Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

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

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)

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Podcast on Non-Fungible Tokens released by ACTEC Foundation

NftHere is a link to a podcast entitled An Update on NFTs, Non-Fungible Tokens which I prepared for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation.

November 30, 2021 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 18, 2021

Non-Fungible Tokens: What Every Estate Planner Needs to Know

NftHere is the abstract of an article I recently posted on SSRN entitled Non-Fungible Tokens: What Every Estate Planner Needs to Know:

Your client may own non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and ask you for estate planning advice. Would you be caught off-guard and give your client the classic “deer in the headlights” look? Obviously, that would not be prudent. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, this article uses a FAQ approach to provide you with the background and information you need so that you will understand NFTs and how to give your client sage advice on how to handle them during the client’s lifetime and upon death.

November 18, 2021 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 15, 2021

Indonesian Islamic body forbids crypto as currency

Crypto
The Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) "has ruled that using cryptocurrencies as a means of payment is unlawful in Islam, but trading of digital assets could be allowed. . ." 

Although Indonesia, the world's biggest Muslim majority country, has banned the use of crypto as currency, crypto can still be invested in and traded in the commodities and futures market.

According to the trade ministry, the total value of cryptocurrency in the trading commodity bourse has reached 370 trillion rupiah ($25.96 billion) this year to May. At the end of 2020, the total trading was valued at 65 trillion rupiah. Further, the number of traders rose from 4 million to 6.5 million. 

The MUI will continue to allow trading of cryptocurrencies that (1) meet Islamic rules, (2) have an underlying asset, and (3) carry clear benefits. 

Although the MUI's decree is mot legally binding, since it is not part of the government, the ruling may affect investment decisions made by some Muslims. 

See Indonesian Islamic body forbids crypto as currency, CNN Business, November 11, 2021. 

November 15, 2021 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

iOS 15.2 Beta 2 Lets Your Family Access Your Data If You Pass Away

Legacy-contact-2When Apple first introduced iOS 15 in June, the company highlighted a new, extremely important and helpful feature. The new feature is termed the Digital Legacy feature and is designed to allow Apple users to set a person as their Legacy Contact, which gives that person access to your Apple ID account and personal information in the event of your death.

Although the feature was not quite ready when iOS 15 launched, the feature is available in the iOS 15.2 and iPadOS 15.2 betas that were released today. 

Below is information on the what, where, and how of the Legacy Contact feature: 

The Legacy Contact option can be accessed by opening up the Settings app, tap on your profile picture and then select "Password & Security." From there, choose "Legacy Contact" from the list and you can select a trusted person to access your account after you pass away.

The person will have access to your data, and the contact will need to provide an access key and a copy of a death certificate to use your ‌Apple ID‌ account. The feature is designed to give your loved ones access to your photos, videos, notes, documents, and other personal information.

See Juli Clover, iOS 15.2 Beta 2 Lets Your Family Access Your Data If You Pass Away, MacRumors, November 9, 2021. 

Special thanks to Lewis Saret (Attorney, Washington, D.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.  

November 10, 2021 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, October 25, 2021

Surgeon transplants a pig's kidney into a brain-dead human in groundbreaking surgery

Robert Montgomery, a New York transplant surgeon, "conducted a successful surgery that transplanted a pig's kidney into a brain-dead human." 

US surgeons say that the successful transplant could ultimately be the key to solving donor organ shortages. The recipient of the kidney was brain-dead, and was on artificial life support "with no prospect of recovering." 

The kidney came from a pig that had been genetically modified to stop the organ being recognized by the body as "foreign" and being rejected. 

Although the work has not been peer-reviewed or published, there are plans to do so, and experts say it is the "most advanced experiment in the field so far." 

See Michelle Roberts, Surgeon transplants a pig's kidney into a brain-dead human in groundbreaking surgery, BBC, October 21, 2021. 

Special thanks to David S. Luber (Florida Probate Attorney) for bringing this article to my attention.

October 25, 2021 in Estate Planning - Generally, Science, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Cryptocurrency: rise of decentralised finance sparks ‘dirty money’ fears

CryptoJust a few days before the July 4 holiday, Denver entrepreneur Erik Voorhees declared that "the company he had founded seven years earlier to help people exchange cryptocurrencies without making their names available to the government or anyone else would disappear from the face of the Earth — even as its services remained available to those who wanted them." 

