News & Analysis as of

Beneficiaries

Medicare's Part B Premium Will Be Unchanged in 2018, But Many Will Pay More. Got That?

The announcement of the 2018 Medicare premium is good news for some beneficiaries and bad news for many others. The good news is that the standard monthly Part B premium, which about 30 percent of Medicare beneficiaries pay,...more

Recent Pennsylvania Superior Court Case Addresses the Messy Business of Divorce, Postnuptial Agreements and Death

A woman who dropped divorce proceedings three days after her husband died is entitled to the proceeds from his insurance policy but cannot claim his pension benefits, according to a recent Pennsylvania Superior Court ruling...more

After a Loved One Passes: Six Important Steps to Know

The days, weeks, and months after the death of a loved one can be emotional and stressful, especially if you are named the executor of your deceased family member or friend’s estate. ...more

Year end is an ideal time to review your estate plan

As of this writing, it’s still anybody’s guess as to whether Congress will enact major tax reform legislation affecting federal gift and estate taxes. This situation casts a large shadow over estate planning at the end of...more

The Dangers and Pitfalls of Transfer On Death and Payable On Death Accounts

Many commentators and clients today voice a concern with avoiding probate. While this blog is not intended to address the desire or merit in avoiding probate, we will highlight some of the potential traps for clients who seek...more

When should you turn down an inheritance?

If a person expects to receive an inheritance from a family member, he or she might choose to use a qualified disclaimer to refuse the bequest. As a result, the assets will bypass their estate and go directly to the next...more

Roger Corman’s Sons Claim Their Mother is Abusing Him to Influence His Estate Plan

The two sons of legendary “B-Movie King” Roger Corman have made it clear through multiple lawsuits that they believe their parents are mismanaging trusts set up to benefit their four children. Allegations made in a recent...more

How To Manage Foreign Trusts With U.S. Beneficiaries

by Carlton Fields on

Do you or did you have a wealthy relative from a different country? Did that relative make you a beneficiary of a non-U.S. trust? Lucky you. But beware that free wealth....more

Situs of Debt Owed under Letters of Credit

Supreme Court of England clarifies terms for enforcement of international arbitral awards in Taurus Petroleum Limited v State Oil Marketing Company of the Ministry of Oil, Republic of Iraq [2017] UKSC 64 - The English...more

Play It Again: No Contest Clauses Must Be Referenced In Each California Trust Amendment

by Downey Brand LLP on

No contest clauses are an ever-evolving area of the probate law in California. The Court of Appeal further refined the rules governing no contest clauses in a decision issued last week, Aviles v. Swearingen (2017) ___...more

5 Considerations in Choosing a Special Needs Trustee

Choosing the right person to serve as trustee of a special needs trust is one of the most important and difficult issues in creating the trust. A trustee typically manages the day-to-day operations of the trust, often making...more

Aiding & Abetting Fiduciary Breach - What is “Knowing Participation” by South Carolina Professionals?

by Nexsen Pruet, PLLC on

The South Carolina Supreme Court recently clarified liability for aiding and abetting a breach of fiduciary duty. In Bennett v. Carter, 2017 WL 5163467, the Supreme Court reversed summary judgment on a claim against lawyers...more

Serving as a trustee: What is the job description?

by Thompson Coburn LLP on

You may have had conversations with family members about whether you would be willing to serve as a trustee of a trust for the children of a family member, particularly in the event that both parents should die while the...more

A Last Will And Testament Can Always Be Changed (Before Death)

It is a fundamental principle of law that a Last Will and Testament duly signed and witnessed is binding on no one until the person who signed the Will dies. That is to say that a person who signs a Will in say January of...more

Pennsylvania Supreme Court Rules Trust Beneficiaries Must Get Court Approval to Remove Trustee

Beneficiaries who want to change a trust’s corporate trustee may have a much harder time under a recent Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision. The state high court held in July that the beneficiaries of a trust need court...more

So You've Been Named as Trustee…Now What?

by Faegre Baker Daniels on

You’ve just discovered that you’ve been named trustee of a trust. Not only are you unsure of whether you should accept, you’re also wondering what exactly the role entails, the types of problems you might face, and whether...more

Undisclosed Foreign Accounts, Part II

by Moskowitz LLP on

The executor of a decedent’s estate has a duty to act in a prudent manner and in accordance with the law. At times, this may result in having to take an unpopular position or action that angers the beneficiaries....more

Are Your U.S. Savings Bonds Still Earning Interest?

by Fraser Trebilcock on

Many U.S. Saving Bonds no longer earn interest. It may be time to cash them in and start making money again. It’s important to find out how much your bonds are worth, and when they will stop earning interest. In addition to...more

A Well-Planned Estate Can Quell Family Squabbles Before They Start

From Esau, who rashly traded his birthright to his twin brother Jacob for a cup of soup, to King Lear’s ill-conceived plan to leave his riches to only two out of three daughters, family dynamics can lead to estate...more

IRS Issues Memo on Missing Participant Search Standards

On October 19th, the IRS released a memorandum titled “Missing Participants and Beneficiaries and Required Minimum Distributions” (the “Memo”) to its plan auditors that provides guidelines for when a plan’s efforts to locate...more

Undue Influence – The Carpenter’s Exception In Will Contests

by Fox Rothschild LLP on

In a proceeding contesting the validity of a will, the proponent of the will only has the burden to establish that the will was executed with the required formalities. The burden then shifts to the contestant to establish...more

Amount PA Employer Can Pay to Surviving Family Increases to $10,000

by Tucker Arensberg, P.C. on

An employer can now pay up to $10,000 of wages, salary, and employee benefits due to a deceased employee to their spouse, child, parent, or sibling (preference in that order) without the appointment of a personal...more

Petition Denied to Remove Wilmington Trust as the Trustee of du Pont Family Trusts

by Morris James LLP on

Wilmington Trust serves as the sole trustee for certain du Pont Family Trusts established in the 1940s and 1950s. For many years, Wilmington Trust was closely associated with the du Pont family, and was managed in part by...more

TN Trust Code Authorizes Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreement: Not Per Se Breach of Duty, but May Not Bind Non-Signatory Beneficiary

by Burr & Forman on

The Tennessee Supreme Court recently held that Tennessee’s Trust Code and broad trust-instruments authorize a Trustee’s execution of a pre-dispute arbitration clause. That isn’t a per se breach of fiduciary duty, but the...more

Spare Your Heirs the Guitar Man’s Fate: Three Tips for an Estate Plan That Silences Arguments Over Family Heirlooms

When Grateful Dead front man Jerry Garcia died in 1995, he left his custom guitars to the man who made them. But Douglas Irwin, who built the guitars known as Eagle, Wolf, Tiger, Wolf Jr. and Rosebud, ran into opposition...more

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