Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Monday, April 28, 2014

Real Property Trust and Estate Spring Symposia

CLEThe ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law is presenting a CLE on  Real Property Trust and Estate Spring Symposia, on May 1-2,  2014.  Provided below is a description of this event:

This year's RPTE Spring Symposia offers CLE programs addressing the latest developments in estate planning, covering a wide range of topics.

A three-part Estate Planning Basics program might be of interest to newer lawyers, while more seasoned professionals will find a variety of specialized programs from which to choose. In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the Symposia, there will be two special panels of distinguished Section Chairs to share their reflections on the challenges and lessons from the quarter century just ended and the opportunities for our changing practice in the years ahead.

Take a look at some of our notable trust and estate programs and speakers:

Estate Planning Basics

Benetta P. Jenson, JP Morgan Private Bank
Paul Lee, Alliance Bernstein LP
Karin C. Prangley, Krasnow Saunders Kaplan & Beninati LLP
Donna Otis, Otis Law Group Ltd.
Lee-Ford Tritt, University of Florida Levin College of Law
Ryan Walsh, Hamilton Thies & Lorch LLP

The First Quarter Century: Former Section Chairs Reflect on Lessons from the Past and How We Have Grown

Christine L. Albright, Holland & Knight LLP
Louis A. Mezzullo, Withers Bergman LLP
Edward F. Koren, Holland & Knight LLP

Golden Words from Silver Tongues — A Panel Discussion with Recent Section Chairs on Maintaining a Successful Estate Planning Practice over the Next 25 Years

Steve R. Akers, Bessemer Trust
Tina Portuondo, University of Miami School of Law
Alan F. Rothschild Jr., Hatcher Stubbs Land Hollis & Rothschild
Gideon Rothschild, Moses & Singer LLP

How to Solder Broken Plans: Ten Estate Planning Blunders to Fix Now

Keri Brown, Baker Botts LLP
Katy Crafton Fluet, McDermott Will & Emery LLP
Mark R. Parthemer, Bessemer Trust

One is Silver and the Other Gold: Making Friends with the Enemy - How to Identify and Manage Difficult Opposing Counsel

Juli Adelman, Vantage Trial Consulting
Paul Fisher, Fisher Mediation
Jessica A. Uzcategui, Sacks Glazier Franklin & Lodise LLP

Seeking and Finding New Silver Patterns in a Changed Estate Planning Environment: Creative Inter Vivos QTIP Planning

Richard S. Franklin, McArthur Franklin PLLC
Lester B. Law, Abbot Downing
Barry A. Nelson, Nelson & Nelson, PA

If you've never been to the RPTE Spring Symposia, this is a great year to check it out! First-time attendees receive a discounted registration rate — 40% off the general rate!

April 28, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Resource Links, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Top Things To Know About Retirement

RetirementA survey conducted by the Society of Actuaries as well as Matthew Greenwald and Associates came up with six findings that might serve as a sign that you should spend a little more time planning for your retirement.

  • Many people leave work for a variety of reasons like health, not feeling valued at work, or losing a job involuntarily instead of reaching the retirement age.
  • People plan for their income but not inflation.
  • Not much planning is being done for emergencies.
  • Many start collecting Social Security benefits before the best time strategically.
  • People are keeping assets in case of an unexpected financial situation.
  • Most retired folks feel satisfied.

The last finding shows that retired folks are not in crisis mode, but their lifestyle could be improved by learning about the key issues in retirement and planning for them.



April 28, 2014 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Non-Probate Assets | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

UK Courts Embrace the Digital Age

WirelessIn the near future, UK courts will be using digital technology for all aspects of criminal cases. Due to new funding being used toward this technological development of the court system, all criminal courts are expected to be operating digitally by July 2016. This digital development will enable the use of technology to stream line the court process by using Wi-Fi connections to send evidence to a central secure location that can be accessed by both the legal team and the magistrate. Police officers will be able to begin collecting evidence and interviewing witnesses at the scene without having to return to the station, and pre-trial hearings will be held with the defendant appearing from prison through video link rather than in person.

See, Digital Courtroom Unveiled as Justice Enters the Wi-Fi Era, GOV.UK, April 11, 2014.

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

April 28, 2014 in Technology | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Pass Along The Trait of Charitable Giving

CharityMany people want to pass along the core value of philanthropy to their children. Research done by Fidelity Charitable, reveals that there are six steps to introducing and teaching your children philanthropy. 

  1. Get in synch with your partner in terms of the overall goal for engaging your children in the philanthropic process.
  2. Discuss philanthropy with your kids and be enthusiastic about it.
  3. Involve your children.
  4. Volunteer as a family unit.
  5. Teach children the value of money.
  6. Have a separate charitable giving account. Consider using a trust.

See Fidelity Viewpoints Team, 6 Ways To Teach Your Children Philanthropy, Forbes, Apr. 24, 2014.

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

April 28, 2014 in Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Article on L3Cs


Jill Manny (New York University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Much Ado About Nothing: A Comment on Tyler’s Paper on Regulating Charitable Hybrids, 9 N.Y.U. J. L. & Bus. 587 (2013).  Provided below is her introduction:

Low-profit, limited liability companies, commonly known as “L3Cs,” are recent creatures of state legislatures. The form of entity demonstrates a “hybrid” purpose combining hallmarks of both for-profit and nonprofit entities: profit distribution and social mission. They were inspired and marketed with a primary goal of attracting program-related investments from private foundations, a goal that remains unrealized and unlikely to be accomplished without some change to the Internal Revenue Code. L3Cs are treated, for purposes of Federal tax law, as for-profit and taxable, indistinguishable from LLCs. 

