Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, February 23, 2018

Article on Impact of the EU Succession Regulation on Statutory Inheritance

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-23/ddbddc70-3092-42de-8a60-887b51a5b481.pngMariusz Załucki recently published an Article entitled, Impact of the EU Succession Regulation on Statutory Inheritance, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The new EU Succession Regulation has caused a series of controversies. Doubts are linked, inter alia, to the application, as a result of the Regulation, of national laws, which in many places differ from each other. One such area is statutory inheritance. Diverging national rules may result in unsatisfactory consequences of the application of the Regulation. The paper presents this area and looks for a solution that could be applied in the future. According to the author, such a solution is necessary and will allow further integration of the EU succession law.

February 23, 2018 in Articles, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

'Martin' Star Tisha Campbell-Martin Asks for Spousal Support in Divorce

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-23/dd31ad25-83d4-4bb0-9bf5-571ab37eeb4b.pngTisha Campbell-Martin, star of the television series "Martin," filed for divorce from husband Duane Martin on Thursday. The pair separated in December of 2016 after two decades of marriage. Tisha has two children with Duane, 8 and 16-year-old sons. According to court documents, Tisha is asking for spousal support and split legal and physical custody of the children. She commented on the situation: "After 27 years of being together and two amazing children, it pains me to announce that I've filed for divorce. It's an emotional time and I graciously ask for privacy for me, our children and the rest of our family."

See 'Martin' Star Tisha Campbell-Martin Asks for Spousal Support in Divorce, TMZ, February 23, 2018.

February 23, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Prince's Heirs Worried Estate's Burning Cash Will Leave Them with Nothing

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-22/e5a4b142-e1e1-4737-8d92-bbda00d1b62d.pngPrince’s heirs are growing concerned that they will be left with nothing once the estate is finally settled. Comerica is currently handling the estate's disposition and charges $125,000 per month for their services. Comerica has also hired a law firm, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A., to advise on tax issues, coordinate with accountants, and to represent the estate in court. In the month of November alone, the law firm’s bill was in excess of $440,000 in expenses and fees. With these incredibly high costs, over $600,000 in some months, Prince’s heirs and beneficiaries are worried that the estate will be drained by the time any assets are distributed. Comerica has been diligent in their record-keeping though; the company has itemized the necessary expenses in a 600-page document that details how they are spending the money in Prince’s $250 million estate.

See Prince's Heirs Worried Estate's Burning Cash Will Leave Them with Nothing, TMZ, February 22, 2108.

Special thanks to Molly Neace for bringing this article to my attention.

February 22, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession | Permalink | Comments (0)

Trusts in the Age of Trump: Time to Re-Engineer Your Estate Plan

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-22/02c53198-0d17-4fcf-b733-503cd0185703.pngThe Tax Cuts and Jobs Act makes some exciting alterations to various parts of the tax code. For estate and tax planners, ranking among the most notable changes are the increase to the estate tax exemption thresholds and tax breaks for qualified business income. As might be expected, clever lawyers have started pushing the limits of these new rules to mitigate taxes for themselves and for their clients. A ploy concocted for a client by Steven Oshins, an estate lawyer in Las Vegas, involves taking his client’s $1.6 million in yearly earnings and placing portions into eight separate non-grantor trusts for his 3 children and 8 grandchildren. Since each trust can shield up to 20% of the transferred profits, maxed out at $150,000, this maneuver saves the owner nearly $90,000 in taxes. A delighted Oshins commented on the situation: “Congress can't contemplate what creative estate planners will come up with.”

See Ashlea Ebeling, Trusts in the Age of Trump: Time to Re-Engineer Your Estate Plan, Forbes, February 13, 2018.

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

February 22, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Justin Bieber is Getting a New Baby Sister

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-21/f7143d2a-e5d9-43d4-803a-48f9aa935907.pngA new Bieber will be making her way into this world in the next few months. Justin Bieber's father, Jeremy Bieber, recently revealed the news that his new bride, Chelsey Rebelo, is pregnant.  Rebelo is approximately four to five months along. The couple's pink-themed Jamaican wedding this week was an homage to their expected daughter. This is the pair's first child together, though Jeremy already has three of his own.

See Justin Bieber is Getting a New Baby Sister, TMZ, February 21, 2018.

 

February 22, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, February 19, 2018

How the New TCJA Tax Law Affects Life Settlements

'Your policy does cover wind damage, but not from huffing and puffing.'The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has had a notable impact on life settlements. The increase in the estate tax exemption to $11.2 million for individuals and $22.4 million for couples in 2018 necessitates a comprehensive review of insurance policies purchased for estate planning purposes. When reevaluating outdated estate plans, clients and planners may find that many of these polices, including second-to-die contracts, are no longer required. If this is the case, these policies may need to be surrendered. Prior to a client surrendering their policy though, prudent planners should be aware of their responsibility to investigate the alternative possibility of a life settlement instead. In some cases, a life settlement can offer more value for a client as opposed to surrendering the policy to the issuing insurance company.

