Gerry W. Beyer

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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

The celebrity love affair with NFTs may be just beginning — even amid flops and doubts

Celebrities, sports stars, and even sports teams have taken to promoting cryptocurrency or non-fungible token partnerships. With big names like Madonna, Snoop Dogg, and Paris Hilton, these partnerships have drawn criticism for falling flat with fanbases as this exclusive market is largely available only to the wealthy.
Benjamin Behrooz focuses on NFT partnerships at Branding Los Angeles, a company he founded. He recognizes the awkward stage that the crypto space is seeing now, but predicts that it won’t be long
Continue Reading The celebrity love affair with NFTs may be just beginning — even amid flops and doubts

Monday, May 23, 2022

Article: Negotiating New Curves Along Chancery Lane: Four More Questions on Fiduciaries

Weiming Tan recently published an article entitled, Negotiating New Curves Along Chancery Lane: Four More Questions on Fiduciaries, Trust Law International, 2021. Provided below is the abstract:

This article explores four essential questions that have emerged from recent case law governing fiduciaries. The questions raised form a composite inquiry into fiduciary regulation. Firstly, is there a shift in the fiduciary paradigm? The courts have shown an eagerness to test the boundaries of the fiduciary status, both in expanding and withdrawing the status for
Continue Reading Article: Negotiating New Curves Along Chancery Lane: Four More Questions on Fiduciaries

What happens to our online accounts after we die? Tech companies are addressing just this by adding features known as legacy contacts. Before utilizing legacy settings on your various accounts, it is important to consider who you trust and want to be in charge of your digital legacy, in addition to other factors like what data you want to give them access to. 
There is no industry standard on how to approach legacy contacts and each company has taken a slightly different approach. For more information and how-to guides:
See Heather Kelly, “How to set up Legacy Contacts for your
Continue Reading How to set up Legacy Contacts for your Online Accounts: Make sure family can access important data or photos after you’re gone

Sunday, May 22, 2022

Article: Trusts Over Cremated Ashes

Kate Falconer recently published an article entitled, Trusts Over Cremated Ashes, Journal of Equity, 2021. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:
Every year in Australia over 110,000 people are cremated. Each of these cremations leaves behind physical material — what is commonly referred to as ‘cremated ashes’, or, more succinctly (and no less respectfully), ‘cremains’. In recent decades, Australian courts have begun to impose trusts over this physical material prior to its ultimate disposal. This ‘cremated ashes trust’ provides courts with much-needed flexibility in resolving bitter disputes between
Continue Reading Article: Trusts Over Cremated Ashes

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Article: Of Families and Inheritance: Law and Development in Pre-Industrial England

Peter Grajzl and Peter Murrell recently published an Article entitled, Of Families and Inheritance: Law and Development in Pre-Industrial England, 2021. Provided below is an abstract of the Article:
We examine how pre-industrial English caselaw development on land, inheritance, and families affected, and was affected by, economic and demographic outcomes. Our yearly measures of caselaw development are derived from existing topic-model estimates that reflect a comprehensive corpus of reports on pre-1765 court cases. We estimate a structural VAR model using these caselaw time-series in
Continue Reading Article: Of Families and Inheritance: Law and Development in Pre-Industrial England

Friday, May 20, 2022

Lawyer pursued future pain compensation for client who had died, ethics complaint says

Following an April 2016 car crash, Kyle Moon hired the Disparti Law Group. John Paul Kolb, an attorney with the firm, sought a $245,000 settlement for “significant arthritis” due to his injuries. However, Moon had previously passed away from causes unrelated to the crash, and Kolb was aware of his death.
The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission has filed an ethics complaint, citing amongst other things, an email to his employer that read “Settled $60,000. Client is dead from unrelated cause. Settled
Continue Reading Lawyer pursued future pain compensation for client who had died, ethics complaint says

The following is from a May 20, 2022 ACTEC press release:
The Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts has awarded five Communicator Awards to The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). The Communicator Awards is one of the largest competitive awards programs honoring creative excellence for communications professionals, receiving over 5,000 entries from across the U.S. and around the world.
ACTEC received one (1) Award of Excellence and four (4) Awards of Distinction for audio and video content produced for the ACTEC Family Estate Planning Guide, Planning for a Diverse and Equitable Future, and ACTEC Trust
Continue Reading ACTEC Recognized by the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts

Friday, May 20, 2022

The Problem With Wills: Inheritance Laws Are Stuck in the Past

Only 44% of Americans report having a will that describes how they would like their estate handled after their death. Without proper planning, intestate-succession laws designed in the mid-20th century will control what happens next.
In a majority of states, nontraditional families are hit particularly hard and can be thrust into legal limbo when a loved one dies. Intestacy laws largely recognize family based on biological relation or legal contract, which does not encompass modern families. 
While there are a menu of ways to designate
Continue Reading The Problem With Wills: Inheritance Laws Are Stuck in the Past

Thursday, May 19, 2022

This is How Much Money Americans Think They Need to be Considered Wealthy

An annual survey conducted by Charles Schwab, known as the Modern Wealth Survey, asks Americans what dollar amount is needed to be wealthy in the United States. In February of 2022, 1,000 Americans ages 21-75 were surveyed about finances.

