Trusts Beneficiaries

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

Fiduciary News - June 2015

Changes Coming for Pennsylvania Fiduciaries in Their Ability to Access and Manage Digital Assets and Accounts - On January 1, 2015, Delaware became the first state to enact a comprehensive law granting fiduciaries the...more

No Split Gift Election Where Spouse Was a Potential Beneficiary

A husband created a Family Trust for the benefit of his wife and their descendants. Under the trust, an independent trustee may pay to or use for the benefit of the wife, or any one or more of husband’s descendants and their...more

The Estate Planner – July/August 2015

In This Issue: - Can a Broken Trust be Fixed? - Keep it in the Family: Use an intrafamily loan to cover estate taxes - Tax Court: Trust Can Materially Participate in a Business - Estate Planning...more

Supreme Court Hits Home Run for 401(K) Plan Beneficiaries

This week’s decision by the United States Supreme Court in Tibble v. Edison International, 2015 U.S. LEXIS 3171 (May 18, 2015), is expected to trigger an increase in lawsuits against 401(k) plan fiduciaries....more

The Evolving Duty of Trustee Communication with Beneficiaries

Trustee communications with beneficiaries have followed an interesting legal path in Kentucky. The original Kentucky statute regarding communication with the beneficiaries required that the trustee must keep the beneficiaries...more

Trust Matters Update - May 2015

The Trust Matters Update is a periodical summary of cases, case comments, consultations, publications, legislative developments, legal updates, articles and news in the area of trust law and related issues. 1. Can...more

Benefits of an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust as Security for Support

Divorce or separation agreements often require one spouse to maintain life insurance as security for their support obligation. Attorneys often do not address the tax implications if the insured spouse owns the policy. ...more

60 Crummey Withdrawal Beneficiaries Allowed

For many years, courts have recognized that gifts to a trust can qualify for the gift tax annual exclusion as “present interest” gifts if withdrawal powers are granted to beneficiaries.The IRS is hostile to persons being...more

The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions with regard to how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning,...more

Best in Law: Head Off a Contest: Bolster Your No-Contest Clause

The inherent problem with safeguarding your wishes after death is that you are not here to defend them. To discourage litigation and protect your requests, most trusts contain a “no-contest” clause. The clause typically...more

Trustee Selection: Choose Wisely if Your Family-owned Business Will Be Held in a Trust

Let’s assume that you and your spouse are the sole owners of a very successful business. You have established an estate plan with trusts in place to utilize the estate tax exemptions of both spouses for Washington state and...more

Laches as a Limit on the Duty of a Trustee to Account

Doris Corya was a trustee (or co-trustee) of four trusts that failed to provide fiduciary accountings to a beneficiary otherwise entitled to receive accountings under Florida law. The failure to account went back many years –...more

The fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege: A recent development

In a suit by the beneficiary against the trustee, is the trustee entitled to assert the attorney-client privilege against the beneficiary, or is there a fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege? As to...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter – August 2014 #2

In Lowell v. Talcott et al., Case No. 13-p-1053, 2014 Mass. App. LEXIS 98 (August 18, 2014), the Appeals Court considered whether a child born in the 1960s while her mother was married to a man who is not the child’s father...more

Bankruptcy Court Sheds Light on MA Homestead Protection of Downstream Trust Beneficiaries

Suppose the following: Title to a home is held by Trust A. The beneficiaries of Trust A are three natural persons and Trust B. Trust B holds a 25% beneficial interest in Trust A. The sole beneficiaries of Trust B are Mom...more

Control Is Everything

In Private Letter Ruling 201423043, (“PLRs” only apply to the taxpayer involved but are often used as “guidance”, and not “precedent”, by taxpayers and the IRS.) the IRS ruled that a surviving spouse could roll over her...more

Does the settlor of a trust have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts?

As a general rule, any beneficiary of a trust would have standing to seek its enforcement in the courts. The Restatement (Third) of Trusts is sending mixed signals as to whether the settlor of a trust, qua settlor, would have...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

Ohio Court of Appeals Upholds Constructive Trust in Favor of Unnamed Beneficiaries

The Ohio Court of Appeals imposed a constructive trust over the proceeds of an ERISA governed life insurance policy for the benefit of the decedent’s children even though the children were not named beneficiaries of the...more

Significant Changes to New York Estate and Income Tax Enacted

We previously alerted you to proposed legislation affecting New York estate tax law, the tax treatment of gifts by New York residents, and New York income taxation of certain trusts. This month Governor Cuomo signed final...more

Important Changes Proposed to New York Estate Tax and New York Income Taxation of Trusts, Grantors and Beneficiaries

Important legislation has been introduced by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo that, if passed, would substantially change the New York estate tax regime and would also significantly change the income tax rules regarding certain...more

5 Estate Planning Mistakes You Should Try to Avoid

In your experience, what’s the most costly mistake people make when preparing estate plans, and what can they do to fix them? That’s the question we recently put to attorneys writing on JD Supra....more

How the New Washington Trust Act and its 2013 Amendments Affect You and Your Clients - December 2013

In 2011, the legislature adopted a new Washington Trust Act (the “2011 Act”). The 2011 Act took effect on January 1, 2012, and codified many changes to the duties of trustees and the rights of trust beneficiaries. Within 18...more

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