Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, November 27, 2015

National Association Of Estate Planners & Councils Inducts Turney Berry Into Hall Of Fame

Turney_BerryTurney P. Berry has recently been one of only five estate planning professionals elected into the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils Hall of Fame for 2015. “Mr. Berry concentrates his practice in the areas of estate and business planning, estate and trust administration, and charitable giving.” He was regent of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and was also President of the ACTEC Foundation. Mr. Berry is currently the State Chair for Kentucky and Vice Chair and member of the Estate and Gift Tax Committee in the ACTEC Foundation.

Mr. Berry is a member of the Advisory Council of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, and is Vice Chair of Charitable Planning for the American Bar Association’s Taxation and Real Property, and Probate & Trust Law Sections. Along with that he serves on several committees for the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws, as well as the Advisory Board for Trusts & Estates. Being AV rated in Martindale-Hubbell, he “has been recognized in Woodward/White’s The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Trusts & Estates and Litigation – Trusts & Estates for the past 20 years, and was named Best Lawyers® Trusts & Estates “Lawyer of the Year” in Louisville for 2014.”

See Turney Berry Elected Into the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils Hall of Fame, Wyatt Tarrant & Combs LLP, November 23, 2015.

November 27, 2015 in Appointments and Honors, Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Basic Information On Discretionary Trusts

Golden eggsThere has been an increasing amount of popularity for Domestic Asset Protection Trusts in various jurisdictions. Thirteen States have adopted some type of asset protection trust scheme since Alaska became the first on April 2, 1997. There is very little legal and regulatory uniformity in these different jurisdiction which can create complex estate planning issues for people that have property in different states. This column discusses the protections for creditors that are afforded under New York Law. To get more information on discretionary trusts people should set up a meeting with an estate planning professional.

See Ettinger Law Firm, Discretionary Trusts, New York Estate Planning Attorney Blog, November 24, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

November 27, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Professor Gerry W. Beyer Receives Prestigious Estate Planning Award

Gerry beyerTexas Tech University School of Law Professor Gerry W. Beyer has recently been awarded the Accredited Estate Planner Distinguished Designation for 2015 at the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils annual conference. While receiving the prestigious estate planning award Professor Beyer was also inducted into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame. The Preston E. Smith regents professor at Texas Tech School of Law was one of five estate planners that was awarded this honor which recognizes lifetime achievements and contributions to the estate planning profession. Professor Beyer has been with Texas Tech since 2005 and also runs the first-ranked estate planning blog in the United States that is also the 21st most popular legal blog in the nation.

See Karen Michael, Texas Tech law professor awarded for estate planning, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, November 25, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for noticing this article.

Please note that I did not post this blog entry.  Instead, one of my very kind and eager blog assistants did so on his own volition.

November 27, 2015 in Appointments and Honors, Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Some Tips When Faced With An Estate Sale

Estate SaleAn estate sale is a near universal sign of distressing times. The task of taking a lifetime of memories and commoditizing them for sale is often left to a 3rd party that will manage the sale for a fee. When choosing the estate sale manager, the first step should be to consult with people you know for references, especially from estate planners who will likely have connections to reputable managers. Once a few names are collected, make sure to do some basic research including checking out reputation online and contacting previous customers to hear their experience. In addition, find out the fee that will be charged, be it flat or commission based, and make sure that it covers all expenses in order to avoid unexpected chargers that can arise post sale. In the end, finding an estate sale manager, while an important task, does not have to be unduly stressful as long basic preparation is performed and patience is had when searching for the best person for the job.

See, Reduce The Stress of Conducting An Estate Sale, Idaho Estate Planning, November, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

November 27, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Special End Of Year Sale On Excellent Estate Planning Guides

ArticleThe American Bar Association is having a sale on the books of estate planning guru Seymour Goldberg until the end of the year. Mr. Goldberg is the chair of the Estate and Financial Planning Committee of the Suffolk Chapter of the New York State Society of CPAs and is both a CLE and CPE instructor. In addition, he was the author of an Amicus Brief in the landmark 2014 inherited IRA opinion of the Supreme Court of the United States in Clark v. Rameker. Take this opportunity to get some of the best books available on the subject at a great price! More information about his books and the special discount code can be found here.

