal Practice & Bankruptcy: SCOTUS on Bankruptcy: Jurisdiction and Inherited IRAs Clarified

In a rare burst of bankruptcy enthusiasm, the US Supreme Court in June issued two decisions on matters important to the administration of bankruptcy cases. In re Bellingham, decided June 9, addressed a seemingly...more

“Ladybird Deed” Language Removed from Michigan Tax Guidelines

Many people have heard of a "Ladybird Deed," but few understand how Ladybird Deeds work. In essence, this type of deed allows property to pass automatically upon an individual's death without the need of probate, offering a...more

Swimming in the Deep End – The Surprising Utility of Pooled Income Funds for High Net Worth Tax Planning

Overview - The old cliché about Charity is that “Charity begins at home.” The federal government has always recognized the social benefit of providing tax incentives for individual and corporate taxpayers in order to...more

CFPB Clarifies Heirs, Divorcees and Estate Planning Transferees Are Not Subject to Ability-to-Repay Rules

The CFPB issued an interpretive rule to clarify that when a borrower dies, the name of the borrower’s heir generally may be added to the mortgage without triggering the Bureau’s Ability-to-Repay rule. This clarification will...more

Five Estate Planning Documents Every Young Professional Should Have

After graduating from college, and even law school, the thought of drafting your estate plan probably did not make the top twenty on your "to-do" list, and why should it? The only thing most young professionals have when they...more

RMD Rules for Longevity Annuities Finalized

Longevity annuities are contracts that provide life annuity payments typically commencing at age 80 or 85; in many (but not all) cases, that is the only benefit the contract provides. As such, these contracts may offer...more

Your dead ex-spouse's debt can become your problem

This CNN Money Article features quotes by Kirton McConkie attorney Geoff Germane. If you're divorced and your ex-spouse dies, you might find yourself dealing with a range of emotions. You might be surprised to learn...more

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