Trusts & Estates Articles

Integrating Self-Management With Estate Planning

Succession planning is often the most complicated piece of the estate-planning puzzle. While tax planning has specific statutory rules and court precedents that must be followed to achieve a successful outcome, there are no official rules in succession planning and, often, no perfect solutions.

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The Virtual Clone Trustee

Imagine your client has an identical twin who acts just like him, likes and dislikes all the same things, shares his precise values and goals and reacts and makes decisions in the exact way your client does…this isn’t just your client’s twin, but your client’s clone…wouldn’t this immortal being be the perfect candidate to serve as trustee of your client’s trusts?

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Default in Argentina, Repercussions in New York, Self-Settled Trusts and Choice of Law

A choice of law provision in a trust agreement, as is the case with any contract, may not be enforceable against persons who are not parties to the agreement. This point was recently reinforced by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in EM Ltd., et.al. v. The Republic of Argentina which involved the validity of a self-settled trust created outside of the U.S. by parties who have basically no connection to the U.S. in terms of domicile or residence.

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The Quarterback Dilemma

Estate plans originate in  a number of ways, but in every one, early on in the process, the client interacts with at least one “estate planner” who may be an accountant, insurance professional, financial advisor  or attorney.

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The State of Estate Planning

On Dec. 17. 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the Act).  The Act significantly impacts the estate planning that advisors will recommend to their clients, as well as the way planners will practice now and in the future.  This article, briefly describes the Act’s key estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax changes, since many other Trusts & Estates articles have previously covered these topics.  Our focus is on the Act’s current and future influence on estate planning practices.

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Reckoning With New York’s Marital Right of Election

Throughout history, many cultures have imposed restrictions on the right of an individual to freely bequeath assets. The historical basis of forced heirship was to require land to pass down to one’s issue—frequently giving priority in distributions to the eldest son. Today, most U.S. jurisdictions permit one to freely disinherit their descendents….

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The Beneficiary’s Defective Inheritor’s Trust: Is It Really Defective?

Over the last few years, there have been several articles written, as well as the issuance of Private Letter Rulings, regarding the potential benefits and tax consequences of the Beneficiary Defective Inheritor’s TrustTM.  Briefly, the BDIT is an irrevocable trust, which is structured to be a “grantor trust” with respect to the beneficiary and not the grantor, yet allows the trust assets to be accessible to the beneficiary in this “best of both worlds” planning approach.

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