News & Analysis as of

Executors

Courts Hold That Fiduciaries Waived Complaints About Trial Court Orders

by Winstead PC on

In In re Estate of Roach, a trial court removed an executor for multiple grounds, including: (1) Texas Estates Code Section 404.0035(b)(5), which authorizes removal when an independent executor becomes incapable of properly...more

On Its Own Motion

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

While most decisions rendered by the Surrogate’s Court result from an affirmative request for relief, occasionally the court will address an issue on its own motion when justice or the exercise of its inherent or statutory...more

Estate planning during divorce: It’s never too early to start

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Estate plans prepared for married couples will vary in complexity and detail but generally follow the same theme: The revocable trust or will typically provides that upon the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse...more

Privacy Perils: The Untimely Death of Digital Data

by Bass, Berry & Sims PLC on

Many people have thoughtfully gathered information on the location of their bank accounts, deeds, lock boxes, safe combination, car title (and keys), investment accounts, check books, and other assets to make handling their...more

Court Enforces Release Agreement Between Trustees/Executors and A Beneficiary

by Winstead PC on

In Harrison v. Harrison Interests, a beneficiary of an estate and multiple trusts had a dispute with the executors and trustees. No. 14-15-00348-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 1677 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] February 28, 2017,...more

The Statute “Says What it Means and Means What it Says"

by Bryan Cave on

Trusts and Estates practitioners often focus solely on the Tax Code found in Title 26 of the United States Code and ignore other parts of the United States Code (U.S.C.). However, it is a mistake to do so as Marci McNicol...more

Fiduciary Imprudence: When the Sale of an Asset Results in a Surcharge

by Farrell Fritz, P.C. on

Although one of the many duties and responsibilities of an executor is to marshal and appraise estate assets, and, depending upon the dispositive terms of the governing instrument, liquidate them for purposes of distribution,...more

Be Sure to Mind your Manners in Estate Litigation

by Bennett Jones LLP on

Miss Manners may just be worth listening to for those involved in wills and estate litigation. In fact, not doing so may be to your detriment given that poor conduct can cost you with the courts....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

Forgiveness May Be Available For An Untimely Caveat

by Bryan Cave on

It’s a new year and with it comes many resolutions. Each year, a popular resolution is to be more forgiving or to forgive someone who wronged you. Apparently, trying to get a head start on its resolutions, on December 30, the...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

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

States Pass "Digital Assets" Legislation

by White & Case LLP on

Financial transactions are increasingly occurring online. Many of us pay bills electronically, or have them automatically charged to credit cards or debited from checking accounts. Many of us also receive asset and credit...more

Federal Court Dismisses Beneficiary’s Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claim For Lack of Jurisdiction

by Winstead PC on

In Strouse v. Strouse, a beneficiary sued an executor of an estate for breach of fiduciary duty. No. 4:16cv707, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 155630 (E.D. Tex. September 27, 2016). Federal district courts are courts of limited...more

Executor Loses Out on Fees Due to Section 6166 Lien

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

A personal representative/executor for an estate granted a special estate tax lien under Code §6324A to the U.S. as part of a Section 6166 election to defer payment of federal estate tax. At the time, the executor had been...more

Reasonable Cause: When can you rely on a tax professional to avoid penalties ?

by Sanford Millar on

When can a taxpayer rely on the advice of a tax professional is fundamental to establishing "reasonable cause" for failure to timely file tax returns. The U.S. Supreme Court stated the standard for what constitutes...more

Wealth Management Update - October 2016

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

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

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19586 - Harrington v. Freedom of Information Commission - The Court started off by saying..... We have not previously had occasion to squarely address..... [this]...more

Mission Near Impossible - Reliance on Professionals Defense to Late Filing and Payment Penalties

by Charles (Chuck) Rubin on

An estate sought relief for $1.189 million in penalties for the late filing of a Form 706 and the late payment of estate taxes when the filing and payment were over a year late. The U.S. District Court granted the...more

Court Grants Mandamus Relief To Void Order Naming An Executor More Than Three Years After Admitting Will To Probate As A Muniment...

by Winstead PC on

In In re Squyres, in 2012, Baker filed with the probate court an application to probate a will as a muniment of title. No. 01-16-00236-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 8509 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] August 9, 2016, no pet....more

New North Carolina Law Allows Fiduciaries Access to Digital Assets, but Only If ...

by McGuireWoods LLP on

When people die or become incompetent, what happens to their digital assets? Who can legally access their email and handle it properly? Do their social media accounts remain forever open, accepting content and sending...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

You have been appointed as Executor/Executrix of a loved ones estate.....should you hire an attorney?

Administering an estate, especially one with more than just your basic assets, such as a home, and a couple joint bank accounts, can be very complicated. On a basic level, an executor must produce an inventory of all assets...more

Court Affirms Order Requiring Partition of Property Where Fiduciary’s Homestead Argument Failed

by Winstead PC on

In Byrom v. Penn, Byrom was appointed executor of his mother’s estate, and he was later removed as executor for breach of fiduciary duty by using estate funds to build a house for himself. No. 12-15-00033-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

Court Affirms Judgment Against Executor That Deeded Estate Property To Himself

by Winstead PC on

In In the Estate of Montemayor, the trial court entered summary judgment for an estate beneficiary on a claim to quiet title as against the independent executor, who had deeded estate property to himself. No. 04-15-00397-CV,...more

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