Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Article on The Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: A Primer for Estate Planners

59602861511475746741_YqNfYocymAGerry W. Beyer recently posted an Article entitled, The Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act: A Primer for Estate Planners, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Prudent professionals must address digital assets in all estates they plan or administer. The 2017 Texas Legislature enacted the Texas Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act as Chapter 2001 of the Estates Code which adds clarity to the steps you need to take when planning and administering estates. This article aims to provide the information you need to be well-informed about the cyberspace-estate planning interface.

Special thanks to Robert H. Sitkoff (John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 26, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, September 25, 2017

New Laws Address Access To Clients' Online Accounts After They Die

Digital-assets-online-accountsThe passage and signing of Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act makes New Jersey the 24th state to enact laws affecting the final disposition of an individual’s digital assets. Under the new law, fiduciaries have the same powers to manage digital property as they do tangible property. This applies to estate executors, trustees, court-appointed guardians, and agents granted power of attorney. The ability to handle these assets may entail a duty to handle the assets and attorneys and fiduciaries should be on the alert for clients with digital property.

See Christopher Robbins, New Laws Address Access To Clients' Online Accounts After They Die, Financial Advisor, September 15, 2017.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 25, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Advanced Family Law

0000000 CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Advanced Family Law, which will take place on Thursday, September 28, 2017, at the Holiday Inn Princeton in Princeton, NJ. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Skillfully handle the most challenging family law cases!

Family law is growing increasingly more complex. The potential complications of high-wealth or high-conflict divorce can intimidate some attorneys into shying away from such cases. Do you have the skills to step up to the plate? We've compiled the most confounding and involved issues you're likely to encounter in your practice and put our attorney faculty to the task of demonstrating how to successfully tackle them. Gain from their collective experience - enroll today and sharpen your professional edge!

  • Explore the most difficult areas of family law practice and get solutions from seasoned attorney faculty.
  • Protect the rights of cohabitating couples and clarify the boundaries of such protection in the eyes of the law.
  • Get the latest updates on paternity law in recent court decisions.
  • Protect the victim: stop effects of domestic violence from upsetting the balance of power in divorce proceedings.
  • Effectively dispute false allegations of abuse to help your client fight for custody.
  • Obtain the best settlement for your client by conquering the division of complex assets.
  • Suspect the opposing spouse is hiding assets? Learn how to track them down and include them in the settlement.
  • Get tips on effectively arguing for and against contempt orders.
  • Get new tactics for enforcement, modification and termination of child support and spousal maintenance.
  • Make the best use of forensic accountants and valuation experts to ensure all assets are on deck at the time of settlement.
  • Help clients think ahead: find out how divorce affects estate plans and what new provisions must be made.
  • Safeguard clients from allegations of financial misconduct with timely advice on the consequences of their spending.
  • Understand the unique nuances that arise when helping military clients through a divorce.

Who Should Attend

This advanced level program will benefit:

  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals
  • Guardians Ad Litem and Other Child Representatives
  • Social Workers
  • Counselors

Course Content

  1. Non-Traditional Family Structures and Paternity Disputes
  2. Navigating Complex Asset Cases
  3. Effectively Arguing Contempt Issues
  4. Advanced Child and Spousal Support Issues
  5. Special Issues in Military Divorce
  6. Death and Divorce - Estate Planning Considerations
  7. Ethics
  8. Violence in the Home

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State 
CLE 8.00 -  NJ*
CLE 8.00 -  NY*
CLE 6.50 -  PA*

* denotes specialty credits

September 25, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Why It’s So Hard for Americans to Save for Retirement

Brooks0918HiRes-0312Ted Benna, considered by many to be the father of the 401(k), is still striving to make it easier for ordinary Americans to save for retirement. Despite numerous retirement options available to the average worker, many reach retirement age with savings that are not capable of providing them with necessary levels of support. Benna, now 75, recently released a guide to help small businesses by pointing out viable retirement and investment vehicles for employees that manage to keep costs and liabilities low. His efforts have even influenced Congress; House Republicans are currently considering reforms that would allow 401(k) investment funds to be taxed up front as opposed to when they are withdrawn for retirement.

See Jonnelle Marte, Why It’s So Hard for Americans to Save for Retirement, The Washington Post, September 15, 2017.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 25, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Jerry Lewis Excludes His Six Sons from His Will

La-et-jerry-lewis-pictures-015Jerry Lewis, who passed away in August at age 91, has apparently excluded his six sons and his first wife, Patti Palmer, from inheriting as beneficiaries from his estate. The pertinent portion of the will reads: “I have intentionally excluded Gary Lewis, Ronald Lewis, Anthony Joseph Lewis, Christopher Joseph Lewis, Scott Anthony Lewis, and Joseph Christopher Lewis and their descendants as beneficiaries of my estate, it being my intention that they shall receive no benefits hereunder.” Lewis’s second wife, SanDee, and adopted daughter, Danielle, are purportedly the only beneficiaries that will inherit under the will.

See Nardine Saad, Jerry Lewis Excludes His Six Sons from His Will, Los Angeles Times, September 22, 2017.

