Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Friday, May 22, 2015

Choate's Bible Can Now Be Accessed Electronically In The Cloud

Choate bibleNatalie Choate’s book the Life and Death Planning for Retirement Benefits is considered to be the “bible” on the topic of Qualified Retirement Plans (QRP’s), and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRA’s).  The book has sold over 50,000 copies and has received excellent reviews on Amazon.  The book is read by lawyers, financial planners, CFPs, Accountants, IRA advisors, and many other professionals.  Choate’s book can now also be accessed electronically in the Cloud.  The Cloud version includes many new features like automatic updates, more content, and links to other information. 

The United States is estimated to have about $28 billion invested in QRP’s and IRA’s.  One major benefit of these types of retirement plans is that people can use them as tax avoidance technique.  The best way to be efficient about using these plans is to take distributions slowly to delay taxation of income. 

See Jonathan Blattmachr, Good News for Advisors of IRA and Qualified Retirement Plans: Choate’s Bible Now Is Available in the Cloud, TrustAdvisor, May 19, 2015. 

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

May 22, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New Edition: Inherited IRAs

Inherited IRAsAmerican Bar Association Publishing recently released the updated 2015 edition of Inherited IRAs: What Every Practitioner Must Know, by Seymour Goldberg, CPA, MBA, JD.  Here is why you should pick up a copy of this book:

Discover how to effectively implement an estate plan that includes retirement-type assets. Written especially for the practitioner, this updated edition of Inherited IRAs will alert you to the most critical retirement distribution rules that you must know in order to effectively safeguard your client and their retirement assets. Within this concise, easy-to-follow guide, you'll find:

  • More than 100 scenarios, questions, and answers that you will most likely encounter
  • Checklists, sample forms, and summaries of court rulings on inherited IRA cases
  • Information and resources to help your clients through what is often a very difficult time in their lives.

May 14, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 4, 2015

New Book: Handbook of Practical Planning for Art Collectors and Their Advisors

Art Collectors and Their AdvisorsRamsay H. Slugg recently published a book entitled, Handbook of Practical Planning for Art Collectors and Their Advisors, available both in print and eBook formats. Provided below is the description of the book from the ABA store:

Addressing the two essential elements of art ownership--planning for the art’s eventual disposition and the practical considerations for collectors as they collect and plan for how it will be handled—this book introduces a client-focused process to use when advising art collectors and the other professionals involved in these decisions.

Art is an asset of passion, as author Ramsay H. Slugg begins this invaluable guide, yet has unique and not unimportant financial characteristics. These elements make art possibly the most difficult asset to incorporate into an overall estate and financial plan. Handbook of Practical Planning for Art Collectors and Their Advisors addresses two essential elements of art ownership: planning for the ultimate disposition of the art, including how to represent the wealth represented by the art into any estate and financial planning, and also the practical considerations for collectors as they actively collect and plan for the art’s eventual disposition.

After a brief discussion of the art market generally, the author introduces and explains a client-focused process that can be used when advising art collectors. This includes explaining both the income, estate and gift tax consequences of various options, as well as the important and often emotional non-tax considerations of collecting and disposing of art. The book also discusses the role and importance of other advisors who are involved in these decisions, including art advisors, risk management professionals and appraisers. To better illustrate the material, the book features enlightening case studies. Particular attention is given to the charitable solutions available as these are often especially appealing to many collectors and their advisors.

Handbook of Practical Planning for Art Collectors and Their Advisors is accessible to all levels of knowledge, and is designed not only to trusts and estates professionals who have clients who collect art, but also for the art collectors themselves as well as the many other professionals involved, including art advisors, risk management advisors, valuation advisors, and financial planners.

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

May 4, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Book: Inherited IRAs

Inherited IRAsThe American Bar Association Publishing released a new book by Seymour Goldberg entitled, Inherited IRAs: What Every Practitioner Must Know, 2015 Edition.  Provided below is a brief synopsis of the book:

Discover how to effectively implement an estate plan that includes retirement-type assets. Written especially for the practitioner, this updated edition of Inherited IRAs will alert you to the most critical retirement distribution rules that you must know in order to effectively safeguard your client and their retirement assets. Within this concise, easy-to-follow guide, you'll find:

  • More than 100 scenarios, questions, and answers that you will most likely encounter
  • Checklists, sample forms, and summaries of court rulings on inherited IRA cases
  • Information and resources to help your clients through what is often a very difficult time in their lives.

This 2015 Edition is updated to include all of the recent changes to the rules and regulations surrounding estate planning and retirement asset distributions that have been enacted in the past year.

April 2, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Pankauski's Trustee's Guide: 10 Steps to Family Trustee Excellence

Pan

 John J. Pankauski (Pankauski Law Firm PLLC, West Palm Beach, FL) has recently published his Trustee's Guide: 10 Steps to Family Trustee Excellence in Kindle e-book format for the amazing price of ninety-nine cents! 

Here is a description of this great new publication:

Pankauski’s Trustee’s Guide explains how individuals who serve as a trustee of a family trust can “go rogue,” or do things badly--not just poorly--with some straight-talk, plain-English and a bit of humor. While intended for the lay person—the individual who will serve as trustee, or perhaps a trust beneficiary--this book will be enjoyed by probate lawyers, trust officers, and financial professionals, who will no doubt recognize generic, recurring fact patterns of family money, which all probate and trust lawyers deal with. I believe that professionals will find Pankauski’s Trustee’s Guide insightful, and useful, most likely a book to purchase for clients who are trustees, or co-trustees. It is a must for any person thinking about creating a trust, leaving an inheritance in a trust, updating their estate plan, or dealing with a trustee of a family trust.

