Sunday, March 9, 2014
Texas Bar CLE is sponsoring a CLE entitled, 20th Annual Advanced Estate Planning Strategies Course, on April 24-25, 2014, in Denver. Provided below is a description of the event:
Panel discussions will detail:
- Recipes for Income and Estate Tax Planning in 2014
- Stop the Bus, I Want to Get Off! Business Succession Planning in 2014
- It Slices; It Dices; It Makes Julienne Fries: Cutting-Edge Trust Tools
- It's Too Late to Say You're Sorry - A Selection of Litigation Topics
The discussions will be highly interactive between the audience and the panelists. Speakers will address estate planning situations and will answer the questions that have been perplexing you the most. This is a rare opportunity for you to consult with the experts and your peers. The course will not be recorded for future video replay, so you must attend to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity to hear some of the state's and the nation's leading estate planning and probate lawyers discuss their practices, what they do and don't do, the opportunities and issues they deal with, and the most up-to-date strategies!
Saturday, March 8, 2014
The ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law is presenting a CLE on Real Property Trust and Estate Spring Symposia, on May 1-2, 2014. Provided below is a description of this event:
This year's RPTE Spring Symposia offers CLE programs addressing the latest developments in estate planning, covering a wide range of topics.
A three-part Estate Planning Basics program might be of interest to newer lawyers, while more seasoned professionals will find a variety of specialized programs from which to choose. In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Symposia, there will be two special panels of distinguished Section Chairs to share their reflections on the challenges and lessons from the quarter century just ended and the opportunities for our changing practice in the years ahead.
Take a look at some of our notable trust and estate programs and speakers:
Estate Planning Basics
Benetta P. Jenson, JP Morgan Private Bank
Paul Lee, Alliance Bernstein LP
Karin C. Prangley, Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati LLP
Donna Otis, Otis Law Group Ltd.
Lee-Ford Tritt, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Ryan Walsh, Hamilton Thies & Lorch LLP
The First Quarter Century: Former Section Chairs Reflect on Lessons from the Past and How We Have Grown
Christine L. Albright, Holland & Knight LLP
Louis A. Mezzullo, Withers Bergman LLP
Edward F. Koren, Holland & Knight LLP
Golden Words from Silver Tongues — A Panel Discussion with Recent Section Chairs on Maintaining a Successful Estate Planning Practice over the Next 25 Years
Steve R. Akers, Bessemer Trust
Tina Portuondo, University of Miami School of Law
Alan F. Rothschild Jr., Hatcher Stubbs Land Hollis & Rothschild
Gideon Rothschild, Moses & Singer LLP
How to Solder Broken Plans: Ten Estate Planning Blunders to Fix Now
Keri Brown, Baker Botts LLP
Katy Crafton Fluet, McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Mark R. Parthemer, Bessemer Trust
One is Silver and the Other Gold: Making Friends with the Enemy - How to Identify and Manage Difficult Opposing Counsel
Juli Adelman, Vantage Trial Consulting
Paul Fisher, Fisher Mediation
Jessica A. Uzcategui, Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise LLP
Seeking and Finding New Silver Patterns in a Changed Estate Planning Environment: Creative Inter Vivos QTIP Planning
Richard S. Franklin, McArthur Franklin PLLC
Lester B. Law, Abbot Downing
Barry A. Nelson, Nelson & Nelson, PA
If you've never been to the RPTE Spring Symposia, this is a great year to check it out! First-time attendees receive a discounted registration rate — 40% off the general rate!
Cecil Bray had a retirement job as a driver, which he quit so that he could spend more time taking care of his aunt Julie Spalding. He ran her errands and organized her financial affairs. In return for his care, Mrs. Spalding said she would “compensate” him by leaving him an inheritance in her will. After death, Julie Spalding's will indicated that she was leaving her entire estate to a window cleaner. Now, a judge has reversed Mrs. Spalding's final will and has ordered the window cleaner to pay it all back.
Mrs. Spalding originally drafted a will in 2003, which left the majority of her money and her residence worth more than £300,000 to her nephew. However, after a series of falls that Mrs. Spalding sustained she changed. Her personality and mood completely changed and as a result, caused Mr. Bray to be banished from her home and out of her life. Following the "excommunication", Spalding turned to her window cleaner Albert Pearce. For many years, Mr. Bray considered himself Mrs. Spalding’s "favorite nephew" but under the circumstances, his family told him it would be best to avoid contact with Mrs. Spalding to prevent her from becoming stressed. When Mrs. Spalding died in 2008, she left everything to Mr. Pearce.
See Damien Gayle, Elderly Man Wins Back Promised £300,000 Inheritance After 'Curmudgeonly' Aunt Shut Him Out and Left it All to the Window Cleaner, Daily Mail, Mar. 7, 2014.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, March 7, 2014
When you plan for important life decisions it is solid advice to ask for help from a professional. Having your estate plan should rank high on the list of priorities because not having an estate plan in order can bring chaos. Generally, there are four document must haves that will help keep your estate plan in order.
- Financial Power of Attorney- This appointed person should be someone you trust to make financial decisions on your behalf.
- Will- This document is the heart of the estate plan which indicates the disposition of your assets in the manner that you want them distributed.
- Living Will- This document spells out what medical treatments you want or do not want in case you become unable to make those types of decisions.
- Medical Power of Attorney-This document appoints the person who will make your medical decisions if you can not.
See Michael Mullis, Four Essential Estate Planning Documents Every Business Owner Should Have , Birmingham Business Journal, Feb. 28, 2014.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.)) for bringing this article to my attention.
