Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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Sunday, March 29, 2015

CLE on Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning in Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire

CLEThe ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law is presenting the fourth of five eCLE webinars that are part the Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning: Jurisdiction Selection Series. The upcoming webinar will focus on asset protection laws in Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. CT. 1.5 General CLE Credit Hours. Here is why you should attend:

15 states, such as Nevada and New Hampshire, permit the creation of full blown self-settled asset protection trusts. Besides the 15, at least 10 other states, including Arizona and Maryland, allow some form of an asset protection trust, including inter vivos QTIP trusts.  The proliferation of domestic asset protection trusts leaves attorneys inquiring about the laws in each asset protection state and the benefits of creating such a trust in one state versus another. Over the course of this e-CLE, the presenters will address domestic self-settled asset protection trust statutes and inter vivos QTIP trust statutes, and discuss:

  • What is an inter vivos QTIP trust and how can it help my clients?
  • Will domestic self-settled asset protection trusts benefit my clients?
  • Do the costs of creating a trust in one state for creditor protection or taxation benefits really outweigh the creation of such a trust in another?
  • Is the trust really protected from creditors?
  • Can the trust be used to avoid the income tax in the grantor's state of residence?
  • Can a same sex couple benefit from the use of these trusts?
  • Is using an offshore trust better?

March 29, 2015 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

CEO Tim Cook To Give Away All His Money

Tim CookChief Executive of Apple Inc., Tim Cook, is planning to give away his wealth.  The head of the world’s largest technology corporation says he plans to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity after paying for his ten-year-old nephew’s college education.  “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” said Cook.

Although Cook’s fortune is not as massive as Gates or Zuckerberg, who are both worth billions, the Apple CEO said he hopes to make a difference.  In recent years, Cook has begun speaking out about issues ranging from the environment to civil rights.  Cook has already started donating money to unspecified causes quietly and is trying to develop a more “systematic approach” to philanthropy that goes beyond writing checks.

See Reuters, Apple’s Tim Cook Will Give Away All His Money, Yahoo Finance, March 26, 2015.    

March 28, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Article on Singapore's Remedial Constructive Trust

Man YipMan Yip (Singapore Management University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Singapore’s Remedial Constructive Trust: Lessons from Australia? Journal of Equity, Vol. 8, pp. 77-107 (2014); Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 42/2015.  Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:

Although Singapore equity was historically derived from and remains reliant on English equity, in recent years, the Singapore courts have not always followed in the footsteps of English law. One such instance is Singapore’s embrace of the remedial constructive trust. Presently, Singapore law is still in the process of working out its model of remedial constructive trust in two key aspects. The first aspect relates to the scope of the remedial constructive trust; and the second aspect concerns the principles governing the exercise of remedial discretion. This paper considers what Singapore law can and should learn from the Australian experience. Whilst there are key points of reference that can be taken from the Australian jurisprudence, there are also some fundamental distinctions between Singapore law and Australian law that would prevent a direct and automatic transplantation of Australian principles. Indeed, there remain some unresolved issues within the Australian framework of remedial constructive trust.

March 28, 2015 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gift Tax Season is Here

GiftsThe filing deadline for gift tax returns is quickly approaching. One benefit of filing a gift tax return is starting the Statute of Limitations, which gives the IRS three years to challenge the gift valuation. However, to successfully begin the limitations period, adequate notice must be given, which means including an appraisal or an equivalent showing of how the gift was valued.

See John P. Dedon, Gift Tax Returns and Adequate Disclosure, The National law Review, March 26, 2015.

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

March 28, 2015 in Gift Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Considerations for Choosing Trustees

Trust1Setting up a trusts includes shopping around for the best deal and careful consideration of who to choose for trust administration and management. Fees depend on the complexity of assets and amount of funding for the trust, among many other factors. Comparing prices for various companies can be  difficult since they often are including different options in their packages and it is difficult to make accurate comparisons when looking at fee schedules alone. It is also important to note that most fees are negotiable and depend on individualized circumstances.

See Amy Feldman, Trust Costs Go Up; Get Ready to Negotiate, Barron's, Feb. 28, 2015.

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

March 28, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gurlitt Bequest Upheld By German Court

GurlittA Munich court has struck down a legal challenge by a cousin of Cornelius Gurlitt who claimed that she should inherit works from his vast art collection.  I have previously discussed that Mr. Gurlitt had bequeathed the works to the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, and the court ruled that they rightfully belong there. 

