Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

New Book: Tax Planning for Retirees

Tax planning for retirees

Vorris J. Blankenship recently published a book entitled, Tax Planning for Retirees (2014).  In this book, Mr. Blankenship has combined his extensive knowledge of accounting and tax laws to help clients stretch their retirement dollars to the maximum.  This complete, one-stop guide is filled with “how to do it” expertise that will help practitioners steer clients towards the best tax and estate planning decisions possible, both before and during retirement.  This comprehensive book is everything you will need to navigate complex tax-planning issues with confidence, root out every tax-saving opportunity, and help your clients keep more of their nest eggs for themselves.  Written in clear, jargon-free language, the book covers:

  • Federal tax treatment of everything from IRAs and Social Security benefits to long-term care insurance and disability benefits.
  • Strategies for optimizing IRA and 401(k) distributions.
  • Pensions, ESOPs, veterans’ benefits, and all other types of retirement income.
  • Smart Estate Planning to protect retirement benefits. 

January 22, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Book on The Law of Probate Bonds

The Law of Probate BondsThe second edition of the recently published book entitled, The Law of Probate Bonds, edited by Jeffrey M. Frank and Sharon A. Sergeant, is now available through ABA Book Publishing. Provided below is a description of the book:

Now revised and updated, this book provides a detailed discussion of all aspects relating to probate bonds. The chapters in The Law of Probate Bonds cover topics ranging from public policy regarding the need for probate bonds to claim handling to many different defenses and special situations. 

The book's twenty chapters include:

  • Public Policy—Why Require Probate Bonds?
  • Underwriting the Probate Bond
  • Types of Probate Bonds and Rules of Fiduciaries
  • Claimants on a Bond
  • Procedural Prerequisites to Asserting Claims on Probate Bonds
  • Statute of Limitations: When the Surety’s Liability Can Be Laid to Rest
  • Handling and Disposition of Fiduciary Bond Claims: Types of Claims and Damages
  • Bond Liability for Money Principal Borrows
  • Surety’s Liability for Acts Occurring before Bond Was Issued
  • The Impact of Attorney Neglect and Bad Acts on the Probate Bond Surety
  • The Surety’s Liability for Misconduct or Co-Fiduciaries
  • Fiduciaries Serving Estates in Multiple Capacities
  • Non-Estate Property Obtained under Color of Office
  • The Prudent Investor Rule and Exposure of the Probate Surety
  • Prior Judgment against the Principal and Its Effect on the Probate Surety’s Liability
  • Penal Sum Issues Relating to Probate Bonds
  • Defenses Available to the Probate Bond Surety
  • Probate Bonds: Recovery and Salvage
  • The Probate Surety and Bankruptcy
  • Practical Guide to Handling Probate Bond Claims

The book includes detailed footnotes citing case law from courts around the country and applicable state statutes relating to probate bonds.

The Law of Probate Bonds is an indispensable reference tool for both the experienced and entry-level claim professional and practitioner, as well as for general practitioners seeking an understanding of this complex area of law.

January 22, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

New Book on Estate Tax and Movies

Art of the Estate Tax ReturnKeith Schiller's new book, Art of the Estate Tax Return, Second Edition-Estate Planning at the Movies, uses films to illustrate estate planning and tax concepts.  Provided below is the description of the book from Bloomberg BNA:

Art of the Estate Tax Return, Second Edition – Estate Planning at the Movies® provides in-depth tax analysis and strategic counsel, while offering the ultimate in readability, by connecting well-known motion pictures to practical estate planning and compliance. These connections create great reminders of significant strategies or law, lending humanity to technical issues, and making the tax law fun. 

Art of the Estate Tax Return will enhance your practice and enable you to potentially save your clients millions of dollars in estate taxes by presenting strategic analysis for preparation, presentation, and post-filing defense and advocacy with tax-saving results.

Underlying the cinematic connections, the author shares his best practice tips from a career of preparing, reviewing, and defending estate tax returns, and his greater than 25 years of teaching experience for tax professionals.

With a Foreword by former IRS Appeals Team Manager John Schooler, and an Afterword by Charles W. Morris, the former IRS Territory Manager, Estate and Gift Tax for the Western United States, Art of the Estate Tax Return unsnares the traps and explores the nuances of law and procedure that enter into the preparation and defense of Form 706, including:

  • Expanded coverage of portability elections
  • Illustrated estate tax returns for 2013
  • Maximizing valuation discounts and deductions
  • Protecting FLPs and FLLCs
  • Securing best appraisal results
  • Tips to avoid audits
  • Pointers on GST reporting
  • Cautions and help for fiduciaries
  • Warnings and opportunities from inconsistencies in the law
  • Strategies for audits and appeals
  • Comprehensive analysis
  • And much more!