November 27, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article On Posthumously Conceived Child's Inheritance Rights

WillsHeather LaCount (Suffolk University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Dead money: a posthumously conceived child's inheritance rights under the Social Security Act & state intestacy law, 20 Suffolk J. Trial & App. Advoc. 219-252 (2015). Provided below is an an excerpt from the article:

Jack was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukemia. Doctors advised Jack to undergo chemotherapy immediately but indicated he was at a high risk of becoming infertile. Knowing they wanted to have children together someday, Jack and Jill had Jack's sperm frozen and stored in a sperm bank.

Despite aggressive treatment, Jack's prognosis was poor and it was obvious death was impending. The only solace Jack had in his final days was his belief Jill would use his frozen sperm to conceive a child after he died with assisted reproductive technology. Eventually, Jack died at the tender age of twenty six.

Eighteen months after Jack's death, Jill gave birth to twin girls conceived using Jack's frozen sperm. Genetically, the twin girls are Jack's children. Are the twins entitled to receive benefits through Jack from the Social Security Administration? Are the twins entitled to inherit from Jack under intestate succession?

November 27, 2015 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE On The Building Blocks of Wills, Estates and Probate

CLEThe Real Estate, Probate & Trust Law Section of the State Bar of Texas is sponsoring a CLE entitled Building Blocks of Wills Estates and Probate 2016 which will take place on Friday, January 29, 2016 from 8:30AM to 4:45PM central time, online. Here are some details about the event:

New and experienced attorneys alike with an interest in starting or developing their estate planning and probate practice will find this year's live webcast useful to their practice. Our distinguished group of speakers who are experts in their field, will discuss the best solutions to many of the legal issues and practical problems that practitioners in this area will encounter daily.They will answer any questions you email in during the live webcast. Also, invaluable reference materials are included that will keep you and your practice current on the basics of estate planning, probate, Medicaid and practice management.

If you are unable to watch the live webcast on January 29th, video replays will be held in various cities in February and March, with a webcast replay on March 9th. The entire seminar will be archived later as an online class available on demand.

November 27, 2015 in Conferences & CLE, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Will More Americans Be Able To Work Into Their 70s?

Senior workingThere are an increasing number of Americans that are delaying their retirement and continuing to work into their 70s. This article discusses many of the concerns senior citizens have about the impact that work will have on their health. A growing number of baby boomers are expressing concerns about the wear and tear that working into their 70s will have on their bodies. This article presents statistical data and resources that show how education and other socioeconomic factors can impact the percentage of seniors with disabilities. As the average life expectancy continues to increase and more people enter into their retirement years society is going to have to make policy adjustments to adapt to the changes.

See Chris Farrell, Will You Really Be Able to Work Into Your 70s?, Next Avenue, November 25, 2015.

November 26, 2015 in Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0)

Reducing The Income Tax Bill Of A Trust

Trust estateThere are many estate tax planning benefits that trusts can provide. Some trusts even provide income tax benefits as well, and by reducing income tax people can be able to preserve more wealth for their heirs. The U.S. Tax Court ruled last year that a trust is able to “materially participate” in business activities for the purposes of passive activity loss (PAL) rules, and as a result creating income tax benefits by allowing more deductions for many trusts. “The PAL rules prevent taxpayers from deducting losses generated by “passive” business activities against “non-passive” income, such as wages and portfolio interest and dividends.” When it comes to determining what it means for a trust to materially participate in a business the definition of “materially” can become unclear. “The Tax Court disagreed with the IRS that a trust cannot materially participate in a business or qualify as a real estate professional.” This Tax Court ruling discussed in this article is another reason why it is important for people to update their estate plans.

See Tom Kosinski, Can You Reduce Your Trust's Income Tax Bill?, Orba Blog, November 18, 2015.

November 26, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Planning Advice For Managing An Inheritance

Golden eggsWhen a person receives an unexpected inheritance there are estate planning steps that they need to take. There are about a third of Americans that will receive an inheritance within their lifetime and the average beneficiary will lose half of it through bad spending decisions. A person receiving an inheritance should get the assistance of a “financial advisor, a tax professional and an estate-planning attorney.” It is important for a person to be able to factor in their individual lifestyle and circumstances to plan how they are going to spend their inheritance. People should calculate how they are going to make their nest egg last and plan what type of things they might enjoy spending the assets on.

See Judy Martel, Planning for Inheritance: 4 Ways To Handle A Windfall, Forbes, November 6, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

November 26, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)