Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Book on Elder Law Ethics


Roberta K. Flowers & Rebecca C. Morgan recently published an article entitled, Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law, sponsored by the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law.  Provided below is a synopsis of the book:

In an elder law practice, ethical issues can occur at any point in the representation, and in some cases these unexpected situations can take the attorney by surprise. Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law provides an informed overview of the most common issues that can occur, explains the issues that can arise and how to be alert for them, and suggest ways to work through these issues effectively and ethically.

Authors Roberta K. Flowers and Rebecca C. Morgan offer a range of hypothetical situations, along with a series opening questions for each, followed by a discussion suggestions for analyzing and responding to the issue. These discussions offer a reliable framework for analyzing the ethical questions within the scope of the Model Rules and ancillary resources.

The authors give readers the knowledge to determine which questions to ask in the representaiton. They refer to and discuss the 9 "C_s" of elder law ethics: Competency, Client, Confidentiality, Conflicts of interest, Capacity, Control, Complex fiduciary representation, and Consulting.

Ethics in the Practice of Elder Law provides invaluable information as appendices, including the National Academy of Elder Law (NAELA) Aspirational Standards, relevant ABA ethics opinions, and a range of supplemental resources, checklists, and letters.

March 26, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Elder Law, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, March 24, 2014

"COVERING YOUR ASSets" -- New book on wealth preservation and asset protection released

CYA CoverLeonard Critcher (author, speaker, trainer, and columnist with over four decades of experience in the financial service industry) has recently published his book entitled COVERING YOUR ASSets.

Here is a description of the book:

COVERING YOUR ASSets is not about how to accumulate wealth.  It is written specifically for people who have already accumulated assets and wish to preserve and protect those assets.  It is written in a unique format that will allow you to isolate your specific life situation and read only material applicable to you. 

In the first of five sections you will learn about the building blocks of the Wealth Planning process, the Thirteen Wealth Management Issues and how their integration is crucial to an effective plan, and how to build a Wealth Planning Team. 

In the second section you can learn about “Terms, Terminologies and Other Confusing Things Meant to Impress You” and sound like a well-informed person of wealth when talking with your attorney, CPA, planner or just some know-it-all at a cocktail party.  

The third section is where you can hone in on your life situation, read a discussion of specific issues associated with where you are in life and then reference specific planning strategies and techniques covered in the fourth section.  Your quest for asset preservation and protection will begin by first finding the broad category you fall into.  The refinement process will bring you to a specific rendering of your current situation..

The 27 strategies in the fourth section are explained in simple terms and are easily understood by the layman.

The last section is a wrap-up of specific thoughts of the author that will be helpful in making what can be a daunting task much easier.

March 24, 2014 in Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Book on the Fundamentals of Trust Accounting Income and Principal Rules

Book FOTAIPSeymour Goldberg recently published a book entitled, Fudamentals of Trust Accounting Income and Principal Rules, (February 2014).  Provided below is a description of the book found on the American Bar Association Web Store:

If you are one of the 10,000 New York attorneys involved in trust drafting, tax planning, estate planning, trust accounting, trust litigation or elder law planning, you need this book. Here's the user manual on the trust accounting income and principal rules that you've been looking for, written from a practical application standpoint. It's doubly applicable to any lawyers who drafts trust documents. In it you'll find full guidance on:

  • The Uniform Principal and Income Act (UPAIA)
  • The power to adjust (PTA) and the unitrust conversion

Any practitioner who is involved in trust drafting or trust litigation, or who prepares fiduciary income tax returns or trust accountings, must become aware of these revised trust rules in order to avoid potential malpractice and/or ethics issues. If you're involved in trust drafting in New York State, this is an essential addition to your library.

March 24, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Texas Probate System


You can now preorder Texas Probate System (4th ed.), edited by James E. Brill and Russell W. Hall.  Provided below is the description from Texas Bar Books:

The new 4th edition of the Texas Probate System is based on the new Texas Estates Code, which superseded the Texas Probate Code effective January 1, 2014. In the new Estates Code, sections of the Probate Code relating to decedents have been substantially reorganized and renumbered.

The new edition of the Texas Probate System—

  • incorporates new Estates Code citations, terminology, and statutory requirements, including changes from the most recent legislative session
  • adds procedures, including necessary forms and letters, for implementing independent administration by agreement in both testate and intestate estates.

