Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Article on Don't Forget About Pets When Planning for Disability and Death

PetsGerry W. Beyer and Barry Seltzer published an Article entitled, Don't Forget About Pets When Planning for Disability and Death, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article.

Dogs, cats, parrots, and other pet animals play significant roles in the lives of many individuals. The bond between a pet owner and his or her companion is strong, and recent studies show that this bond can be even deeper with older owners. Accordingly, it is of vital importance to include pets when a pet owner, especially an older one, makes plans for disability and death. This article provides an overview of the techniques a pet owner should consider when planning his or her estate.

December 23, 2018 in Articles, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

CLE on Advanced Estate Planning Practice Update: Winter 2019

CLEThe American Law Institute is holding a webcast entitled, Advanced Estate Planning Practice Update: Winter 2019, on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, at 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Eastern. Provided below is a description of the event.

Why You Should Attend
Join us in February to see why attorneys across the country tune in for this must-attend program three times a year!

This popular, advanced program covers significant recent developments and how they affect estate planning practice. Featuring a nationally renowned faculty of estate planning lawyers, as well as Professor Jeffrey N. Pennell, this webcast is designed for sophisticated practitioners who need to stay up-to-date on changes in the field!

What You Will Learn
This unique program captures late-breaking important opinions and legislative and regulatory developments, as determined by the faculty at the time of the presentation. Check back here in January for a list of the topics we anticipate addressing.

In addition to superb teaching, a favorite feature of past registrants is the comprehensive outline that all registrants get ahead of the program. It provides summaries written by the faculty on every topic discussed during the program, in the order in which it is addressed!

Who Should Attend
Experienced estate planning attorneys, trust administrators, and financial and tax professionals who provide guidance and strategies for transferring wealth and reducing estate taxes should attend this accredited CLE on advanced estate planning developments.

December 22, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Gift Tax, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, December 21, 2018

Am I too Young to Have an Estate Plan?

WillIt is quite literally never too early to have an estate plan. If you do not have an expansive amount of cash or assets or if you are just starting out in your profession, California provides a free statutory will that can avoid intestacy. However, they are rigid in their composition and may not satisfy the needs of the testator. 

A solution to this without having to have a full estate plan would be to have a simple pour-over will and a trust. A pour-over will transfers all of your assets into your trust, which you can tailor to distribute them in a more personal and thoughtful manner.

Trusts are often considered the realm of millionaires and celebrities, but this is simply not the case. Trusts are useful to anyone philanthropic, who has children, or who has family with special needs. They can also provide that your well-earned money or property does not go to a someone that you would rather not receive it.

See Stephanie Farzam, Am I too Young to Have an Estate Plan?, LinkedIn, December 20, 2018.

 

December 21, 2018 in Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on The Creation of Express Trusts

TrustsYing Khai Liew & Charles Mitchell published an Article entitled, The Creation of Express Trusts, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2017). Provided below is an abstract of the Article.

In modern trusts textbooks, the impression is frequently given that the only reason why express trusts come into being is that a settlor manifests an intention that this should happen. In this article we argue, first, that such accounts are under-inclusive because trustees and beneficiaries also have a part to play in the creation of express trusts, and, second, that they are insufficiently nuanced because rights under express trusts do not all come into being for the same reasons.

 

December 21, 2018 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Who’s Your Daddy: Fighting For The Estate Of Charles Manson

MansonCharles Manson may have been a convicted serial killer, but that does not mean that his estate was not wanted by multiple people. In Los Angeles County Superior Court, Jason Freeman, Manson’s grandson, is battling Michael Channels, the decedent’s prison pen pal, for control and receipt of the estate. Manson passed away in November of last year from complications of colon cancer.

There were originally four men that were vying for control of Manson's estate. The other two included Matt Lentz, who claimed that he was a biological son of Manson that was given up for adoption, and that there existed a will naming him as sole beneficiary. Another was an actual son of Manson, Michael Brunner, but the courts deemed that he lost his bid for the estate because his maternal grandparents had adopted him.

In the current situation, Channels is claiming that there is a 2002 will signed by Manson naming him as sole beneficiary, disinheriting all of his sons and grandsons in favor of the pen pal. However, Channels is one of the two witnesses that signed the will, so the courts may see this as a conflict of interests.

See Cori A. Robinson, Who’s Your Daddy: Fighting For The Estate Of Charles Manson, Above the Law, December 20, 2018.

Special thanks to Carissa Peterson (Hrbacek Law Firm, Sugar Land, Texas) for bringing this article to my attention.

December 21, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, December 20, 2018

CLE on Drafting Essential Estate Planning Documents

CLEThe National Business Institute is holding a webcast entitled, Drafting Essential Estate Planning Documents, on Thursday, January 24, 2019, from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. Central. Provided below is a description of the event.

Program Description
A Practical How-to Guide to Estate Planning Documents
This comprehensive legal instruction offers essential knowledge and resources to draft key documents used to plan for clients' trusts and estates. Establish heirs and plan distributions, choose and prepare fiduciaries, outline medical decisions and more. With experienced attorney faculty sharing their top approaches and sample documents, you'll save time drafting and advise clients on the wisest course of action for every unique situation. Register today!

