News & Analysis as of

Family Law Wills, Trusts, & Estate Planning

Read Family Law updates, news, and legal commentary from leading lawyers and law firms:

Legislative Update: New Vulnerable Persons and POA Statutes

by Winstead PC on

On October 26, 2017, David F. Johnson presented “Legislative Update Impacting Fiduciaries,” to the Texas Bankers Association’s Advanced Trust & Portfolio Management Forum in San Antonio, Texas. This presentation discussed new...more

Estate Planning & Family Law: How To Protect Your Assets For Future Generations

Norma Stanley and Derren Ciaglia explain the similarities of estate planning and family law, and give some examples of how to protect your assets in complicated planning matters....more

Planning ahead after a divorce

For those in the middle of a divorce, the last thing on their mind is a review of their estate plan. However, a major life change, such as a divorce, is a critical time to update an estate plan so that wishes are carried out...more

Ferri v. Powell-Ferri: A trust decanting decision that is less than meets the eye (Part II)

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Supreme Court of Connecticut (SCC) certified three trust-decanting questions of law to the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts (SJC) incident to a divorce proceeding. On March 20, 2017, the SJC rendered its answers to...more

Edith Windsor: Saying Farewell to a Brave Woman

by Bowditch & Dewey on

In law school, I wrote papers on the tax consequences of death and divorce for same-sex married couples. The conclusions I drew in those academic exercises included advising same-sex married couples to plan for tragedy well...more

Court Reverses Finding of Undue Influence

by Bryan Cave on

Undue influence occurs when a person’s free will is overpowered and replaced by the will of another. In Missouri, a finding of undue influence generally requires the person who exerted influence to have been in a position of...more

Does a removed trustee have a duty to see to it that the fiduciary reins are assumed by a qualified successor?

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

A removed trustee retains myriad residual fiduciary duties and liabilities. The most obvious is the duty not to betray the confidences of the entrustment going forward. Less self-evident is the removed trustee’s residual...more

Who Determines How to Celebrate Your Life and the Disposition of You When You Die?

An often-overlooked step in the estate planning process is determining how you want the world to celebrate your life and determining your final resting place. If not addressed, conflict may occur because different loved ones...more

Trust Protectors, Trust Directors, and the Uniform Directed Trust Act

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

The Uniform Directed Trust Act (the “Act”), approved July 19, 2017 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, purports to govern irrevocable directed trusts. For purposes of the Act a directed trust is...more

Need Another Reason To Avoid Mixing Family & Finances?

by Bryan Cave on

You have a big heart and a little bit of money. You want to help out a cash-strapped family member, and – “because you’re family” – you don’t put down how much you’ll loan or how it’ll be paid back. ...more

Appellate Court Notes

by Pullman & Comley, LLC on

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19577 - Estate of Brooks v. Commissioner of Revenue Services - Husband died in Florida in 2000 and left a large amount of securities in two QTIP trusts for the benefit of his...more

Who Do You Want To Be Your Voice for Medical Matters?

by Pessin Katz Law, P.A. on

In the recently completed legislative session, a bill was passed to revoke the ability of certain individuals to serve as an Agent under a Medical Directive. A Healthcare Directive informs your health care provider about your...more

May a vindicated trustee be reimbursed personally from the trust estate even for those defense costs that were covered by his...

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

As to whether the vindicated trustee’s claim against the trust estate for defense counsel’s fees should be offset by payments made to defense counsel by the trustee’s personal liability insurance carrier, at least one court...more

Estate Planning and Prenuptial Agreements: Tax Implications of Alimony

by McNair Law Firm, P.A. on

When contemplating marriage and estate planning, frequently, individuals will enter into prenuptial (premarital) agreements to address their rights and obligations during the marriage and in the event of a divorce or death. A...more

Estate planning during divorce: It’s never too early to start

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

Estate plans prepared for married couples will vary in complexity and detail but generally follow the same theme: The revocable trust or will typically provides that upon the death of the first spouse, the surviving spouse...more

Guardians Should Guard Against Claims Of Undue Influence

by Bryan Cave on

A guardian‘s job requires that the guardian be involved in the affairs of the ward. In turn, the ward likely is going to be dependent on and trust the guardian. Chances are – because Georgia sets an order of preference for...more

How Does Remarriage Impact Wills and Inheritances?

Divorce and remarriage are common in the United States, and most legal professionals place these issues squarely within the family law realm. However, people who remarry should also carefully revisit their estate plan...more

More on Transfer Tax Issues Post Windsor and the Legalization of Same-Sex Marriage

by Bryan Cave on

In a recent Notice, the Internal Revenue Service set forth some administrative procedures helping taxpayers recalculate gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption with respect to gifts and bequests made to or for the...more

Wealth Management Update - May 2017

by Proskauer Rose LLP on

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

Litigation rules under Dutch law statements of insanity must be proven by claimant (Dutch)

by Dentons on

The executor (notary q.q.) under fire. Whoever makes the mental disorder proves! Erflatster (at the time 88), in 2005, testified her substitute (A) as an executor and assigned him an amount equal to 20% of her estate. The...more

Court Holds That Family Member Did Not Owe Fiduciary Duties To Other Family Member

by Winstead PC on

In Walker v. Walker, a son sued his father and brother regarding the ownership of a beach house. No. 14-16-00357-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2742 (Tex. App.—Houston [14th Dist.] March 30, 2017, no pet. history). ...more

If You Expect to Work in the Family-Owned Business for Life, Be Sure to Get It in Writing

by Murtha Cullina on

Family-owned businesses often employ multiple family members. Even if there is an expectation that employment will continue indefinitely, the company and the family member employees both usually reserve the right, explicitly...more

Waiver Of Year’s Support Through Post-Nuptial Agreement

by Bryan Cave on

Divorce should put an early end to the marriage vow of “’til death does us part.” But, when it comes to estate disputes, neither divorce nor death can part the path to the courthouse. ...more

Allowing in parol evidence as to a trust-settlor's intent: Construing trust terms versus reforming them

by Charles E. Rounds, Jr. on

In the Missouri case of Mense v. Rennick, 491 S.W.3d 661 (Mo. App. 2016), the testimony of the settlor-beneficiary of an irrevocable trust as to what she had intended was not allowed in, the court having determined that the...more

Court Affirms Sanctions Order Against Fiduciary Due To Discovery Abuses

by Winstead PC on

In Eng v. Kolbe, a mother sued her daughter for abusing a power of attorney document. No. 03-15-00409-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 2680 (Tex. App.—Austin March 30, 2017). The daughter was assisting her aging parents with their...more

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