Monday, June 10, 2019
John Morley & Robert H. Sitkoff recently published an Article entitled, Trust Law: Private Ordering and the Branching of American Trust Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law eJournal (2019). Provided below is an abstract of the Article.
In this chapter, prepared for The Oxford Handbook of New Private Law, we identify the principal ways in which the common law trust has been used as an instrument of private ordering in American practice. We argue that in both law and function, contemporary American trust law has divided into distinct branches. In our taxonomy, one branch involves donative trusts and the other commercial trusts. The donative branch divides further to include separate sub-branches for revocable and irrevocable donative trusts. We explain the logic of this branching in both practical function and doctrinal form.
Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Evan J. Criddle, Paul B. Miller, and Robert H. Sitkoff recently edited a book entitled, The Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law, (1st ed. 2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.
- Examines how fiduciary principles apply in eighteen different fields of law, including agency law, trust law, corporate law, pension law, bankruptcy law, family law, employment law, legal representation, health care, and international law
- Provides clear guidance on essential concepts and principles of fiduciary law, including the defining characteristics of fiduciary relationships, the duty of loyalty, the duty of care, mandatory and default rules, and fiduciary remedies
- Offers new historical, comparative, and interdisciplinary perspectives on fiduciary law
- Includes original essays from leading fiduciary law scholars exploring perennial challenges and future directions for the field
- No book currently available provides an overview of fiduciary law that is as rich or comprehensive as this volume
For more information about the material within the book, see here.
Special thanks to Garrett A. Heckman (Palm Springs, California Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.
Saturday, March 16, 2019
It is becoming more commonplace for people to consider their pets as part of their family, and as such more people are also including their dog, cat, or other furry loved on in their estate plans. And it is not just the wealthy, though those are the ones that garner the most attention and media.
“Setting up trusts for pets, or putting their care in the will, is becoming more popular as people become more aware that it is possible,” says Jason Smolen, an estate attorney at SmolenPlevy in Vienna, Virginia. There are a few states that have enacted laws, such as Virginia and Maryland, that dictate how pet trusts are to be set up. With such a trust, the owner can outline how he or she would like the pet taken care of, how often it should be groomed, how the pet trust money should be spent, and any other special needs the pet might have, Smolen said.
Pet trusts can be set up for the lifespan of the animal, or in the case of longer-living pets such as parrots, some states cap them at 21 years. Owners should meet with the designated caretaker and trustees, and update their will whenever they unfortunately lose a pet or possibly gain one. Without a will or trust, pets in most states are treated like property, Smolen explained.
For more information, see here.
See Karen DeMasters, Putting Fido in the Will Not Just for Super-Rich, Financial Advisor, March 14, 2019.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.
Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse (Professional Legal Marketing (PLM, Inc.) for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Yaser Ali and Ahmed Shaikh recently published a book entitled, Estate Planning for the Muslim Client, (1st ed. 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
Sunday, February 17, 2019
Book on Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors, and Their Advisors, Second Edition
Ramsay H. Slugg recently published a Book entitled, Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors, and Their Advisors, (2d ed. 2019). Provided below is a summary of the book.
Art is an asset of passion, as author Ramsay H. Slugg states, yet it also has unique and important financial characteristics. This makes art possibly the most difficult asset to incorporate into an overall estate and financial plan. Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors and Their Advisors addresses two essential elements of art ownership: planning for the ultimate disposition of the art, including how to address the wealth represented by the art into any estate and financial planning, and also the practical considerations for collectors as they actively collect and plan for the art’s eventual disposition.
After a brief discussion of the art market generally, the book introduces and explains a client-focused process I use when advising art collectors. This process includes explaining both the income, estate and gift tax consequences of various options, as well as the important and often emotional non-tax considerations of collecting and disposing of art. The book also discusses the role and importance of other advisors who are involved in these decisions, including art advisors, risk management professionals and appraisers. To better illustrate the material, the book features enlightening case studies.
Monday, January 14, 2019
Barbara Hauser & Melissa Langa recently published a book entitled, International Estate Planning: A Reference Guide (Updated ed. 2018). Provided below is a summary of the book.