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 25, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Alan Thicke’s Widow Scores Court Win Against Sons…for Now

0914-tanya-thicke-robin-thicke-tmz-getty-3Tanya Callau, Alan Thicke’s widow, won a brief victory in court over Thicke’s sons, Robin and Brennan. The boys originally alleged that Callau was preparing to challenge the prenuptial agreement she had signed with Thicke, and they petitioned the court to stop her. Callau claimed that she had no such intention and that Thicke’s sons were trying to smear her in the media and to make it seem as though she was only after money. The judge sided with Callau, holding that there was no apparent intent on her part to challenge the premarital agreement.

See Alan Thicke’s Widow Scores Court Win Against Sons…for Now, TMZ, September 14, 2017.

Special thanks to Molly Neace, J.D., for bringing this article to my attention.

September 24, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on The Comments to the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act Relating to Self-Settled Spendthrift Trusts are Correct

17.03.InSideBACRIM.MoneyKenneth C. Kettering recently posted an Article entitled, The Comments to the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act Relating to Self-Settled Spendthrift Trusts are Correct, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The comments to the Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (formerly named the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act), originally written in 1984, were refreshed in connection with the 2014 amendments. The comments make reference to the unanimous body of cases holding that a transfer by a debtor to a spendthrift trust for the debtor’s own benefit — i.e., an asset protection trust — is a fraudulent transfer. Vendors of asset protection trusts are seeking to suppress those comments. The arguments they advance for suppression of those comments have no merit at all.

Special thanks to Robert H. Sitkoff (John L. Gray Professor of Law, Harvard Law School) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 24, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Hurricanes, Displacement and the Effect on Domicile

Hurricane-harvey-flooding-ap-17239709388422Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have cut a devastating swath of large-scale destruction through both Texas and Florida over the past few weeks. While stories of tremendous courage and breath-taking heroism shed light on the more admirable qualities seen in human nature, the overall tale remains one of mass evacuations and terrible property loss. The fortunate few that were able to evacuate to winter or vacation homes may have avoided the worst of the storms, but those who fled to the safer harbors of Connecticut may have another problem: the Connecticut estate tax. The move, though intended to be temporary, may affect these individuals’ domicile planning for the purpose of estate taxes. For those in this situation, it is important to keep all pertinent records and to contact your estate-planning professional.

See Lisa P. Staron, Hurricanes, Displacement and the Effect on Domicile, The National Law Review, September 20, 2017.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 23, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Elder Law and Medicaid Planning: Everything You Need to Know

0000000 CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Elder Law and Medicaid Planning: Everything You Need to Know, which will take place on Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Hilton Garden Inn Rochester Downtown in Rochester, NY. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Everything You Need to Know to Represent Elderly Clients

Rising medical costs, health insurance changes, looming Social Security Fund depletion and baby boomers' retirement have intensified concerns over long-term care funding. Are you doing everything you can to help each client develop a comprehensive plan to ensure proper quality of life in the golden years? Join our expert faculty for two days of intensive study on planning and coordinating government benefits, and emerge better prepared to face the challenges of today's Medicaid and elder law practice. Register today!

  • Get two full days of estate planning training, so you can help clients protect assets and qualify for continuing care benefits.
  • Review medical and financial Medicaid eligibility criteria in detail.
  • Explore new continuing care options that allow for more independence.
  • Find new LTC funding sources to help clients maintain the quality of life they're used to.
  • Get solutions to real-life ethical dilemmas often faced in elder law practice.
  • Plan for the tax consequences of asset transfers on spenddown requirement compliance.
  • Minimize Medicaid estate recovery through intricate understanding of the process.
  • Make better use of special needs trusts.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level two-day seminar is designed for:

  • Attorneys
  • Estate and Financial Planners
  • Trust Officers
  • Paralegals
  • Accountants
  • Tax Preparers
  • Nursing Home Administrators

Course Content

DAY 1

  1. Medicaid Benefits and Eligibility Rules
  2. Preserving Family Assets When Qualifying for Medicaid
  3. Medical and End-of-Life Decisions
  4. Medicaid Application Procedure and Tactics
  5. Ethical Dilemmas

DAY 2

  1. Long-Term Care Planning: Types, Cost, and Funding Options
  2. Tax Considerations
  3. Powers of Attorney
  4. Special Needs Trusts: Creation, Taxation, Administration
  5. Medicaid Post-Eligibility Issues

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State 
CLE 14.40 -  NJ*
CLE 14.00 -  NY*
CLE 12.00 -  PA*

Continuing Professional Education for Accountants – CPE for Accountants: 14.00 *

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants/NASBA: 14.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

September 23, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, September 22, 2017

Frank Vincent's Body Cremated for Presentation at Memorial Service

0915-frank-vincent-getty-7Frank Vincent, a star of “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas”, died last Wednesday during open-heart surgery due to complications. The body was transported to a funeral home in Montclair, New Jersey where it was cremated. The memorial service will feature Vincent’s ashes in an urn surrounded by phots of the actor at various stages of his life.

See Frank Vincent's Body Cremated for Presentation at Memorial Service, TMZ, September 15, 2017.

September 22, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)