Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Wealth Managers Champion Inclusivity And Collaboration In Financial Planning

Estate 12.02.32 PMJR Gondeck and Vanessa Martinez have announced the publication of Family Value at Risk: Inclusive Communication to Pass on Your Family's Wealth and Legacy. Gondeck and Martinez are partners and managing directors at The Lerner Group. The book is published with ForbesBooks, the exclusive business book publishing imprint of Forbes. 

In the book, Gondeck and Martinez discuss the meaning of wealth aside from monetary value. The book takes a "comprehensive view of wealth, including family and legacy, as well as the wider community." 

"This holistic approach to wealth management prioritizes a family’s overall wealth—derived from multiple aspects of life..."

Gondeck and Martinez explain that a sole focus on money puts the entire family's value at risk. Gondeck and Martinez use The Family Value at Risk (FVR) approach to wealth management. In this approach they focus on (1) investment returns that specifically prioritize ROI over other factors and (2) the growing role of inclusivity within financial planning. 

See Wealth Managers Champion Inclusivity And Collaboration In Financial Planning, Forbes, October 13, 2020.

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

October 14, 2020 in Books, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, July 10, 2020

The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir

UnknownPresident Trump's nice was a family outcast. Her new book casts a cold light on the relatives she describes as dysfunctional.

For most of her life, Mary L. Trump has been outcasted and put aside by her own family. Her uncle, President Trump, for years looked down on her father — Fred Trump Jr., an alcoholic who died when she was a teen. Her Grandfather, Fred Trump Sr., hated her mother, whom he blamed for Fred Trump Jr.'s drinking, court papers say. Her aunt, the president's sister, once accused Ms. Trump and her brother in a legal disposition of being "absentee grandchildren."

Ms. Trump's grandfather was often annoyed by what he took to be her disrespectful nature. Her crime, court papers say: She showed up wearing a baggy sweater. 

Ms' Trump's status as an outcast culminated in 1999 when Fred Trump Sr. died, and she discovered that she and her brother had been cut out of his will, depriving them of what they believed was their rightful share of untold millions. A dispute over the will lead to a court fight, the details of which shielded by a confidentiality agreement that Ms. Trump has followed for nearly 20 years. 

However, Ms. Trump has written a memoir which unfolds the details of that fight as well as other allegations. The book, along with a number of court documents that have never been reported, sheds new light on a decades-long saga of greed and betrayal, laying out what Ms. Trump has described as her family's legacy of darkness and dysfunction. 

The book, "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World's Dangerous Man," which is set to be released next week, has ended up in court itself, as the Trump family has sought to stop its publication. Ms. Trump has countered that the secrecy provision that has kept her silent until now is unenforceable and based on financial fraud.

See Alan Feuer, Michael Rothfield & Maggie Haberman, The Inside Story of Why Mary Trump Wrote a Tell-All Memoir, N.Y. Times, July 7, 2020.

Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (Harold H. Greene Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

July 10, 2020 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (1)

Monday, June 15, 2020

An Estate Planner's Guide to Family Business Entities: Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and More, Fourth Edition

Louis A. Mezzullo recently published a book entitled, An Estate Planner's Guide to Family Business Entities: Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, and More, Fourth Edition (4th ed. 2020). Provided below is a summary of the book: Img

Increasingly clients are looking for the most effective way to pass their investments on to younger family members. This updated edition provides a timely framework for selecting the most appropriate family members means of transferring wealth through the establishment of a business entity, including S corporations, C corporations, partnerships and LLCs.

Author Louis A. Mezzullo explains complex information in a clear and logical manner. Updated to reflect recent legal developments, this book provides lawyers and financial planners the necessary background to accurately advise clients on their choice of entity options. The book discusses the different techniques available for most effectively planning the transfer of a client's wealth, including trusts, S corporations, C corporations, partnerships and LLCs. To guide the selection of the most appropriate entity to meet a client’s objectives, the book offers a thorough comparison of the advantages, disadvantages and restrictions of each type of entity.

Beginning with a concise explanation of the objectives and techniques of estate planning for owners of closely held businesses, the book also provides a practical guide to the variety of forms of legal business entities available to help clients minimize estate and gift taxes while also realizing a number of non-tax benefits.

