Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Even Teenagers Need Estate Plans, Says Edelman

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2018-01-05/74046896-b77e-4b22-92eb-7b055c067106.pngRic Edelman, Edelman Financial Group founder, believes everyone over the age of 18 should have an estate plan: “It’s not about money; it is about the administrative aspects of a life.” These administrative aspects include virtual as well as physical possessions. Younger generations tend to lead a large portion of their lives in a virtual world. Social media accounts, to which parents may not have authorization for admittance after a child passes, can be more easily accessed by planning ahead of time. While this can be awkward, Edelman notes: “If the young adult feels uncomfortable revealing information to a parent, the information can be given to the attorney who does the estate planning with the condition it be opened upon death.”

See Karen DeMasters, Even Teenagers Need Estate Plans, Says Edelman, Financial Advisor, November 27, 2017.

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

January 7, 2018 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Estate Planning for Users of Assisted Reproductive Technology

"Well, it certainly looks like your DNA. How many times have I told you to wear gloves before touching anything?"Assisted reproduction generally refers to any means of conceiving a child outside traditional sexual intercourse. Collectively, such modes of contraception are referred to as “assisted reproductive technologies” (ART). Decades of technological advances in this field are forcing families to consider difficult issues related to the creation of ART children and the preservation of genetic material that could lead to the creation of ART children.

See Wendy S. Goffe & Kim Kamin, Estate Planning for Users of Assisted Reproductive Technology, Think Advisor, October 4, 2017.

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

January 6, 2018 in Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 29, 2017

Strife After Death

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-28/1a979871-b8f8-4960-b4d8-3ea921ae2ec7.pngOnly one in every ten wills is ever contested. But, these odds increase dramatically when the decedent’s estate contains significant wealth. When high-net-worth individuals are laid to rest, friends and family begin to discover the inherent unfairness in the decedent’s final disposition of assets. In some cases, legal battles and fighting can tear families apart while the estate lawyers reap the benefit of the discord.

Baseball legend Ted Williams is an unfortunate paradigm of such post-mortem bickering. His will provided for his remains to be cremated and then scattered in the Florida Keys. His son and daughter from his third marriage presented the court with a signed note saying that their father wanted to be frozen in case scientific progress might someday bring him back to life. As of today, Williams’s severed head and body await reanimation in Arizona.

See Ian T. Shearn, Strife After Death, Financial Advisor, December 15, 2017.

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

December 29, 2017 in Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Woman, 26, Has Baby Born from Record-Breaking 24-year-old Frozen Embryo

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-12-20/0e41aec2-eeaf-4760-902d-f1640ef90f60.pngThe sweetly adorable Emma Wren was born to parents Benjamin and Tina Gibson on November 25th of this year. She weighed in at a svelte six pounds, eight ounces. Seemingly an ordinary baby, little Emma’s cherub-like appearance belies that fact that she originated from the oldest-recorded frozen embryo to successfully be implanted and to result in birth. The embryo from which she came was taken from her mother in 1992, when Tina Gibson was just a year-and-a-half old.  NEDC Lab Director Carol Sommerfelt commented on the joyful event: “It is deeply moving and highly rewarding to see that embryos frozen 24.5 years ago using the old, early cryo-preservation techniques of slow freezing on day one of development at the pronuclear stage can result in 100% survival of the embryos with a 100% continued proper development to the day-3 embryo stage.”

See Woman, 26, Has Baby Born from Record-Breaking 24-year-old Frozen Embryo, CBS Baltimore, December 19, 2017.

December 20, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 7, 2017

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

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)

Monday, November 27, 2017

Disco, Sex, And The Cybersecurity Nightmare

image from https://s3.amazonaws.com/feather-client-files-aviary-prod-us-east-1/2017-11-24/facc0861-bb24-4ff8-94b4-e3cf2c4bf4a9.pngThe sexual revolution of the late '60s and '70s was welcomed with open arms by both young and old alike. But, as with any revolution, there are always unintended and unforeseen consequences. The modern-day internet revolution bears an odd resemblance to the “anything goes” sexual era in that its average participant practices a naïve, almost childish, use of the internet. Even the most sophisticated users (the analogy can probably end here) of the internet have failed to take useful steps to prevent widespread distribution of their clients’ data. A recent example is the infiltration and widespread dispersion of Target’s customer data through a vendor’s installation of a digital thermostat. Financial planning and wealth management firms are quickly becoming highly sought-after victims of data theft given the nature of their client base. For companies handling sensitive data, it is imperative that they retain competent information security officers to promulgate effective safety measures.

See Mark Hurley, Disco, Sex, And The Cybersecurity Nightmare, Financial Advisor, September 1, 2017.

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

November 27, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

ACTEC 2017 Fall Meeting Musings

LogoSteve Akers wrote a summary of his observations while attending the 2017 ACTEC Fall Meeting. Provided below is his introduction to the material:

Some of my observations from the 2017 ACTEC Fall Meeting Seminars in Nashville, Tennessee on October 20-21, 2017 are summarized below. (At the request of ACTEC, the summary does not include any discussions at Committee meetings.) This summary does not contain all of the excellent information from the seminars, but merely selected issues. The summary is based on the presentations at the seminars, but the specific speakers making particular comments typically are not identified.

Special thanks to Scott M. Deke for bringing this information to my attention.

November 22, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility, Technology, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Article on Inheritance and the Posthumously Conceived Child (2017) Conveyancing and Property Lawyer (November)

In-vitro-fertilization-the-milan-court-rejects-lawNeil Maddox recently posted an Article entitled, Inheritance and the Posthumously Conceived Child (2017) Conveyancing and Property Lawyer (November), Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

A child may be born after the death of its natural father. That has always been the case. Modern advances in technology now create a new possibility and a child may be both conceived and born after the death of its father. This creates many legal complexities and uncertainties, one of which relates to the posthumously conceived child’s capacity to inherit from the deceased father’s estate. This article examines the novel legal questions that arise in relation to such children and succession. In particular, the extent to which sperm is inheritable, the obstacles faced by posthumously conceived children in inheriting from the natural father and the circumstances when a duty to provide for the child from the estate will arise.

 

November 4, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)