November 11, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Film | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, October 17, 2014

New Book: Texas Probate System

Texas Probate System

The new 4th Edition of the Texas Probate System by James E. Brill and Russell W. Hall, which is based on the new Texas Estates Code (effective January 1, 2014) is now available in both hard copy and digital.  The new edition of 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.

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

Monday, September 1, 2014

Book on Guardianship Alternatives in Texas

Guardianship alternativesA Road Map to Guardianship Alternatives, by Sarah Patel Pacheco provides forms and guidance for utilizing available alternatives to court-supervised guardianship in Texas. Provided below is a description of the book from Texas Bar Books.

Texas guardianship proceedings can be intrusive, burdensome and costly. Practitioners should be aware of the many alternatives to guardianship that are available to Texas residents. This guide provides an overview of those alternatives, including specific forms that can be used to avoid a court-supervised administration of affairs.

A Road Map to Guardianship Alternatives, previously published as Contingency Planning, is intended to support practitioners in every area by providing knowledgeable and cost-effective legal support to families making plans for financial and medical care. This useful handbook has been expanded and updated to reflect legislative changes that have occurred since the previous publication.

The book is organized to easily direct both general practitioners and seasoned estate planning attorneys through situations in which the time and expense of creating a guardianship is not in the best interest of the client. It alerts practitioners to events that may be anticipated, such as travel, planned surgery, and administering the assets of minors or the infirm.

A Road Map to Guardianship Alternatives Digital Product, containing the entire book as an internally hyperlinked, word-searchable PDF file and all forms in Wordformat, is included at no additional charge.

September 1, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Booklet: Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services

AICPA PFPThe American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) has published the latest version of their Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services. Provided below is a description of this guide from AICPA.

The AICPA’s Statement on Standards in Personal Financial Planning Services (SSPFPS No. 1), was issued to provide authoritative guidance and establish enforceable standards for members practicing in PFP. SSPFPS No. 1 was issued in January 2014 and is effective beginning July 1, 2014.

CPAs are licensed and regulated by their state boards of accountancy. Additionally, all AICPA members are required to follow a rigorous Code of Professional Conduct which requires that they act with integrity, objectivity, due care, competence, fully disclose any conflicts of interest (and obtain client consent if a conflict exists), maintain client confidentiality, disclose to the client any commission or referral fees, and serve the public interest when providing financial services. The vast majority of state boards of accountancy have adopted the AICPA Code of Professional Conduct within their state accountancy laws or have created their own.

Over the past three decades, a growing number of CPAs have expanded into providing personal financial planning services to individuals and families. The Compliance Toolkit was designed to provide non-authoritative guidance via checklists, engagement letters, and more to aid in compliance with SSPFPS No.1. For an overview of the challenges facing practitioners and the tools available to provide CPAs with guidance in determining whether SSPFPS No. 1 compliance is required, listen to this podcast on Understanding and Applying the Statement on Standards in PFP Services.

August 31, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tax Management Portfolio on Estate Planning

Tax PlanningThe third edition of the Tax Management Portfolio, Estate Planning, has been published by William P. Streng, Esq. (Vinson & Elkins Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center). This Portfolio provides helpful guidance for estate planning professionals. Provided below is a description of the Portfolio from Bloomberg BNA.

Estate Planning is designed as an authoritative and practical working tool for attorneys, accountants, and others involved in estate planning practice. The basic estate, gift, and trust planning concepts are presented in a descriptive and conveniently accessible form. Written by William P. Streng, Esq., Vinson & Elkins Professor of Law, University of Houston Law Center, and Consultant, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, this Portfolio analyzes the development of an estate planning strategy; fundamentals of the federal transfer tax system and related federal income tax rules; lifetime donative asset transfers; gratuitous property transfers at death; generation-skipping transfers; special property transfer planning considerations (e.g., community property, life insurance, charitable transfers, closely held corporations); and post-mortem planning.

August 30, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

New Handbook on Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors

Handbook AdvisorsA revised edition of Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors has been published by fi360. This handbook walks investment professionals through a four-step process for advising clients on investment decisions. Here is a description of the handbook from the authors’ website:

The Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors are for professionals who are responsible for providing investment advice and/or managing investment decisions, including wealth managers, financial advisors, trust officers, financial consultants, investment consultants, financial planners, and fiduciary advisers.

. . . .