Topics include:

    • Entity classification for tax purposes
    • Transfer tax issues
    • Partnership taxation
    • Limited partnerships and LLCs
    • Special valuation rules under Chapter 14
    • Sample forms
    • Examples of tax savings

June 15, 2020 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Book on McGovern & Hirsch California Probate Code Annotated

ProbatecodebookAdam J. Hirsch & William M. McGovern recently published a Book entitled, McGovern & Hirsch California Probate Code Annotated (2020 ed.). Provided below is a summary of the Book.

Your comprehensive resource for probate law and estate planning in California, McGovern & Hirsch California Probate Code Annotated provides the complete text of the California Probate Code, related state and federal statutes, and rules of court regarding estate planning and probate.

This volume contains:

    • Authoritative commentary, annotations, and analysis of leading cases
    • Law Revision Commission editorial notes that provide additional guidance in the construction and application of particular sections
    • References to Witkin's Summary of California Law, 10th which direct you toward further research
    • A table of Judicial Council forms to help you identify forms to be used in conjunction with the statutes and rules
    • A table of cases illustrating the cases discussed in the author's commentary
    • A table of affected sections indicating recent modifications
    • Underlining to indicate additions or changes in statutes
    • Asterisks to indicate deletions

February 23, 2020 in Books, Current Events, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases, New Legislation | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Book on Estate Planning for the Muslim Client

MuslimbookYaser Ali and Ahmed Shaikh recently published a book entitled, Estate Planning for the Muslim Client (2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.

Islamic law provides a non-discretionary system of rules that governs the distribution of a Muslim's estate. Designing an estate plan based upon these rules presents unique challenges and opportunities. As the demand for faith-based planning increases, there is a growing need for culturally competent advisors who understand how these complex rules interplay with state and federal law. This first-of-its-kind practice guide serves as an authoritative resource for practitioners on how to ethically and effectively draft and administer estate plans for Muslim clients seeking to comply with their faith.

Planning a client's estate can involve more than just the transfer of wealth from one generation to the next. To draft a customized plan that achieves a client's unique goals, an estate-planning practitioner must understand the client's values and convictions and, in many cases, his or her religious beliefs. For many clients, passing on these beliefs and traditions is just as important as, if not more important than, the distribution of assets.

Estate Planning for the Muslim Client provides insights, information, and practical planning solutions for clients who wish to adhere to a set of classical religious obligations while recognizing the practicalities of daily life in America. The authors highlight various planning opportunities and identify the most common issues that arise when planning for a Muslim client. Topics include:

    • Meeting the Muslim client and understanding the pillars of their faith
    • Ethical, legal, and public policy issues
    • Estate planning during life
    • Planning for incapacity and death
    • Disposition of property at death
    • Drafting estate planning documents, with sample forms
    • Planning for individuals and assets abroad, and more

February 12, 2020 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Disability Planning - Property Management, Estate Planning - Generally, Religion, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Free update to "Estate Planning Smarts" by Deborah Jacobs now available

Estate_Planning_SmartsOne of the best, if the not the best, estate planning books designed for lay individuals is Estate Planning Smarts by Deborah Jacobs. Here is some information the author recently provided to me:

Dear Readers,

As we turn the page to 2020, Estate Planning Smarts marks a milestone.  It's been a decade since I published the first edition of this consumer-oriented book. At the time, I promised to keep readers current with future editions and free updates that could be downloaded from the book's website. In four editions and numerous updates I've chronicled the developments that may affect your finances, and those of your heirs. 

You can download the latest, free, update to the fourth edition here. This update replaces earlier ones. It reflects the current state of the law, including the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement, or SECURE, Act, passed just before the holiday recess. Like earlier updates, this one alerts you to key changes that may influence your planning. 

Nearly 2.5 million Americans die each year, and many haven't signed the basic documents needed to protect loved ones. If you are one of those people, make a New Year's resolution to tackle this subject -- and keep it! Otherwise, I hope you will use this update to revisit your plan in light of recent changes.

