Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

What Your Kids Can Do When They Inherit Your Retirement Accounts

DownloadSpouses are usually the intended beneficiary of most retirement accounts. Eventually though, these accounts may be left to a non-spouse beneficiary. If a child inherits one of these accounts from a parent, there are a number of distribution options available to them. They may receive a lump sum, access funds at their leisure as long as the account is empty by the fifth tax year after their parent’s demise, or stretch distributions over their own life expectancy. If the stretch option is chosen, the beneficiary must receive the first distribution by December 31st of the year in which their parent passed away. The benefit of the stretch option is that funds may be left in account to grow as long as the child receives the minimum required distributions each year.

See Dan Moisand, What Your Kids Can Do When They Inherit Your Retirement Accounts, MarketWatch, September 9, 2017.

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

November 22, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

ACTEC 2017 Fall Meeting Musings

LogoSteve Akers wrote a summary of his observations while attending the 2017 ACTEC Fall Meeting. Provided below is his introduction to the material:

Some of my observations from the 2017 ACTEC Fall Meeting Seminars in Nashville, Tennessee on October 20-21, 2017 are summarized below. (At the request of ACTEC, the summary does not include any discussions at Committee meetings.) This summary does not contain all of the excellent information from the seminars, but merely selected issues. The summary is based on the presentations at the seminars, but the specific speakers making particular comments typically are not identified.

Special thanks to Scott M. Deke for bringing this information to my attention.

November 22, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility, Technology, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Blue States Practice the Family Values Red States Preach

19kristof-master768Nicholas Kristof recently wrote an article comparing red and blue states and their actual adherence to traditional family values. He notes that blue states tend to have lower teen pregnancy rates, divorce rates, and levels of prostitution. This result would appear counterintuitive given that many in red states openly proclaim their belief in the traditional family structure. Though liberal families may be first inclined to gloat, Kristof notes that they may be somewhat hypocritical in their own lives as well: “Liberals, in other words, may be wary of strict moral codes, but they want to make damn sure that their own kids don’t have babies while in high school. It helps that they believe in comprehensive sex education and reliable birth control.”

See Nicholas Kristof, Blue States Practice the Family Values Red States Preach, The New York Times, November 18, 2017.

November 22, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Getting Out of Joint: Some Jurisdictions Make It Difficult and Costly to Get Money from Joint Accounts

Examples-liquid-assets_8031efb9a60af2d0Alexander A. Bove Jr. & Molly R. Soiffer recently published an Article entitled, Getting Out of Joint: Some Jurisdictions Make It Difficult and Costly to Get Money from Joint Accounts, Trusts & Trustees, Vol. 23, Issue 2, April 2017.

By far, the joint bank account is the most common way for married couples and other close relatives to keep their liquid funds accessible to each other during their lives, and for many, on death as well. It is commonly understood in a number of jurisdictions that on the death of one of the joint owners, the survivor may freely access the balance in the account. Unfortunately, this is not the case in many jurisdictions around the world. In the latter group of jurisdictions, the survivor may be required to undertake court or other administrative action or to answer to other relatives of the deceased joint owner before gaining access to funds. Accordingly, it would be helpful for advisors who engage in cross-border planning to be aware of the rules in other jurisdictions. This discussion covers such rules in 17 of the more common jurisdictions.

 

November 22, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Estate Planning For The Ultra Wealthy - The Role Of A Family Wealth Advisor

000Affluent families often hire and employ various specialists to help them better manage their wealth. These individuals are often attorneys, CPAs, brokers, investment managers, etc. With so many highly specialized employees overseeing a particularized area, important matters can get lost in the murky spaces nestled between spheres of responsibility. To combat this issue, wealthy families may benefit from hiring a sophisticated family wealth advisor to take charge of the estate. A well-rounded and competent wealth advisor can create a sense of cohesion and unity between professionals who labor in relative confinement.

See Bingham C. Jamison, Estate Planning For The Ultra Wealthy - The Role Of A Family Wealth Advisor, Forbes, August 29, 2017.

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

November 21, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on A Colonial History of the River Murray Dispute

Ancient-CliffsAdam Webster recently posted an Article entitled, A Colonial History of the River Murray Dispute, Legal History eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

This article examines the history of the dispute over the sharing of the waters of the River Murray between the colonies, with particular emphasis on the period from the mid-1880s to the mid-1890s. The article shows that the change in water use by the colonies during this period had a significant impact on the question of how the water should be shared between the colonies. The article examines the early legal arguments regarding the ‘rights’ of the colonies to the waters of the River Murray and argues that these early legal analyses influenced the drafting of the Australian Constitution, which in turn has influenced the way similar disputes between the states are resolved today.

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

Charles Manson’s Grandson Wants to Give the Cult Leader a Proper Burial

Manson21n-1-webCharles Manson’s grandson, Jason Freeman, is interested in providing the cult leader with a proper burial. Freeman’s father was Charles Manson Jr., who was the product of Manson’s first marriage to wife, Rosalie. Freeman believes that his grandfather is a murderer, but does not feel as though he should have been held accountable for his part in the heinous murders of Sharon Tate and four others in 1969. Freeman attempted to visit Manson prior to his death, but Manson refused the visit: “He’s taken the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he doesn’t think it’d be in my best interest to take on his name and be involved with him.”

See Tom Porter Charles Manson’s Grandson Wants to Give the Cult Leader a Proper Burial, Newsweek, November 21, 2017.

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

The Many Faces of Form 3520

Fluffy-dogpg-vertical-extralargeU.S. citizens engaging in certain transactions involving foreign trusts must report these activities via Form 3520. Specifically, U.S. citizens must fill out the form 1) after a reportable event, 2) to report income and trust assets, 3) to disclose distributions received as a beneficiary, and 4) to report gifts received from a trust. The 3520 form is due with the U.S. taxpayer’s annual tax return but is filed separately. Failure to timely file can result in thousands of dollars in penalties.

See Ian Weinstock, The Many Faces of Form 3520, The CPA Journal, August 2017.

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

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

Monday, November 20, 2017

Charles Manson: 10 Days and He’s Dust

1120-charles-manson-photos-footer-3Charles Manson’s body will be kept in Corcoran State Prison for up to ten days if left unclaimed. If no one comes for the body, then the prison has the option to bury or cremate the remains. Cremation is the more likely option, as sources indicate the prison is not interested in taking the time or making the effort to bury Manson’s corpse. Any property Manson left behind will be forfeited to the state, and any funds he had will be used to cover the expense of cremation.

See Charles Manson: 10 Days and He’s Dust, TMZ, November 20, 2017.

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

November 20, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

What If You Knew Alzheimer’s Was Coming for You?

Alzheimer_brainLast week, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates used his blog to share with his readers that some of the men in his “family have suffered from Alzheimer’s.” This means that Gates may have an increased risk of suffering from dementia. In the post, Gates voiced his desire to help develop “a more reliable, affordable and accessible diagnostic — such as a blood test.” To encourage new research, he also announced that he would be donating $100 million to help find a cure for Alzheimer’s.

See Pagan Kennedy What If You Knew Alzheimer’s Was Coming for You?, The New York Times, November 17, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

November 20, 2017 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)