The Texas Probate System will become the cornerstone of your probate law practice. From the initial contact with a client to the closing of the estate, this System will be in constant use, providing a step-by-step guide to the efficient handling of a decedent’s estate.

The Texas Probate System includes:

  • Letters of a standard, routine, and repetitive nature
  • Forms to be prepared for court proceedings
  • Worksheets designed to guide you through proper decisions, to make calculations, or to maintain a single summary record of multiple related transactions
  • Significant Date List to assist you in calculating and recording important dates for all proceedings
  • Checkplan containing a checklist of all activities to be considered and performed in handling a decedent’s estate.


March 7, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Advisor's Guide to Long-Term Care


The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law recently published a book entitled, The Advisor’s Guide to Long-Term Care, edited by R. David Watros and Erik T. Reynolds.  Provided below is a description of this book:

Waiting to address long-term care needs until the point one actually needs care is too late, as it significantly impacts a client's financial situation, quality of life of their loved ones, and their ability to maintain their independence. Incorporating long-term care insurance into the financial plan can ultimately help protect assets reduce the burden of care that would otherwise fall on family members, and enable the client to receive care in the setting they most prefer, including their home. The Advisor's Guide to Long-Term Care looks at the full range of the topic, explaining how to best use it in the estate plan as a prudent risk-management choice. 

Statistics point to the high probability that people are likely to need extended health care at some point in their life. The Advisor's Guide to Long-Term Care is intended to help estate planners and advisors to address these issues with their clients, establishing the issues and trends for care and covering all relevant issues involved in the funding and planning for this insurance. This helps the advisor establish a plan that will place the family back to where they were emotionally, physically, and financially, as best as possible prior to a long-term care event occurring.

Starting with the funding of long term care, one of the most essential important factors to consider, the authors clearly explain the different options for self-funding, governmental programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, veteran_s benefits, and the Federal Long-Term care insurance program, as well as other funding considerations. Tables and figures make the details involved in these choices clear and accessible.

Subsequent chapters examine key issues in long-term care insurance, legislation that has affected the insurance, such as HIPAA and the PPA, taxation, and issues to consider in selecting a long-term care insurance company. The authors consider using long-term care for estate planning and wealth preservation and a discussion of employer's options and benefits in establishing long-term care coverage for their employees.

February 23, 2014 in Books - For Practitioners, Disability Planning - Health Care | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Book on Community Property

Community propertyCharlotte Goldberg recently published a book entitled, Community Property, (August 2013).  Provided below is a description of the book from Aspen Law:

With a unique, comparative approach and a problem-based pedagogy, Community Property helps students grasp the different ways each community property state address issues. The book follows a hypothetical couple, presenting issues such as premarital agreements, separate property business, divorce, and the like, and shows how each of the nine community property states would analyze the problem with statutes and representative cases. Interesting, accessible, contemporary cases illustrate important principles, and helpful charts in every chapter summarize how each community property state treats the concepts. Author Charlotte Goldberg has over thirty years of teaching experience and writing expertise; she is the author of the successful Examples & Explanations: California Community Property, as well as numerous law review articles on family law and marital property. Community Property’s manageable length makes it perfect for two-credit courses. Well-crafted Problems and Discussion Questions help students test their knowledge and facilitate class discussion, and a comprehensive Teachers Manual includes answers to questions and problems as well as teaching suggestions.

February 21, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, New Cases, New Legislation, Teaching | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Book on Estate Taxes


E. Michael Kilbourn recently published a new book entitled, Disinherit the IRS.  Provided below is a description of this book:

Did You Know: You are worth only 60 percent of what you think you are worth. And because a little over 55 percent of Americans died last year without a will, families will lose roughly $1 trillion if they don’t disinherit the IRS.

Estate tax rates start at 40 percent (on estates over $5 million) and are indexed for inflation each year. And they are due within 9 months after you leave this world.

E. Michael Kilbourn shows you how to protect what it took you a lifetime to build and how to avoid the havoc estate taxes would reap on your loved ones. Mike will show you that death is not a taxable offense!