In a statement released on Thursday, the Munich court stated, “The decision finds Cornelius Gurlit’s will, in which he names the Kunstmuseum Bern as sole heir, valid.  The decision dismisses the claim made by his cousin that the testator Cornelius Gurlitt was incapable of making a will at the time of signing.” 

Mr. Gurlitt’s cousin, Uta Werner, has one month to decide whether to appeal to a higher court.  A spokesman for Ms. Werner shad that her lawyers would “closely review the reasons for the decision, after which Ms. Werner will decide how to proceed.”

See Christopher D. Shea, German Court Upholds Bequest of Gurlitt Collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern, The New York Times, March 27, 2015. 

March 27, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Elder Abuse Investigator Sued Over Husband's Will

Gavel2A former Medford, Oregon police detective who specialized in investigating elder abuse has been accused of using her expertise to exploit the dementia of a Portland lawyer before his death last year. 

The daughter of Victor Calzaretta says that she was in line to inherit her father’s estate until Calzaretta married Sue Campbell after only a brief courtship.  In 2011, Calzaretta changed his will to make his wife the executor and sole beneficiary.

The $4 million dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of Diane Miller alleges the detective was familiar with the signs of dementia and married Calzaretta to gain access to his estate.  Campbell denies the allegations.

See Steven Dubois, Daughter Sues Elder Abuse Investigator Over Father’s Will, Statesman Journal, March 27, 2015.

March 27, 2015 in Elder Law, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on Domestic Asset Protection and Inter Vivos QTIP Trusts

CLE Photo

The American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law is holding an eCLE entitled, There’s No Place Like Home—Domestic Self-Settled Asset Protection Trusts and Inter Vivos QTIP Trusts: Why Do Them and Where To Go When You Do.  Upcoming webinars will be held on April 14th and June 9th.   Here is why you should attend:

Effective July 1, 2014, Mississippi became the 15th state to permit the creation of full blown self-settled asset protection trusts. Besides the 15, at least 10 other states allow some form of an asset protection trust, including inter vivos QTIP trusts. The proliferation of domestic asset protection trusts leaves attorneys inquiring about the laws in each asset protection state and the benefits of creating such a trust in one state versus another. Other frequently asked questions include:

    • What is an inter vivos QTIP trust and how can it help my clients?
    • Will domestic self-settled asset protection trusts benefit my clients?
    • Do the costs of creating a trust in one state for creditor protection or taxation benefits really outweigh the creation of such a trust in another?
    • Is the trust really protected from creditors?
    • Can the trust be used to avoid the income tax in the grantor's state of residence?
    • Can a same sex couple benefit from the use of these trusts?
    • Is using an offshore trust better?

These are just some of the questions that will be answered over the course of five eCLE webinars addressing some of the full blown domestic self-settled asset protection trust statutes and inter vivos QTIP trust statutes.

March 27, 2015 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Late Coach Dean Smith Gives $200 to Former Players

Dean SmithFormer North Carolina Tar Heels coach Dean Smith, who passed away in February at the age of 83, created a trust to send $200 to every letterman who played under him at UNC.  Accountant Tim Breedlove said that the checks were mailed out to approximately 180 of Smith’s former players.  The letter came along with a note from Coach Smith to all his players, asking them to “enjoy a dinner out” with the money. 

See Nate Scott, Dean Smith Left Money in His Will To Every UNC Letterman Who Played Under Him, USA Today, March 26, 2015. 

See also Steve DelVecchio, Dean Smith Willed $200 to Each of His Former Lettermen, MSN, March 26, 2015.

Special thanks to Travis Tolley (Craig, Terrill, Hale & Grantham, LLP) for bringing this article to my attention. 

Special thanks to Jason Smith (Texas Tech University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 27, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Factors for a Strong Family Unit

FamilyMany families move toward a state of separation and disunity as time progresses, and this tendency can make the risks of sibling rivalry and family feuding over inheritance stronger. Here are some factors that can lesson those risks and bring a family closer together:

  • Sharing economic values, such as philanthropy.
  • Developing a healthy culture founded on encouraging direct communication.
  • Creating a decision-making process that feels fair to all impacted.
  • Rewarding skills development and devaluing privilege and entitlement.
  • Showing appreciation for the work put in by those that strengthen a healthy family dynamic.
  • Remembering family members and the family as a whole are not perfect and remembering to forgive.

See Patricia Davidson, Blood Feuds, Private Wealth, March 10, 2015.

Special thanks to Rob V. Robertson (Attorney, Austin, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 27, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)