Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Speciality Senior Move Managers offer services many may not be aware of but can be invaluable for aging clientele moving into assisted living. Services include sorting and organizing belongings, coordinating with a moving company, and utilizing floor plans to determine what can be moved to the new residence.
Going through a lifetime of memories and possession can be daunting for clients and their families, and Move Managers step in to better facilitate the process. Many potential clients have balked at the additional expenses associated with the services. However, families who used a Move Manager insist it was worth the money.
Move Managers do not just pack and unpack homes. Instead, they work closely with clients and their families for weeks or even months, are trained and certified, and adhere to a code of ethics to provide services for those needing it most.
For more information see Paula Span “Moving Is a Monumental Task for Many Older Americans. These Organizers Can Help.” The New York Times, May 20, 2023.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Tuesday, May 30, 2023
Western State College of Law (WSCL) at Westcliff University invites applications from entry level and lateral candidates for tenure-track or tenured Assistant/Associate/Professor of Law positions beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. We are especially interested in candidates with demonstrated interest or experience in 1) Civil Procedure and Evidence or 2) Contracts. We will also consider excellent candidates with teaching interests in other first year and required subject areas. Applicants must hold a J.D. degree (or the equivalent), should have strong academic backgrounds, commitment to teaching excellence, and demonstrated potential for productive scholarship. Appointment rank will be determined commensurate with the candidate’s qualifications and experience. We are particularly interested in candidates who will enrich the diversity of our faculty and welcome applications from women, underrepresented minorities, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, veterans, and others whose backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints would contribute to the diversity of our institution.
WSCL is located in the city of Irvine, California – close to miles of famous beaches, parks, recreation facilities and outdoor activities as well as the many museums, music venues, and diverse cultural and social experiences of greater Los Angeles.
Founded in 1966, WSCL is the oldest law school in Orange County, California, and is a fully ABA approved for-profit, private law school. Noted for small classes and personal attention from an accessible faculty focused on student success, WSCL is proud that our student body is among the most diverse in the nation, with a majority of our students from minority backgrounds. In our 50+ year history we have nearly 12,000 alumni and have had over 150 judges elevated to the bench. Our alumni are well represented across public and private sector legal practice areas.
WSCL is committed to providing workplaces and learning environments free from discrimination on the basis of any protected classification including, but not limited to race, sex, gender, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, disability, medical condition, marital status, veteran status, genetic marker or on any other basis protected by law.
Confidential review of applications will begin in summer 2023. Applications (including a cover letter, complete CV, teaching evaluations (if available), a diversity statement addressing your contributions to our goal of creating a diverse faculty, and names/email addresses of three references) should be emailed to Professor Susan Keller, Chair, Faculty Appointments Committee: firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about WSCL, visit wsulaw.edu.
The Dutch company, Loop Biotech, makes coffins and urns that are available for purchase in Europe and the United States, with names like the “Living Cocoon,” “Forest Bed Coffin,” and “Earth Rise Earn.” The company’s coffins allow human remains to become food sources for the earth.
Founders Lonneke Westhoff and Bob Hendrikx grew the company from a college project at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. They were inspired by the mushroom and how it can take dead fallen trees and create new life. The pair aims to “give humanity a positive footprint” by upcycling hemp and mycelium, which grow inside a mold, allowing the coffins to become biodegradable within 45 days.
Prices range from 695-995 euros, with prices still being worked out in the United States.
For more information see Saleen Martin “This Dutch startup company makes mushroom coffins that biodegrade in 45 days” USA Today, May 25, 2023.
Monday, May 29, 2023
Duane Close (Regent University School of Law) recently published a paper, Targeting the Challenges and Pitfalls of Military Estate Planning, April 2023. Provided below is an abstract to the paper:
An insightful illustration of the issues servicemembers face when career and estate planning. The first part shares the experiences of several servicemembers in narrative form as they made their way through their careers. Part Two discusses background law that would have been useful for their planning, the benefits that are available to all servicemembers, and how they may take advantage of some resources only available while on active duty. Part Three discusses strategies for a case-by-case analysis and planning factors for an individual seeking the aid of legal counsel. This section also includes a checklist for both the member and the legal professional to use to start the process and support the formation of additional questions to further develop a comprehensive estate plan.
Sunday, May 28, 2023
Elon Musk recently announced that he would not hand his companies over to his children if he were to become indisposed. Instead, he has identified people who would take over his companies. Musk has nine children, the oldest of which is 19 years old.
"I am definitely not of the school of automatically giving my kids some share of the companies, even if they have no interest or inclination or ability to manage the company," Musk said. "I think that's a mistake."
Musk has already alerted board members at his five companies of his succession plans. Furthermore, while executive control is a concern, he is more concerned over who will control his shares. As a result, he has wrestled with various options, such as an educational institution that would control his voting shares.
For more information see Grace Kay “Elon Musk says he doesn’t plan to give his kids control of his companies” Yahoo! News, May 23, 2023.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.
Saturday, May 27, 2023
Alexandra Braun (University of Edinburgh School of Law) recently published a paper, Private Purpose Trusts: Good for Scotland?, 2023. Provided below is an abstract to the paper:
On 22 November 2022 the Scottish Government introduced the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill (hereinafter ‘the Bill’) whose overall aim is to modernise the law of trusts in Scotland and to attract international trust business. Among other things the Bill proposes to introduce a regulatory framework for private purpose trusts in Scotland which is contained in Chapter 6. Private purpose trusts are trusts which are not created for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries, but for the furtherance of a private purpose that is non-charitable. In seeking to introduce private purpose trusts, Scotland looked for inspiration offshore, notably the STAR legislation of the Cayman Islands and Guernsey trust law. The Scottish proposal, however, has arguably gone a step further by proposing a scheme that is even more flexible and user-friendly than that offered by the offshore models.
