Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Friday, December 8, 2017

New U.S. Tax Law Could Curb Charitable Donations

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-08/09361590-ed91-4ccb-b048-6b1a812207d4.pngThe tax bill currently meandering its way through Congress may inadvertently impact end-of-year charitable giving. Many taxpayers wait until late December to provide their donations to charity in order to make the timing cut-off for taking a deduction in that tax year. With standard deductions likely going up, these last-minute donors have less incentive to itemize their deductions, which may lead to fewer gifts to charities. The increase and possible abrogation of the estate tax may also negatively affect donations to charity, as fewer high-net-worth taxpayers will be concerned with the tax consequences of passing their estate on to their beneficiaries.

See Beth Pinsker, New U.S. Tax Law Could Curb Charitable Donations, Reuters, November 30, 2017.

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

December 8, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

A Man’s Tattoo Left Doctors Debating Whether to Save His Life

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-07/986e7391-6920-482c-b499-f415dc422a33.pngA group of doctors at a Florida hospital were recently faced with an odd set of circumstances. An unidentified 70-year-old patient with serious prior health issues and a high blood alcohol level came in with a tattoo on his chest that read, “Do Not Resuscitate”. At first, the medical team chose to ignore the instructions given the ambiguity of the notation. But, after speaking with the hospital’s ethics consultant, they decided to stop treatment. Fortunately, hospital staff were able to locate the man’s out-of-hospital do not resuscitate order. The patient ultimately died.

See A. J. Willingham, A Man’s Tattoo Left Doctors Debating Whether to Save His Life, CNN, December 2, 2017.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

December 7, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Acerca Del Fundamento De La Legítima (On the Foundations of the Compulsory Share)

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-07/13e1e61c-403b-4293-b7cc-4f5afbd37590.pngAntoni Vaquer recently posted an Article entitled, Acerca Del Fundamento De La Legítima (On the Foundations of the Compulsory Share), Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Spanish Abstract: Con carácter previo a la opción por uno de los distintos modelos posibles de regulación de la legítima que ofrece el panorama legislativo español e internacional, es necesario resolver cuál es el fundamento en que se basa esta institución. Dos son las posibilidades: concebir a la legítima como un derecho legal en interés de determinados allegados del causante –los legitimarios– o entender que es una manifestación del principio de solidaridad intergeneracional. A pesar de que en los derechos españoles esta última concepción se muestra mayoritaria, este paper analiza críticamente el derecho vigente para concluir que, en realidad, tanto las normas legales como las sentencias que las aplican permanecen arraigadas a la legítima como un derecho de los legitimarios del que solo pueden ser privados por un comportamiento especialmente grave y no por razones de insolidaridad con el causante.

English Abstract: Before opting for one of the many regulatory models of the compulsory share available in the Spanish and international legal landscape, it is necessary to analyze which is the foundation of this institution. Two are the choices: the compulsory share as a legal right in the interest of certain relatives of the deceased –the so-called “legitimarios”– or as a concretion of the principle of intergenerational solidarity. Despite the fact that the last one seems dominant among Spanish scholars, this paper critically scrutinizes the law in force to show that, in truth, not only the legal rules but also the judicial decisions are still rooted in the conception of the compulsory share as a right of the forced heirs from which they can only be deprived because of an especially gross misconduct and not because of their lack of solidarity toward the de cujus.

December 7, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

David Cassidy Cut Daughter Katie Cassidy out of His Will

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-07/d6d1887c-ee8d-40ce-bc8c-a2df6ce3819c.pngDavid Cassidy, former teen idol and star of The Partridge Family, died last month under the parting words: “So much wasted time”. His daughter, Katie Cassidy, later tweeted that those words would act as a “daily reminder for me to share my gratitude with those I love as to never waste another minute.” Though Cassidy indicated he was proud of his daughter before his passing, he very clearly cut her out as a beneficiary of his $150,000 estate.

See Christie D’Zurilla, David Cassidy Cut Daughter Katie Cassidy out of His Will, Los Angeles Times, December 7, 2017.

December 7, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Projected Life Expectancy Shocks Clients

'Yes, this is an intervention. It's your curiosity...it's going to kill you if you don't stop.'Carolyn McClanahan, physician, financial advisor, and co-founder of Wealthcare Planning LLC, has received interesting feedback from those who have adopted her software into their practices. The health and eldercare financial planning software asks clients about weight, height, current health, diet, exercise regimen, alcohol consumption, social interactions, time spent sitting, and smoking habits. The program then generate a projected life expectancy based on the data. For some, the ensuring result can be incredibly surprising. McClanahan was with one of these clients when he received the results. She said that she knew “he had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and was overweight, but I didn’t know he was a closet alcoholic.” McClanahan took this opportunity to speak with the client about his alcohol consumption and turned the negative result into a positive outcome.

