Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Judge THROWS OUT Lawsuit Filed by Sofia Vergara's Own Embryos As Part of Her Ex-Fiancée’s Legal Battle over Frozen Eggs That He Named Emma and Isabella

VergaraA Louisiana judge dismissed a case filed against Sofia Vergara by her ex-fiancée, Nick Loeb. Loeb and Vergara had two viable embryos frozen while they were dating. Loeb wants to find a surrogate for the embryos, which he has already named. Vergara wants them to remain frozen. Vergara is pointing to the original agreement the couple signed dictating both she and Loeb would need to provide consent for the embryos to be implanted. Whoever wins this legal battle, victory will not be found in the Bayou State. The judge held that the Louisiana court did not have jurisdiction over the embryos as they were conceived in California.

See Kaileen Gaul, Judge THROWS OUT Lawsuit Filed by Sofia Vergara's Own Embryos As Part of Her Ex-Fiancée’s Legal Battle over Frozen Eggs That He Named Emma and Isabella, Daily Mail.com, August 25, 2017.

August 29, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on The Restricted Charitable Gift As Third-Party-Beneficiary Contract

CarWilliam P. Sullivan recently published an Article entitled, The Restricted Charitable Gift As Third-Party-Beneficiary Contract, 52 Real Prop. Trust & Est. L.J. 79 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Although American law has traditionally barred the donor of a restricted charitable gift from enforcing the terms of his or her gift, most American jurisdictions now permit donors to enforce gift restrictions under at least some circumstances. The nature and extent of the right of enforcement, however, remain uncertain. This Article argues that the uncertainty surrounding enforcement is best resolved by treating restricted charitable gifts as third-party-beneficiary contracts. The Article presents a contractarian analysis of restricted charitable gifts, subjects alternative analyses to conceptual and practical critique, and suggest several modifications to the American Law Institute’s forthcoming Restatement of the Law of Charitable Nonprofit Organizations to facilitate appropriate contractual interpretation of restricted-charitable-gift instruments.

August 29, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Family Farm Is Heaven on Earth for Dying Dogs

Sick dogMichele Allen has cared for many dogs over the years. But, it was a shelter dog with multiple health issues and short life expectancy that completely altered her life. Monkey, the foster dog Allen cared for till he passed, only survived a few short months after being rescued from the shelter. Allen knew that dogs like Monkey were being routinely euthanized due to the terminal nature of their conditions and the difficulties in treating their various ailments.

In an effort to give these dying dogs a more peaceful end to their lives, Allen opened Monkey’s House. Monkey’s House cares for terminally ill dogs and currently has over fifty volunteers helping Allen and her husband prepare special meals, administer medication, do laundry, etc. "It's extremely important to me that we not fail them in their final moments," she said. "I want them to have a very gentle passing, and I want them feeling as loved and supported as they can be."

See Meghan Dunn, Family Farm Is Heaven on Earth for Dying Dogs, CNN, August 17, 2017.

August 29, 2017 in Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, August 28, 2017

Article on Making Divorce Less Taxing: A Unique Opportunity for Income, Estate, and Gift Tax Planning

Just divorcedJustin T. Miller recently published an Article entitled, Making Divorce Less Taxing: A Unique Opportunity for Income, Estate, and Gift Tax Planning, 52 Real Prop. Trust & Est. L.J. 1 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

To help make divorce a less taxing experience, this Article will discuss the following ten issues that typically should be considered when dissolving a marriage, especially when one or both spouses has a high net worth with more complicated planning needs: (1) tax filing status; (2) dependency exemptions; (3) sale of principal residence exclusion; (4) mortgage interest deductions; (5) deductions related to divorce; (6) allocation of tax carryovers; (7) payments after divorce—such as child support, alimony, and life insurance premiums; (8) qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs); (9) property transfers and division of appreciated property; and (10) support trusts.

August 28, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Income Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Pennsylvania Mom Discovers Baby's Cremains Were Really Dog Remains After 2 Years

CremainsTwo years ago, Jennifer Dailey suffered the grief of having a stillborn baby girl. Jerrica Sky’s remains were cremated at the Bauer Funeral Home. Funeral home staff provided Dailey the cremains in a small, white box containing a bag that supposedly held her daughters ashes. For two years, Dailey held and wept over the small box she thought held her daughter.

Recently, Dailey’s husband suggested they might take the remains and spread them in a place that had special meaning to the family. Upon opening the container, Daily found a metal plate that said “Butler Pet Cremation.” The funeral home has already apologized and pinned the fault on Thompson-Miller Funeral Home, which operates a human and pet crematory. The owner of Thompson-Miller immediately took responsibility and apologized for his mistake. Dailey is having nothing with the apology and may pursue legal action.

See Pennsylvania Mom Discovers Baby's Cremains Were Really Dog Remains After 2 Years, Fox News, August 20, 2017.

