Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Book on Long-Term Care


Chris Orestis (senior health-care advocate and CEO of Life Care Funding) recently published a new free e-book entitled, Help on the Way: The BIG Insurance Secret Seniors Aren’t Supposed to Know.  Provided below is a description:

The costs of long term care are increasing every year, but most families do not understand what they will be confronting when it is their time to start paying for care. Too many people wait until they are in the midst of a crisis situation before they start trying to figure out how the world of long term care works. Long term care is a very expensive proposition. Families can go broke trying to provide for a loved one, and the shame is that if there is a life insurance policy it can be easily converted to help cover these costs. There are literally millions of seniors that are struggling with the costs of long term care who will abandon a life insurance policy without realizing they could be holding the solution to their problem in their hands.

Do you know the differences between Medicare and Medicaid, and what you must do to qualify? Do you know the differences between Home Care, Assisted Living and Nursing Home care? Do you know what is and is not covered? Also, did you know that a life insurance policy can be converted to pay for Assisted Living, Home Care and all other forms of long term care?

In this book you will learn:

  • Exactly what a Long Term Care Benefit Plan is and how it works
  • Gain helpful information about Medicare and Medicaid
  • Receive some guidance on the various forms of senior care
  • Explain more about the legal rights of owning life insurance
  • Learn more about laws in the states that have been introduced to make sure life policy owners are being informed about their options before going onto Medicaid
  • Delve into the “Silver Tsunami” generation and how they are impacting the future of our country

April 24, 2014 in Books, Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on NFA Gun Trusts


The American Bar Association is presenting a live webinar entitled, NFA Gun Trusts: Protecting Your Client’s Firearms for the Future Under New and Pending Regulations, on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.  Provided below is a description of the program:

In recent years gun trusts have come to prominence in estate planning for gun collections and as a means to comply with federal laws on select firearms. The National Firearms Act (NFA) was passed in 1934 with amendments in 1968 and 1986, and Title 2 of the NFA regulates silencers, machine guns, and short-barreled rifles and shotguns, among other firearms, which compose a fast growing segment of the gun market. The NFA has strict requirements and severe penalties making it crucial that those who draft these instruments understand the NFA regulatory scheme as well as state specific requirements. This CLE program will be a comprehensive discussion of the purpose, design, and use of NFA trusts/gun trusts. Topics will include new and pending regulations concerning NFA firearms and trusts and drafting tips for essential provisions. Also included will be material on what ATF looks for when reviewing these trusts and what provisions should be included regardless of ATF or state law requirements.

April 24, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Orleans Socialite Goes Out As She Wanted


Mickey Easterling’s last party turned out to be a memorable one.

The New Orleans socialite attended her own wake at the Saenger Theater on Canal Street.  Easterling took in the whole scene wearing a feather boa, holding a champagne flute, and grasping a cigarette holder.

New Orleanians may be reminded of “Uncle” Lionel Batiste’s 2012 wake.  He presided over his wake wearing a natty sportcoat and sunglasses while leaning against a faux street lamp.

See Andrew Vanacore, Socialite Easterling Goes Out As She Wanted—With a Party, The New Orleans Advocate, Apr. 23, 2014.

Special thanks to Elizabeth R. Carter (Judge Anthony J. Graphia & Jo Ann Graphia Associate Professor of Law, Louisiana State University) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Death Event Planning | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Texas State Judge Finds Same-Sex Marriage Restrictions Unconstitutional


Following the federal ruling issued on same-sex marriage in February, a Texas state court judge has also ruled against Texas on same-sex marriage. 

Judge Barbara Nellermoe deemed Texas’ restrictions on same-sex marriage unconstitutional, which will pave the way for a San Antonio couple’s divorce proceedings and child custody battle.  Nellermoe wrote, “In a well-reasoned opinion by Judge Orlando Garcia, the federal district court found that a state cannot do what the federal government cannot — that is, it cannot discriminate against same-sex couples.”  Nellermoe pinpointed three portions of the Texas Family Code as being unconstitutional as well as Section 32 of the Texas Constitution.

See Michelle Casady, State Judge Rules Against Texas on Same-Sex Marriage, San Antonio Express News, April 24, 2014. 

Special thanks to Laura Galvan (Attorney, San Antonio, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.  

April 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on Skills Training for Estate Planners

CLEThe ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law is presenting a CLE entitled, 2014 Skills Training for Estate Planners.  The Fundamentals course is on July 14-18, 2014, while the Advanced Topics course is on July 16-18, 2014.  Provided below is a description of this event:

The annual Skills Training for Estate Planners CLE program is for attorneys who practice, or plan to practice, estate planning law. This popular program has two courses of study:

The Fundamentals course is perfect for young or transitioning lawyers new to the practice and provides them with a strong educational experience focused on the “how to” of estate planning.