Thursday, March 6, 2014
Tom Andrews (Professor of Law, University of Washington School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Not so Common (Law) Marriage: Notes from a Blue State, 6 Est. Plan. & Cmty. Prop. L.J. 1 (Fall 2013). Provided below is the introduction to the article:
One of the continuing challenges for American marital property law in the twenty-first century, broadly understood, is what to do about property disputes between domestic partners who are not married. More precisely, the challenge is determining what to do when there are property disputes between unmarried intimate partners, whether heterosexual or homosexual. From what I can tell, this is as much of a challenge in Texas as it is in the rest of the country.
In the northwest corner of the country, we have a set of attitudes that, like many social and cultural norms, have found their way into our common law. These northwestern attitudes might not be so common, or at least so commonly understood, in Texas. Thus, the purpose of this article is to describe how my Blue State of Washington handles property disputes between domestic partners, as well as to discuss what Texas might be able to take from a Blue State approach.
The American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) is sponsoring a CLE entitled, Planning For Medium-Sized Estates: Practical Strategies for Estate, Gift, and Tax Planning, on Wednesday- Friday, March 19- 21. Earn 21-25 CLE/ CPE credits, including ethics with just one program. Provided below is a description of the event:
With the new permanence of portability and the groundbreaking decisions of the Supreme Court in United States v. Windsor and Hollingsworth v. Perry, estate planners have had to scramble to adjust to the new regulations, correct previous filings, update estate plans, and consider new tax and non-tax planning opportunities. Medium-sized estates, in particular, require a refreshed look so that clients can avoid negative tax consequences as well as take advantage of some new, potentially fruitful opportunities.
how Windsor and Perry affect planning for same-sex couples – what’s different and what stays the same? portability becoming permanent generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemptions today probate avoidance and more!
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Edward A. McCoyd and Jon Perrelle (Garden City, New York) recently published an article entitled, Anatomy of an Anomaly: How the QDOT Credit Provisions Defy Logic and the Principles of the Marital and Charitable Deductions, ACTEC, Vol. 38, No. 2 and 3 (Fall 2012/Winter 2012). Provided below is the introduction to the article:
The marital deduction is one of the most commonly used estate planning tools. In the estate tax context, the marital deduction is, in most instances, relatively straightforward: it permits an estate to deduct the full value of property that is transferred from the decedent to his or her surviving spouse. One situation in which the marital deduction is not so simple, however, is where the surviving spouse is not a U.S. citizen.
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Investment decision-making should be based on rational considerations. Here are three ways emotions may guide your investing and what you can do to avoid them:
- Keeping a losing stock. Holding a security with an unrealized loss may trigger the behavioral bias known as loss aversion. Hoping to avoid the pain of a realized loss, the emotional investor hangs on to the stock hoping it will rebound. The rational investor will calculate the expected relative value of selling against holding onto the losing stock. The rational investor will try to figure out why the stock declined in the first place and then determine whether holding onto the losing stock is likely to yield a better return than reinvesting the after-tax proceeds.
- Holding one stock. Many investors during the late-90s technology bubble had an entire portfolio dominated by the securities of their employer. Instead of tying your livelihood to one company’s future success, use a technique called reframing to change your mental starting point. Instead of a starting point of $10 million in stocks, start instead with an assumed pile of $7 million in cash. Reframing can move you to a rational investment decision, which would be to sell off some employer securities in order to diversify into other assets.
- Listening to experts. Skepticism is often warranted when given someone’s “expert judgment.” Ask yourself whether the “expert” really has the requisite knowledge to recommend the investment as well as any ulterior motives. Also, take a step back and consider how realistic the stated track record is. "Real-life experience suggests that markets are mostly efficient on average and over long time periods, but are subject to irrational investor behavior over shorter terms."
See Larry Light, Unholy Trio: Emotional Investing Traps That Kill Your Returns, Forbes, Jan. 16, 2014.
Here are six ways you can reduce your tax bills in retirement:
- Diversify your assets. Start building tax diversification in your portfolio before retirement. That means you should have Roth accounts, tax-deferred accounts, and taxable accounts all represented in your portfolio when entering retirement.
- Consider a Roth conversion. It’s not necessarily too late to convert to a Roth account when in retirement. If your main goal is to pass money to heirs, consider converting.
- Know about RMDs. You need to take required minimum distributions from certain types of accounts, but you can be smart about it. First, see if you can automate your RMDs. Then consider reinvesting RMDs so you’re not taken off your portfolio plan. Finally, combine RMDs with any rebalancing you might want to do with your portfolio.
- Don’t forget about state taxes. Those in higher income tax brackets may want to consider state-specific municipal bonds to earn a double tax benefit. You also want to keep in mind property taxes as well as state estate taxes, where exclusion amounts may be much lower than at the federal level.
- Time your deductions. In some years, it might make sense to take the itemized deduction, provided you can bunch deductions together, such as voluntary medical and dental procedures.
- Avoid the “tax torpedo.” If your income begins to exceed certain thresholds, you may want to watch out for the big jump up in the amount of taxable Social Security income.
See Christine Benz, 6 Ways to Curb Taxes in Retirement, Morning Star, March 1, 2014.
The American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) is presenting a CLE entitled, Charitable Planning Techniques, on Thursday-Friday, June 12-13, 2014 in Boston Massachusetts. Provided below is a description of the event:
Do you advise donors with philanthropic goals? Do you work with charities and their planning giving programs? Or are you just looking to get into the field of charitable planning? Whether you are a novice or an old hand, this is the course for you!
The program will have basic and advanced dual tracks on the first day, allowing registrants to customize the course for their skill levels. A distinguished, national faculty provides a comprehensive review of lifetime and testamentary charitable giving techniques, including a full discussion of new developments. They address the technical, mechanical, and legal sides of the issues, with practical applications and "tips from the trenches."
When registering online, use coupon code CV041EB to receive $200 off!
Deadline: February 28, 2014