Each Practice has been substantiated by applicable legislation, regulation, and/or case law to ensure compliance. Full citations, as well as detailed Criteria, narrative discussion, practical application, and suggested procedures can be found in the Prudent Practices for Investment Advisors handbook . . . .

August 24, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

New Book on Trust Protectors

Trust ProtectorsAlexander A. Bove, Jr’s new book entitled, Trust Protectors: A Practice Manual with Forms is now available through Juris Publishing.  Provided below is a description of the book:

The trust protector is generally regarded as a relatively new position in trust law, and the key feature of the position is that the protector may be granted powers over the trust, which are generally superior to those of the trustee. This places the protector in a position where, by the exercise of his powers, he can cause the trust to adjust to unforeseen changes or new conditions without the need for court action or beneficiary approval. This work takes the firm position that, with only limited exception, the role of the protector is a fiduciary one, imposing on the protector a duty to act in the best interests of the purposes of the trust and the beneficiaries.

Unfortunately, a substantial segment of the legal community, as well as the legislative bodies of a number of international jurisdictions, have taken a position that the protector is not a fiduciary, or that he may be declared in the trust not to be a fiduciary, and that the power granted him under the trust may be declared to be personal powers, whether or not such is the case, and thus he would have no liability for his actions or inactions while serving as protector. This “attraction” of providing total exculpation of the protector has effectively engendered a quick acceptance of the position by the bulk of the legal community and even by the legislatures of a number of jurisdictions, though almost totally unsupported by relevant case law. As a result, we have been seeing trusts which incorporate the use of a protector having the power to make critical dispositive and administrative decisions, as well as extensive modifications to the trusts without being exposed to liability for negligence or bad decisions which result in damages.

This work will examine in detail the role of the protector of the trust, the relationship between the protector and the trustee, between the protector and the beneficiaries, and the protector’s responsibilities to the purposes of the trust. It will demonstrate with legal support that the role of the protector is not a new role, that, in fact, the protector is simply a new name for the decades-old position of trust “advisor,” and that the trust advisor is consistently regarded as a fiduciary in relevant treatises and has been repeatedly held to be a fiduciary in relevant cases. The discussion will also review and analyze the historical issues and professional commentary relevant to trust law and the role of protector, as well as case decisions in various international jurisdictions which have shed light on the issues and some of the positions taken in the statutes of a number of jurisdictions in the United States and across the world. All legal aspects of the role will be examined, including the rights of the protector, the protector’s relationship to the trustee, and the courts’ regard for and treatment of the position.

Further, the work will discuss in detail all of the practical considerations in using a protector, such as selection and special drafting considerations, the use of a protector in a foundation, and, in brief, the numerous tax issues that may apply. The conclusion will be that with only very limited exception, which will be explained, the protector is unquestionably a fiduciary, and just as a trustee, he should be held to fiduciary standards.

August 23, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Book on South Dakota Trust Law

TrustLindquist & Vennum LLP has published the South Dakota Trust Law Deskbook, which provides specific guidance for South Dakota trust law. The deskbook provides relevant statutes and guidance on creating trusts in the trust favorable state of South Dakota. Provided below is a description of this helpful reference guide from the author’s website:

Lindquist & Vennum LLP is pleased to announce that the firm has published the first-ever South Dakota Trust Law Deskbook. This practice aid compiles selected South Dakota statutes and administrative rules relating to trust law and private trust companies. Topics include taxation, judicial remedies, uniform probate code, property, banks and banking, fiduciaries and trusts, and administrative rules. The deskbook is intended to be used as a statutory resource by wealth advisors, trust officers, attorneys, and family office professionals across the country.

South Dakota is nationally recognized by professional advisors, industry publications, and wealthy families as a top jurisdiction for trust situs considering the state’s favorable trust laws, legislative awareness, a responsive judiciary, and business-friendly regulatory climate. The state has no rule against perpetuities, no income tax, and expansive domestic asset protection trust laws applicable to all U.S. citizens, resident aliens, and non-resident aliens. The state also offers low capitalization requirements for trust companies and reasonable insurance rates. South Dakota’s judiciary is responsive and willing to accommodate trust and estate matters, including holding emergency hearings and permitting the immediate sealing of trusts for those seeking privacy.

“It’s no accident that South Dakota is the nation’s premier trust jurisdiction,” says Mavis Van Sambeek, co-editor of the book, Trust & Estates partner in the Lindquist Minneapolis office, and fellow in the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel. “The State Legislature and Governor’s Trust Law Task Force have spent considerable effort to develop a statutory environment that is friendly to family wealth. Our new deskbook at last combines these trust statutes into an easy-to-use format.” 

August 18, 2014 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)