Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Estate Tax Plan Will Likely Be Rejected In Israel

Flag_of_Israel_svgThere are reports from the Hebrew Daily “Yediot Ahronot,” that plans to impose an estate tax are being shelved in Israel.  The reports suggest that the new Israeli Minister of Finance, Moshe Kahlon, is thinking of rejecting the plan after being told by other senior finance officials about the costs of implementing and enforcing an estate tax.  The plans to create an estate tax and setting a zero VAT tax rate on foods are being viewed by finance ministers as unfeasible. 

See Estate tax may be shelved, Globes, May 25, 2015.

May 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Filipino Man Sets House Of Sister On Fire Over Inheritance

FireA man in the Philippines set his sister's house on fire after a night of drinking and drugs. The man reportedly was upset that his sisters received more land through a family inheritance than himself. As of now, the man is being held by the authorities and will be charged with destructive arson soon.

See Drug-Crazed Man Sets Sisters' Houses on Fire Over Land Inheritance Dispute, Philippines News Agency, May 24, 2015.


May 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Australian Man Loses Inheritance After Manslaughter Conviction

Koala_climbing_treeAn Australian man lost an inheritance from his mother after being convicted of manslaughter following her disappearance and presumed demise. He was the primary caregiver of his mother while she was ill and was named the sole beneficiary of her will shortly before her death. He was convicted without the body being found in no small part because of his behavior and purchases at the time of disappearance. This case also shows the similarities between the Australian and American systems as they both provide for statutory and common law anti-slayer provisions.

See Kim Stephens, Killer Gold Coast Son Stripped Of Mother's Estate, Brisbane Times, May 23, 2015.

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

May 26, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, May 25, 2015

Major Estate Disputes That Have Been Reported On

New bb kingThere have been a few high profile estate disputes that have involved major celebrities and people of interest.  The estates of BB King, Michael Jackson, Leona Helmlsey, Ted Williams, Nelson Mandela, Nina Wang, and Liliane Bettencourt have all been subject to high profile disputes over a wide variety of issues.  These problems range from disputes over things like inheritance, guardianship, pet trusts, mental capacity, power of attorney, and what to do with a body after death.  These highly reported on celebrity disputes bring attention to the wide range of problems that poor estate planning can cause.  It shows the complex factors that a wise estate planner needs to account for when creating wills and trusts and helping a client plan for their future. 

See The who’s who battle for wills, bodies, and legacies, BBC News, May 24, 2015.

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

May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs, Death Event Planning, Disability Planning - Health Care, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What Are The Best Countries To Live in For Different Financial Needs?

TransportFor individuals with different financial needs there are advantages to living in certain
countries. When it comes to certain unique types of financial situations here are the 6 best places to live in:

  1. Best Pension System: Denmark.  According to the Mercer Global Pension Index (MGPI) Denmark has the best pension system in the world. 
  2. Cheapest Place To Live: Saudi Arabia.  The Economists Intelligence Unit (EIU) has released a cost-of-living survey listing Riyadh and Jeddah as being the two cheapest cities in the world to live in.
  3. Highest Disposable Income: United States.  According to an OECD study the United States ranks highest in the amount of money each household spends on goods and services.
  4. Lowest Income Tax: Dubai. The best country in the world to live in to avoid income taxes is Dubai, where people get to keep 100% of their income.
  5. Cheapest childcare: Australia.  According to a recent OECD study on childcare costs Australia has the most affordable child care options for parents.
  6. Lowest Death Costs: Australia and New Zealand.  The inheritance tax was abolished in Australia and New Zealand a number of years ago making those two nations the best countries to live in to avoid such taxes.

See Louise McBride, Best places for tax- live in Dubai, die in Australia, Independent, May 25, 2015. 

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


May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Understanding the New Qualified Longevity Annuity Contract Regulations

Understand-and-implement71-crop-600x338It is important for retirees to know about how to use the new regulations on Qualified Longevity Annuity Contracts (QLACs).  These contracts are essentially “wrappers” that house deferred income annuities (DIAs).  This can permit individuals to delay payments to fill potential income needs that might come up later in life.  There are several income options that a person can choose from, QLACs offer clients more flexibility than what a traditional retirement plan might have given. 

In order to be successful a QLAC should take a holistic approach which factors in the client’s individual life needs.  It is good to consult with a proper tax advisor to work out a plan because a QLAC is “not a transactional sale, but more of a planning-based sale.”  Be creative when working with a client, create a plan that best suits their individual financial needs. 

See Anthony Tocco, Understanding and implementing QLACs in a retirement plan, Life Health Pro, May 22, 2015.

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

May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

What Are Required Minimum Distributions During Retirement?

RetirementA person can find out what the required minimum distributions (RMDs) from a retirement plan are by visiting the IRS website and using the “Uniform Lifetime Table.”  Most people use the Uniform Lifetime Table to calculate their RMDs.  It is important to start taking RMDs on the Required Begin Date (RBD).  A person cannot begin taking RMD’s from a retirement plan, like an IRA or 401(k), until at least April 1 of the year following the calendar year in which that person reached the age of 70½. 

See Robert Powell, How much will my distributions be in retirement?, USA Today, May 23 2015. 

May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Estranged Husband Of Murder Victim Seeks Part Of Estate

Penn STate FlagA Pennsylvania man is seeking part of the estate of his estranged wife after she was murdered by her boyfriend from after the separation. The couple had been apart for almost three years when the murder occurred and, as a result, the probate court ruled that the husband would take nothing under the doctrine of "willful neglect." While the former lovers had remained friends, there was no evidence either party sought to keep the marriage together even if there had not been a formal ending of the marriage. The ruling is currently on appeal to the Pennsylvania Superior Court.

See Terrie Morgan-Besecker, Spouse of Homicide Victim Fights for Share of Estate, Times-Tribune, May 23, 2015.

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

May 25, 2015 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Administration | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

B.B. King Heirs Challenge Musician's Will

Bb kingI have previously discussed the ongoing legal battle between some of B.B. King’s heirs and his former manager and executor, Laverne Toney.  Attorney Larissa Drohobyczer, who represents the blues legend’s daughters, issued a statement yesterday promising to challenge the Will and many of the actions of King’s manager.  The statement accuses B.B. King’s executor of misappropriating millions of dollars and using undue influence on the musician.  Laverne Toney has announced that she will not immediately respond to the allegations against her. 

See BB King heirs to challenge bluesman’s will and actions of manager, Associated Press, The Guardian, May 23, 2015.    

May 24, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Donor-Advised Funds Will Face More Congressional Scrutiny

Donor-advised-fundsMembers of congress from both parties are calling for increased scrutiny of Donor-Advised Funds (DAFs) because of the way these funds are used as a tax avoidance technique.  DAFs have been growing dramatically in recent years, there are now at least 217,000 DAFs representing a 34% increase in the last seven years. 

A DAF is an account set up by a donor and placed under the control of an IRS approved charity.  The charity makes payments from the account to legally recognized charitable beneficiaries who were chosen by the donor.  Donors can also receive a charitable tax deduction for assets put into a DAF while postponing the decision on which charity to support.  Another benefit of a DAF is privacy that a donor gets that would not be available if a donation was made directly to a charitable foundation.  There are many lawmakers who would like to change things because DAFs are costing the treasury a lot of money in lost tax revenue. 

See Diana Britton, The New Reality In Donor-Advised Funds, Wealth Management, January 26, 2015.

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

May 24, 2015 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)