August 28, 2017 in Current Affairs, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on The New Uniform Digital Assets Law: Estate Planning and Administration in the Information Age

CloudMichael D. Walker recently published an Article entitled, The New Uniform Digital Assets Law: Estate Planning and Administration in the Information Age, 52 Real Prop. Trust & Est. L.J. 51 (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The “Information Age” has significantly changed the estate planning process by adding digital assets to decedents’ estates. This Article examines the definition of digital assets, as well as the state and federal laws affecting digital assets. It also provides estate planning attorneys with advice on how to deal with digital assets in estate planning and administration.

August 28, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Aging Parents with Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It

HoardersAs the baby boomer population continues to age, this generation’s need for large, spacious homes dissipates. There are no longer children laughing and running through hallways or angst-riddled teenagers spending hours in the bathroom. As older adults transition from these large homes to smaller dwellings, they face the predicament of deciding what to do with many their possessions. With a downsize comes less space and the difficult task of shedding decades of accumulated personalty.

Previous generations would simply let their children and grandchildren come and pick through items and take what they wanted. This avenue is not as viable an option as it was in the past, with younger generations having very different decorating taste and a seeming aversion to additional clutter. These generational schisms have led to a boom in the senior move management industry. Hourly rates to help older adults shed clutter can range from $50 to $125 and many end with an estate sale with fees over $5,000. Instead of selling furniture or personal items, some senior movers simply give unwanted items to charity.

Tena Bluhm, 76, chose the charitable route as her children did not have the additional space for many extra heirlooms. Bluhm explained, “By donating them to charity, I knew they weren’t going to go into a dumpster and that someone who really wanted them would purchase them.”

See Tom Verde, Aging Parents with Lots of Stuff, and Children Who Don’t Want It, The New York Times, August 18, 2017.

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

August 28, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Gators, Coffins and Snakes: What 60 Inches of Rain and a Hurricane Storm Surge Could Dredge Up

GatorHurricane Harvey carries the more obvious threats of torrential rain, destructive wind, and commonplace objects morphing in to deadly projectiles as they are catapulted into the air at extreme velocity.  But, there are a few unexpected dangers that most would likely not consider. The Fort Bend County Sheriff’s Office has warned locals to be cautious of alligators seeking higher ground during the storm. They have already posted a number of photos of gators, one sheltering under a car and another on a porch. With such heavy rain, it is also possible for coffins to become dislodged and start floating down city streets. If weather forecasts are accurate, the Texas coast may see record-breaking flooding and some bizarre phenomenon to boot.

See Gators, Coffins and Snakes: What 60 Inches of Rain and a Hurricane Storm Surge Could Dredge Up, Daily Mail.com, August 26, 2017.

August 27, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on Trusts: The Ultimate Guide

0000000 CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Trusts: The Ultimate Guide, which will take place on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at CMBA Conference Center in Cleveland, OH. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Make the Best Use of Today's Top Trusts

We've built off our top "Trusts 101" course to give you even more unique trust structures, sample provisions language, and reasoning for which planning tools better suit specific client situations. Understand the key structures and uses of today's top trusts and anticipate administration challenges and tax consequences. Register today!

  • Get an update on the current laws and tax regs governing the trusts practice.
  • Analyze all key factors in selecting the best trust option for each unique situation.
  • Learn when and how IRA trusts are used.
  • Define powers and duties of all trust parties to smooth implementation and prevent disputes.
  • Save drafting time with sample trust language.
  • Clarify who your client is to avoid conflicts of interest and other ethical violations.
  • Minimize your client's tax burdens with effective use of trusts.

Who Should Attend

This basic level seminar is designed for professionals involved in drafting and administering trusts:

  • Attorneys
  • Accountants and CPAs
  • Trust Officers
  • Enrolled Agents
  • Tax Managers
  • Wealth Managers
  • Nursing Home Administrators
  • Paralegals

Course Content

  1. Key Parties, Terms, Legal Concepts
  2. Revocable vs. Irrevocable and Revocable to Irrevocable
  3. Living vs. Testamentary Trusts
  4. IRA Trusts
  5. Medicaid-Planning Trusts
  6. Special Needs Trusts
  7. Asset Protection Trusts: Domestic and Offshore
  8. Legal Ethics
  9. Tax Deduction with Trusts

Continuing Education Credit

 

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.75 *

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.70

National Association of State Boards of Accountancy – CPE for Accountants: 8.00 *

Professional Achievement in Continuing Education – PACE: 8.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

August 27, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Ron White's Estranged Wife Says He Left Her For Broke

Margo reyMargo Rey, comedian Ron White’s estranged wife, is now struggling to pay her bills after their separation. White ended the relationship near the end of an extended stay at the opulent Montage resort in Beverly Hills while their home was undergoing renovations.

Rey was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009 and underwent a double mastectomy. The surgery and treatments were successful, but she suffered a recurrence this year; she is now in remission. Rey discovered that White had cut her off from the couple’s funds when she tried to pay for her visit to the oncologist. After returning home, Rey then discovered that White had changed all the locks and essentially left her homeless. While White is worth nearly $14 million, Rey is struggling and desperate for money as the couple enters into divorce proceedings.

See Ron White's Estranged Wife Says He Left Her For Broke, TMZ, August 25, 2017.

See K. C. Blumm, Ron White Marries Margo Rey, People, October 8, 2013.

August 26, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (4)