Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning Updates

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IRS Amends Revenue Ruling 81-100 to Permit Participation in Group Trusts by Puerto Rico Plans and Insurance Company Separate...

The Internal Revenue Service (the “IRS”) issued Revenue Ruling 2014-24 (the “Ruling”). The Ruling amends Revenue Ruling 81-100, the ruling that established the requirements applicable to a tax-qualified group trust. The...more

Delaware Enacts Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

On August 12, 2014, Delaware’s governor signed into law the Delaware Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which is based on an earlier draft of the recently-approved Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Asset Act....more

IRS Finalizes Guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 Group Trusts, and Insurance Company Separate Accounts

In Rev. Rul. 2014-24, scheduled for publication on September 8, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (the Service) substantially completed its pending guidance on Rev. Rul. 81-100 group trusts by permanently authorizing the...more

Obermayer’s Estate Planning newsletter - Summer 2014 - Snowbirds Beware: The Pennsylvania Tax Man Wants to Know Where Your Heart...

In this issue: - Snowbirds Beware: The Pennsylvania tax man wants to know where your heart is - Some reminders about Federal Estate and Gift Tax Exclusions - . . . and about IRAs - A consumer...more

Delaware Grants Access to Social Media After Death

Delaware has become the first state to enact the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (the "Act") The Uniform Law Commission describes the act as a law "that will vest fiduciaries with at least the authority to...more

Status Updates - August 2014 #10

..Death in the digital age. When someone dies, his or her heirs or executor will have broad rights to access the deceased person’s letters, documents and other physical assets. Delaware has just become the first state to...more

Personal Goodwill Of Employee Reduces Estate Tax Value Of Corporate Stock

The question of “personal goodwill” often comes up in sales of corporate assets. When a business is sold, the shareholder will often seek to sell his or her “personal goodwill” in the business separately from the...more

Lost Participant? Did you Try Google?

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor recently updated its guidance to retirement plan fiduciaries on due diligence and efforts to locate missing participants in the case of...more

Florida DFS Unclaimed Property Grab “Clearly Erroneous”

Florida’s First District Court of Appeal filed an opinion yesterday in Thrivent Financial for Lutheran’s appeal from a declaratory statement issued by the Florida Department of Financial Services interpreting Florida’s...more

Third Circuit Reaffirms the Difficulty of Binding a Non-Signatory to Arbitration

Federal law’s much-talked-about presumption in favor of enforcing arbitration clauses has its limits. On August 11, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit identified one of those limitations: the...more

Someone Finally Did Things Right! Lessons from Robin Williams’s Estate Plan

Last week we tragically lost an entertainer who played a major role in my life, and, I am sure, in the lives of many others as well. Most of the time when I write about celebrities and their estate plans it is to point out...more

Delaware Court of Chancery Dismisses Derivative Suit Brought by Expired Trust

The Delaware Court of Chancery recently held that the trustee of an expired trust does not have capacity to pursue a derivative suit unless authorized by state law, or in the trust instrument. In April 2009, shareholders of...more

Florida Court Rejects "Date of Death" Trigger for Escheating Life Insurance Death Benefits Under Florida's Unclaimed Property Act

On August 5, Florida's First District Court of Appeal reversed a ruling issued by Florida's Department of Financial Services ("DFS") that would have triggered an insurer's duty to escheat life insurance benefits under...more

Unclaimed Property: Court Holds Life Insurer’s Escheatment Duties Not Triggered By Insured’s Death

In an opinion filed August 5, 2014, the Florida First District Court of Appeal held that under Florida’s unclaimed property law, life insurance proceeds are not “due and payable,” and the dormancy period does not begin to...more

Give unto Caesar (but not a Dollar More!)-The Benefits and Planning Dexterity of the Charitable Lead Annuity Trust

Overview - I have to admit that I was a pretty good high school Latin student. In fact it may have been my best subject. When I got to West Point, I was in for very rude awakening. Not only did I realize too late that...more

Are Your Beneficiary Designations Heir Tight?

An often-neglected area in the world of benefit plan administration is the beneficiary designation form. Many participants complete their beneficiary designations incorrectly because they don’t read the instructions carefully...more

Affiliate Transfer: Fraudulent Conveyance or Unwinding Resulting Trust?

A chapter 7 trustee sought to set aside as a debtor’s transfer of her interest in property held jointly with her husband to her husband’s corporation as a constructive fraudulent conveyance. The bankruptcy court agreed that...more

Hastings-Bass and Mistake: Should the BVI follow Jersey’s example?

On 25 October 2013 the States of Jersey introduced never before seen statutory provisions which seek to clarify, as a matter of Jersey law, the existence and nature of the Hastings-Bass principle and the doctrine which allows...more

An Inherited IRA And Bankruptcy

In Clark v. Rameker, a case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 12, 2014, the Court ruled that an inherited IRA did not constitute “retirement funds” under the Federal Bankruptcy Code and, therefore, those funds were...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: You own property outside your revocable trust

The primary purpose of a revocable trust — also known as a “living trust” or “inter vivos trust” — is to avoid probate. But, for those who are not diligent about transferring assets to the trust, that purpose may be defeated....more

Timing of judgment creditor's entitled fee petition key to enforcement

In Conservatorship of McQueen the California Supreme Court decided a unique issue concerning the interpretation of Code of Civil Procedure Section 685.040. Under that statute, a judgment creditor is entitled to the reasonable...more

If You Die Intestate (Without A Last Will And Testament), Will Your Same-Sex Spouse Be Considered A “Spouse” For Purposes Of...

Yes. One of the effects of the Whitewood decision is that same-sex spouses are considered a “spouse” for purposes of Pennsylvania’s intestate succession process. A person domiciled in Pennsylvania who dies without a will is...more

Accounting Is Not Only Important - It's Mandatory

Imagine how you would feel if you walked into your bank, asked for a summary of your account activity and the bank told you that it had no idea how much money was in your account or how it had been spent. Of course, this...more

How will the GST tax affect your estate plan?

A new grandparent often considers making a gift to the newest member of the family. However, before taking action, it’s important to understand how the generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax may affect an estate plan. The GST...more

Protecting your real estate assets

When preparing an estate plan, asset protection for real estate is particularly challenging, because it’s the only asset that can’t be moved. Gifting it is one option, but this leaves the property exposed to creditors. This...more

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