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

February 16, 2014 in Books - For Practitioners, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, January 17, 2014

International Estate Planning Guide


The American Bar Association is currently selling the second edition of A Guide to International Estate Planning edited by Leigh-Alexandra Basha.  Here is the description from the ABA Web Store:

With the explosive growth in international investments, more and more lawyers and financial advisors realize the acute need to properly address critical issues of international estate planning for their clients. Whether you are counseling a foreign national or an American citizen, whether your practice is in the U.S. or abroad, whether you want to develop a general expertise in the area or are confronted by these issues on a more frequent basis, A Guide to International Estate Planning is a necessary and practical resource to help you identify and navigate many of the complex planning and regulatory compliance issues, both legal and tax, involved in international estate planning.

In addition to providing a complete overview of the basic principles and procedures of international asset management from addressing the conflict of laws issues that are central in determining which country_s laws will govern the disposition of a donor or decedent_s wealth to the basic transfer tax rules for nonresident aliens, U.S. citizens, and resident aliens,_ this resource teaches you proven strategies, techniques, and practical applications you can use to effectively meet your client_s international estate planning needs. The book'_s 22 chapters are written by trust and estate lawyers with significant experience in international issues. Their advice goes beyond simply highlighting basic issues in estate planning as they also focus on key issues as compliance, treaty, choice of law, and estate administration problems. This updated edition now includes chapters on FATF and anti-money laundering and offshore compliance, as well as chapters from several foreign jurisdictions to provide comparative insights on different topics.

January 17, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book on Texas Pattern Jury Charges


The State Bar Committee on Pattern Jury Charges recently published the 2012 edition of Texas Pattern Jury Charges – Family & Probate.  Provided below is a description of the book from Texas Bar Books:

The 2012 edition of Texas Pattern Jury Charges—Family & Probate, incorporates, for the first time, pattern jury charges developed by the Pattern Jury Charges Probate subcommittee, encompassing will contests, express trusts, guardianship of adults, and involuntary commitments. While still offering the revised and updated family charges you’ve come to rely on, this edition includes four new chapters.

The assistance that this excellent resource offers extends beyond providing definitions, instructions, and questions useful for drafting charges in your jury trials. Many practitioners find it very helpful in preparing findings of fact and conclusions of law in nonjury cases and in identifying issues and evidence requirements in family and probate cases generally. Comments provide a ready reference to the source of each charge and instructions on when to use it.

Texas Pattern Jury Charges–Family & Probate digital product contains the entire book as a hyperlinked and word-searchable PDF file. All charge language is included as RTF files linked to the comments for quick retrieval and assembly of jury charges. Texas and federal case citations are linked to the online version of the Casemaker Web Library. Texas and federal statute citations are linked to the main code section cited via Casemaker online.

January 14, 2014 in Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, December 7, 2013

"Estate Planning Smarts" by Deborah L. Jacobs -- A great holiday gift!

EP_SmartsDeborah L. Jacobs, lawyer and award-winning business journalist, has recently published the third edition of her excellent book, Estate Planning Smarts This book, designed for a lay audience, is extremely well-written, practical, and accurate.  It would make a great holiday present for almost anyone on your list!

Here is a description of the book:

There's been plenty of talk this year in Congress about the estate tax law. But don’t let all the talk obscure a basic fact of life: everyone, regardless of net worth, needs an estate plan. Estate Planning Smarts, by Deborah L. Jacobs, goes far beyond taxes to help you achieve all the goals that are the essence of estate planning.

Above all, estate planning is a way to take care of yourself and the people you love. It can minimize the hardships of your old age. If you are married or in any other committed relationship, estate planning is about leaving a financial cushion for your spouse or partner. It also includes providing funds for a child’s or a grandchild’s education, subsidizing less fortunate family members and benefiting charity. For parents of young children, estate planning is a way to make sure someone will care for them if you suddenly perish. Whatever might be happening in Washington, no one should postpone the necessary steps.

Regardless of your net worth, a good estate plan should accomplish these essential goals:

Caring for yourself by authorizing people to handle your affairs if you no longer can because of illness or disability

Specifying who gets what after you pass away

Providing for children who are minors or who have special needs.

In many estate plans, trusts play a crucial role. Although they are commonly associated with financing lavish lifestyles, they serve other key purposes. Trusts can be used to hold money for minors, forestall spendthrift family members, protect assets from former spouses or creditors, or even make provisions to care for pets that survive you.

Written for people who don’t want to leave their finances to chance, Estate Planning Smarts can help educate you before seeing financial advisers, during the estate planning process and later as your life circumstances change. An annotated Table of Contents, phrased in terms of personal or financial goals, doubles as a checklist.

December 7, 2013 in Books - For Practitioners | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)