Trusts & Estates Articles

True Counselor

The important role Trusts & Estates attorneys have as family counselors is the topic of this New York Law Journal article.

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Rights of Surviving Spouses To Pension Benefits

REA mandates payment of retirement benefits as a qualified joint and survivor annuity with a spouse (QJSA), and payment of a qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity death benefit to a surviving spouse (QPSA). These payments may be waived by a spouse who is not a member of the retirement plan under certain conditions.

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Use Disclaimers to Add Flexibility and Hindsight to Estate Plans

The disclaimer can be a helpful tax and estate planning tool if used correctly. Often, the disclaimer is employed as a postmortem remedial device to fend off adverse tax repercussions and other unintended consequences of an estate plan gone awry. Other times, the anticipated use of the disclaimer is consciously incorporated into the estate plan by its drafter to preserve tax and distributive flexibility at the decedent’s death. Although, this article focuses on the application of the disclaimer in the estate tax context, significant non-tax objectives may also justify its use.

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