  • Get sample language for wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, and more.
  • Understand when specific provisions and documents are used for best results.
  • Learn to draft to prevent unintended consequences.
  • Help clients make the tough end-of-life and organ donation decisions and communicate them clearly and properly.
  • Guard your professional reputation with a specialized legal ethics guide.

Who Should Attend
This estate planning guide is designed for attorneys. It will also benefit accountants and CPAs, trust officers, wealth managers, tax professionals, and paralegals.

Course Content
Compiling the Client's Assets/Accounts Inventory
Crafting Durable Powers of Attorney
Updating Beneficiary Designations
Wills: Drafting the Key Components
Drafting Living Trusts: Essential Provisions
Designing the Letter of Intent to Clarify - not Complicate - Testator Intent
Advance Directives: Planning for Medical Care, Incapacity, and End of Life Decisions
Creating Guardianships
Legal Ethics in Estate Planning Practice

December 20, 2018 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2019

LtcThe Internal Revenue Service (IRS) will have increased amounts taxpayers can deduct for paying for long-term care insurance, if the policies are deemed qualified, for the 2019 tax .

The premiums for these policies are tax deductible to the extent that they, along with other unreimbursed medical expenses, exceed 7.5% of the insured's adjusted gross income, and in 2019 it will revert to 10%. There is a limit on how large a premium can be deducted, depending on the age of the taxpayer at the end of the year.

To be qualified, long-term care policies issued on or after January 1, 1997, must adhere to certain requirements, including that the policy must offer the consumer the options of "inflation" and "nonforfeiture" protection, although the consumer can choose not to purchase these features. Policies purchased before January 1, 1997, will be grandfathered and treated as qualified if they have been approved by the insurance commissioner of the state in which they are sold.

See IRS Issues Long-Term Care Premium Deductibility Limits for 2019, Elder Law Answers, November 27, 2018.

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

December 20, 2018 in Current Affairs, Elder Law, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Article on Latest Trends in Succession among Hindus

HinduG. V. Mahesh Nath recently published an Article entitled, Latest Trends in Succession among Hindus, Wlls, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2018). Provided below is an abstract of the Article. 

The presence of separate provisions for succession in case of Hindu men and Hindu women dying intestate is viewed as complicated feature of the Hindu Succession Act,1956 showing discrimination on basis of gender. The property of Hindu males devolves upon his heirs irrespective of the source of the income but the property of Hindu females devolves according to the source of the income. This provision under Section 15 of the Act dealing with rules of Succession of Hindu Female dilutes the effect of gender progressive provisions like Section 14 and show that the woman is a temporary occupier of the property and that the property must be reverted back from where it was inherited leaving that woman has no identity of her own. The 2005 Amendment Act is required to be seen as a step in the direction of reducing the existing gender inequalities, however the change in Indian societal perception on gender equity is still lacking.

December 20, 2018 in Articles, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession, Religion, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ex-Caretaker of Bone-Strewn Cemetery Appears in Court

HeadstoneDale LaPrade was the caretaker at Park Cemetery in Bridgeport, Connecticut where allegedly she allowed new graves to be placed over old ones, thus approving the disposal of old headstones and human remains. She was charged December 6 with felony interference with a cemetery.

The charges suggest that over 130 graves were disturbed to make room for new ones over the last seven years, many of which included the remains of Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans. Relatives of those that were buried in the cemetery complained to police, which led to an inspection in September.

LaPrade did not take any questions from reporters, nor did she make any comments.

See Ex-Caretaker of Bone-Strewn Cemetery Appears in Court, Tucson.com, December 19, 2018.

December 20, 2018 in Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Summer Redstone Ordered to Have a Court-Appointed Guardian

RedstoneSummer Redstone, the 95-year-old controlling shareholder of CBS and Viacom, has been placed under a guardian, presumably because of a speech impediment. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge David Cowan said he was appointing a guardian because of Redstone's extreme difficulty in speaking. It is reported that Samuel Ingram, III has been offered the position, who was the court-appointed of Britney Spears after her unfortunate public mental health breakdown in 2008. In this instance, it does not appear that Redstone's mental capacity is at issue.

The court’s decision on Monday will have no effect on Redstone’s control of his trust, which owns almost 80% of voting stake in the two American media companies. His ownership and control will remain valid until he either dies or is incapacitated. If the latter occurs, the trust would then be overseen by seven trustees, including his daughter, Shari Redstone, and his grandson, Tyler Korff. Redstone has communicated that he approves of the appointment, which is family requested during his court battle with a former girlfriend.

Redstone amended his trust in 2015, removing his former girlfriend as a beneficiary. The ex, Manuela Herzer, claims Redstone’s mental abilities were diminished, which would thus invalidate the amended trust.

See Ariel Zilber, Summer Redstone Ordered to Have a Court-Appointed Guardian Because of a Speech Impediment, Weeks Before Ex-Girlfriend Take him to Court for Cutting her out of his Trust, Daily Mail, December 17, 2018.

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

December 19, 2018 in Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Film, Guardianship, New Cases, Television, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)