Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Dying with Debt

Average debtYour debts may die with you, but that does not mean those you love will not be affected by it. The type of debt, where you live, and the value of your estate all affect the complexity of debt at death. There are several ways to make sure that debt does not make a complete mess of your estate, such as consistently reviewing your debt, considering life insurance, and meeting with an estate planning attorney. So, if you would like to provide for your loved ones after your death, you should not let poor planning get in your way and create a plan that allows them to relish in your legacy.

See Christine DiGangi, Americans Are Dying with an Average of $62K of Debt, Fox Business, March 21, 2017.

March 23, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on a Blueprint for FLPing

FlpPhyllis Taite recently published an Article entitled, Estate of Purdue: A Blueprint for FLPing, 154 Tax Notes (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

In this article, Taite examines Estate of Purdue, in which the Tax Court held that assets of the decedent that were transferred to the family limited liability company were not includable in the gross estate, that transfers to the family trust qualified for an annual exclusion, and that the estate could deduct interest on loans from the estate’s beneficiaries.

March 23, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Judge Allows Wife to Undergo IVF with Dead Husband's Sperm

IvfA Barcelona judge is allowing a woman to use her dead husband’s sperm to undergo in vitro fertilization. The prosecution argued against the ruling, stating that it was not possible to obtain her late husband’s consent—a moral argument, not a legal one. The couple started the process back in 2014, when the husband froze his sperm before undergoing an aggressive cancer treatment that potentially would make him sterile. One day before the cancer took the man’s life, the couple got married in the hospital. In the year proceeding, the woman tried to get pregnant four times, but Spanish law only permits the use of genetic material from a deceased person for twelve months after their death. With this ruling, the woman intends to make the most of her husband’s legacy.

See Judge Allows Woman to Undergo In Vitro Fertilization with Dead Husband’s Sperm, Fox News, March 23, 2017.

March 23, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Non-Recognition Provisions in the Income Tax

Income taxJames R. Repetti recently published an Article entitled, Taft v. Bowers: The Foundation for Non-Recognition Provisions in the Income Tax, 42 ACTEC L.J. (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Taft v. Bowers is a Supreme Court decision that is rarely studied in law schools or discussed by scholars. Yet, it is a case of vast significance. In the Taft decision, the Supreme Court confirmed that Congress may create non-recognition exceptions to the income tax that merely defer the recognition of income, rather than permanently exclude it. If the Taft case had been decided differently, it is likely that the number of non-recognition provisions in the Internal Revenue Code ("Code") would be significantly reduced.

March 23, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Article on Shifting Revenue to State & Local Governments

State and local govAlyssa A. DiRusso recently published an Article entitled, Wealth Management Planning to Shift Revenue to State and Local Governments, 31 Probate & Property 46 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

With Donald Trump elected president, a new group of clients may have more allegiance to their state and more belief that the state will manage its budget wisely or in accordance with their political preferences than they have with respect to their federal government. Election aside, for a variety of reasons, individuals may believe in funding state and local government bodies over allocating funds to the federal government. Some Americans have become disillusioned with national government leaders or bureaucracy. Some view state or local government as a preferable situs of power and a more accurate representation of the views harbored by its electorate. Certain individuals may even prefer that their state secede and form an independent nation, such as those behind the Calexit movement. Whatever their reasons, a fair number of clients may prefer funding their state or local government over remitting funds to Washington.

Lawyers, however, have not commonly counseled their wealth management clients on the tax-efficient methods permitted by the Internal Revenue Code that allow for the reallocation of funds from the federal government to the state or local level. Clients with estates subject to the estate tax may zero-out their federal estate tax bill entirely by allocating funds to the state or local government of the client’s choice. Furthermore, transfers made to state or local government during life are eligible for an individual income tax deduction, meaning any such transfers are offset and effectively subsidized by the federal government.

March 22, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Tools for Elder Financial Abuse Are on the Rise

Elder financial abuse2Artificial intelligence, data, and virtual reality may become future tools for elder financial abuse. In the age of technology, elders rely on direct mail and telephone solicitation to become familiar with non-profits and give to charity, which means charity scammers can still easily defraud them. Further, with these new options, fraudsters will have intimate knowledge on how to appeal to the emotional triggers of elders. The potential for manipulation is huge.

See Ted Knutson, Al, Big Data May Become Tools for Elder Financial Abuse, Financial Advisor, March 22, 2017.

March 22, 2017 in Current Events, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on New IRS Estate Tax Lien Requirements

Estate tax lien1Shaina S. Kamen & Michael S. Schwartz recently published an Article entitled, New IRS Release of Estate Tax Lien Requirements: The Sale of Homes or Apartments by an Estate Just Became a Little More Complicated, 31 Probate & Property 21 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The sale of a house or apartment can be very stressful for any prospective seller. Even with the help of a good broker or real estate attorney, the time and expense associated with a potential sale can seem daunting. This is especially true in the context of a sale of residential real estate by an estate, in which additional legal requirements may need to be satisfied to complete the sale.

New IRS rules have added further complexity to the already difficult sales process. In particular, before a Release of Lien will be issued, an estate must comply with new requirements designed to ensure the collectability of any federal estate tax that the estate may owe. These new rules could have a significant effect on the ability of an estate to sell real property or an interest in a cooperative apartment.

March 22, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Marilyn Monroe's Intimate Pictures Hit the Auction Block

MmonroeA substantial collection of photos of the late Marilyn Monroe that chart the icon’s transformation are going up for sale. From a shy Norma Jean Baker to her final moments as a screen siren, more than 100 photos capture her journey. The images include promotional shots from Niagara in 1952, photos from her visit to the Korean troops in 1954, and photos with her husband in 1960. Additionally, there are thirty-three photos of Monroe taken just weeks before the legend’s untimely death. The photos are suspected to sell for $90,000.

See Ekin Karasin, The World’s Last Glimpse of Marilyn: Star’s Final Photoshoot Is Among Trove of Classic Monroe Images Going Up for Auction, Daily Mail, March 21, 2017.

March 22, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Film | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Article on Nonjudicial Settlement Agreements

NjsaLinda Kotis recently published an Article entitled, Nonjudicial Settlement Agreements: Your Irrevocable Trust Is Not Set in Stone, 31 Probate & Property 32 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

A nonjudicial settlement agreement (NJSA) is a valuable tool for modifying trusts and addressing the construction of provisions when a trust is silent or unclear. It also can be used to resolve beneficiary and trustee disputes. Through an overview of the new Maryland law and a discussion of the ways in which NJSAs have been used and interpreted in other jurisdictions, this article will give the practitioner an understanding of the advantages and challenges presented by such agreements.

March 21, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Bataan Death March Memorial Draws in Record-Breaking Crowds

Bataan death march The 75th anniversary of the Bataan Death March drew in record crowds of 7,200 retired and active-duty military personnel and civilians, who were honoring the victims of World War II. Participants gathered to trek the 26.2-mile course, which represents the 65 miles many American and Filipino service members were forced to walk without food and water during the war. For many who attended, the March was an opportunity to shake the hands of the eight survivors in attendance and pay their respects to the many service members who lost their lives.

See Jennifer G. Hickey, Bataan Death March Memorialized with Record-Setting Crowd, Fox News, March 21, 2017.

March 21, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)