Estate Planning Trusts

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 -
News & Analysis as of

Trustees Beware: Which Fiduciary Standard Applies to Your “Business Judgments”?

To what legal standard must a trustee adhere when he or she also participates in the control of a family or closely held business? Courts continue to grapple with this question. The high courts in both Georgia and Nebraska...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: An Estate Planning Strategy

In the current economic environment, IRS-prescribed monthly interest rates for certain intra-family transactions are at historic lows. As a result, an excellent opportunity exists to transfer wealth to lower generation family...more

The basics of basis: Basis planning can result in significant tax savings

Because the gift and estate tax exemption is at a record high of $5.43 million for 2015, many people have shifted their focus from estate planning to income tax planning. An understanding of basis — and the benefits of the...more

Tax Law Blog: Legislature Passes Bill Affecting Iowa Trusts and Estates

The Iowa Legislature just passed House File 661, which was proposed by the Probate and Trust Law Section of the Iowa State Bar Association and supported by the Iowa Academy of Trusts and Estates Lawyers. ...more

Capacity at Issue? Consider Making a Video

When you’re preparing a will or trust for someone for whom capacity might later be raised as an issue, you have a potentially powerful tool that can help avoid later disputes: video. There’s nothing like a judge seeing a...more

Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector?

Even though one may appoint a trustee to oversee distribution of a trust’s assets, it’s possible to go a step further by appointing a trust protector. This person will serve as an overseer of the trustee’s actions. Taking...more

Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently?

Estate planning has received some recent media coverage with the deaths of celebrities such as Robin Williams, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the case of James Gandolfini, the coverage focused on his failure...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - 10/2014

With the Supreme Judicial Court’s issuance of its decisions in O’Connell v. Houser, Jr. et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 841 (SJC-11698) (Oct. 28, 2014) and Bank of America, N.A. v. Babcock et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 840 (SJC-11651)...more

Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking...more

Insight on Estate Planning - October/November 2014

In This Newsletter: - The Crummey trust: Still relevant after all these years - Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust - Good intentions: Don’t let asset transfers run afoul of the law - Estate Planning...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

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

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Regarding Inherited IRAs Highlights the Benefits of IRA Trusts

Last Thursday, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Clark v. Rameker that funds held in inherited individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are not “retirement funds” for bankruptcy purposes....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

Getting More Out of Trusts: The Total Return Unitrust

Trusts have become a basic tool in estate planning. Virtually every trust provides for the distribution of income to the current beneficiary, either mandatory or in the trustee’s discretion. The reasons for this vary. In a...more

A Contrarian View on Bypass Trusts

There are a number of good reasons to consider using a standard revocable trust, including minor children, spendthrift credit protection and to ensure funds go as you intended (i.e. a second marriage situation). However, a...more

Failure To Divide Estate Into Marital And Nonmarital Trust–What Happens At Death Of Surviving Spouse

Upon the death of wife, wife’s assets were supposed to be divided into two marital deduction trusts and a bypass family trust. An estate tax return was filed, and an estate tax deduction was taken for the transfer that was...more

"The Estate Planner" – May/June 2014

In this issue: - Valuing LLC Interests: How To Lose In Tax Court - Should You Keep Your Trust A Secret? - Effort – A “Stretch IRA” Can Maximize Your IRA’s Benefits - Estate Planning Red Flag – You...more

Changes May Lie Ahead for Certain Wealth Transfer and Succession Planning Strategies

In March, the Department of Treasury issued the administration's 2015 fiscal year revenue proposals for the federal government. Those proposals are described in General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2015...more

Moving A Trust To Delaware? Follow The Trail Of Peierls

Delaware has a rich history of providing guidance and innovation in corporate law and trust matters and to that end has become a jurisdiction of choice for the creation and migration of trusts. Recently, Delaware's Court of...more

Interaction fo Trustee Indemnities and Liability Insurance

When a trustee is sued for breach of trust and claims against his professional indemnity insurers, questions often arise as to the extent to which the trustee must first pursue any other rights of indemnity (for example...more

Round-up of Recent Decisions Relevant to Trustee and Protector Liability and Indemnities

There continue to be an increasing number of offshore Court judgments considering the nature and extent of an offshore trustee’s liability to third parties (including third parties in foreign jurisdictions), and the rights of...more

New York Estate and Trust Tax Changes: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

As we noted in our recent client alert, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced in January that he would introduce legislation intended to reduce the estate tax incentive for New Yorkers to move out of the state shortly...more

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