March 21, 2015 in Books - For Practitioners, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Book Review: Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security

Get What’s YoursMark Miller has written a review on Laurence J. Kotlikoff, Paul Solman and Philip Moeller's new book entitled, Get What’s Yours: The Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security.  Provided below is an introduction to the review:

If you’re getting more client questions these days about Social Security and know you need to bone up, a comprehensive - and enjoyable - way to do it has just surfaced. Three top experts on Social Security teamed up to write a comprehensive guide to optimizing benefits, and they manage to pull it off with a sense of humor.

For the rest of the favorable review, see Mark Miller, A Book on Social Security Optimization with a Sense of Humor, Wealth Management, March 2, 2015. 

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

March 8, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Book on Ethical Issues in International Estate Planning

WorldBloomberg BNA recently released a Tax Management Portfolio entitled, Ethical Issues in International Estate Planning, and written by Michael A. Heimos (Michael A. Heimos, P.C., Denver, Colorado) and Christopher M. Reimer (Long Reimer Winegar Beppler LLP, Jackson, Wyoming). Provided below is the description of the portfolio:

Tax Management Portfolio, Ethical Issues in International Estate Planning, No. 872, discusses professional responsibility issues that tend to arise when an estate planning practice crosses international boundaries. Many of the ethical standards applicable to estate planning lawyers in general apply to international estate planning. But this Portfolio focuses on issues of special concern for international planning.

Despite its international focus, this Portfolio is directed at U.S. lawyers. While international planning often implicates foreign laws and rules, this Portfolio is largely based on the framework provided by the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (Model Rules) adopted by the American Bar Association (ABA). International ethical issues frequently have domestic analogues. For example, unauthorized practice of law in a foreign jurisdiction bears many similarities to the longstanding issue of unauthorized practice across state lines by U.S. lawyers. The application of domestic ethical rules to estate planning in general is dealt with in more depth in Price, 801 T.M., Conflicts, Confidentiality, and Other Ethical Considerations in Estate Planning. This Portfolio discusses some of those rules, as well as domestic and foreign regulations, as they tend to become relevant in the international planning context.

The function of this Portfolio is to provide information about the following issues, which can arise when providing estate planning advice and services to international clients:
  • Determining applicable ethical and legal rules
  • Providing competent representation
  • Avoiding committing unauthorized practice of law
  • Hiring and associating with foreign lawyers and legal consultants
  • Advertising international practice
  • Avoiding providing assistance to fraud, money laundering, terrorism, and other unlawful activities.

The Worksheets include a table of Model Rules relevant to international estate planning, sample engagement letter, notice of termination of representation, asset protection solvency affidavit, steps for ensuring professional responsibility compliance, anti-money laundering and terror finance screening procedures, a sample fee splitting agreement letter, and sample letterhead for a multinational partnership.

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

February 24, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, February 13, 2015

Second Edition of Wills Road Map

Wills Road Map

The new second edition of Wills Road Map: Practical Considerations in Will Drafting, by Steve R. Akers, Bernard E. Jones, and R. J. Watts, II is now available.  The new edition is updated to reflect the replacement of the Texas Probate Code with the Texas Estates Code, bringing together legal concepts from wills, probate, and trust law to provide expert guidance in properly assembling a will.  Included are:

  • Basic discussion of estate tax planning
  • Doctrines affecting the validity of a will
  • Review of legal significance and effect of specific wills provisions
  • Helpful appendixes including a checklist and sample will forms

February 13, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The 1040 Handbook: Updated Edition

1040 Handbook

The ABA Section of Family law updated the reference book entitled, The 1040 Handbook: A Guide to Income and Asset Discovery, Sixth Edition, by Jack Zuckerman.  This classic reference explains how to use the 1040 return as a discovery tool in divorce cases—in practice, not theory.  It is a great tool for drafting a detailed discovery plan for assets and income.  The handbook:

  • Uses a hypothetical couple’s tax return for a line-by-line analysis of the federal tax form and its schedules to suggest areas of inquiry
  • Explains what each line reveals about a couple's assets and the income, notes clues that should be followed up on, and red flags to watch for
  • Discusses how the 1040 can be used to draft a tentative list of assets, identify areas of inquiry, ask the right questions, and develop a list of documents to obtain

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

February 11, 2015 in Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Book Review: Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers

Diminished-capacity-lawyersStan Rule has written a review on American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and the American Psychological Association handbook entitled, Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers. Provided below is an excerpt from the review:

Lawyers are required to make assessments of their clients’ capacity to make legal decisions, and sign legal documents. This is especially true in a wills and estates practice, which will often include incapacity planning, such as making enduring powers of attorney, and applications to court for guardianship of adults.

. . . .

I have just finished reading Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging and the American Psychological Association in 2005. It is a useful resource for Canadian estate-planning lawyers as well as American.

For the rest of the favorable review, see Stan Rule, Assessment of Older Adults with Diminished Capacity: A Handbook for Lawyers, Rule of Law, Feb. 1, 2015.

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

February 4, 2015 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)