To be notified of future updates and books, please keep your contact information current. You might also want to check out my latest book, Four Seasons in a Day: Travel, Transitions and Letting Go of the Place We Call Home. It, too, confronts the subject of mortality, but with a different twist: by reminding us to make the most of the time we have left. The Wall Street Journal named it one of "the best books of 2017 about healthy aging."

My blog is now well established in a new home, which also comprises an archive of my work. I've expanded my coverage to include travel and the sharing economy, along with other topics that have been continuing themes in my writing, including: personal finance and work as a tool for self-actualization. Life doesn't stand still, and neither should your estate planning.

Happy New Year!

Carpe diem,

Deborah L. Jacobs

December 28, 2019 in Books, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 1, 2019

Book on Wills, Trusts, and Estates: A Contemporary Approach

WillsbookLloyd Bonfield, Joanna L. Grossman, and William P. LaPiana recently published a Book entitled, Wills, Trusts, and Estates: A Contemporary Approach, West Academic (2019).  Provided below is a summary of the book.

This casebook is designed to present in a comprehensive yet streamlined fashion the law of Wills, Trusts, and Future Interests to 21st–century law students. It assists the student in developing an understanding of the core legal concepts critical to a grasp of wills, trusts and future interests in a novel format that is clear and easy to understand, while maintaining the intellectual rigor of the subject. The book covers the standard topics, but is organized in an innovative fashion. It begins with an estate planning problem which introduces the student to the craft of the practitioner, providing context for the introduction of substantive law. It then presents the law of wills law by reference to the law governing the testator, the document and the property. Attention is given to non-probate transfers, and in particular, the law of trusts, private and charitable. A model trust instrument is also provided. It concludes with a comprehensive look at future interests and the rule against perpetuities. As with other books in the Interactive Casebook Series, it challenges students to think about issues raised by the cases as they are considered in the opinion through the use of text boxes. The accompanying electronic version allows students immediate access to the full text of cited cases, statutes, articles, and other relevant materials.

November 1, 2019 in Books, Books - For the Classroom, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, New Cases, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, October 5, 2019

A Life Packed With Experiences Leads Texas Author to Pen Adroit Supernatural Thriller

BrushwdeathStart with one artist experimenting with her craft, add one dead serial killer and a pinch of the supernatural and you've cooked up one tense thriller. In A Brush With Death, the first of a series, Jody Summers masterfully blends the supernatural and the romantic to achieve a highly satisfying read.

New Orleans painter Kira McGovern hits on something when she mixes her mother's ashes into her oil paints and enters an altered state. She begins channeling some key moments in her mother's life, creating a stunning work of art as a memorial and drawing in customers who want a painting done using the same method. Pleased with her success, she launches Canvas of Life and commissions start rolling in. And when it couldn't get any better, she meets Sean; a handsome mid-western rancher, who harbors a gruesome secret of which he is unaware.

But with each brushstroke on her latest commission, Kira's reality is becoming more and more bizarre. She awakens from dreams that are soaked in blood and filled with gruesome images of murders. And the feeling of a lurking malevolence grows ever stronger.

Unconventional is the word to describe the life author Jody Summers led before turning to writing. The adopted son of a prominent Texas restaurateur, Summers grew up in New Orleans, Memphis and Houston, learning the restaurant business while he built a career as a competitive gymnast that propelled him to a scholarship at the University of Kansas. After college, Summers followed in his father's footsteps, owning, at one point, three 24-hour restaurant franchises along with four tanning salons in Tulsa. He has used his entrepreneurial skills for everything from a patent in the pet industry to a single's website. A restaurateur, a gymnast, a stunt man, an entrepreneur, a pilot, skydiver, scuba diver and an accomplished martial artist for 25 years, Summers has tried it all. Now he brings all those experiences to paper in his supernatural thriller series, Art of the Dead.

For more information, please visit jodysummersbooks.com.

October 5, 2019 in Books, Books - Fiction, Death Event Planning, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, August 4, 2019

Book on Texas Estate Planning Statutes with Commentary: 2019-2021 Edition

TexasestatesbookGerry W. Beyer recently published a book entitled, Texas Estate Planning Statutes with Commentary: 2019-2021 Edition, (2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.