The Advanced Topics course focuses on current areas of interest and importance to experienced estate planning lawyers and is an excellent opportunity to further expand their knowledge and skills.

This institute-type program provides a comprehensive CLE experience with coordinated sessions that build upon one another. The sessions are led by an outstanding faculty consisting of experts in all aspects of estate planning and include time to speak with the presenters. It’s held annually at New York Law School in the Tribeca neighborhood of downtown Manhattan.


April 24, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Supreme Court Rules Banning Affirmative Action is Constitutional

Supreme-CourtIn 2006, Michigan voters banned affirmative action with the intention of ridding the state of racial preferences. On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court upheld states rights to decide to use race as a factor in college admissions. The justices were divided 6-2 holding that the state did not violate the constitution when the people voted to do away with affirmative action. The two dissenting justices were Justice Ruth Ginsburg, and Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Elena Kagan abstained.

See Pete Williams, Supreme Court Upholds Michigan Affirmative Action Ban, NBC News, Apr. 22, 2014.

April 24, 2014 in Current Affairs, Current Events, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Constitutionality of the “Parsonage Exclusion” Challenged

GavelThe constitutionality of the “parsonage exclusion” is currently before the Seventh Circuit. Amicus briefs are flooding in and strong opinions are being expressed for both sides. The income tax exemption that excludes housing allowances for clergy from income tax is being defended by the government, even though this exemption results in a $700 million loss for the government. The Freedom From Religion Foundation is challenging the tax exemption. Amicus Briefs in support of the government’s position have come from The Alliance Defending Freedom and the Jewish Commission on Law and Public Affairs, among other groups.

See Peter J. Reilly, Clergy Out in Force to Defend Their Housing Tax Break, Forbes, April 10, 2014.

Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

April 24, 2014 in Income Tax, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Stetson Law Sponsors Webinar -- Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts Administration

Stetson_webinarJoin nationally known leaders Craig C. Reaves, Robert B. Fleming, and Mary Alice Jackson in this timely and important webinar as they  address challenging SNT administrative issues faced by trustees, attorneys, financial planners and money managers involved in Special Needs Trusts.

This webinar will offer practical information by leaders in the field of Special Needs Planning that can be immediately implemented in your practices:

  • Identify  best practices for SNT dministration. As a result of court cases over the years, we have seen processes, policies and procedures change. Understand the best way to handle administrative matters, so you don't end up as a party in the next case!
  • Learn how to recognize, interpret and apply the four common trust distribution standards when making distribution decisions.
  • The ACA in real time: what are the implications of the Affordable Care Act for beneficiaries who live in states which have adopted Medicaid expansion as opposed to those living in states which did not adopt expansion? What happens when your beneficiary moves to another state? A step-by-step analysis will be provided for Trustees to use when considering coverage under Medicaid or the ACA.

Click here to register.

April 24, 2014 in Estate Administration, Trusts, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Recent Offshore Court Decisions


There is an increasing number of offshore Court judgments that consider an offshore trustee’s liability to third parties and the rights of a trustee and a trust protector to an indemnity from the trust assets if there is a third party claim.

Please see the article below for a summary of recent decisions concerning trustee liability and the rights of indemnity against trust assets.  Decisions concerning trustee liability include decisions by the Royal Court of Guernsey, the Supreme Court of Bermuda, and the Royal Court of Jersey.  Decisions concerning the rights of indemnity against trust assets include decisions by the Isle of Man High Court and the Royal Court of Jersey.

See Mark Chudleigh, Chen Foley, Nick Miles, and Alex Potts, Round-Up of Recent Decisions Relevant to Trustee and Protector Liability and Indemnities, JD Supra, Apr. 18, 2014.

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

April 23, 2014 in New Cases, Travel, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on In-Depth Estate Planning

CLEThe American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) and the University of Wisconsin Law School are cosponsoring a CLE entitled, Estate Planning in Depth, on Sunday-Friday, June 22-27, 2014.  Provided below is why you should attend this event:

An intensive, interactive classroom experience complemented by opportunities to learn informally after-hours from expert faculty and from fellow registrants at various events including evenings at the Student Union and a picnic supper

  • A relaxed campus environment that helps make learning fun, plus an affordable housing and meal package that keeps costs low
  • Comprehensive study materials — typically 1,000 pages or more – that are among ALI CLE’s best
  • Half-day Sunday primer that brings less-experienced practitioners up to speed
  • Engaging registrants - last year 28 states - and an expert faculty from across the country who shares ideas with one another over the course of five days.

April 23, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)