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Renee Gabbard Honored for Excellence in Public Service

March 24, 2014


KKFIrvine Partner, Renee Gabbard, is being honored on March 27, 2014 with an Award for Excellence in Public Service at the Chapman University Fowler School of Law’s Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF) 2014 Silent Auction and Gala.  The Silent Auction and Gala honors the dedicated work of its students and community leaders in public interest law.  Proceeds from the dinner and auction will support PILF’s public interest summer jobs grant program.

Update: Rev. Proc 2014-18s Effect on Same-Sex Married Couples and Portability Elections

Under the portability rules a surviving spouse can elect to have the deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption (currently $5.34 Million) added to the surviving spouse’s estate tax exemption amount. But to do this, a federal estate tax return has to be filed within 9 months of the death of the first spouse, even if there is no taxable estate for estate tax purposes. The federal estate tax return is the only way to take advantage of the portability election.  The nine month time limit has proved to be an issue in regards to same-sex spouses, whose marriages were not recognized by the IRS until the Windsor decision on June 26, 2013.  Click here, here, and here to read about the Windsor decision. We believed the Windsor decision may have opened the door to the otherwise “late” portability elections for same-sex spouses, but were not sure how

No Liability for Trust Protector in McLean v. Ponder

The Missouri Court of Appeals recently issued an opinion in Robert T. McLean Irrevocable Trust v. Ponder,[1] a case involving the question of whether a Trust Protector could be held liable in not exercising the right to remove and replace the Trustees of a special needs Trust.

The Robert T. McLean Irrevocable Trust (the “Trust”) was created with settlement proceeds from Robert McLean’s (“Robert”) personal injury case.  Ponder was appointed “Trust Protector” of the Trust with the right to remove the Trustee and appoint a successor Trustee.  The Trust Protector was also given the right to appoint a successor Trust Protector and to resign as Trust Protector.  The Trust also provided that the “Trust Protector’s authority was conferred in a fiduciary capacity” and that the Trust Protector was not liable for any actions taken “in good faith.”  The Trust did not provide Ponder with any

Renee Gabbard and Stephen Daiker Named Five Star Estate Planning Attorneys

Irvine Parter, Renee Gabbard, and St. Louis Partner, Stephen Daiker, were both recognized as 2014 Five Star Estate Planning Attorneys.

To receive the award, an estate planning attorney must satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria that are associated with estate planning attorneys who provide quality services to their clients. Five Star Professional conducts market-specific research throughout the U.S. and Canada to identify reputable and trustworthy service professionals.

Congratulations to Renee Gabbard and Stephen Daiker!

Massachusetts Supreme Court Approves Decanting in Kraft Family Trust


What does a trustee do when an irrevocable trust needs to be modified?  Circumstances or laws may have changed in ways that could not have been anticipated at the time the trust was drafted.  In the past, a trustee who wanted to change some aspect of an irrevocable trust had few options, other than a court order to reform the trust which can be a costly and lengthy process.  Now, many states have alleviated the necessity of court approval to modify trusts by permitting “decanting.”  (For an example of such a statute, see our prior post, “How is an Illinois Trust Now Like a Fine Wine? It Can Be Decanted: A Summary of the New Illinois Decanting Statute”.)

Decanting is the term generally used to describe the distribution of trust property to another trust pursuant to the trustee’s discretionary authority to make distributions to, or for the

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