This year, the survey found that $2.2 million is considered the magic number for being wealthy and that an average net worth of $774,000 would result in a financially comfortable life. These averages were on the rise from 2021, however, are still lower than
Continue Reading This is How Much Money Americans Think They Need to be Considered Wealthy

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Law of Halloween Nightmares: Damages for Caskets Bouncing Down the Highway, Burial Blunders, and More Funeral Frights

With an average of 3 million deaths per year in the United States, it is inevitable that there will be some funerals-gone-wrong.  Examples include botched embalming services, caskets falling onto the roadway, and even a hearse that collided with a train leaving remains scattered at the scene of the crash.

Surviving family members who experience these nightmare scenarios are frequently able to recover money damages for their own mental and emotional distress, but are left to decide whether
Continue Reading The Law of Halloween Nightmares: Damages for Caskets Bouncing Down the Highway, Burial Blunders, and More Funeral Frights

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Article: Conditional Purging of Wills

Mark Glover recently published an article entitled, Conditional Purging of Wills, University of Richmond Law Review, 2022 Forthcoming. Provided below is the abstract:

The laws of most states unconditionally purge a testamentary gift to an individual who serves as an attesting witness to the will. Under this approach, the will is valid despite the presence of an interested witness, but the witness forfeits all, some, or none of her gift, depending on the particularities of state law. While the outcome of the interested witness’s gift varies amongst the states that
Continue Reading Article: Conditional Purging of Wills

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Vermont man charged with murdering mom at sea over inheritance money after boat sank off Rhode Island coast

Nearly six years after being rescued from a life raft off the Rhode Island coast, Nathan Carman of Vernon, Vermont has been charged with the murder of his mother. He told rescuers that he and his mother had embarked on a fishing trip, but when the boat began gaining water, his mother disappeared. 

Carman was also suspected in the shooting of his grandfather, John Chakalos, who was murdered in his sleep in December 2013. The death of Linda
Continue Reading Vermont man charged with murdering mom at sea over inheritance money after boat sank off Rhode Island coast

Monday, May 16, 2022

‘Bring back my parents’: Cremation ashes stolen from Texas woman’s front yard

Gail Hines, of Austin, TX, has kept glass decorations on her front lawn known as “gazing balls” for years. Last week, two of her lawn ornaments were stolen, however, the specific gazing balls that were taken were unique. They contained the ashes of her parents who passed away in the COVID-19 pandemic. 
Hines chose these specific gazing balls to represent the personalities of her parents, who loved to be outdoors. When purchased brand-new, gazing balls run between $25-$60. But for the Hines family, the
Continue Reading ‘Bring back my parents’: Cremation ashes stolen from Texas woman’s front yard

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Surfside Condo Collapse Victims Reach $997 Million Settlement

Nearly a year after he catastrophic condominium collapse, a $997 million settlement was reached to compensate families of the victims. The Champlain Towers South condominium collapse killed 98 people in Surfside, FL in June of last year.

Victims are relived that a settlement has been reached, but have expressed that no amount of money will bring back loved ones. How the money will be dividing amongst the relatives of the 98 victims is yet to be determined.

Unit owners will also be compensated $83 million from funds generated
Continue Reading Surfside Condo Collapse Victims Reach $997 Million Settlement

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Article: AI, Taxation, and Valuation

Jay A. Soled and Kathleen DeLaney Thomas recently published an article entitled, AI, Taxation, and Valuation, Iowa Law Review, Forthcoming 2023. Provided below is an abstract of the article: 
Virtually every tax system relies upon accurate asset valuations. In some cases, this is an easy identification exercise, and the exact fair market value of an asset is readily ascertainable. Often, however, the reverse is true, and ascertaining an asset’s fair market value yields, at best, a numerical range of possible outcomes. Taxpayers commonly capitalize upon this uncertainty in their reporting
Continue Reading Article: AI, Taxation, and Valuation