Surviving Spouse

News & Analysis as of

2017 – New Year, New Adjusted Lifetime Federal Estate and Gift Tax Exempt Amount

The annual federal exemption amount for the estate and gift tax has been adjusted to $5,490,000.00 per individual for 2017. This means a married couple will have a combined $10,980,000.00 in 2017. The $5,490,000.00...more

Three Point Shot - December 2016

In Partial Trademark Victory over Chinese Sportswear Company, MJ Posterizes Unauthorized User of Chinese Version of His Name - In Game 3 of the first round of the 1991 NBA Eastern Conference playoffs between the New York...more

Wealth Management Update - December 2016

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

Changes To Elective Share Law in Virginia Will Lead To More Litigation

The Virginia General Assembly overhauled Virginia’s elective share statute this past year, and one of the big results will likely be an increase in litigation....more

Was Prince Married? How Does Marriage Affect an Estate?

Several months after his death, a woman came forward claiming she was married to Prince and that she was the sole heir of the estimated $300 million estate. She additionally claimed to have possession of a will signed by...more

What happens to federal set-aside contracts when the owner of the government contractor passes away?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA) have multiple programs where federal contracts can be “set-aside” for companies owned by certain classifications of persons. But what happens to...more

West Coast Real Estate Update: October 2016

California Coastal Act Blocks Housing Project in Venice Despite Earlier Approvals - Judge James C. Chalfant of the California Court of Appeal on Sept. 29, 2016, affirmed a lower court ruling denying a developer’s...more

Wealth Management Update - September 2016

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

Pensions Ombudsman Round-Up - July 2016 (UK)

The latest edition of DLA Piper's Pensions Ombudsman Round-Up newsletter reports on some recent determinations made by the Pensions Ombudsman (PO) and Deputy Pensions Ombudsman (DPO), and provides statistics on the outcomes...more

Why Every Parent in Alberta Should Have a Will

As a young, healthy parent, you may believe that having a Will is the last thing on a long priority list. However, while a Will is vital for everyone, those with children should be particularly mindful of the primary...more

Wealth Management Update - July 2016

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

Beware: Your Estate Plan May Contain an Unnecessary Bypass Trust

A once-popular estate planning tool included in many Last Wills and Revocable Trusts may now cost families more in taxes than it saves. Changes in the federal estate tax have made the "bypass trust" which was often included...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

Portability is a thoroughly modern estate tax break

Computers and phones aren’t the only things that are portable today. The gift and estate tax exemption is also “portable” for married couples. Portability simplifies estate planning by allowing a surviving spouse to use the...more

Wealth Management Update - June 2016

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

Maryland Employers May Now Grant a Hiring and Promotion Preference to Veterans

Maryland joins the growing list of states (23 states in the past two years) that have enacted laws giving preference in hiring to honorably discharged veterans. Private employers have been hesitant to favor veterans because...more

Life Insurance and Estate Planning

Life insurance can play an important role in estate planning. It is important to understand the uses and purposes of life insurance and the tax consequences of owning a policy and receiving a death benefit....more

The Future of Credit Shelter Trusts

When the President signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, some observers thought that certain provisions would sound the death knell for a popular legal tax shelter strategy known as Credit Shelter Trusts (CST)....more

2016 Estate and Gift Update

The federal government imposes a gift tax for gifts made during one’s lifetime. Likewise, the estate tax is levied on transfers made at one’s death. ...more

California Court Recognizes Same-Sex Marriage a Week Prior to Windsor

Earlier this month, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recognized the retroactive application of United States v. Windsor. In Schuett v. FedEx Corporation, plaintiff and her long-time...more

New Rules Will Make It Harder to Qualify for Long-Term Care Help From the VA

The Veteran's Administration (VA) offers a pension benefit to low-income veterans (or their spouses) who are in nursing homes or who need help at home with everyday tasks like dressing or bathing. The pension, called Aid and...more

A Tale of Two Distributions: Equitable Versus Estate in the Wake of the Kardashian/Odom Divorce

The current domestic law situation between Khloe Kardashian and Lamar Odom, although unique, is not uncommon. In December 2013, Khloe filed for divorce against Lamar, but for whatever reason, never finalized the paperwork...more

Court Finds That Plan Administrator Should Comply With Qualified Domestic Relations Order Issued After Retirement Plan...

A recent opinion from the Second Circuit puts retirement plan administrators on notice that adjustments to benefits may be necessary to account for retroactively effective qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs). In...more

HUD Reverses Course (Again) on Non-Borrowing Spouses

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) continues to grapple with how mortgagees and servicers of Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECMs), commonly known as reverse mortgages, should proceed where a spouse that...more

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