LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Hostility as a Basis to Deny Fiduciary Appointment

By: John G. Farinacci Estate disputes have been called "divorces of siblings." Although sibling disputes over their parent's estates are common, there are many other relationships that result in estate disputes as well. However, the point of the saying is well taken in that complex family...

Both Attorneys and Courts are Tired of Financial Institutions’ Refusal to Accept Powers of Attorney

Banks Often Refuse to Accept Powers of Attorney One of the things that's becoming more and more frustrating for trusts and estates lawyers in Florida is the refusal of banks and other financial institutions to accept properly drafted powers of attorney. A power of attorney is a document...

John G. Farinacci: Abandonment Cases in Surrogate’s Court Present Difficult Factual Issues

By John G. Farinacci Naturally, abandonment and failure to meet support obligations are two grounds upon which an otherwise lawful heir can be disqualified from inheriting in New York as in most other jurisdictions. EPTL 5-1.2. Failure to support is generally easier to determine. However, with the...

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...

Jennifer F. Hillman: Inheritance Rights of Posthumously Conceived Children in New York State

By: Jennifer F. Hillman, Esq. Medical technology continues to advance at a rapid pace. Since the first “test tube” baby was born on July 25, 1978, the field of artificial reproduction has blossomed. According to the United Stated Department of Health and Human Services Office of Population...

John Dedon on Estate Planning – Staying Current

Attached below is a July 3, 2014 Forbes article detailing the need for clients to review and update their estate plans. Now that I have been in practice for 30 years, approximately 25 percent of the legal work that I do comes from existing clients updating their estate plans for various reasons. Why...

David Shulman on Estate Planning: Finding Your Digital Assets After Death

by David Shulman I’ve written before about estate planning for your digital assets and online accounts. Well this article isn’t necessarily about planning , but what happens after you die – especially if you don’t plan (or even if you do). I do both estate planning and probate...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Planning Not Just For The ‘Very Wealthy’

Russ Alan Prince, for Forbes, published an article on October 13, titled "The Very Wealthy Embrace Severe Disaster Contingency Planning." The article outlined how today, "the exceptionally wealthy [are] vulnerable to geopolitical instability, market volatility, career criminals, and even...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Is It R.I.P. For IRAs?

In an October online article in The Wall Street Journal , the reporter described how Congress is examining large IRAs, and IRAs holding real estate and closely held business interests. Congress’ concern is that IRA income tax advantages are being used by the wealthy in ways beyond that contemplated...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: 1031 Exchanges And End Of Year Planning

My partner, David Lawrence, is an expert on Section 1031 tax-free exchanges involving investment real estate. His thoughts regarding end of year planning and the advantages of 1031s is below. Tax Straddling When Selling Investment Property Between now and the end of the year, taxpayers can legally...

Tangible Personal Property: What Does it Encompass?

By Jennifer F. Hillman The phrase “tangible personal property” is a term of art frequently utilized by estate practitioners when drafting documents. However, what is, and what is not tangible personal property is not always clear. A recent case, In re Rothschild , N.Y.L.J., October 28...

Ask Liza: Reporting Foreign Gifts

Dear Liza: Does a person receiving a gift from a sibling in another country have to pay gift tax on that gift in the United States? In the United States, gifts are not considered ordinary income, so you don’t have to report them or pay income tax on the amount you’ve received. (If a US citizen...

Ask Liza: Who Inherits When There’s No Beneficiary?

Dear Liza: My dad named his mother as his beneficiary, but she passed away in 2004. My dad died in 2013 but didn’t change his beneficiary. I am my father’s only child and he has no wife, so who gets the money ? When a person dies and there’s no surviving beneficiary named for an account...

Ask Liza: When does a Will Make Sense?

Dear Liza: A friend of mine is considering a living trust. The only property he has is a coin collection maybe worth around $15,000. He has an adult daughter who he doesn’t communicate with and does not want her to get anything. He would like to leave the collection to me. Is a living trust a good...

A Matter of Convenience: From Bank Accounts to Real Property

By John G. Farinacci Estate litigators see a wide variety of disputed issues since the affairs of decedents are as diverse as the types of people they were during their lives. However, we also see many of the same or similar fact patterns. One of these involves disputes over whether the addition of...

Ask Liza: Paying Capital Gains on Appreciated Assets

Dear Liza, My father passed away in 2002 when the federal estate tax limit was $1million. At that time my mother chose to put their home in the Bypass Trust. She has now passed and the home is worth $1.4 million. Do we inherit tax free or pay taxes on the amount over $1million? It’s nice when I...

The Gatekeeper Of Intentional Interference With Expectancy Of Inheritance: An ‘In Adequate Remedy In Probate’

By Shirley L. Kovar | In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Shirley L. Kovar, a partner in the Estate & Trust Litigation Practice and International Private Client groups at Henderson, Caverly, Pum & Charney, LLP in San Diego, identifies some of the ways IIEI differs from traditional inheritance...

John Dedon on Estate Planning: Buy-Sell Arrangements and Irrevocable Insurance Trusts

A common estate planning strategy for people with taxable estates is to have an irrevocable trust own life insurance, rather than owning the insurance themselves. Even with the current amount an individual can protect from estate tax at $5,340,000, some affluent taxpayers will benefit if irrevocable...

Massachusetts Law Sets Forth Fiduciary Responsibilities For Guardians And Provides Limits

By Honorable Jennifer Rivera Ulwick Unlike conservators, guardians do not handles finances, acting as conservators as they may have in the past when appointed as "guardian of the estate." Unless otherwise provided by the court, the guardian is limited to making decisions regarding the incapacitated...

Creation, Execution And Revocation Of Massachusetts Health Care Proxies

By John Dugan Massachusetts law provides for the execution, administration and governance of health care proxies. A health care proxy is a written instrument signed by a competent adult appointing another competent adult to make health care decisions in the event of his or her subsequent incapacity...

Elaine Gagliardi on Proposed Treasury Regulations Clarifying I.R.C. Section 1022 Carryover Basis Rules

By Elaine Gagliardi Proposed treasury regulations have been promulgated to clarify the interaction of the I.R.C. Section 1022 carryover basis rules with other sections of the Internal Revenue Code. In this Emerging Issues Analysis, Elaine Gagliardi, a professor of law at the University of Montana...

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...