Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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 16, 2019

Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors, and Their Advisors

Slugg2Ramsay 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.

July 16, 2019 in Books - For Practitioners, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | 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)

Monday, June 10, 2019

Article on Trust Law: Private Ordering and the Branching of American Trust Law

Trusts2John 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.

June 10, 2019 in Articles, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Book on The Oxford Handbook of Fiduciary Law

FiduciarybookEvan 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.

April 16, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Putting Fido in the Will Not Just for Super-Rich

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. 

Pets“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.

March 16, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Current Affairs, Current Events, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, March 8, 2019

Book on Estate Planning for the Muslim Client

MuslimbookYaser 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

March 8, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Religion | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Book on Handbook of Practical Planning for Artists, Art Collectors, and Their Advisors, Second Edition

SluggRamsay 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.

February 17, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, January 14, 2019

Book on International Estate Planning: A Reference Guide

Int-Estate-Plan-2015-HC_CDBarbara 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.

January 14, 2019 in Books, Books - For Practitioners, Current Affairs, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Book on Cases and Materials on Gratuitous Transfers, Wills, Trusts, Gifts, Future Interests, and Taxation

Book2Mark 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)