Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Article on On the Boundaries of the Property Law – Trust in a Civil Law System

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-18/a77622ee-0e10-45ba-adb8-29290318dd18.pngAleksander Grebieniow published an Article entitled, On the Boundaries of the Property Law – Trust in a Civil Law System, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The trust ia a perfect example of a legal transplant between the common law and the civil law systems. It’s a creation of Equity, which refers to a fiduciary transfer of ownership. A settlor transfers certain goods to the trustee, who acquires the ownership fiduciae causa and is obliged to administer them to the benefit of the settlor itself or of a beneficiary. The particularity of the Trust founds its roots in the ambiguity of its classification, dependent on which Law System it is applied in. In the anglosaxon countries this institution belongs purely to the branch of the Real Law. However, on the Continent it is being considered as a part of the Law of Obligations. To the desire of the harmonisation of laws, a conclusion of the Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition from 1st July 1985 (Aia Convention) took place and made it possible for the Trusts to operate beyond the Common Law countries, but caused certain practical problems. The author aims to present the clash of legal systems, which may be useful to define the trust’s nature.

April 17, 2018 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Book on Grappling with Legacy: Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-17/63f9602a-e872-4b9c-962d-0286986dfa4b.pngSylvia Brown published a book entitled, Grappling with Legacy: Rhode Island’s Brown Family and the American Philanthropic Impulse (2017). Provided below is a summary of the book:

"This is a fascinating and intellectually honest work about a remarkable family that has played a major role in the history of Providence and Rhode Island. Sylvia Brown has made a tremendous contribution in writing this wonderful book. It is clearly a labor of love, and we should all be grateful to her for it."

- Vartan Gregorian, President of Carnegie Corporation

of New York, former President of Brown University

"A splendid work of history---an honest, clearly written, and solidly based account of the private and public lives through four centuries of one of America's most important and fascinating families."

- Gordon Wood, Pulitzer Prize for History, Alva O. Way University Professor and Professor of History Emeritus at Brown University

What fuels a family's compulsion for philanthropy? Self-interest? A feeling of guilt? A sense of genuine altruism? Charitable giving is such an intrinsic part of American culture that its story deserves to be told, not in a dry, academic tome but through the tale of a colorful, multifaceted family.

Since 1638, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders in one of the nation's most idiosyncratic states. In the 18th century, they excelled at maritime commerce, were pioneers of the American industrial revolution, and adorned their hometown of Providence with public buildings, churches, and a university. In the 19th century, they pioneered the modern notion that universities can be forces for social good. And, in the 20th century, they sought to transform the human experience through great art and architecture. Over three hundred years, the Browns also wrestled with society's toughest issues-slavery, immigration, child labor, the dispossessed-and with their own internal family tensions.

Author Sylvia Brown tells the story of the ten generations of Browns that came before her with warmth and lucidity. Today, in an era of wealth creation and philanthropic innovation not seen since the Gilded Age, Grappling with Legacy provides fascinating insights into a unique aspect of America's heritage.

April 17, 2018 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Tangled Legacy

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-17/528647e5-6b96-4104-a82d-22a9c28ee6f9.pngSylvia Brown, in her recent book, Grappling with Legacy, closely examines the relationship between money and meaning. Brown is an 11th-generation heir descending from the famous Rhode Island family after which Brown University is named. Brown uses her platform to analyze the philanthropic impulse while examining her own roots and her family’s wealth accumulation. The ultimate question she seeks to answer is whether charitable giving is motivated by altruism, guilt, or self-interest.

See Thomas M. Kostigen, A Tangled Legacy, Financial Advisor, April 2, 2018.

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

April 17, 2018 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on On the Boundaries of the Property Law – Trust in a Civil Law System

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-17/f1a415b7-077c-4f72-aa2b-10eff1e87e38.pngAleksander Grebieniow published an Article entitled, On the Boundaries of the Property Law – Trust in a Civil Law System, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The trust ia a perfect example of a legal transplant between the common law and the civil law systems. It’s a creation of Equity, which refers to a fiduciary transfer of ownership. A settlor transfers certain goods to the trustee, who acquires the ownership fiduciae causa and is obliged to administer them to the benefit of the settlor itself or of a beneficiary. The particularity of the Trust founds its roots in the ambiguity of its classification, dependent on which Law System it is applied in. In the anglosaxon countries this institution belongs purely to the branch of the Real Law. However, on the Continent it is being considered as a part of the Law of Obligations. To the desire of the harmonisation of laws, a conclusion of the Convention on the Law Applicable to Trusts and on their Recognition from 1st July 1985 (Aia Convention) took place and made it possible for the Trusts to operate beyond the Common Law countries, but caused certain practical problems. The author aims to present the clash of legal systems, which may be useful to define the trust’s nature.

April 17, 2018 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Article on Proliferation of Hidden Income and Tax Evasion: Perceptions of Malaysian Professionals

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-16/aaaaa1b3-b10d-4243-9f8d-a78a30a84750.pngJeyapalan Kasipillai, Mei Yee Lee, & Sakthi Mahenthiran published an Article entitled, Proliferation of Hidden Income and Tax Evasion: Perceptions of Malaysian Professionals, Tax Law: Tax Law & Policy eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

This study employs a qualitative approach to investigate the perceptions of professionals regarding tax evasion and avoidance in the informal sectors in Malaysia. We estimate tax evasion due to hidden income in Malaysia approximates MYR 44.97 billion (A$ 13.87 billion), around 5.4 per cent of gross domestic product in 2014. We used a survey to seek insights on hidden income from respondents who are experts in the fields of accounting and taxation, including senior government officers and tax professionals. The findings of the survey reveal that the three main sectors perceived to be engaged in ‘hidden income’ are, in ranking order: (i) petty trade; (ii) logging and timber; and (iii) money lending and pawn-broking. Our interviews with the respondents also reveal additional informal sectors involved in these activities, including human trafficking, bribing of enforcement agencies and illegal logging. This study assists to identify tax compliance gaps among the different sectors of the economy and provides information on sectors that require greater tax auditing. This will, in turn, furnish input to policy makers to develop strategies in encouraging voluntary compliance as well as enhancing the effectiveness of the existing tax and bureaucratic systems.