See Robin S. Weinberger & Peter N. Katz, How the New TCJA Tax Law Affects Life Settlements, ThinkAdvisor, February 2, 2018.

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

February 19, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Archbishop Sheen’s Body to Stay in New York, for Now

 Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen, who passed away in 1979, was best known for his role as the host on “Life is Worth Living,” an Emmy-winning television series broadcast during the 1950s. Now, years after his death, a dispute has erupted between rival dioceses claiming rights to Sheen's remains. Five days prior to his death, Sheen executed a will directing his remains be buried at Calvary Cemetery, which is the cemetery of the Archdiocese of New York. Cardinal Terence Cooke asked and was granted permission by Sheen's niece, Joan Sheen Cunningham, to instead place the remains in the crypt under St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue. The matter of Sheen's final resting place would have been settled had it not been for a recent push to have him declared a saint. Bishop Daniel R. Jenky of the Diocese of Peoria, Illinois, began investigating the issue of sainthood in 2002. He says that Cardinal Edward Egan granted him permission to sponsor the cause for Sheen's sainthood and also promised to have the body moved to Peoria. The controversy as to where Sheen's body should remain has become the impetus for a protracted legal battle. Cunningham, who is now 90, believes that if her uncle had known that he might be considered for sainthood, he would have been perfectly happy with the move to Illinois. For her, the best course of action would be to divide the body into relics, which has been a regular occurrence for saintly relics in the Catholic Church for centuries. 

See Sharon Otterman, Archbishop Sheen’s Body to Stay in New York, for Now, The New York Times, February 7, 2018.

February 19, 2018 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Fixing Outdated Irrevocable Trusts

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-19/d784c1f6-8c9a-45e6-9b6e-c84581ca41eb.pngEstate planners now meeting with clients to review their outdated estate plans commonly come across irrevocable trusts set up by those clients in the 1980s, 90s, or early 2000s. Many of these trusts were established at a time when the estate and gift tax exemption thresholds were much lower and affected a larger group of taxpayers. The point of creating these trusts was to lower the size of a client’s estate in order to avoid as much estate and gift tax as possible. Under the current tax law, these trusts are no longer as necessary and may even be detrimental to an estate plan. In Wisconsin, changes to the Wisconsin Trust Code provide more options for planners and clients to modify or terminate these irrevocable trusts.

See Jacqueline L. Messer, Fixing Outdated Irrevocable Trusts, Milwaukee Business Journal, February 5, 2018.

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

February 19, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Woman Who Was Mistakenly ‘BURIED ALIVE’ Tried to Fight ‘Her Way out of Sealed Coffin’ After Being Laid to Rest 11 Days Before

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-18/7ac9238d-8d54-4a59-bc6f-008c8ea98340.pngRosangela Almeida dos Santos suffered from cardiac arrest in late January and passed away after being rushed to the Hospital do Oeste in Barreiras, a city in eastern Brazil. Her family held a wake in her honor that night and her body was buried the following day in a concrete coffin. Soon after, locals started reporting screams, moans, and groans coming from the tomb. Natalina Silva, a local resident who heard noises coming from the supposedly deceased Santos stated: “When I got there right in front of the tomb, I heard banging from inside it. I thought the kids who play around the cemetery were playing a joke on me. Then I heard her groan twice, and after those two groans she stopped.” Eleven days after her burial, family members attempted to save Santos. When they managed to reach the coffin, they noticed the nails surrounding the lid had been pushed outward and there was blood and scratches inside. The family reported the incident to the police and a spokesman from the hospital said they will “provide all necessary information requested from them to the family and authorities.”

See Matt Roper, Woman Who Was Mistakenly ‘BURIED ALIVE’ Tried to Fight ‘Her Way out of Sealed Coffin’ After Being Laid to Rest 11 Days Before, DailyMail.com, February 16, 2018.

Special thanks to Molly Neace for bringing this article to my attention.

 

February 18, 2018 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, February 16, 2018

John Mahoney, Who Played Cranky Dad on ‘Frasier,’ Dies at 77

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-02-16/f7565de5-e100-4417-981d-b2d89789f8ce.pngJohn Mahoney, popularly known for his role as the gruff-but-lovable Martin Crane on the television series Frasier, died last week at the age of 77. Paul Martino, Mahoney’s manager for over 30 years, said the actor passed away after a brief stay in the hospital. The cause of death was not provided. Kelsey Grammer, who played Frasier Crane, Martin’s well-to-do and often arrogant son, said of Mahoney’s death: “He was my father. I loved him.”

Mahoney was born in 1940 after his pregnant mother’s evacuation to Blackpool, England. He later followed a sister to Chicago, where he fell in love with the city. In a 2015 interview, Mahoney highlighted his favorite attributes of the city he loved: “The lake, the skyline, the museums, the symphony, the lyric opera…my favorite place in the world.”

See Lynn Elber, John Mahoney, Who Played Cranky Dad on ‘Frasier,’ Dies at 77, USA Today, February 5, 2017.

February 16, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)