Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

Article on Succession by Survivorship Under Hindu Succession Act, 1956

HinduG. V. Mahesh Nath recently published an article entitled, Survivorship and Intestate Succession — Understanding the Difference Between Section 6 and 8 of Hindu Succession Act, 1956, available on SSRN. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

            The Hon'ble Supreme Court in decision between Uttam v. Saubhag Singh and other has summarized the law, insofar as it applies to joint family property governed by the Mitakshara school, prior to the amendment of 2005. This article analysis the case of Uttam with regard to succession by survivorship and intestate under the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

May 23, 2016 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wealthy And Famous Celebrities Who Died Intestate

PrinceThere has been more attention to the issue of wealthy celebrities dying intestate (without a will) because of the issues surrounding the Prince estate.  The families of wealthy celebrities who die intestate often face many complications.  This article goes through a list of ten famous people who have died intestate and discusses the problems that it caused.  Families of these celebrities often face tremendous problems with taxes and probate disputes.  These stories are a reason why it is important for people to have a will.  It is a good idea to meet with an estate planning attorney to put together a will.  Putting off these important estate planning steps can bad consequences for people if they pass away unexpectedly.  This is even more important for high profile people who might have large estates or valuable legacies. 

See 10 famous people who died without a will- and the problems it caused, The Telegraph, May 17, 2016.

Special thanks to Jeffrey A. Walsh (Barton, East & Caldwell, P.L.L.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.

May 19, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession | Permalink | Comments (0)

More Relatives Making Claims On Prince’s Estate

Prince3I have previously discussed the ongoing issues surrounding the estate of legendary musician Prince who passed away intestate.  Now there are more people coming forward claiming to be descended from Prince’s half-brother Duane Nelson.  “The two new potential heirs both said they were descended from Prince's older half-brother Duane Nelson, who died in 2011, and was once head of security for the singer.”  There is another person who is claiming that she had a child with Duane Nelson.  “Another woman, Jeannine Halloran, said that she had an 11-year-old daughter with the late Duane Nelson Jr.”  The mother and daughter are willing to undergo DNA testing to try to prove their claims, and both claimers also filed their birth certificates with the probate court. 

See Tom Wyke, Two more ‘relatives’ stake their claim to a share of Prince’s fortune: Family of singer’s late half-brother say birth certificate proves they are rightful heirs, Daily Mail, May 19, 2016.

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

May 19, 2016 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

CLE On Inherited IRAs

CleThe American Bar Association is hosting a CLE entitled, Inherited IRAs: What You Must Know, which will take place on June 14, 2016 from 1:00 P.M. – 2:00 P.M. ET. Provided below is a description of the event:

Retirement assets often represent a substantial portion of a taxpayer's wealth. The retirement assets may be accumulated in a 401(k) plan, 403(b) arrangement, in another kind of qualified plan, or in an IRA. Regardless of the retirement arrangement involved, the tax consequences of making the right move at the right time can be financially beneficial - or, conversely, financially hazardous - for the taxpayer and the taxpayer's family.

This program will help you avoid common errors when dealing with retirement assets during your client's lifetime and after your client's death. Tax planning with retirement assets including integrating retirement assets in an estate plan will be discussed. Additionally, the presentation takes on special significance since the Supreme Court of the United States in Clark v. Rameker held that an inherited IRA is not a retirement fund under the federal bankruptcy exemption. This program is especially important since it will include coverage of the new IRA rollover rules that are effective as of January 1, 2015.

May 17, 2016 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Article On Digital Assets And Intestacy

ArticlePictureLaura McCarthy (Boston University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Digital assets and intestacy, 21 B.U. J. Sci. & Tech. L. 384-412 (2015). Provided below is an excerpt from the article:

This Note discusses the consequences for baby boomers and other individuals who are unaware of their digital assets, or who do not plan for digital asset transfer upon death, thereby leaving their heirs unable to access important accounts and transfer digital assets. Part II defines digital assets and discusses current issues surrounding them in intestacy. Next, Part III discusses existing laws relevant to digital assets. Part IV explains the case for intestacy legislation for digital assets. Finally, Part V analyzes alternatives to intestacy legislation for digital assets. This Note concludes by suggesting that, although there are available alternatives to safeguarding and planning for a digital estate, legislation regarding digital assets for an intestate estate is essential in order to allocate assets properly to potential heirs.

