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

Wimpy’s Investment Strategy for Foreign Real Estate Investors - Real Estate Deferral Options for Foreign Investors beyond the 1031...

Overview - I did not grow up watching much TV, or at least TV programming in English, growing up in the Panama Canal Zone. The Military’s AFRTS did not come on the air each day until around 4;30 in the afternoon. In the...more

Domestic Partnership Agreements: The Home and Joint Expenses

Partners may acquire a home together, and they may contribute different amounts toward the purchase price. During their relationship, they may contribute different amounts toward improvements, the mortgage, insurance, and...more

Personal Planning Strategies - July 2015

Income Tax Considerations of Estate Planning Are More Important Than Ever - Gifting assets during life will reduce the size of your taxable estate at death and, correspondingly, reduce your estate tax liability. But with...more

Business Succession Planning in the Current Tax Environment

Business succession planning in the current tax environment may require an adjustment in thinking from traditional planning. Traditional planning usually attempts to transfer ownership of the business to the next owner (often...more

Appointing Legacy Contacts for Facebook

Earlier this year (Feb. 2015), Facebook announced a new feature that allows Facebook users to designate a legacy contact to manage their Facebook account when they pass away. According to facebook.com, a legacy contact is,...more

Estate Tax Portability: Panacea or Potential Peril?

In 2013, Congress made the estate tax portability rules permanent. Some predicted this would negate the need for advanced estate planning, but two years later, it is clear that portability is not a panacea even for smaller...more

The Effect of Obergefell v. Hodges for Same-Sex Couples

issued on the second-to-last decision day of the term, and provides that same-sex couples have had a constitutional right to marry since at least the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling may come as a surprise to...more

Trustee Duties are Not for the Faint of Heart

One of the most important and farthest-reaching decisions involved in the creation of a trust is the naming of a trustee. It may seem simple enough at the outset to choose either oneself or a family member in place of a...more

Uniform Law Commission Completes First Reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act

On Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at their Annual Meeting the Uniform Law Commission (ULC) completed their first reading of the Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act (RUUPA or the Act). While over half of the sections comprising...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

More UK Residential Property for the IHT Net

The headline-grabbing inheritance tax (IHT) news from last week’s Budget was the introduction, from April 2017, of an additional nil rate band when a residence is passed on death to direct descendants. However this is only...more

New Developments in Estate and Gift Tax Valuation Cases

A number of recent cases highlight particular issues in valuation of assets for purposes of the estate and gift tax. On July 6, 2015, the Internal Revenue Service settled Estate of Davidson v. Commissioner, T.C. Docket No....more

Connecticut Budget Set To Impact The State's Highest Earners

Governor Dannel Malloy recently signed a budget package, retroactive to January 1st of this year, which increases the income tax rate for the state's highest earners and makes some notable changes to estate taxes and probate...more

New York State Department of Taxation and Finance To Disregard Single-Member LLC Interests for New York Estate Tax

In a recent New York State Advisory Opinion, the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance advised that a federal income tax entity classification election could impact whether property held by a nonresident through a...more

How Far Back Can a Back Tax Go? Petition for Certiorari in Hambleton Asks Supreme Court to Right Unjust Retroactivity

Retroactivity is an endemic problem in the state tax world. In this year alone, we have seen retroactive repeal of the Multistate Tax Compact (MTC) in Michigan, as well as significant retroactivity issues in New York, New...more

The ABLE Act

Although the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (or ABLE Act) was signed into law on December 19, 2014, many states have been waiting to offer ABLE accounts authorized by the Act until the IRS published regulations. The...more

Family Limited Partnerships: Are Discounts Disappearing?

“Family limited partnerships” – that is, family investment entities usually structured as LLCs or limited partnerships – have been a popular estate planning technique for years. Generally speaking, a client can transfer...more

Lost Wills: What To Do When The Original Can’t Be Found

Virginia law requires that an original will be probated (as opposed to a copy). Occasionally, this poses a problem as no one can locate the original will. In those instances, Virginia law provides that a proponent of a...more

U.S. Supreme Court Strikes Down State Laws Banning Same-Sex Marriage - Same-Sex Couples Should Review Their Estate Planning...

The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, 135 S.Ct. 1039 (June 26, 2015),answered definitively the lingering questions following the Court’s decision last year in Windsor about whether states could...more

Valuation Discounts at Risk

Yogi Berra used to say, “A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.” But a dime may be worth a nickel ... at least for the time being. Valuing interests in family-controlled entities is a challenging process, and an area where...more

A Nationwide Right: Same-Sex Marriage Legalized in a Monumental Decision and its Impact on Estate Planning

June 26, 2015. A date that will undoubtedly be added to our history books and remembered for generations. This is because on this day, the Supreme Court of the United States guaranteed the right to same-sex marriage...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 Beneficiary Designations After Divorce or Annulment

The Florida Fourth District Court of Appeal held, with a few exceptions, upon entry of a final judgment of dissolution or annulment, any provision of a will that “affects” a former spouse is void under section 732.507(2),...more

How Do an Estate's Debts Get Paid?

An executor is the person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased person's estate. One of the executor's main jobs is to pay people or institutions to whom the estate owes money -- the estate's creditors....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

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