Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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)

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

California Looks to “Green-ify Death After Brown Signs Water-Cremation Bill

81XZuf2+T1L._SY450_Californians may be able to opt for water-cremation as early as 2020 thanks to a bill recently signed by Governor Jerry Brown. Water cremation is currently legal in fourteen states and does not use fossil fuels or produce carbon emissions like traditional cremation. The process entails placing the deceased into a pod-like vat and then immersing the remains in an alkaline solution for at least four hours at a temperature of around 300 degrees. While traditional cremation leaves behind ash, water-cremation leaves behind a brown fluid with a consistency similar to syrup.

See Edmunde DeMarche, California Looks to “Green-ify Death After Brown Signs Water-Cremation Bill, Fox News, October 19, 2017.

October 24, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 23, 2017

Article on NOTE: Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children: A Plan for Nevada

MaxresdefaultCassandra M. Ramey recently published an Article entitled, NOTE: Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children: A Plan for Nevada, 17 Nev. L.J. 773 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Part I of this note will provide definitions and a brief history of posthumously conceived children, including a discussion of their rights at common law, as well as descriptions regarding the essential technology used in the creation of posthumously conceived children. Part II will include a discussion of current Uniform Acts as well as cases that have addressed the issue of posthumously conceived children. Part III will contain a discussion of current Nevada law relating to posthumously conceived children, and how a statute, or the lack thereof, will influence that law. Part IV will identify the four necessary factors that lawmakers should consider in drafting a statute granting inheritance rights to posthumously conceived children, address the pros and cons of each of those factors in turn, and make a recommendation based upon those considerations.

October 23, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 20, 2017

Court Holds Personal Representatives May Provide Lawful Consent Under the Stored Communications Act,

Jim_LammThe Stored Communications Act prevents online service providers from violating a user’s privacy rights by releasing their electronic data without permission. While this serves to protect personal information, the law has also erected an unwieldy barrier for family members and fiduciaries seeking online information concerning those who have passed away. There are some exceptions to the act, but the language is permissive and allows the service providers the choice to release information. Another issue, the part of the statute outlining these exceptions fails to expressly state whether a personal representative of the decedent’s estate has the authority to stand in the shoes of the deceased in order to gain access to this information.

In Ajemian v. Yahoo!, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held “that the personal representatives may provide lawful consent on the decedent’s behalf to the release of the contents of the Yahoo email account.” Despite this ruling, the permissive language found in the statute remains. It does not require release of the information, but gives the service provider the option to release online information to the representative of a decedent’s estate.

See Jim Lamm, Court Holds Personal Representatives May Provide Lawful Consent Under the Stored Communications Act, Digital Passing, October 16, 2017.

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

Monday, October 16, 2017

Unsent Text Message OK As Valid Will

1507586132688A 55-year-old Australian man drafted a text for his brother just before taking his life. The text message included a terse disposition of real property, but it was never sent. The Supreme Court in Brisbane held the draft to be enough for consideration as a valid will. Justice Susan Brown reasoned: “The reference to his house and superannuation and his specification that the applicant was to take her own things indicates he was aware of the nature and extent of his estate, which was relatively small.”

See Unsent Text Message OK As Valid Will, Says Australian Court, Fox News, October 10, 2017.

October 16, 2017 in Current Events, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally, New Legislation, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)