Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Article: The Next Step for Tax Policy Equity

Albert Feuer recently published an article entitled, The Next Step for Tax Policy Equity, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

In September, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released proposals requiring many employers without retirement plans to establish and automatically enroll employees in IRAs or simple 401(k) plans or in IRAs with the default contributions going to Roth IRAs. The proposals would also require a person whose employee benefit plans, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs have an aggregate balance greater than $10 million to withdraw at least 50% of the excess balance. Broadening those proposals to require Roth IRAs to comply with the same required minimum distribution (RMD) rules that now govern employee benefit plans and traditional IRAs, would better implement the common-sense policy of using tax incentives to encourage adequate retirement savings by focusing on retirement savings.

Roth IRAs and their participants are subject to the same RMD rules after the death of the IRA participant and the participant’s spouse, if any, as traditional IRAs and tax-advantaged pension and profit-sharing plans, including their Roth designated accounts,. Roth IRAs and their participants should also be subject to the same RMD rules during the life of the IRA participant and the IRA participant’s spouse, if any. An IRA violating those rules would lose its tax exemption, and a person failing to take a timely RMD would be subject to a 50% excise tax.

Subjecting Roth IRA participants to both the excess benefit distribution and the RMD rules would better limit the retirement tax incentives to retirement savings. Those with Mega-IRAs, such as Mr. Thiel’s multi-billion Roth IRA, could continue to receive tax incentives for reasonable-sized retirement accounts, but the tax incentives on any excess balances would be dramatically reduced. Participants with Roth or IRA accounts of any size would similarly be required to withdraw significant funds distributed during the expected life of the participant and the participant’s spouse, if any. This would permit Congress to adopt more equitable policies, such as making more funds available to encourage adequate retirement savings, such as increasing the matching savings credits to low-income tax payers who make contributions to tax-favored retirement plans above the Ways and Means proposed amount.

January 19, 2022 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 17, 2022

Article: Electronic Wills: The Changing Future of the Estate Practice

Estate planningGerry W. Beyer recently published an article entitled, Electronic Wills: The Changing Future of the Estate Practice, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: 

As of September 15, 2021, four states have enacted the Uniform Electronic Wills Act: Colorado (effective July 2, 2021), North Dakota (effective August 1, 2021), Utah (effective August 31, 2020), and Washington (effective January 1, 2022). Six states have enacted other electronic will statutes: Nevada (effective July 1, 2017), Indiana (effective July 1, 2018), Arizona (effective July 1, 2019), Florida (effective July 1, 2020), Illinois (effective July 26, 2021), and Maryland (effective October 1, 2021).

This article discusses the development of electronic wills, the Uniform Electronic Wills Act and the e-will statutes of the six non-uniform states, and the situations where e-wills may be a valuable part of the estate planner's toolbox.

The article also contains the complete text of all state statutes and detailed comparison charts which set forth the key features of each state's e-will statutes.

January 17, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, January 14, 2022

Article: Flesh of My Flesh but Not My Heir: Unintended Disinheritance

Laura Padilla recently published an article entitled, Flesh of My Flesh but Not My Heir: Unintended Disinheritance , Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

This article explores issues around property rights, biology and technology.

January 14, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Article: Emerging Trends in the Law of Succession in Kenya

Marion Shamallah recently published an article entitled, Emerging Trends in the Law of Succession in Kenya, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

Family has been the basic unit of the society as espoused under article 45 of the constitution of Kenya. On the other hand the law of succession is greatly shaped by the laws governing family including marriage and children laws. As such with changes in the family structures and lass the law of succession has greatly shifted towards a positive direction to incorporate children born out of wedlock and cohabiting partners.

January 13, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Intestate Succession | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Article: Mandatory Share in Inheritance as An Institution for the Protection of the Rights of Family Members: The Experience of Russia and Foreign Countries

Aleksandra Fokina recently published an article entitled, Mandatory Share in Inheritance as An Institution for the Protection of the Rights of Family Members: The Experience of Russia and Foreign Countries, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

This study presents a comparative legal analysis of the institution of a mandatory share in inheritance in the law of Russia and some foreign countries according to three comparison criteria: the concept and legal definition; the size of the mandatory share and mandatory heirs; features of calculating the size of the mandatory share.

The relevance of the chosen topic is due to the fact that the similarities and differences established as a result of comparative legal analysis of the norms of inheritance law of Russia and foreign states of the legal regulation of the institution of mandatory share in inheritance allow us to re-evaluate the current regulation of mandatory share in inheritance in Russian law and use the experience of foreign countries for further improvement of Russian legislation on inheritance.

As a result of the conducted research, significant differences were established in the regulatory and legal regulation of the institution of a mandatory share in the inheritance, which can be used as part of the reform of the inheritance law of Russia.