This paper explores whether this radical break with the past is to be welcomed. It examines the extent to which the proposed regulatory scheme addresses practical as well as conceptual objections commonly raised against private purpose trusts, but also their workability and compatibility with Scots trust law.
The paper argues that the core objections against the admissibility of private purpose trusts have not been satisfactorily overcome by the Bill and that the conceptual and theoretical but also ethical concerns that such trusts raise have not been given sufficient attention. In particular, Chapter 6 of the Bill raises serious concerns about the enforceability of private purpose trusts in Scotland which could potentially be used to make beneficial ownership disappear. This is especially problematic given that in Scotland, trusts can be constituted for whatever duration the truster elects and according to the Bill, private purpose trusts will be very difficult to terminate. Further, Chapter 6 leaves a number of questions unanswered and some of its provisions raise terminological and conceptual questions that are bound to create confusion and uncertainty. Finally, the scope of the proposed legal framework for private purpose trusts is unclear and its provisions could potentially affect a wide range of private trusts, and, in particular, the rights of beneficiaries under such trusts.
Thus, even though the Trusts and Succession (Scotland) Bill is an important piece of legislation for Scotland and has many positive features, Chapter 6 is best dropped, especially given that it is far from certain whether it will lead to new business for Scotland. While it may well be the case that certain types of trusts currently operating in Scotland could be classified as private purpose trusts, the proposed framework runs the risk of opening up Scotland to, and offering a statutory validation of, all manner of private purpose trusts with far-reaching consequences.
Friday, May 26, 2023
Katharine K. Baker (Chicago-Kent College of Law) recently published an article, Making Some Sense of the Constitutional Family, Wash U J L & Pub Pol’y, (Forthcoming). Provided below is an abstract to the article:
This essay explores the Supreme Court’s approaches to family definition. It unpacks how the Court has defined family differently in different contexts, and it argues that what can appear to be a confused doctrine actually makes some sense once one realizes that how the Court defines family is related to why the State is recognizing family at all. When the law recognizes family for any purpose, it must define it, either with reference to some extra-legal determinant like genetics, a pure legal construction like marriage, or a case-by-case assessment of lived experience like function. The Court has relied on all three of these mechanisms to define family, but it has almost never explained why it uses different definitions at different times. This essay examines the Court’s jurisprudence and begins to address the question of why it has used different definitions of family in different contexts. While much of the Court’s reasoning in these cases either never made sense or no longer makes sense given the evolution of technology and social norms, many of the Supreme Court’s seemingly confused results can be justified if one takes time to appreciate the different contexts in which the State has defined family.
Thursday, May 25, 2023
The late Tina Turner, and her husband, Erwin Bach, purchased a sprawling waterfront estate in Zürich, Switzerland, less than two years before the singer's passing. Both Turner and Bach obtained Swiss citizenship, as nonresidents cannot own land in Switzerland.
Turner formally renounced her U.S. citizenship in 2013. She told the late Larry King in 1997 that moving to Europe made sense because he boyfriend was from there and Europe had been very supportive of her music.
Known as the Queen of Rock' n' Roll, Turner had an illustrious career. It was announced that she passed away on May 24th after a long battle with an unnamed illness.
For more information see Nicki Cox “Tina Turner, husband Erwin Bach bought $76M home in Switzerland less than 2 years before her death” Page Six, May 24, 2023.
Wednesday, May 24, 2023
Last month, the U.S. Labor Department reached a settlement with Prudential Financial over the wrongful denial of nearly 200 claims for benefits totaling as much as $7 million. As part of the settlement, Prudential agreed to voluntarily pay claims denied since June 2019 and tighten procedures with employers to avoid future employer errors.
Many employers offer supplemental life insurance policies, in which employees pay extra for the coverage. In some of these programs, the employer rather than the insurer is in charge of administrative tasks, which has been the norm for decades. However, in some instances, employers who still need to get their employees to complete the forms deduct the premiums from their paychecks and send the funds to the insurance company. The result left some grieving families without life insurance their loved ones had paid for.
As part of the settlement with the Labor Department, new policies will require employers to confirm that supplemental coverage forms have been completed before deducting premiums from paychecks. Without doing so, the employer will be liable to beneficiaries rather than the insurer.
For more information see Lesley Scism “Paperwork Screw-Ups by Employers Deny Families Life-Insurance Payouts” The Wall Street Journal, May 17, 2023.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
'Oh my God': This secretary in Illinois built a $7M fortune starting with $180. Here's the one powerful technique that made Grace Groner rich — and can change your life too
Grace Groner lived and worked in Illinois for her entire 43-year career. She was a secretary at Abbott Laboratories and lived a modest life in a small one-bedroom cottage. However, when she passed away in 2010, the 100-year-old left behind a $7 million fortune, which she left to her alma mater, Lake Forest College.
Groner was able to build her fortune by purchasing three shares in the company when she was first hired in 1935. Over time, she used the dividends to buy more shares in Abbott, turning a $180 investment into a $7 million fortune.
For more information see Jing Pan “’Oh my God’: This secretary in Illinois built a $7M fortune starting with $180. Here’s the one powerful technique that made Groner rich— and can change your life too” Yahoo! Finance, April 28, 2023.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.