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Amendment of Trust by Grantor’s Attorney-in-Fact

An irrevocable and unamendable trust can be revoked or amended during the life of the grantor under certain limited circumstances. New York's Estate Powers and Trust Law (EPTL) provides in Section 7-1.9 that upon the written acknowledged consents of all persons beneficially interested in a trust...

Morrison & Foerster LLP: Decanting a California Trust

By Joshua Glucoft,* Morrison & Foerster LLP In the administration of an irrevocable trust, situations can arise that were beyond the anticipation of the trustor. Therefore a trustee may want to "decant" a trust by transferring funds from one trust to another with preferable terms...

Trusts and Florida Homestead Property

Florida is a rather unique state in rights associated with homestead exemptions from forced sale. In a nutshell, it is nearly impossible for creditors to force the sale of a homestead (a situation famously highlighted by OJ Simpson, who purchased a large estate in Florida in part to avoid creditors)...

New York Appellate Court Broadens the Powers of an Attorney-In-Fact

By: Jennifer F. Hillman, Esq. A recent decision out of the New York Appellate Division Second Department broadened the range of powers enumerated to an attorney-in-fact to include the ability to amend a previously executed irrevocable inter vivos trust. The facts in Perosi v. LiGreci , 948...

Florida Court Finds that Settlor Lacked Requisit Capacity to Execute Trust Amendment

In the Florida case of Jervis v. Tucker, 37 Fla. L. Weekly D349 (Fla. 4th DCA 2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis.com subscribers ], Bernice J. Meikle executed a revocable trust agreement in 1991, which she subsequently amended by executing a first amendment. Her trust, as amended by the first...

James Cox on Uniform Trust Code in Virginia and West Virginia

By James Cox * In part as a result of the increasing use of trusts in estate planning and the lack of a comprehensive codification of the law of trusts, the Virginia Assembly adopted effective July 1, 2006, the Virginia version of the Uniform Trust Code (UTC). West Virginia followed suit, and adopted...

Naming a Trustee Is a Key Florida Estate Planning Decision

Every Sarasota and Manatee County Florida resident leaving property and assets to their heirs at death, via a trust, must consider who will run the trust after they have passed away. The chosen fiduciary will be responsible for managing the assets the trust owns and making distributions to your loved...

Standing to Object to Revocable Trust Transactions during Settlor’s Life

Often the settlor of a lifetime revocable trust is the only person who has an interest in the income and principal of the trust during his or her lifetime. Sometimes the settlor of such a trust is the sole trustee or serves with another. In other circumstances, there are trustees other than the settlor...

The New Massachusetts Pet Trust | Ensuring Your Animals are Cared for Part 1

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has been very busy over the past few years overhauling much of its probate code to reflect modern family circumstances. With respect to traditional estate planning, for example, the code changes Massachusetts estate distribution to ensure that all children in mixed marriage...

Have you funded your revocable trust?

What is the difference between a revocable trust that prevents your estate from going through probate, and a revocable trust that's just a stack of papers? The answer: funding your revocable trust . This is an essential step you must take once the ink is dry on your documents. Without proper funding...

Morrison & Foerster LLP: Dynasty Trusts: The Perpetuities Patchwork and Other Considerations

By Genevieve M. Moore , Morrison & Foerster LLP As the year winds down, many of our clients are taking advantage of the unprecedented opportunity to make gifts of up to $5,120,000, per donor, free of any federal gift tax. Since the federal generation-skipping transfer tax (GST) exemption is...

Minor children? Here are the steps you need to take to protect them

The importance of life insurance for parents with young children cannot be overstated. However, insurance is just one part of the story. To ensure your child's financial security, you need to properly plan for how the proceeds will be distributed to your child, as well as for how your child's...

Ask Liza: Should We Get Married? Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples Now

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: My long term domestic partner of 30 years and I were registered domestic partners for a few years and then she decided she wanted to be totally financially independent of me so we terminated the agreement last year. We are still together as a couple and live five...

Estate Failed to Prove Museum’s Laches on Claim to a 3,000 Year Old Archeological Artifact Missing Since WWII

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. In a rather unique ceremony at the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court on December 4, 2013, Surrogate Edward W. McCarty, III ordered and presided over the physical return of an ancient Assyrian artifact from the possession of an executor of a decedent’s estate to...

The Cats Win, The Dogs Lose: Court Upholds the Validity of Pet Trust For Cats

By Peter K. Kelly | Leonore Abels in her Will provided that her residuary pass in trust for her husband Joel Abels and, in the alternative should he predecease her, all of her property be sold, except her house, and held by the trustee to maintain her home, to pay a salary and bonus to her housekeeper...

Ask Liza: Estate Planning Beats Avoidance

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: We live in Nebraska. I own a ranch with my brother. Part of it we inherited and a small part we purchased from family members. The total value of the ranch is $2.7 million. We have a buy sell agreement between us. We have estate questions and aren’t sure where...

Ask Liza: Naming a Minor as a Beneficiary of an IRA

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: I want to name my minor grandchildren as beneficiaries of my IRA account. How do I do that? Can I use my Will? It’s a smart idea to name minors as beneficiaries of your IRAs. Since they are young, they’ll be able to withdraw that money slowly over their...

Ask Liza: The Right Plan For Now: Living Trust

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza, I’m a young professional and would greatly appreciate your feedback on what type of trust, if any, would suit me well given my current financial and life position. I’m single, 29 years old (30 later this year), with cash, stocks, and a stake in a high-growth...

Ask Liza: Creditor’s Claims and Trust Administration

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: I am the successor trustee of my parents trust. The have both passed and I was told before I disburse the assets I need to advertise a Notice to Creditors. How long and how many times do I need to advertise? Since I don’t know which state you live in, I can...

Ask Liza: What to Do When One Parent Lacks Capacity

Dear Liza, my parents do not have a living trust in place. I need to help them set one up. My father and mother are 91 and 83 respectively. My father has a form of dementia that prevents him from making decision about his property. My Mother is fully capable. Does my Mother have the right to make decisions...

Ask Liza: Avoiding a Lump Sum Inheritance

Dear Liza My father wants to leave some of his assets to my brother and sister, however neither of them is particularly adept at handling money and he doesn’t want to hand them a large, lump sum. Can a Will stipulate that they receive payments on a predetermined basis, almost like an allowance...

Ask Liza: Is A Survivors Trust A Necessary Part Of A Trust?

Dear Liza: My parents have a revocable Trust that is very outdated and we want to make amendments to it. I understand most of the Trust but am having trouble with the Survivors Trust. I was surprised to see that upon the death of one spouse a Survivors Trust may be established. Is this really a necessary...

Ask Liza: How To Store That Estate Plan

Dear Liza: I’ve just completed my estate planning documents using the latest edition of WillMaker Plus, including the will, health care documents, power of attorney, final arrangements, etc. I think all totaled it comes to over 65 pages. I’d like to leave all the documents well-organized...

Ask Liza: Paying Credit Card Debt As Trustee

Dear Liza, My father passed away recently, and all of his and my mom’s assets are held in a living trust (except an individual checking account), of which I am now the Trustee. A few collection agencies are now contacting me about collecting on some credit card balances, which are fairly significant...

The Digital Age of Estate Planning

By Linda B. Hirschson and Shifra Herzberg The proliferation of technology has moved communication, banking, networking, games, photos and music to the digital arena. In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Linda B. Hirschson, a shareholder in Greenberg Traurig's New York office and chair of the New...