International Estate Planning: A Reference Guide, is a practical and authoritative resource for those seeking key information in the estate planning field. Practitioners and foreign advisers, [moved a phrase to later] whose clients have assets, children, parents or a spouse in other countries, or whose tax liabilities are difficult to define because of nationality, employment, or residence issues, and U.S. executives working in foreign countries will find straightforward, useful information in this guide. Equipped with a companion CD the appendix to the book contains copies of fillable tax forms and notices, relevant treaties and Hague conventions, as well as a list of organizations and resources to quickly help the reader obtain the answers they need.
International Estate Planning addresses questions such as:
- “I just bought a vacation home in France. Should I do anything?”
- “My daughter married someone in Italy. Should I change my trust?"
- “Can an American save taxes by using off-shore trusts?”
These are not easy questions. Mistakes and pitfalls are pointed out throughout the book and ways to prevent them are explained. The authors have spent more than 20 years in private client practice and have a firsthand appreciation of the need for authoritative information.
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Book on Cases and Materials on Gratuitous Transfers, Wills, Trusts, Gifts, Future Interests, and Taxation
Mark L. Asher and Grayson MP McCouch recently published a Book entitled, Cases and Materials on Gratuitous Transfers, Wills, Trusts, Gifts, Future Interests, and Taxation (West Academic Publishing, 7th ed., 2018). Provided below is a brief summary of the book.
The new edition of Gratuitous Transfers incorporates developments in the law of wills, trusts and estates since 2013, including a new principal case involving beneficiary consent to trust accounting. The text also includes references to case law and literature relating to same-sex marriage, revocation by divorce, reformation of wills, directed trusts, trust decanting, and fiduciary access to digital assets, as well as statutory references to recent amendments to the Uniform Probate Code and Uniform Trust Code. The coverage has been thoroughly updated while maintaining continuity of organization and general approach with previous editions.
October 11, 2018 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Books - For the Classroom, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Estate Tax, Intestate Succession, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, June 15, 2018
Mark L. Ascher & Grayson M.P. McCouch recently published a a book entitled, Selected Statutes on Trusts and Estates, 2018 ed. (2018). Provided below is some information about the book:
This casebook statutory supplement meets the needs of students in basic and advanced courses on wills, trusts, decedents' estates, fiduciary administration, and future interests, providing a compendium of essential uniform act provisions and official comments. It covers a wide range of topics, including: intestacy; wills; probate administration; nonprobate transfers; disclaimers; principal and income; prudent investments; perpetuities; trusts (including trust decanting and directed trusts); powers of appointment; and powers of attorney. The previous edition has been updated to include the recently-promulgated Uniform Directed Trust Act and related conforming amendments.
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Robert H. Sitkoff and the late Jesse Dukeminier recently published a book entitled Wills, Trusts, and Estates, Tenth Edition. This updated edition features a new section on digital wills, trust decanting, as well as updated and expanded coverage relating to wealth and income inequality.
Special thanks to Rachael Wisner for bringing this article to my attention.
Friday, March 2, 2018
Steve R. Akers, Bernard E. Jones, & R. J. Watts, II, with 3rd edition update by Casey A. Barthel, recently published a book entitled, Wills Road Map: Practical Considerations in Will Drafting, 3rd ed. (2018). Provided below is some information about the book:
Wills Road Map: Practical Considerations in Will Drafting began life as the well-known paper “Anatomy of a Will” from the TexasBarCLE seminar “Building Blocks of Wills, Estates and Probate.” Intended for both general practitioners who occasionally prepare wills for their existing clients as well as for experienced estate planning attorneys, Wills Road Map brings together legal concepts from wills, probate, and trust law to provide expert guidance in properly assembling a will.
Featuring a basic discussion of estate tax planning, with a focus on various state law issues, Wills Road Map also addresses principles that can affect the will beyond the language of the will itself. Other subjects include doctrines affecting the validity of the will and a review of the legal significance and effect of numerous specific wills provisions.
The new third edition of Wills Road Map reflects legislative changes from the regular session of the Eighty-fifth Legislature, as well as case law changes. Other updates include a new discussion about digital assets and revised sample wills. Finally, the third edition adds the following:
- Client intake questionnaires
- Self-proving affidavits
- Access to over 20 TexasBarCLE articles of interest in the digital download
- A will execution ceremony checklist
The Wills Road Map: Practical Considerations in Will Drafting Digital Download is included with purchase and may also be purchased separately. The digital download contains the entire book as a hyperlinked and word-searchable PDF file. All tables of contents, cross-references, and indexes are linked to substantive text within the file. Texas and federal case and statute citations are linked to online versions in the Casemaker Web Library.