Probate & Estate Planning

Thursday, January 27, 2022

Article: ‘By fraud and collusion’: Feudal Revenue and Enforcement of the Statute of Marlborough, 1267-1526

Ashley Hannay recently published an article entitled, ‘By fraud and collusion’: Feudal Revenue and Enforcement of the Statute of Marlborough, 1267-1526, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:

Following the Statute of Marlborough, 1267, feoffments which were designed to deprive lords of wardship could in some circumstances be deemed ‘collusive’ or ‘fraudulent’. This was further complicated from the mid fourteenth century onwards by the common practice of creating uses to circumvent the
Continue Reading Article: ‘By fraud and collusion’: Feudal Revenue and Enforcement of the Statute of Marlborough, 1267-1526

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Article: The Internal Point of View in Private Law

Jeffrey A. Pojanowski and Paul B. Miller recently published an article entitled, The Internal Point of View in Private Law, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
Many leading private law theorists claim to analyze private law from an internal point of view; a vantage point within which private law doctrine, institutions and procedure enjoy pride of place. Private law theory of a generation ago distinguished the internal from external points of view, valorizing the former and criticizing
Continue Reading Article: The Internal Point of View in Private Law

Monday, January 24, 2022

Client Quick-Hit Alert — New Year, New Estate & Gift Tax Exemptions

New year = new Estate & Gift Tax exemptions and new estate planning opportunities. For example:

  • The federal gift & estate tax exemption has increased from $11.7 million in 2021 to $12.06 million in 2022.
  • The New York State estate tax exemption has increased from $5.93 million in 2021 to $6.11 million in 2022.
  • The Connecticut state gift & estate tax exemption has increased from $7.1 million in 2021 to $9.1 million in 2022.

As of now, the next big shift in the federal
Continue Reading Client Quick-Hit Alert — New Year, New Estate & Gift Tax Exemptions

Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Article: The Next Step for Tax Policy Equity

Albert Feuer recently published an article entitled, The Next Step for Tax Policy Equity, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:

In September, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released proposals requiring many employers without retirement plans to establish and automatically enroll employees in IRAs or simple 401(k) plans or in IRAs with the default contributions going to Roth IRAs. The proposals would also require a person whose employee benefit plans, Roth IRAs, and traditional IRAs have
Continue Reading Article: The Next Step for Tax Policy Equity

Monday, January 17, 2022

Article: Electronic Wills: The Changing Future of the Estate Practice

Gerry W. Beyer recently published an article entitled, Electronic Wills: The Changing Future of the Estate Practice, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article: 
As of September 15, 2021, four states have enacted the Uniform Electronic Wills Act: Colorado (effective July 2, 2021), North Dakota (effective August 1, 2021), Utah (effective August 31, 2020), and Washington (effective January 1, 2022). Six states have enacted other electronic will statutes: Nevada (effective July 1, 2017), Indiana (effective July 1,
Continue Reading Article: Electronic Wills: The Changing Future of the Estate Practice

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Prince estate value set at $156.4M years after his death

After a six-year long legal fight over the value of Prince’s estate, the parties have agreed on its final value at $156.4 million. Originally, the administrator of Prince’s estate, Comerica Bank & Trust appraised it for $82.3 million, while the IRS put the value at $163.2 million. 
Prince died at the age of 57 of a fentanyl overdose in April 2016. The artist died intestate, without a will. Prince’s heirs consisted of six siblings, two of which have died since Prince’s passing, and two others are in
Continue Reading Prince estate value set at $156.4M years after his death

Marion Shamallah recently published an article entitled, Emerging Trends in the Law of Succession in Kenya, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
Family has been the basic unit of the society as espoused under article 45 of the constitution of Kenya. On the other hand the law of succession is greatly shaped by the laws governing family including marriage and children laws. As such with changes in the family structures and lass the law of succession has greatly shifted towards a positive direction to incorporate children born out of wedlock
Continue Reading Article: Emerging Trends in the Law of Succession in Kenya

Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Article: Mandatory Share in Inheritance as An Institution for the Protection of the Rights of Family Members: The Experience of Russia and Foreign Countries

Aleksandra Fokina recently published an article entitled, Mandatory Share in Inheritance as An Institution for the Protection of the Rights of Family Members: The Experience of Russia and Foreign Countries, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
This study presents a comparative legal analysis of the institution of a mandatory share in inheritance in the law of Russia and some foreign countries according
Continue Reading Article: Mandatory Share in Inheritance as An Institution for the Protection of the Rights of Family Members: The Experience of Russia and Foreign Countries

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Can Companies Force Themselves to Do Good?