Voorhees's enterprise, known as ShapeShift, would become a "decentralized autonomous organization," or DAO overtime. Voorhees wrote on twitter: "ShapeShift's vision is the establishment of an immutable, borderless financial system. . .Let's be direct: money and finance shall not be operated by coercive government among free people. They shall — like language, mathematics, and love — emerge voluntarily and without central rule." 

US regulatory circles have honed in on Vorhees's declaration who long worried that the secrecy of the crypto trade "create opportunities to disguise the origin and ownership of funds." In crypto trade, the coins are controlled by the holder of a "private key" which allows for anonymity. 

This anonymity is a major focus of concern for US regulatory circles, and those anxieties have grown stronger with the growth of decentralized finance or DeFi. DeFi platforms "seek to replace financial intermediaries such as banks or brokers with software known as smart contracts. . . .that would automate market activity." 

Although US regulatory circles are concerned with the hazy legal status and lack of customer knowledge that comes along with DeFi platforms, Vorhees and his "crypto allies" never intended to know their customers and feel that DeFi innovations will "enable them to break free of such obligations." 

See Gary Silverman, Cryptocurrency: rise of decentralised finance sparks ‘dirty money’ fears, Financial Times, September 14, 2021. 

Special thanks to Joel C. Dobris (Professor of Law, UC Davis School of Law) for bringing this article to my attention.

September 28, 2021 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Podcast on Non-Fungible Tokens released by ACTEC

NftProf. Gerry W. Beyer’s podcast entitled Non-Fungible Tokens: What Every Estate Planner Needs to Know was released on August 24, 2021 by the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

This podcast is available at https://actecfoundation.org/podcasts/non-fungible-tokens-estate-nft.

August 24, 2021 in Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, July 26, 2021

'Donation of the century': South Korea unveils late Samsung boss' 23,000-strong art collection

Http---cdn.cnn.com-cnnnext-dam-assets-210721143522-06-lee-collection-samsungLee Kun-hee, Samsung's late chairman, had a collection of some 23,000 artworks. Those artworks were recently donated to South Korea and appeared in two exhibitions of the items in Seoul on Wednesday. 

Just months before the exhibits were opened, Lee's family announced the donation "as it seeks to settle an inheritance tax bill of over 12 trillion won ($10.4 billion)."

The art works are being shown at the National Museum of Korea and National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (MMCA). Items on display include "centuries-old antiques and contemporary Korean works, while paintings by Western names like Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet are set to be unveiled next year." 

Lee's father founded technology conglomerate Samsung in the 1930's. Lee died in October and was 78-years-old. 

In April, his family stated that it was expecting to pay more than half the value of his estate in inheritance tax over a period of five years. "That same day, South Korea's Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism revealed that the Lee family was donating approximately 23,000 antiques and artworks to public collections." 

See Oscar Holland, 'Donation of the century': South Korea unveils late Samsung boss' 23,000-strong art collection, CNN, July 21, 2021. 

July 26, 2021 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Technology | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Electronic-Will Legislation -- Good, Bad, or Ugly?

Prof. Adam J. Hirsch (University of San Diego) has recently posted on SSRN an undated version of his extensive article about e-will legislation entitled Models of Electronic-Will Legislation. Here is the abstract of the article:

This Article examines alternative ways lawmakers could structure legislation validating electronic wills. The Article identifies four essential models, each of which is currently reflected in acts or drafts of acts found either in the United States or abroad. These are: (1) acts validating electronic wills that meet formal requirements, (2) acts giving effect only to specialized variants of electronic wills (or none at all), (3) acts allowing electronic wills only when made under emergency conditions, and (4) acts allowing electronic records intended as wills on a case-by-case basis, without establishing formalities for their validation. In the course of the analysis, the Article performs the first-ever empirical survey of popular assumptions concerning the revocation of electronic wills. The Article ultimately concludes that, given the novelty of electronic wills, we are best off if states experiment with alternative legislative models until lawmakers have enough evidence to assess their relative merits. For this reason, the Uniform Electronic Wills Act of 2019 is premature.

July 13, 2021 in Articles, New Legislation, Technology, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0)