Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog

Editor: Gerry W. Beyer
Texas Tech Univ. School of Law

A Member of the Law Professor Blogs Network

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Article on the Trust Residence

H. Michael DolsonH. Michael Dolson (Felesky Flynn LLP) recently published an article entitled, Trust Residence after Garron: Provincial Considerations, Canadian Tax Journal/Revue Fiscale Canadienne, Vol. 62, No. 3, p. 671 (2014).  Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:

The recent decisions in Garron and the adoption of the central management and control test for trust residence may have a material impact on interprovincial tax planning, if for no other reason than the resulting CRA audit project targeting Alberta-resident trusts. This article examines the theoretical basis for the imposition of residence-based provincial income taxes on trust income, revealing at least one acceptable but nevertheless flawed alternative. This article then turns to an examination of central management and control in the context of trusts, and discusses how this test could be applied in future cases.

March 29, 2015 in Articles, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Woman Poses as Lawyer for a Decade

Scales of justice 2

Authorities say that a Pennsylvania woman used forged documents to pretend to be a lawyer for ten years and was in line to be named partner when her fraud was discovered. 

Kimberly Kitchen, 45, fooled BMZ law by forging a law license, bar exam results, an email she attended Duquesne University Law School, and a check for a state attorney registration fee.  Kitchen practiced estate planning and handled matters for more than 30 clients. 

Kitchen was charged Thursday with forgery and the unauthorized practice of law.  Her attorney says, “There are things about the charges we don’t agree with so we’re going to be fighting some of the charges.”

See Joe Mandak, Pennsylvania Woman Claimed to Be Lawyer for a Decade, U.S. News & World Report, March 27, 2015.

March 29, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Professional Responsibility | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Bail Bondsman and Defense Attorney Accused of Will Forgery

JailBail bondsman Ray Zapata of San Angelo, Texas, has been indicted in connection to allegations that he forged the will of John Edward Sullivan, who died last year. Defense attorney John Young has also been indicted in the case, which charges the two men with multiple offenses including forgery, aggravated perjury, and theft. Young was named in Sullivan's allegedly forged will as the sole beneficiary of Sullivan's estate valued at over $5 million. At the time of Sullivan's death, Young was his defense attorney in a case regarding child pornography and online solicitation charges against Sullivan.

See Chelsea Reinhard, San Angelo Bail Bondsman, Defense Attorney Accused of Forging Will of Alleged Pedophile, San Angelo Live, March 26, 2015

Special thanks to Blair Park (Texas Tech University School of Law, J.D. Candidate, 2016) for bringing this article to my attention.

March 29, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

CLE on Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning in Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire

CLEThe ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law is presenting the fourth of five eCLE webinars that are part the Domestic Asset Protection Trust Planning: Jurisdiction Selection Series. The upcoming webinar will focus on asset protection laws in Arizona, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire on Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 12:00 – 1:30 p.m. CT. 1.5 General CLE Credit Hours. Here is why you should attend:

15 states, such as Nevada and New Hampshire, permit the creation of full blown self-settled asset protection trusts. Besides the 15, at least 10 other states, including Arizona and Maryland, allow some form of an asset protection trust, including inter vivos QTIP trusts.  The proliferation of domestic asset protection trusts leaves attorneys inquiring about the laws in each asset protection state and the benefits of creating such a trust in one state versus another. Over the course of this e-CLE, the presenters will address domestic self-settled asset protection trust statutes and inter vivos QTIP trust statutes, and discuss:

  • What is an inter vivos QTIP trust and how can it help my clients?
  • Will domestic self-settled asset protection trusts benefit my clients?
  • Do the costs of creating a trust in one state for creditor protection or taxation benefits really outweigh the creation of such a trust in another?
  • Is the trust really protected from creditors?
  • Can the trust be used to avoid the income tax in the grantor's state of residence?
  • Can a same sex couple benefit from the use of these trusts?
  • Is using an offshore trust better?

March 29, 2015 in Conferences & CLE, Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Saturday, March 28, 2015

CEO Tim Cook To Give Away All His Money

Tim CookChief Executive of Apple Inc., Tim Cook, is planning to give away his wealth.  The head of the world’s largest technology corporation says he plans to donate his estimated $785 million fortune to charity after paying for his ten-year-old nephew’s college education.  “You want to be the pebble in the pond that creates the ripples for change,” said Cook.