John Tyler's insightful paper, Analyzing Effects and Implications of Regulating Charitable Hybrid Forms as Charitable Trusts: Round Peg and a Square Hole?, focuses on the treatment of L3Cs and, to a lesser extent, other “hybrid” forms of entity, at the state level, by state attorneys general. The paper's primary concern is that L3Cs may be subject to charitable trust laws and regulated as charitable trusts, subject to the nondistribution constraint which distinguishes nonprofit from for-profit entities and makes distribution of profits unlawful. Regulation of L3Cs under state charitable trust law would, in effect, confiscate half of the hybrid purpose by forbidding profit distribution, leaving the L3C form with a primary burden of charitable status (i.e., the nondistribution constraint) but with none of the benefits of charitable status (e.g., right to receive tax-deductible contributions).

This comment will briefly provide background on the L3C form, its history, and its challenges, both at the state level and the Federal tax level. It will then review Mr. Tyler's concerns regarding the crippling impact of the application of state charitable trust law to L3Cs and argue that some of these concerns may be unfounded because charitable trust law is unlikely to be applied to regulate L3Cs. Finally, the paper will conclude that the L3C form does not and cannot accomplish its intended purposes and should be avoided in favor of other types of entities more suited to the dual mission.

April 27, 2014 in Articles, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

New Estate Planning Game in the Works


Until May 1, Stephanie Kimbro (director of online services at the Burton Law Firm, Wilmington, N.C.) is seeking crowdfunding for her online game, Estate Quest, which seeks to educate consumers about estate planning.

Estate Quest allows players to be detectives who get different cases about decedents who improperly planned their estates.  The game leaves animated clues about what the decedent should or should not have had in their will, such as naming a children’s guardian or naming an executor.

See Stephanie Francis Ward, Lawyer Seeks Crowdfunding for Online Estate Planning, ABA Journal, Apr. 25, 2014.

April 27, 2014 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on Charitable Planning Techniques

The American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education (ALI CLE) is presenting a CLE entitled, CLECharitable Planning Techniques, on Thursday-Friday, June 12-13, 2014 in Boston Massachusetts. Provided below is a description of the event:

Do you advise donors with philanthropic goals? Do you work with charities and their planning giving programs? Or are you just looking to get into the field of charitable planning? Whether you are a novice or an old hand, this is the course for you!

The program will have basic and advanced dual tracks on the first day, allowing registrants to customize the course for their skill levels. A distinguished, national faculty provides a comprehensive review of lifetime and testamentary charitable giving techniques, including a full discussion of new developments. They address the technical, mechanical, and legal sides of the issues, with practical applications and "tips from the trenches."

April 27, 2014 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Location, Location Location: How Your Location Affects Long-Term Care Costs

DementiaA recent study revealed that long-term care costs vary widely by location. The study claims the national median cost of private nursing home this year is $87,170 in Ohio, but only $57,487 in Oklahoma. The stark difference centers on supply and demand as well as the ability to pay for these types of services. The most forgotten piece of a person's retirement is probably paying for long-term care despite the fact that long-term support and services continue to rise faster than inflation. Moreover, about 2/3 of the elderly will need long-term care of some kind. Gentworth, the nation's biggest underwriter for long-term care policies, took data from almost 15,000 providers of long-term care service to compile the study. The survey includes an interactive map that shows specific service costs by state: http://bit.ly/PYlZ9R.

See Long-Term Care: Why Your Location Really Matters, Reuters, Apr. 23, 2014.

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

April 27, 2014 in Current Affairs, Elder Law | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Religion Counts in Estate Planning


Your estate plan should be consistent with your religious views, because religious issues will likely be present in your final medical decisions, funeral arrangements, will distributions, and the overall “tone” of your estate planning documents.

If you’re not religious, then you should still make that point clear to your family so their religious observances are not imposed upon you.  Even if you are personally indifferent, addressing religious issues can avoid painful family strife. 

Agents and fiduciaries should also be given guidance consistent with your religious views, including the authority to disburse funds for religious education, religious travel, and charitable giving.

See Martin M. Shenkman, Religious Estate Planning, Wealth Strategies Journal, March 17, 2011.

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

April 26, 2014 in Estate Planning - Generally, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Should You “Amend” or “Revoke and Replace?”


If a grantor decides to unambiguously supplant prior language in the trust instrument, should she “amend” the language or “revoke and replace” it?

In the unpublished opinion, In Re The H&A Neumann Revocable Trust, the Court of Appeals of Minnesota found that the language would be supplanted either way.  The beneficiary of a trust claimed that when the grantors “amended” a paragraph, they inserted language but did not replace language.  The court decided that under the circumstances the amendment did supplant the prior language and that explicitly revoking and replacing the prior language was unnecessary.  Still, drafters may want to review their form language to ensure it says what they really want it to say.

See Luke Lantta, To “Revoke and Replace” Or to “Amend” Prior Language in a Trust—Is There a Difference?, Bryan Cave Fiduciary Litigation, Apr. 24, 2014.

April 26, 2014 in New Cases, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)