See Jerilyn Klein Bier, Projected Life Expectancy Shocks Clients, Financial Advisor, September 14, 2017.

December 7, 2017 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Ralphie May's Cause of Death was High Blood Pressure and an Unhealthy Heart

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-06/a7667ad3-8766-464f-8737-623ef5d50ab0.pngComedian Ralphie May died in early October from hyptertensive cardiovascular disease. Simpler, May died from high blood pressure and an unhealthy heart. Individuals who suffer from obesity have a tendency for high blood pressure. John Fudenberg, Clark County coroner, reported that May’s weight was a contributing factor toward his death.

See Ralphie May's Cause of Death was High Blood Pressure and an Unhealthy Heart, TMZ, December 6, 2017.       

December 6, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Primer for High-Net-Worth Donors

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-06/7b4eab16-0ed6-4b8a-83d8-d6bffac1f217.pngMany advisors who work regularly with high-net-worth clients do not routinely address charitable giving. When it is addressed, it is usually part of estate planning. Despite this death of discussion, a recent study revealed that many wealthy clients are interested in learning more about their charitable donation options. The 2016 study surveyed high-net-worth households and found that 91% had donated to charity in the previous year. Of those surveyed, nearly all respondents desired to learn more about giving choices, but only about one-third had actually discussed the topic with their advisor. It is important for advisors to recognize this opportunity and initiation a productive discussion.

See Amanda K. Dichello, A Primer for High-Net-Worth Donors, Private Wealth, December 6, 2017.

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

December 6, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Digital Inheritance in the Netherlands

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-06/bda3367c-5aac-4951-87ad-0aa15863ba04.pngAnna Berlee recently posted an Article entitled, Digital Inheritance in the Netherlands, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Our accumulation of assets is increasingly digital. What happens to these digital assets upon our death? In this Country Report, the topic of a digital inheritance is discussed in the context of Dutch law. It includes general rules on succession and their application to digital assets, which includes a brief exploration of contracts for digital services, the issue of non-transferable (IP) licenses and legatees and the application of data protection law and privacy rights after death.

 

December 6, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Yours, Mine, Ours, and ‘ART’

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-06/d6a8b6cd-62e4-4b4b-af2b-f2e45cc1d1a0.pngIt is becoming more and more common for trustees and estate planners to have clients that have been through marriage multiple times. These clients may have children from a previous marriage, stepchildren, and adopted children, all having different sets of biological parents and grandparents. These blended families can be incredibly complex. To make matters more convoluted, assisted reproductive technologies (ART) have made it possible to add children to a marriage through a variety of technological measures. But, while state laws have kept pace with radical changes in American family dynamics over the past few decades, laws relating to ART kids are not well developed. There is substantial variation in how each state views surrogacy and gestational carrier agreements and whether a child born after the death of a parent should inherit under a trust or the decedent’s estate. However, through informed and careful decision-making, estate planners can their help clients reach a plan that accommodates these new and constantly changing reproductive advances.

See Judith Saxe, Yours, Mine, Ours, and ‘ART’, Financial Advisor, September 13, 2017.

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

December 6, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Science, Technology, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

CLE on Current Developments in Estate and Tax Planning 2017

0000000 CLEAmerican Law Institute CLE (ALI CLE) and The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) are holding a conference entitled Current Developments in Estate and Tax Planning 2017, which will take place on Wednesday, December 13, 2017, via telephone seminar and audio webcast. Provided below is a description of the event:

Why You Should Attend

Do you want to provide your estate planning clients with the best possible advice going into the new year? Are you up-to-date on the most significant developments to have come out of 2017? Set aside just 90 minutes to gain valuable insights on emerging trends in estate and tax planning, and learn how the newest cases, IRS guidance, and proposed regulations will impact your practice and your clients’ estate plans.

What You Will Learn

The faculty, all Fellows of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and highly-experienced estate and tax planning practitioners, will discuss:

The withdrawal of the Section 2704 Proposed Regulations

The proposed tax legislation and whether the estate tax will be repealed

Recent cases addressing:

- portability

- estate tax apportionment and net gifts

- asset transfers and family partnerships

- buying assets from trust for promissory note

- decanting without a state statute

Binding the IRS to trust reformations and modifications

New directions for processing applications to release the estate tax lien on estate property

Have a question for the faculty? Send your questions to tsquestions@ali-cle.org. Questions submitted during the program will be answered live by the faculty. In addition, all registrants will receive a set of downloadable course materials to accompany the program.

Who Should Attend

Estate planners and other professionals will benefit from this CLE on estate and tax planning developments jointly offered by the American Law Institute CLE and ACTEC.

December 5, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)