Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Chester Bennington's Will Leaves Entire Estate to Family

1024-remembering-chester-bennington-photos-footer-5Chester Bennington left the majority of his assets in a trust to benefit his wife and six children. Some assets, like Bennington’s retirement accounts, go to his wife, Talinda. A portion of the assets has been specifically designated to cover future travel expenses for family visits in order to ensure their relationships remain strong.

See Chester Bennington's Will Leaves Entire Estate to Family, TMZ, October 24, 2017.

October 29, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Moggridge v Thackwell - Defining the Nature of the Courts' Scheme-Making Power

8a8e561a7284d7cd42b862b5ae8c8c2cJohn Picton recently posted an Article entitled, Moggridge v Thackwell - Defining the Nature of the Courts' Scheme-Making Power, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

The cy-près doctrine is a well-known privilege of charity law. In the testamentary context, its function is to keep property in charity which might otherwise lapse into residue and then fall into private hands. In wills cases, the doctrine applies where a testator has made a failed gift. It permits a scheme to be written correcting the defect in the bequest. The change made by the scheme is often far-reaching. Turning a failed gift into a successful one will normally mean a substantial rewrite of the donor’s wishes. And so it is a doctrine of consequence, allowing direct intervention into the disposition of property.

October 28, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

CLE on As Family Court Judges See It: Top Mistakes Attorneys Make in Litigating Divorce

0000000 CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, As Family Court Judges See It: Top Mistakes Attorneys Make in Litigating Divorce, which will take place on Thursday, November 02, 2017, at the Crowne Plaza Houston River Oaks in Houston, TX. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Gain Insight into Everyday Judicial Practices that are Not Found in Any Rule Book

You know the statutes and strategies of divorce litigation, but what no outsider can teach you are the unwritten rules and practices of your local family court. This course brings you face-to-face with family court judges to help you avoid mistakes and adopt best practices that will build your reputation with the court. Register today!

  • Hear insights from family court decision-makers and get your questions answered.
  • Find out how the judges want to see the cases presented at temporary hearings and at trial.
  • Learn how judges approach specific custody issues and what key factors they consider in decision-making.
  • Get guidance on handling cases involving domestic abuse.
  • Ensure effective communication with the court in times of unexpected case developments.
  • Provide the adjudicators with all the information they'll need to make the decision.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level judicial panel will provide domestic and family law attorneys with practical tips for effective communication with the court.

Course Content

Morning Session 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  1. Local Family Court Procedure and Culture
  2. Temporary Hearing
  3. Custody/Time Sharing - Major Deciding Factors
  4. Child and Spousal Support Determination and Enforcement
  5. Handling Assets and Debts

Afternoon Session: 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM

  1. Legal Ethics - The Judicial View
  2. Effective Communication with the Court
  3. Contempt in Family Court
  4. Domestic Abuse/Violence
  5. How to Present Your Case at Trial

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education – CLE: 6.00 *

* denotes specialty credits

October 28, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, October 27, 2017

Improvised Pet Graveyards Hidden in Belgrade Parks

1509015163326In Belgrade, Serbia’s capital city, pet owners have few options available to them for their pet’s burial. The city has been discussing a pet cemetery for over a decade, but construction is still in the planning stages. Many pet owners refuse to use the public services available to them and instead opt to bury their pets in local parks and suburban forests. Sasa Milovanovic, a resident who frequents local parks with his dog, Woopy, said residents with pets must simply “manage any way they can.”

See Jovana Gec, Improvised Pet Graveyards Hidden in Belgrade Parks, Associated Press, October 26, 2017.

October 27, 2017 in Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Phillips v Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: Construction of a Gift to a Dissolved Charitable Company

D6eaef91aae6efa3a9643a12e5b2a7cc--pretty-birds-beautiful-birdsJohn Picton recently posted an Article entitled, Phillips v Royal Society for the Protection of Birds: Construction of a Gift to a Dissolved Charitable Company, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Even the best laid plans can go wrong, and where a charitable bequest turns out to be impossible to effect, the law must construct the will in order to decide how the testator’s gift can best be distributed. In Phillips v Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, an executor requested instructions from the High Court after finding that a charitable company nominated in the will had dissolved after the testatrix’s death, but before he was able apply the gift. This note analyses the rules of construction as they were applied to complex facts and considers the wider impact of the judgment.