With the use of perpetual-purpose trust, companies can “make the values of pro-social companies permanent.” This is best explained through a beautiful example of a company doing good. 
Kate Emery, the founder of a successful digital-consulting firm was considering retirement and was weighing options for her company, The Walker Group. At the time, the Walker Group had nearly fifty employees and was bringing in around ten million dollars. If Emery were to sell the Company, she may have easily made a hundred million—or more. 
However, after a meaningful conversation,
Continue Reading Can Companies Force Themselves to Do Good?

Monday, January 10, 2022

Article: Getting Into Equity

Samuel L. Bray and Paul B. Miller recently published an article entitled, Getting Into Equity , Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
For two centuries, common lawyers have frequently talked about a “cause of action.” But “cause of action” is not an organizing principle for equity. This Article shows how a plaintiff gets into equity, and it shows equity is shaped by the interplay of its remedial, procedural, and substantive law. Equity is adjectival, related to law rather than the other way around.
Continue Reading Article: Getting Into Equity

The IRS went after Konstantin Anikeev, an experimental physicist, after he exploited the difference between unlimited 5% rewards and lower fees on gift cards and money orders, a concept Anikeev learned about from personal-finance websites. 
Anikeev used American Express cards, the government’s view that credit-card rewards aren’t income, and his own willingness to spend time buying gift cards and money orders. Anikeev stated, “If one has a theory, one can test it experimentally. Some are easier to test. . .[o]thers require a Large Hadron Collider or something like that. But this one was a bit more accessible.” 
Mr. Anikeev’s $6.4
Continue Reading He Got $300,000 From Credit-Card Rewards. The IRS Said It Was Taxable Income.

Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Article: Texas Estate Planning Judicial Update: Fall 2021 Edition

Gerry W. Beyer recently published an article entitled, Texas Estate Planning Judicial Update: Fall 2021 Edition, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
This article discusses recent judicial developments (second and third quarters of 2021) relating to the Texas law of intestacy, wills, estate administration, trusts, and other estate planning matters. The discussion of each case concludes with a moral, i.e., the important lesson to be learned from the case. By recognizing situations that have led to time
Continue Reading Article: Texas Estate Planning Judicial Update: Fall 2021 Edition

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Article: Is This the Time to Harmonize the Required Minimum Distribution Rules?

Albert Feuer recently published an article entitled, Is This the Time to Harmonize the Required Minimum Distribution Rules?, Wills, Trusts, & Estates Law ejournal (2021). Provided below is the abstract to the Article:
In September, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released proposals requiring many employers without retirement plans to establish and automatically enroll employees in IRAs with the default contributions going to Roth IRAs or in simple 401(k) plans. The proposals would also require a person whose employee benefit plans,
Continue Reading Article: Is This the Time to Harmonize the Required Minimum Distribution Rules?

Now that Jeffrey Epstein is dead, many are wondering what will become of the Zorro Ranch. The Zorro Ranch owned by Epstein is located near Santa Fe, New Mexico. The billionaires Zorro Ranch is known for being “shrouded in secrecy,” but now that Epstein is gone new secrets may come to light.

However, as of now, only Jeffrey Epstein and his accusers “know the dark details of what went on there. . .” An investigation by Nexstar’s KRQE shed light on just how bizarre Epstein’s operation was.

KQRE’s Gabrielle Burkhart asked New Mexico State Land Commissioner, Stephanie Garcia Richard, “To
Continue Reading What will happen to Jeffrey Epstein’s $27.5M New Mexico ranch?

Saturday, January 1, 2022

The Uniform Trust Code’s qualified-beneficiary concept confuses yet another court

In the matter of the Colecchia Family Trust, The litigation was focused on an irrevocable, income-only/use-only trust “under which the equitable property rights of remaindermen had vested ab initio.” The Massachusetts Court of Appeals had to decide whether trustees were accountable to the remaindermen during the lifetimes of the current beneficiaries. The Court ultimately found that they were not. 
According to Charles E. Rounds, there are two major reasons why the Court made the wrong decisions: 

First, equitable non-possessory property rights in the remainder in corpus
Continue Reading The Uniform Trust Code’s qualified-beneficiary concept confuses yet another court

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Ring v. Harmon (2021)


In Ring v. Harmon, the Court of Appeal in California considered “an alleged loan scheme to drain equity out of a house held in a probate estate.”

When Awana Ring was 80 years old, she lost her daughter Vickie Atiyeh. Vickie left Awana a house when she passed away. According to Awana, her son and grandson developed a scheme to “swipe much of the equity in the house—an inside job without outside help. ”

Awana’s son Scott and grandson Zachary collaborated with a loan broker to pushed Away to be appointed as
Continue Reading Ring v. Harmon (2021)