Although Cook’s fortune is not as massive as Gates or Zuckerberg, who are both worth billions, the Apple CEO said he hopes to make a difference.  In recent years, Cook has begun speaking out about issues ranging from the environment to civil rights.  Cook has already started donating money to unspecified causes quietly and is trying to develop a more “systematic approach” to philanthropy that goes beyond writing checks.

See Reuters, Apple’s Tim Cook Will Give Away All His Money, Yahoo Finance, March 26, 2015.    

March 28, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Article on Singapore's Remedial Constructive Trust

Man YipMan Yip (Singapore Management University School of Law) recently published an article entitled, Singapore’s Remedial Constructive Trust: Lessons from Australia? Journal of Equity, Vol. 8, pp. 77-107 (2014); Singapore Management University School of Law Research Paper No. 42/2015.  Provided below is the abstract from SSRN:

Although Singapore equity was historically derived from and remains reliant on English equity, in recent years, the Singapore courts have not always followed in the footsteps of English law. One such instance is Singapore’s embrace of the remedial constructive trust. Presently, Singapore law is still in the process of working out its model of remedial constructive trust in two key aspects. The first aspect relates to the scope of the remedial constructive trust; and the second aspect concerns the principles governing the exercise of remedial discretion. This paper considers what Singapore law can and should learn from the Australian experience. Whilst there are key points of reference that can be taken from the Australian jurisprudence, there are also some fundamental distinctions between Singapore law and Australian law that would prevent a direct and automatic transplantation of Australian principles. Indeed, there remain some unresolved issues within the Australian framework of remedial constructive trust.

March 28, 2015 in Articles, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gift Tax Season is Here

GiftsThe filing deadline for gift tax returns is quickly approaching. One benefit of filing a gift tax return is starting the Statute of Limitations, which gives the IRS three years to challenge the gift valuation. However, to successfully begin the limitations period, adequate notice must be given, which means including an appraisal or an equivalent showing of how the gift was valued.

See John P. Dedon, Gift Tax Returns and Adequate Disclosure, The National law Review, March 26, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

March 28, 2015 in Gift Tax | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Considerations for Choosing Trustees

Trust1Setting up a trusts includes shopping around for the best deal and careful consideration of who to choose for trust administration and management. Fees depend on the complexity of assets and amount of funding for the trust, among many other factors. Comparing prices for various companies can be  difficult since they often are including different options in their packages and it is difficult to make accurate comparisons when looking at fee schedules alone. It is also important to note that most fees are negotiable and depend on individualized circumstances.

See Amy Feldman, Trust Costs Go Up; Get Ready to Negotiate, Barron's, Feb. 28, 2015.

Special thanks to Jim Hillhouse for bringing this article to my attention.

March 28, 2015 in Estate Planning - Generally, Non-Probate Assets, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Gurlitt Bequest Upheld By German Court

GurlittA Munich court has struck down a legal challenge by a cousin of Cornelius Gurlitt who claimed that she should inherit works from his vast art collection.  I have previously discussed that Mr. Gurlitt had bequeathed the works to the Kunstmuseum Bern in Switzerland, and the court ruled that they rightfully belong there. 

In a statement released on Thursday, the Munich court stated, “The decision finds Cornelius Gurlit’s will, in which he names the Kunstmuseum Bern as sole heir, valid.  The decision dismisses the claim made by his cousin that the testator Cornelius Gurlitt was incapable of making a will at the time of signing.” 

Mr. Gurlitt’s cousin, Uta Werner, has one month to decide whether to appeal to a higher court.  A spokesman for Ms. Werner shad that her lawyers would “closely review the reasons for the decision, after which Ms. Werner will decide how to proceed.”

See Christopher D. Shea, German Court Upholds Bequest of Gurlitt Collection to the Kunstmuseum Bern, The New York Times, March 27, 2015. 

March 27, 2015 in Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Trusts | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Elder Abuse Investigator Sued Over Husband's Will

Gavel2A former Medford, Oregon police detective who specialized in investigating elder abuse has been accused of using her expertise to exploit the dementia of a Portland lawyer before his death last year. 

The daughter of Victor Calzaretta says that she was in line to inherit her father’s estate until Calzaretta married Sue Campbell after only a brief courtship.  In 2011, Calzaretta changed his will to make his wife the executor and sole beneficiary.

The $4 million dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of Diane Miller alleges the detective was familiar with the signs of dementia and married Calzaretta to gain access to his estate.  Campbell denies the allegations.

See Steven Dubois, Daughter Sues Elder Abuse Investigator Over Father’s Will, Statesman Journal, March 27, 2015.

March 27, 2015 in Elder Law, Estate Administration, Estate Planning - Generally, Wills | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)