October 27, 2017 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Writers on Taxes: Quotations of Death and Humor From Plato to John Grisham

Tax-BurdenThe modern American has come to accept the yearly ritual of paying taxes as a unpleasant, but routine, requirement. The yoke of this ever-changing encumbrance has been borne and carried by citizens throughout history. The following are a few famous perspectives considering the effect and burden of taxes:

“Income tax returns are the most imaginative fiction being written today.”— Herman Wouk 

“Dear Mr. President, Internal Revenue regulations will turn us into a nation of bookkeepers. The life of every citizen is becoming a business. This, it seems to me, is one of the worst interpretations of the meaning of human life history has ever seen. Man's life is not a business.”— Saul Bellow, Herzog, 1964

"When there is an income tax, the just man will pay more and the unjust less on the same amount of income."—Plato

See Julian Block, Writers on Taxes: Quotations of Death and Humor From Plato to John Grisham, accountingweb, August 21, 2017.

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

 

 

October 27, 2017 in Estate Planning - Generally, Humor, Income Tax | Permalink | Comments (0)

The Pros and Cons of the No-contest Clause

APPROVALNo-contest clauses are generally drafted into wills and trusts in order to discourage potential challengers to a decedent’s estate plan. These clauses may seem like powerful deterrents but are actually quite limited in application. If an estate plan is challenged and the contesting party has probable cause to bring a claim, a court will not enforce the provision. Challengers must be wary though, as certain claims brought with probable cause will not prevent enforcement of the no-contest provision.

See Henry Welles, Best in Law: The Pros and Cons of the No-contest Clause, The Press Enterprise, August 5, 2017.

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

October 27, 2017 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, October 26, 2017

CLE on Collection Law From Start to Finish

0000000 CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a conference entitled, Collection Law From Start to Finish, which will take place on Thursday, October 26, 2017, at the Embassy Suites Syracuse in East Syracuse, NY. Provided below is a description of the event:

Program Description

Tread Carefully . . . But Ensure Your Clients Get Paid

Winning a judgment against a bad debt doesn't necessarily mean cash in hand. Do you have the information you need to ensure payment of the debt - while keeping in compliance with strict guidelines governing consumer collections? Don't rush in unprepared. Maximize your chances of recovery with the practical solutions you'll gain at this definitive seminar. Enroll today!

  • Uncover assets - including property - that can help you maximize monetary recovery.
  • Stay in compliance: follow the guidelines governing actions permitted or restricted by the FDCPA.
  • Learn effective (and legal!) ways to get the debtor's attention when moving forward with a lawsuit.
  • Learn how to use wage garnishments and attachments to successfully collect judgments.
  • Take the steps necessary to protect your client's rights when the debtor files for bankruptcy.

Who Should Attend

This basic-to-intermediate level course will provide professionals with the legal framework to collect consumer debt. Those who should attend include:

  • Attorneys
  • Paralegals
  • In-House Counsel
  • Collections and Loan Officers
  • Credit Managers
  • Bankers
  • Controllers
  • Presidents/Vice Presidents

Course Content

  1. Pre-Suit Collection Strategies
  2. The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
  3. Filing the Lawsuit - Developing Definitive Strategies
  4. Collecting the Judgment
  5. The Impact of Bankruptcy on Collections
  6. Avoiding Ethical Tangles in Collections

Continuing Education Credit

Continuing Legal Education

Credit Hrs State 
CLE 7.20 -  NJ*
CLE 7.00 -  NY*
CLE 6.00 -  PA*

International Association for Continuing Education Training – IACET: 0.60

* denotes specialty credits

October 26, 2017 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Clergy Housing Tax Exemption The Times Square Of Religion And Taxation

Braveheart1370473231In a suit brought by the Freedom from Religion Foundation, Judge Barbara Crabb has once again declared IRC §107(2) unconstitutional. This specific section of the code allows ministers of the gospel to exclude rental allowances from their gross income. Recent coverage of the decision has overstated the scope of Crabb’s ruling and deserves rectification.

See Peter J. Reilly, Clergy Housing Tax Exemption The Times Square Of Religion And Taxation, Forbes, October 15, 2017.

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

October 26, 2017 in Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Contradiction in the Law of Charitable Lapse

Immediate1_4190John Picton recently posted an Article entitled, Contradiction in the Law of Charitable Lapse, Wills, Trusts, & Estate Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article:

Gifts by will inevitably carry an element of risk. Circumstances change, and so any gift to a charitable organisation is made on an assumption that it will still exist at the testator’s death. This uncertainty has given rise to a branch of equitable jurisprudence. In a persistent series of cases, courts have had to decide what to do with gifts to organisations that have ceased to exist.

October 26, 2017 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)