Saturday, March 18, 2023
Taylor Swift’s Cat Olivia Benson Is Richer Than All of Us
Taylor Swift made headlines this morning as she kicked off her The Eras Tour with 44 songs presented to the audience over three hours last night. However, a different member of the Swift household is in the news, as her cat, Olivia Benson, has landed the number three spot on the Forbes-style list of World's Wealthiest Pets.
AllAboutCats.com calculates a pet's net worth using Instagram data and estimates how much each pet could make per Instagram if they posted. While not scientifically perfect, as Olivia Benson does not even have an Instagram account, the site believes the Scottish fold's net worth is around $97 million.
For more information see Jon Blistein “Taylor Swift’s Cat Olivia Benson Is Richer Than All of Us” Rolling Stone, January 4, 2023.
Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.
March 18, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, March 17, 2023
Did Riley Keough lock Priscilla Presley out of Graceland? A look at the drama plaguing Elvis Presley's family.
Reports earlier this week claim that Riley Keough visited Graceland to change the locks on the upstairs doors and archives. Graceland has disputed this rumor.
"These reports are entirely untrue," a spokesperson tells Yahoo Entertainment. "No locks at Graceland have been changed since Lisa Marie's passing."
Keough is currently at odds with her grandmother, Priscilla Presley, over Lisa Marie Presley’s trust. Sources close to the family say that Riley is shocked that her grandmother is contesting the will and is heartbroken it has become a public matter. If Priscilla gets her way, she will be co-trustee of her daughter’s estate with Riley.
For more information see Taryn Ryder “Did Riley Keough lock Priscilla Presley out of Graceland? A look at the drama plaguing Elvis Presley’s family.” AOL, March 14, 2023.
Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.
March 17, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Article: A Study of Tax Lawyers Discussing Duties
Michael Hatfield (University of Washington School of Law) and Michelle M. Kwon (University of Tennessee College of Law) recently published an article, A Study of Tax Lawyers Discussing Duties, Tax Lawyer, Vol. 76, No. 1 , 2022. Provided below is an abstract to the Article:
This Article reports the first qualitative empirical study of U.S. tax lawyers. We interviewed women lawyers who were tax planning specialists. Though this is the first such study of U.S. tax lawyers, this methodology has been used often to study the professional ethics of other tax practitioners around the world. We had three research questions that we sought to answer through dynamic conversations on topics such as the distinctions between good and bad tax plans and good and bad tax lawyers and also the joys and stresses of tax practice. Our first research question was as to the make-up of the U.S. tax bar. The bar was described largely as very smart, team-playing puzzlers. We did not hear concern about widespread failures of professional responsibility. Our second research question was about how U.S. tax lawyers experience ethical tensions. We heard about the tension involved in determining and communicating the right advice, managing clients, and billing. Our third question: how do U.S. tax lawyers discuss their professional duties? We heard about competence, diligence, and other duties from the ABA Model Rules. We did not hear tax-specific language like “substantial authority” or “realistic possibility of success.” We also did not hear about a special duty to the tax system. We conclude the Article with pragmatic suggestions for state bar tax sections, tax law professors, and academic researchers.
March 16, 2023 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Wednesday, March 15, 2023
Courts Must Revamp Approach to Guardianship, a Potent Legal Tool
As part of Bloomberg Law’s multipart investigation into adult guardianship, reporters asked professors Naomi Cahn (University of Virginia,) Rebekah Diller (Yeshiva University Cardozo School of Law,) and Deirdre Smith (University of Maine School of Law) to weigh in on the role guardianships play in various states, and how courts oversee the implementation.
For more information see Naomi Cahn, Rebekah Diller, and Deirdre Smith “Courts Must Revamp Approach to Guardianship, a Potent Legal Tool” Bloomberg Law, March 6, 2023.
Special thanks to Naomi Cahn (University of Virginia) for bringing this article to my attention.