May 14, 2016 in Articles, Intestate Succession | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Minnesota Legislature Considering PRINCE Act

Prince 5Less than three weeks after the state’s most famous musician passed away Minnesota legislatures are rushing to pass legislation that will protect Prince’s name, voice, and likeness.  “A law firm working for court-appointed Prince estate administrator Bremer Trust reported on Monday that although courts have suggested Minnesota limits use of people's name and likeness, it is not embedded in state law.”  The death of Prince has spurred action on this legislation, but the bill will apply to other Minnesotans, alive or dead.  “The legislation is called Personal Rights In Names Can Endure Act, or PRINCE Act.”  There are currently seventeen states that have a similar right of publicity which extends after death.  Lawmakers in Minnesota would like to pass this legislation to protect the legacy of a musician who was very important to the State. 

See Don Davis, PRINCE Act appears in Minn. Legislature, ABC, May 10, 2016.

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

May 10, 2016 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 9, 2016

It Is Time For People To Start Talking About Wills

Prince 4The recent passing of Prince and the revelation that he did not have a will brings attention to why it is extremely important for people to have a will.  In this audio segment Jill Schlesinger discusses the process of creating a will and why it is a very important estate planning step that people need to follow.  People should not let their fear of dealing with the estate planning process stop them from taking measures that are necessary for avoiding future hardships.  There will be a bitter fight over the Prince estate and the situation is even more difficult because he did not have a will.  Creating a will is an important way to minimize expensive probate battles.  People need to start having those important conversations about drafting a will.

See Lizzie O’Leary, The Conversation: Do you have a will?, Market Place, May 6, 2016.

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

May 9, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Prince’s Estate Will Use Blood Sample To Fight Paternity Claim

Prince3I have previously discussed the ongoing issues surrounding the estate of the late iconic musician Prince.  Recently the Prince estate has announced that it is ready to use a sample of Prince’s blood to battle any paternity claims against the royal bloodline.  “A Minnesota judge signed off Friday on a request from the Rock Hall of Famer’s reps to analyze a sample of Prince’s blood in case of future ‘parentage issues.’”  The blood sample will be delivered to a DNA Diagnostics center for genetic testing just in case anyone comes forward claiming to be Prince’s child.  There will likely be a long drawn out estate fight because Prince passed away without a will.  These legal developments are probably going to be ongoing because of the large size of the estate. 

See Larry McShane, Prince’s estate to fight paternity claims with late rock icon’s blood sample, Daily News, May 6, 2016.

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

May 7, 2016 in Current Affairs, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Music, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Estate Planning Issues Entertainers Face

Prince2Prince’s passing has cause a massive amount of media speculation about the division of his estate.  A will has not been found yet and it is becoming increasingly likely that the music legend died intestate.  His estate is probably going to have to be divided up under Minnesota intestacy laws.  High profile entertainers like Prince face unique estate planning issues.  The Prince estate will likely go through an ongoing process of battles in probate court and the media is going to widely report on it.  “Implementing estate plans which use revocable (and irrevocable) trusts can help maintain privacy because upon death their terms rarely become public record.”  It is important for everyone, but especially high profile celebrities, to seek out the expertise of a competent estate planning professional for personalized estate planning assistance. 

See Rob Hazard, Estate Planning Issues For Entertainers, Estate Of Mind, May 4, 2016.

May 5, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

New Changes In Estate Planning Laws Provide Reason For Updating Estate Plan

New legislationMany people are revising and updating their estate plan because of recent changes to estate planning and tax laws.  Another reason for updating estate plans is the increase in the average life expectancy thanks to developments in modern health care.  This article discusses some of the recent changes in the law and why it is important for people to update their estate plans.  People need to update their planning if they are going to be impacted by estate and gift taxes.  Those who have trusts will also need to review their estate plans.  “Another very important development in estate planning is the use of proper beneficiary designations for qualified plans and IRA interests.”  There are many parents who have reason to be concerned about the property that they plan to leave to beneficiaries being subject to creditor or spousal claims, and they will want to take proactive estate planning measures. 

See Dickinson Wright PLLC, Recent Changes in Estate Planning Laws May be Cause for Review of Your Estate Plan, Lexology, May 4, 2016.

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

May 5, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Intestate Succession, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)