January 12, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 10, 2022

Article: Getting Into Equity

Samuel L. Bray and Paul B. Miller recently published an article entitled, Getting Into Equity , Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

For two centuries, common lawyers have frequently talked about a “cause of action.” But “cause of action” is not an organizing principle for equity. This Article shows how a plaintiff gets into equity, and it shows equity is shaped by the interplay of its remedial, procedural, and substantive law. Equity is adjectival, related to law rather than the other way around. Remedies, not rights, are what give it power. And for getting into equity, it is the grievance that is central. To insist on an equitable cause of action is to work a fundamental change in how a plaintiff gets into equity.

January 10, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, January 8, 2022

Article: Equity's Attribution Rules

Rachel Leow recently published an article entitled, Equity's Attribution Rules, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

Corporate attribution is the process by which acts and states of mind are attributed to companies to establish their rights, duties, and liabilities. Ever since Meridian Global Funds Management v Securities Commission [1995] 2 AC 500, it is widely accepted that corporate attribution is a highly context-specific process While a growing literature has been produced on the attribution rules which apply to statutes and in the common law, very little is known about equity’s attribution rules. This paper examines equity’s attribution rules in three areas: dishonest assistance, knowing receipt, and bona fide purchase. Each routinely requires the attribution of both acts and states of mind. Equity’s rules are then compared with those emerging from the common law cases. The paper concludes that equity’s attribution rules are, perhaps surprisingly, just the same as the common law’s. It also explains why.

January 8, 2022 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Article: Texas Estate Planning Judicial Update: Fall 2021 Edition

Gerry W. Beyer recently published an article entitled, Texas Estate Planning Judicial Update: Fall 2021 Edition, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

This article discusses recent judicial developments (second and third quarters of 2021) relating to the Texas law of intestacy, wills, estate administration, trusts, and other estate planning matters. The discussion of each case concludes with a moral, i.e., the important lesson to be learned from the case. By recognizing situations that have led to time consuming and costly litigation in the past, estate planners can reduce the likelihood of the same situations arising with their clients.

January 5, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Article: Is This the Time to Harmonize the Required Minimum Distribution Rules?

Albert Feuer recently published an article entitled, Is This the Time to Harmonize the Required Minimum Distribution Rules?, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

In September, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released proposals requiring many employers without retirement plans to establish and automatically enroll employees in IRAs with the default contributions going to Roth IRAs or in simple 401(k) plans. The proposals would also require a person whose employee benefit plans, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs have an aggregate balance in excess of $10 million to withdraw at least 50% of the excess balance. Broadening those proposals to require Roth IRAs to comply with the same required minimum distribution (RMD) rules that now govern employee benefit plans and traditional IRAs, would better implement the common-sense policy of using tax incentives to encourage adequate retirement savings by focusing on retirement savings.

Roth IRAs are subject to the same RMD rules, as traditional IRAs and tax-advantaged pension and profit-sharing plans, including their Roth designated accounts, after the death of the IRA participant and the participant’s spouse. They should also be subject to the same RMD rules during the life of the IRA participant and the IRA participant’s spouse, if any.

Subjecting Roth IRA participants to the excess benefit distribution and to the RMD rules would better limit retirement tax incentives to retirement savings. Those with Mega-IRAs, such as Mr. Thiel’s multi-billion Roth IRA, could continue to receive tax incentives for reasonable-sized retirement accounts, but the tax incentives on any excess balances would be dramatically reduced. Similarly, participants with Roth or IRA accounts of any size would be required to withdraw significant funds during the expected life of the participant and the participant’s spouse, if any. Such harmonization would permit Congress to make more funds available to encourage adequate retirement savings, such as providing larger savings credits to low-income tax payers who make contributions to tax-favored retirement plans than the Ways and Means proposal offers.

January 4, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sunday, January 2, 2022

Article: On Trusts, Angels, Morality and Fusion: Reply to My Critics

Irit Samet recently published an article entitled On Trusts, Angels, Morality and Fusion: Reply to My Critics, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: Estate planning

I am deeply grateful to the four commentators for engaging with my work in a deep and creative manner; tempting such outstanding scholars setting their inquisitive minds unto my work x is the best I could possibly ask for. Their thoughts set me unto new paths that correspond with the present book but move beyond it. There is no way I can do justice in this short piece to all the excellent points they raise in their critique. I therefore chose to write about four themes that recur in two or more of the papers: the place of the trust in my account of Equity, the extent to which equity sides with (moral) angles, whether the morality invoked by Equity is thick or thin, and the question to what extent Equity as it emerges from the book can be the subject of future fusion projects.

January 2, 2022 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)