Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

Read Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning updates, articles, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:
News & Analysis as of

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

T&E Litigation Newsletter- 4/27/16

On March 25, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling in a breach of fiduciary duty case that turns, in part, on an analysis of the Supreme Judicial Court’s 2014 decision on damages in the widely-discussed matter of...more

Living Like a Prince, but not Dying Like One

The media seems to be concerned with two primary subjects lately, and both topics continue to trounce each other in turn on social networks for attention: 1. The presidential elections 2. The death of Prince,...more

Prince: The Lost Legacy of an Estate Plan Untold

You may not have produced over 30 albums, accrued over $300 million and an equivalent amount of fans as Prince, but, like the recent pop star, you too have a legacy that could impact many individuals around you. The term...more

Asbestos Alert: Asbestos Bankruptcy Trusts and Legislation

When asbestos litigation became extremely costly to defend, to settle and to pay judgments, companies began filing for protection under the Bankruptcy laws. In the three decades since Johns Manville and UNR Industries filed...more

Tax Court Affirms Use of Intergenerational Split-Dollar Arrangements

The Tax Court, in its decision earlier this month in Estate of Morrissette, examined intergenerational split-dollar arrangements between a mother's revocable trust and three irrevocable dynasty trusts, one established for...more

Duties of an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

Many average people are named as agents under a power of attorney for a family member or friend, and most have little to no idea what they are getting themselves into. Many people also are aware of the fact that a relative...more

Family Vacation Home Planning

Transferring a family vacation home to the next generation without causing family strife takes serious planning. Even if the ultimate decision is to have the children own the property outright and figure out how to make it...more

"FIRPTA Reform Impacts Investment Opportunities in US Real Estate"

In recent months, much has been written to describe the reforms to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) contained in the Protecting Americans From Tax Hikes Act of 2015 (the Act), which have been...more

Court Affirms Holding That A Trust Owns Stock That Was Issued To The Trustee In His Individual Capacity

In Dutcher v. Dutcher-Phipps Crane & Rigging, Inc., a trust owned twenty percent of a family limited partnership that in turn owned a family business. No. 08-15-00202-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3809 (Tex. App.—El Paso 2016, no...more

"New Connecticut Laws Limit Transfer Taxes for Some Decedents, Increase Probate Fees for Most Estates"

Connecticut has implemented changes to its transfer tax and probate laws that affect nearly every decedent leaving even a modest estate via will or nonprobate transfer (such as a revocable trust). A new $20 million cap for...more

Estate Planning During Divorce (Part 2) [Video]

The term divorce provokes a number of commonly known thoughts and reactions (i.e. a division of assets, a new - residence, a custody agreement concerning children, and so on). Less obvious is the effect that a divorce may...more

Estate Planning During Divorce (Part 1) [Video]

The term divorce provokes a number of commonly known thoughts and reactions (i.e. a division of assets, a new - residence, a custody agreement concerning children, and so on). Less obvious is the effect that a divorce may...more

New York Estate Tax Law Changes  [Video]

New York State increased its estate tax exemption from $1 million to $3 million and it is set to rise again beginning in 2019 to match the federal exemption. In this video, Lisa Newfield describes how to take advantage of...more

Special Needs Trusts In Estate Planning  [Video]

Special needs trusts are established to hold and protect the assets of a beneficiary who has some type of mental, physical or intellectual disability. It is like other trusts, but contains additional provisions to ensure...more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

Foreign Financial Asset Reporting - Coming Soon to a Domestic Entity Near You

When Form 8938 reporting for foreign financial assets of U.S. taxpayers was first imposed a few years, only U.S. individuals were subject to it. The IRS has now issued final regulations that will commence reporting by...more

How to Protect Your Personal Treasure in a Legal Lockbox

When you are in a high-profile profession—doctor, attorney, business owner—you have a lot to lose. Being in your position, you are a high liability target for lawsuits and claims. No one wants to lose their...more

Potemkin Village Deferred—Planned Exhibition of Gurlitt Trove is Postponed

Germany has apparently decided to postpone its ill-conceived plans to exhibit the hundreds of works of art that it still holds from the trove seized from the late Cornelius Gurlitt. This decision was announced as a date was...more

Paradox of Mental Incapacity in State Estate Tax: How Moving Your Elderly Parent from Florida May Generate an Unexpected Estate...

It is a difficult enough for families to come to grips with having to care for an elderly parent that may no longer be able to live on their own. After coming to terms with this unfortunate reality, the next steps often...more

Private Eyes They’re Watching You – Offshore Planning after the Panama Papers

Overview - If you have been reading my articles on JD Supra for a while, you will know that I love Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music. Nevertheless, the Hall and Oates song Private Eyes, is a more fitting song to describe...more

Court Holds That Order Allowing A Successor Trustee And Reinstating A Prior Trustee Is Appealable

In In re Tipps, an elderly woman’s son became trustee of a trust due to her incompetency, and the son and his brother went to a mediation concerning a guardianship proceeding and other issues. No. 05-14-01495-CV, 2016 Tex....more

Post-Death Action Reduced Amount of Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

Decedent died and left a majority stake in a real property management corporation to a private foundation. The estate tax value of the stock was $14.182M. After the decedent’s death, but before the stock was transferred...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19384 - State v. Carter - SC19282 - State v. Peeler - Appellate Court Advance Release Opinions: AC37262 - Dumbauld v. Dumbauld - AC37262 Concurrence -...more

Ten Tips for Preventing Feuds from Wrecking Your Family Business

Passing along a family business can be tricky business. There are a variety of legal, tax, and emotional issues that can complicate the process. A well thought out plan made far in advance of the events requiring the plan is...more

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