April 16, 2018 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0)

Exploring the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-16/8dae478c-e24d-41bc-a974-e59bc0e023ce.pngA settlor may use the Spousal Lifetime Asset Trust (SLAT) for the continued benefit of a spouse and children. A SLAT is an irrevocable trust that potentially reduces exposure to estate taxes while providing the beneficiary-spouse with access to the trust corpus or trust income. With other estate planning tools, a bypass trust for example, the settlor-spouse must have passed away for the surviving spouse to access trust assets. Another major benefit of the SLAT is that the beneficiary-spouse can access trust funds using the gift tax exemption without suffering a “permanent loss.” While a SLAT has a number of beneficial characteristics, there are some considerable potential drawbacks. Notably, in the case of divorce or death, the settlor-spouse might not have access to assets in the trust.

See Inna Fershteyn, Esq., Exploring the Spousal Lifetime Access Trust, Brooklyn Trust & Will, April 17, 2018.

Special thanks to Alexander Evelson for bringing this article to my attention. 

April 16, 2018 in Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Advising Family Business Owners After Tax Reform: Strategic Opportunities Estate Planners Need to Know

0000000 CLEThe American Law Institute is holding a conference entitled, Advising Family Business Owners After Tax Reform: Strategic Opportunities Estate Planners Need to Know, which will take place Tuesday, April 17, 2018 via telephone seminar and audio webcast. Provided below is a description of the event:

Join a panel of nationally-known estate planners as they explore the complex impacts of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on family business owners. In just 90 minutes, gain applicable strategies and tools to help your family business clients navigate post-tax reform planning opportunities.

Topics will include:

Converting from S corporation to C corporation, pros and cons
Planning for conversion from S corporation to C corporation
Real estate LLC rents;
Gifting strategies;
Sale of the family business

Register today for this timely seminar! You can also register two or more from your organization and save.

Faculty

Michael V. Bourland, Bourland, Wall & Wenzel, P.C., Fort Worth, TX
Andrea C. Chomakos, McGuire Woods LLP, Charlotte, North Carolina
Steven B. Gorin, Thompson Coburn LLP, St. Louis, Missouri

Group Rate

Significant discounts are available when two or more registrants in the same physical location view an ALI CLE webcast using one computer connection. Save up to 50%!

Questions?

Please don't hesitate to email us any questions you may have at custserv@ali-cle.org.

April 16, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Divided States of America: Major Health Study Warns US Is at a Breaking Point As the Wealthy Coasts Thrive and the Poor South Is Crushed by Drugs, Heart Disease, Obesity and Cancer

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-16/d3dcfdb9-9484-4126-851d-7934171c77ac.pngHuge disparities in wellness as measured per state continue to exist in the United States. This trend persists in spite of massive amounts of spending by the US government on both medicine and healthcare. In 21 states, individuals were more likely to die an early death in 2016 as compared to 1990. Researchers at the University of Washington are concerned that this trend is pushing America’s health development behind less-developed nations.

See Natalie Rahhal, The Divided States of America: Major Health Study Warns US Is at a Breaking Point As the Wealthy Coasts Thrive and the Poor South Is Crushed by Drugs, Heart Disease, Obesity and Cancer, Daily Mail.com, April 10, 2018.

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

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

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Article CRI-Leslie: Musings on Plain Meaning, Absurdity and Capital Gain

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-15/e8c3d851-4d1b-4e79-98f1-285a3e72aece.pngJeffrey A. Galant & Dana L. Mark published an Article entitled, CRI-Leslie: Musings on Plain Meaning, Absurdity and Capital Gain, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

CRI-Leslie, LLC v Commissioner is a noteworthy case of first impression involving the interpretation of Internal Revenue Code Section 1234A. In CRI-Leslie the U.S. Tax Court and the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held against capital gain treatment for proceeds received as a result of the cancellation of a contract involving the sale of property. However, the greater importance of these decisions may be the illustration of the methodology used by the courts to interpret the Internal Revenue Code. Or, more to the point, whether the courts were justified in relying on the plain meaning rule rather than the legislative history in determining what Internal Revenue Code Section 1234A means.

April 15, 2018 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Evaluating the New US Pass-Through Rules

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-04-15/a9a4da6d-fad0-41de-acb3-c6982ecd4606.pngDaniel Shaviro published an Article entitled, Evaluating the New US Pass-Through Rules, Tax Law: Tax Law & Policy eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The pass-through rules that the US Congress enacted in 2017 - permitting the owners of unincorporated businesses in favored industries to escape tax on 20 per cent of their income - achieved a rare and unenviable trifecta, by making the tax system less efficient, less fair, and more complicated. It lacked any coherent (or even clearly articulated) underlying principle, was shoddily executed, and ought to be promptly repealed. Given the broader surrounding circumstances, the mere fact of its enactment sends out a disturbing message about disregard among high-ranking US policymakers for basic principles of competence, transparency, and fair governance.

April 15, 2018 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)