News & Analysis as of

Executor Loses Out on Fees Due to Section 6166 Lien

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 ?

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

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

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

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...

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 ...

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

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

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

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

What Is Required of an Executor?

Being the executor of an estate is not a task to take lightly. An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual's estate. Although the time and effort involved will vary with the...more

Court Affirms Power Of Attorney Holder’s Right To Revoke Gift

In Wise v. Mitchell, a power of attorney holder, Mitchell, filed a revocation of a deed that the principal issued to Wise. No. 05-15-00610-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6502 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 20, 2016, no pet. history). After...more

Court Reverses A Probate Order Requiring An Executor To Distribute Real Property Free Of Any Liens

In In re Estate of Heider, a probate court ordered that an executor should distribute real property to a beneficiary free of liens. No. 05-14-00436-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5978 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

Court Reverses Decision On The Fair Market Value Of A Residence Due To The Surviving Spouse’s Interest

In Estate of Sloan, a wife died leaving her home, and her husband was the executor of her estate. No. 02-15-00198-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 6465 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth June 16, 2016, no pet. history). The wife’s will left all...more

Court Reverses New Trial Order After A Jury Verdict On A Trust Dispute

In In re Jones, there was a jury trial on the issue of whether a revocable trust was revoked such that the trustee, Jones, or the settlor’s executor, Coyle, had the right to the trust assets. No. 05-16-0081-CV, 2016 Tex. App....more

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Nobody likes to think about death, but failing to plan for it can cause unintended consequences for loved ones. Prompted by the death of Prince, a client recently came to see me. He had read in the news that heirs to...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- May 2016

In the past month, there were three decisions of note. First, in the case of Caffrey v. U.S. Trust, Case No. 15-P-920, 2016 Mass. App. Unpub. LEXIS 454 (Apr. 27, 2016), the Appeals Court was confronted with the question...more

Sign O’ the Times: the Right of Publicity Comes to Minnesota

The ability to control the use of one’s name, likeness, voice, and other personal attributes is known as the right of publicity. Unlike trademarks, patents, and copyrights, which are types of intellectual property governed...more

Who Gets the Little Red Corvette? We’ll Never Know. The Importance of Having a Will.

Prince was not the first famous person to die without a Will. Others who died intestate include: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Howard Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Sonny Bono and Pablo Picasso. Dying intestate is...more

Prince: Is His Legacy Really Untold?

As we’ve all seen in the news, musician Prince passed away on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57. According to news sources, on April 26, just five days later, one of Prince’s six siblings, his sister Tyka Nelson, filed...more

Court Holds That Will Did Not Revoke Inter Vivos Trust

In Gordon v. Gordon, a man and his wife executed a revocable trust agreement and began to fund the trust. No. 11-14-00086-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3357 (Tex. App.—Eastland March 31, 2016, no pet. history). The couple later...more

Court Affirmed Holding That Trust Owned Real Estate And Was Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

In Courtade v. Estrada, Estrada created an inter vivos irrevocable trust and deeded real estate into the trust. No. 02-14-00295-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3105 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth March 24, 2016, no pet. history). Two days...more

New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Beneficiaries

Recent federal legislation adds fresh compliance burdens to an old concept in federal tax law: the step-up in tax basis of appreciated property at death. New reporting requirements will apply to estates required to file a...more

Fiduciary Alert: IRS Again Extends Time for Consistent Basis Reporting via Form 8971 until June 30, 2016

Effective March 23, 2016, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service published Notice 2016-27, once again extending, until June 30, 2016, the deadline for executors and other persons to complete and file Form 8971...more

A Death in the Family - Now What?

A death in the family is an emotional time, and often the task of closing out the decedent's life is an overwhelming and stressful responsibility left to the decedent's loved ones. Advance planning for the administration of...more

Consistent Basis Reporting Update: Treasury Issues Proposed Rules on Portability Returns, Final Values, and After-Discovered...

On March 4, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury released both temporary and proposed regulations (the “Proposed Regulations”) on the consistent basis and reporting requirements between a decedent’s estate and persons...more

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