Texas Estate Planning Statutes with Commentary: 2019-2021 Edition is a compilation of Texas statutes that are significant to law school and paralegal courses related to estate planning, such as wills and estates, trusts, estate administration, probate, elder law, and guardianship. Changes made by the 2019 Texas Legislature are printed in red-lined format to make the revisions easy for the reader to locate. Many sections include carefully written commentary entitled Statutes in Context. These annotations provide background information, explanations, examples, and citations to key cases, which will assist the reader in identifying the significance of the statutes and how they operate.

August 4, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax, Gift Tax, Intestate Succession, New Legislation, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Book on Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida

EstatePlanning&Asset-Protec-FL%203D-coverBarry A. Nelson recently published a Book entitled, Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida (1st ed., 2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.

Estate Planning and Asset Protection in Florida is designed to help clients and their lawyers protect clients’ assets before litigation happens.

While the necessity of estate planning is understood by most clients, many fail to grasp the importance of protecting their assets as well. Barry A. Nelson, an industry-respected, board-certified attorney with decades of experience counselling high-net-worth clients reveals the serious implications of ignoring the potential liabilities that can threaten a client's assets.

Barry Nelson was among the first to advocate for asset protection. He perceived how estate planning anticipates only the very end of a spectrum of dangers that can adversely affect a client’s estate long before the will is read. The state of Florida, long considered a debtor’s haven, has fraudulent conveyance laws that prevent transfer of assets after litigation happens. Once an accident occurs or exposure to litigation is apparent, asset protection is significantly limited.

This work, years in the making, is like no other work on the market in combining estate planning and asset protection as a strategy. It describes how to integrate estate planning and asset protection for Florida residents to minimize Federal estate taxes and maximize protection of assets and explains what options remain even in the event of a claim such as divorce, claims for alimony, co-signings, or any number of lawsuits. While no one plan fits all, it expertly teaches clients and lawyers how to recognize their best options in a complex web of legal and tax relationships so the most informed decisions can be taken. Comprehensive, yet easy-to -use, it

    • explains all the types of assets and asset protection techniques available, among them: (i) homestead for asset protection, property tax, and limits on dispositions during life and upon death, (ii) annuities; (iii) life insurance, (iv) retirement plan accounts and 529 accounts, (v) spousal transfers including inter vivos QTIP trusts and Spousal Limited Access Trusts ("SLATs"), (vi) domestic and foreign asset protection trusts, (vii) third party created trusts, (viii) use of partnerships and LLCs, and (ix) wage owner accounts.
    • This book also outlines the requirements to benefit from these techniques and identifies from chapter to chapter the greatest traps for clients and their professional advisors, that could, for example, lead to a loss of homestead status, or permit creditors to gain access to earnings, life insurance proceeds, annuities, proceeds from inherited IRAs, pensions, profit sharing plans, etc.;
    • it offers over 250 pages of appendices containing supporting, illustrative sample documents, exhibits, key selections from Florida statutes, the Florida Constitution, white papers, memoranda and affidavits;
    • it discusses over 500 cases;
    • in addressing the use of limited liability partnerships and LLCs it explains why creating trusts and LLCs in a state other than Florida (such as but not limited to Nevada, South Dakota, Delaware and Alaska) may provide greater asset protection than Florida;
    • it considers a range of situations or scenarios and the challenges faced by: those who, for example, become instantly wealthy such as lottery winners, or professional athletes, celebrities or those who receive significant bonuses; it also, addresses the challenges of same-sex partners, the elderly who are vulnerable to financial exploitation, or children for whom a parent has had multiple spouses.

For those undergoing divorce, the book summarizes the laws regarding division of marital assets upon dissolution of the marriage and

    • discusses the ability of a spouse holding an alimony judgment to access third-party-created trusts;
    • it considers the protections of creating trusts in another state or country, and
    • provides the essential information clients need to minimize estate, gift and GST taxes, and
    • it familiarizes clients and advisors with the consequences of recent legislation, such as the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "2017 Tax Act") which became effective January 1, 2018, and which significantly increased the Federal estate, gift, and generation skipping transfer ("GST") tax exemptions.

and much, much more.

July 9, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (1)