Surviving Spouse

News & Analysis as of

Wills, Trusts & Estates Newsletter - August 2015

In This Issue: - 5 Ways for Business Owners to Protect Their Assets - VA Benefits - Know What’s Out There - Excerpt from VA Benefits - Know What's Out There: For many family members helping to care for an...more

VA Benefits - Know What's Out There

For many family members helping to care for an elderly or disabled loved one, entitlement programs can be challenging to understand; particularly when there may be many demands on your time and resources may be stretched...more

High Net Worth Family Tax Report, Vol. 10, No. 2

Borrowing Against Art Collections - Your art collection may not be as illiquid as you think. It is possible to raise cash by borrowing against works of art. Although some banks do not offer art-secured loans because of...more

Florida Court of Appeals Reverses Foreclosure of Reverse Mortgage by Expanding the Definition of “Borrower” to Include Surviving...

Home equity conversion mortgages, commonly known as “reverse mortgages” are popular loan products in Florida. In order to foreclose on a reverse mortgage, the lender generally must allege that all conditions necessary to...more

Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples After Obergefell

Many areas of the law are left unanswered by Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell , but the fundamental question of whether same-sex individuals can marry has now been answered. There have traditionally been many obstacles...more

BAG: „Spätehenklauseln“ in betrieblichen Pensionsregelungen sind unwirksam

Sog. „Spätehenklauseln“, nach denen der Ehegatte den versorgungsberechtigten Mitarbeiter vor dessen 60. Lebensjahr geehelicht haben muss, um einen Anspruch auf die Witwen- bzw. Witwerrente zu erwerben, stellen eine...more

The Obergefell Decision and Property Considerations for Married Same-Sex Couples

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, determined that prohibitions on same-sex marriage are an unconstitutional infringement of Fourteenth Amendment rights. This decision throws the doors...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

Update on Estate and Gift Tax Proposals

Congressional Proposals: H.R. 1105, Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015, was passed by the House, as amended, on Apr. 16, 2015. The bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to repeal the estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes...more

Alabama Homestead and Personal Property Exemptions Increased

On June 11, 2016, Governor Bentley (Alabama) signed into law ACT No. 2015-484 which became effective that same day. The law increases the personal property exemption available to individual debtors and surviving spouses to...more

Supreme Court Approves Same-Sex Marriage: Tax and Legal Implications for Same-Sex Spouses

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the landmark case of Obergefell v. Hodges. The Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires all states to license a...more

Real Property 101 for Community Bankers in the Spilman Footprint

What is the difference between a Deed of Trust and a Mortgage? The terms “Deed of Trust” and “mortgage” are often used by people interchangeably. Both serve to give the lender a lien as collateral for a loan but, these...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

Court Warns That Marriage Does Not Render A Spouse Automatically Entitled To Preexisting Life Insurance Policies

In a recent unpublished decision, the New Jersey Appellate Division has again stressed the importance of complying with the beneficiary designation requirements contained in life insurance policies. See Fox v. Lincoln...more

Construction Case Law Update - April 2015

The fraud statute of repose does not bar fraud claims when the jury finds no evidence of the plaintiff’s reliance during the repose period, because it is the defendant’s last action or omission that triggers the fraud repose...more

Why it is Crucial to Designate a HSA Beneficiary?

As high deductible health insurance plans are becoming more popular, an important component is health savings accounts (HSA). In addition to having current tax advantages, there is specific tax treatment of HSA accounts upon...more

Surviving Spouse Not Obligated To Refile Homestead Exemption–Martin County's $283,070 Tax Bill Voided [Florida]

Florida taxpayers that apply for and receive a homestead exemption receive a reduction on their ad valorem taxes. Perhaps more importantly, the homestead become subject to the "Save Our Homes" annual 3% limit on increases in...more

New HECM Rules For Surviving Spouses Fall Short

The Department of Housing and Urban Development recently published Mortgagee Letter 2015-03, which provides servicers of FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages a way to proceed after a borrower dies and is survived by a...more

Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses Eligible for Work Authorization USCIS Will Accept Filings on May 2015

In May 2014, DHS issued a proposed rule to amend current immigration regulations to allow for the employment authorization of certain H-4 dependent spouses. DHS accepted comments on the proposed rule until mid-July. ...more

HUD Issues New Rules about Surviving Spouses Following Death of Reverse Mortgage Borrower

For the past year and a half, mortgagees of FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (“HECMs”), commonly referred to as reverse mortgages, have had to grapple with issues related to the foreclosure of homes occupied by...more

“Copyright and Marriage Equality Act” Bills Introduced in both the House and Senate

On January 6, 2015, Sen. Patrick Leahy introduced Senate bill 23 entitled the “Copyright and Marriage Equality Act.” The bill would amend Section 101 of title 17 of the United States Code by striking the current definitions...more

Financing the Business Buyout – Part II (Investors)

Last month, Part I on this topic discussed the problem facing a Remaining Spouse when the Departing Spouse rejects a buyout offer of a modest down payment and a long installment note: How to raise sufficient cash to avoid a...more

Death After Divorce: Who Gets the Proceeds?

Under the common law of some states, if an individual names his or her spouse as the beneficiary on a life insurance policy, gets divorced, and then dies without changing the beneficiary designation, the mere fact of a...more

Addressing Portability

As we have discussed in previous newsletters, the concept of “portability” introduced in 2012 allows a surviving spouse to use the unused federal estate tax exemption of the first spouse to die, but only if a federal estate...more

Waiver of Florida Spousal Homestead Rights by Deed Upheld

A recent Florida appellate decision finds that the joinder of a spouse on a deed of homestead property to a trust constitutes a valid waiver of homestead rights, even though the deed contains no waiver language....more

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