March 15, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Currency Conversions Considerations in Estate Planning: How to Protect Your Estate From Losing Its Value
Matthew Farago (Texas Tech University School of Law) recently published a paper, Currency Conversions Considerations in Estate Planning: How to Protect Your Estate From Losing Its Value, 2023. Provided below is an abstract to the Paper:
This comment discusses the effects and implementation of currency conversion planning in an estate. Potential areas of concern are addressed, there are few, if any, negative consequences of incorporating currency conversion planning into estate planning practice. Currency conversion planning for foreign estates would impact a quarter of the United States population today and the effected population will continually increase. It is surprising that with such a large potential impact and the simplicity of implementing these practices, currency conversion planning for estates has not been practiced or discussed before.
At present, estates are being significantly devalued by fluctuations in currency conversion rates. Current estate planning only accounts for currency conversion when the grantor of the estate dies. In nearly any other international transaction – such as business, travel, remittances, etc. – currency conversion rates are given forethought to maximize profits or minimize losses; however, estate planners do not consider these conversion rates in current estate planning practices. Current estate planning practices allow conversion rate fluctuations to significantly devalue any estate with foreign beneficiaries by converting all liquid assets to the beneficiary’s domestic currency around the grantor’s time of death. If the settlor’s domestic currency has a weak conversion rate against the beneficiary’s domestic currency, and the period of weak currency conversion coincides with the grantor’s time of death, then foreign beneficiaries can lose a large portion of the estates value.
Estate planners should change their current practices to account for currency conversion rates in estate plans with foreign grantors. The foreign exchange market (Forex) has basic tools that estate planners can use without a complex understanding of investing or currency exchange. Using Forex to transfer assets to the United States and holding those assets in the United States Dollar (USD) is a simple way to ensure an estate is converted to USD at favorable currency conversion rates for American beneficiaries. Forex also allows beneficiaries to protect illiquid foreign assets such as real estate after the settlor’s death. Estate planners only need to convert currency to prevent losses, they do not need try to make a profit for their clients using Forex to successfully protect the value of the estate, further simplifying currency conversion planning.
Trusts present a financial vehicle for foreign grantors to store currency in USD in the United States and protect these assets from international legal conflicts. Trusts allow grantors to open U.S. bank accounts and store their assets in USD while retaining the ability to retrieve those assets if they are needed during the grantor’s lifetime. Using a properly structured trust will protect trust assets that are stored in the U.S. from conflicts with international law; ensuring that currency conversion planning is not quickly undone at the grantor’s time of death.
March 14, 2023 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Monday, March 13, 2023
Article: Privacy in Plain Sight: How Blockchain Assets and Decentralized Technology Can Increase Privacy in Inheritance
Tye Cressman recently published an article, Privacy in Plain Sight: How Blockchain Assets and Decentralized Technology Can Increase Privacy in Inheritance, 48 ACTEC L.J., 2023. Provided below is an introduction to the Article:
This Article discusses the non probate system and focuses on transfers of cryptocurrency after providing a brief explanation of the privacy aspects of cryptocurrency, he considers how those who own this form of currency might effect a transfers at death outside of the probate system.
March 13, 2023 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Guardians' Dark Side: Lax Rules Open the Vulnerable to Abuse
Reporters Ronnie Greene and Holly Barker for Bloomberg Law investigated the Adult Guardianship industry over six months, resulting in a five-part series. Greene and Barker found the industry to be loosely regulated and ripe for exploitation of the most vulnerable members of society.
Britney Spears’ fight to escape her conservatorship stirred public attention to the flawed system, where there is essentially a lack of oversight over how guardians treat those in their care. Moreover, the dysfunctional system generates substantial fees in millions, or even billions, of dollars.
For more information see Ronnie Greene and Holly Barker “Guardians’ Dark Side: Lax Rules Open the Vulnerable to Abuse” Bloomberg Law, March 6, 2023.
Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this series to my attention.
March 12, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally, Guardianship | Permalink | Comments (0)
Saturday, March 11, 2023
Jerry Lee Lewis' son moves out of late icon's Mississippi ranch after estate battle
Late rock' n' roll icon, Jerry Lee Lewis, passed away in late 2022, leaving a legal battle brewing over his Mississippi ranch.
Jerry Lee Lewis III (Lee) has lived on the ranch with his sons. However, he was served with an eviction notice and turned over the keys earlier this month. His father previously signed over 2/3 of ownership rights to the ranch to his best friend and tour manager, Cecil Harrelson Sr., and the other 1/3 to a law firm. Harrelson became a member of the family after marrying Lewis' younger sister, Linda Gail Lewis, with whom he has three children.
Shortly after the "Great Balls of Fire" singer died last October, a website was created featuring photos of the ranch and the announcement that "Jerry Lee Lewis Ranch will be sold." Potential buyers were offered a "hybrid development option" where they may use the land to build a gated community or resort.
"The place where I grew up is no longer our home and our Dad's legacy, it's now a property that will, unfortunately, be sold off without our input or decisions and contrary to my understanding of my father's wishes," Lee released in a statement.
For more information see Stephanie Giang-Paunon “Jerry Lee Lewis’ son moves out of late icon’s Mississippi ranch after estate battle” Fox News, March 7, 2023.
March 11, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Friday, March 10, 2023
The Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act: An Interview with Suzanne Brown Walsh and Professor Gerry W. Beyer
Suzanne Brown Walsh (Murtha Cullina) and Gerry W. Beyer (Texas Tech University School of Law) recently sat down with the co-hosts of the Digital Planning Podcast (DPP), Justin Brown (Ballard Spahr), Jennifer L. Zegel (Kleinbard LLC) and Ross E. Bruch (Brown Brothers Harriman & Co.). The interview is featured in the latest issue of ABA Real Probate and Property Magazine, 2023. Provided below is an introduction:
The co-hosts of the Digital Planning Podcast (DPP), Justin Brown, Jennifer Zegel, and Ross Bruch, recently sat down with Suzanne Brown Walsh, a partner at Murtha Cullina in Hartford, Connecticut, a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), and the chair of the Committee of the Uniform Law Commission that created the Uniform Electronic Estate Planning Documents Act (UEEPDA), and Professor Gerry W. Beyer, the Governor Preston E. Smith Regents Professor of Law at the Texas Tech School of Law, and an ACTEC fellow whom the Uniform Law Commission appointed as the Reporter for the UEEPDA.
The Q&A below consists of selected parts of the podcast conversation with Suzy and Professor Beyer and has been lightly edited for flow. Readers interested in hearing more of the conversation can find DPP’s November 16, 2022, episode with Suzy and Professor Beyer wherever you listen to podcasts...
March 10, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)
Thursday, March 9, 2023
New York landlord becomes legal guardian of 93-year-old Holocaust survivor: 'She had no one else'
Brock Cvijanovich, the owner of a property management company in New York state, was offered a $50,000 price cut on an apartment building in Binghamton, New York, if he agreed to take care of one of the residents of the building, Alice Schuman.
The previous property owner had been giving Schuman a deal on her rent for years, in addition to escorting her to the bank, doctor's appointments, and the grocery store at the beginning of every month. Cvijanovich followed suit; however, Schuman did not show up one day. It was then he found her injured in her apartment.
After receiving care at the hospital, the staff informed Cvijanovich that Schuman could not live independently. Schuman had no living relatives, so Cvijanovich hired a lawyer and became Schuman’s legal guardian along with his mother until Schuman’s death earlier this year.
For more information see Daniella Genovese “New York landlord becomes legal guardian of 93-year-old Holocaust survivor: ‘She had no one else’” Fox News, March 8, 2023.
March 9, 2023 in Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0)