Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Pete Weyrauch's Survivor Handbook

Survivor handbookPete Weyrauch, a retired brigadier general after 28 years of active duty, has developed the Survivor Handbook that is designed to:

  • Provide information on Advance Directives and record preferences for final arrangements so that family members are not required to make difficult decisions at a difficult time.
  • Provide consolidated information resources for timely notification of people and agencies affected by the death of a family member.
  • Provide consolidated information resources to facilitate continuation of routine and periodic household functions, e.g., payment of bills and management of accounts.
  • Provide a centralized place for historical information.

Over 2,500 hundred copies of the handbook have been provided to members of service clubs, business offices, church groups, and military organizations.

He does 90-minute presentations without charge and provides free electronic copies (email attachments) to those interested.

Contact Information:

512-869-2955 (H)

512-627-4340 (cell/text)


Download The Author - Flyer

September 11, 2016 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

ALI's Newest Forms in Estate Planning

ALIThe American Law Institute is now giving you access to online, editable forms drafted by the experts. Subscribe to a library of all the ALI CLE forms in this practice area for one low price.

There are several forms offered, including a Division of Charitable Remainder Trust After Divorce: A Model Memorandum; Modern Family Drafting and Planning (With Sample Provisions); Nuptial Agreement Forms and Lists for Estate Planners; and Planning for United States Clients with Foreign Property.

The total cost of the above forms if purchased individually: $57.00; but did you know that you can have them all for one low price?

Access all of the 326 forms in the ALI CLE Estate Planning Forms library, including those listed above, for one low annual price of $299.00.

September 11, 2016 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A Tool for Portability

CalculatorThe Portability Calculator is a tool intended to help with making the decision of whether to elect portability. The Excel based program includes inputting information in a three-step process, which results in production of a memo based on input. Two packages are available, including the downloadable Standard Package priced at $495 and the CDRom Premium Package for $695.

See Donald Kelley, The Portability Calculator, Wealth Management, March 10, 2015.

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

March 11, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, December 4, 2014

IRS Electronic Reading Room

BooksA quick reference list of tax guidance and information organized by categories is available via the IRS Electronic Reading Room. Resources available include:

  • Final, Temporary, and Proposed Regulations
  • Administrative Guidance Material
  • Private Letter Rulings
  • How to request a private letter ruling
  • And much more

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

December 4, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Income Tax, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, November 21, 2014

Online Estate Planning Tools

LaptopMany estate planning practice tools are available online, from articles on specific subjects to whole websites that serve as informational hubs. Both the Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section of the ABA and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel have websites with a wealth of information on estate planning topics. For more specific topic areas, articles can provide practice help for prenuptial agreements, intestacy, decanting, elder law, and a variety of types of trusts. The informative website on intestacy, mystatewill.com, provides state specific intestacy charts and calculators. A list of helpful articles and resources available online and organized by topic can be viewed here.

See Donald Kelley, Trusts and Estates Practice Resources on the Internet, Wealth Management, Nov. 11, 2014.

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

November 21, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Resources for Succession Planning

Succession planning

Family business succession planning is an art form that requires a thorough knowledge of related tax and state business entity law as well as a sensitive understanding of the personal relationships among family members.  Below are internet sources on aspects of family business succession planning.

  • Choice of Entity. To understand why the entity involved was chosen and whether it should be converted to a different type of entity look at Jason Havens’ Partnership Choice of Entity outline.  This site compares general partnerships, limited partnerships, S Corporations and LLCs; listing the advantages and disadvantages of each.
  • Family Business Succession Planning Generally. The Estate Planning for Family Business Owner coursebook library has several useful offerings addressing family business planning, including succession. Also, Transitions Dynamics, Inc. recommends conducting a pre-administration of the family succession plan, which they refer to as a “fire-drill,” to test whether an adequate succession plan is in place.
  • Other Online Resources. John L. Ward, Perpetuating the Family Business, focuses on saving the family business and the family that is in business together.  He stresses that basic conflicts between the family system and the business system must be resolved and suggests steps to that end. 
  • Family Dynamics. Fundamental to estate planning and business entity planning for families in business together is an understanding of the personal dynamics of the family situation.  See, G. LeVan, The Survival Guide for Business Families for an internet based resource on the subjective family relationships side of family business planning. 

See Donald Kelley, Online Resources for Business Succession Planning, Wealth Management, Aug. 13, 2014.  

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

October 2, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Mental Incapacity Planning With State Specific PADs

Mental HealthPsychiatric Advance Directives (PADs) are useful tools to plan for mental incapacity, by not only naming a proxy that can speak on the person’s behalf but also by directing treatment decisions. However, all PADs are not created the same way. Some states require that a state specific PAD form to be used while others will recognize a general form. More information on PADs and access to PAD forms for a specific state can be found here.

See Linda Wasmer Andrews, A Guide to Psychiatric Advance Directives, CNN, Feb. 17, 2014.

September 9, 2014 in Disability Planning - Health Care, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Chart on Florida Probate Deadlines

Gavel2For guidance on the deadlines for various probate filings in Florida, see this chart by D.W. Craig Dreyer.

See Craig Dreyer, Deadlines and Timelines in Florida Probate, Clark Skatoff, Aug. 27, 2014.

August 28, 2014 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Monday, August 25, 2014

Resource Guide: Money Smart for Older Adults

Money SmartThe Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have made available a resource guide entitled Money Smart for Older Adults. The guide provides information for financial planning and, avoiding and addressing elder financial exploitation. Provided below is the introduction to the guide:

With over 50 million Americans aged 62 and older1, Older Adults are prime targets for financial exploitation both by persons they know and trust and by strangers. Financial exploitation has been called “the crime of the 21st century” with one study suggesting that older Americans lost at least $2.9 billion to financial exploitation by a broad spectrum of perpetrators in 2010.2

A key factor in some cases of elder financial exploitation is mild cognitive impairment which can diminish an older adult’s ability to make sound financial decisions.

This epidemic is under the radar. The cases tend to be very complex and can be difficult to investigate and prosecute. Elders who lose their life savings usually have little or no opportunity to regain what they have lost. Elder financial abuse can result in the loss of the ability to live independently; decline in health; broken trust, and fractured families.

Awareness and prevention is the first step. Planning ahead for financial wellbeing and the possibility of diminished financial capacity is critical. Reporting and early intervention that results in loss prevention is imperative.

Money Smart for Older Adults is designed to provide you with information and tips to help prevent common frauds, scams and other types of elder financial exploitation in your community. Please share this information as appropriate.

August 25, 2014 in Books, Disability Planning - Property Management, Elder Law, Estate Planning - Generally, Resource Links | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Booklet Series on Managing Someone Else’s Money

CFPB_LogoThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has released a series of informative guides entitled, Managing Someone Else’s Money. Here is a description of the series from the CFPB website:

Millions of Americans are managing money or property for a loved one who is unable to pay bills or make financial decisions. This can be very overwhelming. But, it’s also a great opportunity to help someone you care about, and protect them from scams and fraud.

We are releasing four easy-to-understand booklets to help financial caregivers. The Managing Someone Else’s Money guides are for agents under powers of attorney, court-appointed guardians, trustees, and government fiduciaries (Social Security representative payees and VA fiduciaries.)

The guides help you to be a financial caregiver in three ways:

  • They walk you through your duties.
  • They tell you how to watch out for scams and financial exploitation, and what to do if your loved one is a victim.
  • They tell you where you can go for help.

August 22, 2014 in Books, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship, Non-Probate Assets, Professional Responsibility, Resource Links, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)