Bryan Cave  Life Death and Taxes

Trust Bryan Cave

Estate Administration

Main Content

Bitcoins and Other Hidden Assets

treasuremapYears ago, my grandparents were robbed.  While going through the house and noting the missing items, my grandmother told my mother she was grateful they did not find the family silverware hidden in the attic staircase.  This was the first time my mother had heard of the hiding place and told my grandmother, “I would have sold this house having never found the silverware.”

Nearly everyone has a hiding place for a few special, tangible items, and increasingly many individuals have assets that are not easy to identify or locate.  After the death of the owner of such assets, it can be very difficult for the personal representative of the estate to locate and take possession of all of the decedent’s assets.

Tennessee Requires All Witnesses To A Will To Testify

February 24, 2014

Categories

Originally posted on bryancavefiduciarylitigation.com

When it comes to will execution, sometimes the belt and suspenders approach may be well advised.  But, other times, less is more.  Like, perhaps, when it comes to the number of witnesses.  When state law requires that you only need a set number of witnesses to a will, the Court of Appeals of Tennessee’s opinion in the will contest case of Estate of Woolverton shows us the potential problems that may arise when you bring in extra, unnecessary witnesses.

In Tennessee, the execution of a will requires only two witnesses.  Three witnesses, however, signed the will of Dennis R. Woolverton.  At a hearing on the will contest, only two of the three witnesses and a notary public testified about the signatures on the purported will.  The trial court held that the document was the decedent’s validly executed will and admitted it to probate.

Planning For the End You Want

Planning For the End You Want

February 10, 2014

Authored by: Steve Dawson and Anne Jump

88063948

Recent news stories such as that of Marlise Muñoz in Texas and auto racing star Michael Schumacher serve as a reminder of the importance of discussing your wishes with others regarding end-of-life care. Select someone you trust to make those decisions on your behalf in case you become incapacitated, and sign the documents required to empower that person to act for you if necessary.

Most Americans say they want to die at home, surrounded by family and friends. But data from Medicare shows only about a third of elderly patients die this way. Taking a few small steps now can go a long way toward ensuring that your wishes are respected when the time comes.

You can start by talking to your family, your friends, and your doctors about

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

IRS Issues Revenue Procedure Regarding Portability Election

Yesterday, the IRS released Rev. Proc. 2014-18, which provides a simplified method for certain taxpayers to obtain an extension of time to make a “portability” election, allowing a surviving spouse to apply a deceased spouse’s unused exclusion amount (deceased spousal unused exclusion amount, or DSUE amount)  to the surviving spouse’s subsequent transfers during life or at death.  For more discussions on portability, see our prior posts herehere, here, here and here (can you tell portability has been a hot topic in recent years?)

Under section 2010 (c)(5)(A) of the Code, a portability election must be made on a timely filed Form 706 (Estate Tax Return).  If an executor would not otherwise be required to file an Estate Tax Return, the executor may file for an extension of time under section 301.9100-3 to make the portability election.  In general, such an extension will be granted if the taxpayer establishes that the taxpayer

Estate Planning and Your Pets – Real Life “Aristocats”

Recently, a man who died in Tennessee left his two cats a life interest in his estate. Upon the death of the surviving cat, the remaining estate will pass to the man’s family. Comments on the internet have focused on the cats’ safety, which reminds me of the old Disney move, The Aristocats, where a wealthy old lady leaves her estate to her cats for their lives and the remainder to her butler. After the will is drawn up, the butler tries to dispose of the cats, so he will inherit the estate immediately upon the lady’s death. When her cats expose the butler’s plan, with the aid of several other animals, the lady writes him out of her will and adds the animals that helped save her cats into her will.  You can read more about the Tennessee Aristocats here.

Leaving one’s entire estate to the pets is

Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

Copy Of Will Was Good Enough

November 27, 2013

Authored by: Luke Lantta

Originally posted on bryancavefiduciarylitigation.com

Testators may want to keep careful track of who has copies of their will and where those copies are.  If only a copy of a will – and not the original – is found, it may raise a question about whether the testator destroyed the original in an attempt to revoke it.  Such was the argument made by the caveators in Johnson v. Fitzgerald.  Let’s see why the Georgia Supreme Court felt like a copy was good enough to admit to probate in solemn form.

The executor of an estate offered a copy of a will for probate in solemn form, requesting that it be admitted to probate upon proper proof.  The original could not be found.  The testator’s heirs at law filed a caveat alleging that the will had been revoked by the testator’s destruction of it.

Under Georgia law, if

Conflict Of Interest Warranted Judicial Removal Of Personal Representative And Trustee

Originally posted on bryancavefiduciarylitigation.com

Individual trustees who must administer real property often attempt to save the trust money by personally making certain improvements, repairs, or maintenance to the property.  They then charge the trust for the work they performed.  As the Nebraska Court of Appeals points out in In re Estate of Robb, however, these acts – however well-intentioned – may be self-dealing and can put the trustee in a position of a conflict of interest, which can warrant removal from that fiduciary position.

When Mason D. Robb died, his son, Theodore, became the personal representative of his estate and the trustee of the inter vivos Mason D. Robb Revocable Living Trust.  The trust contained three pieces of real estate.

Under the terms of the trust, the trustee was to hold and use the trust property to pay administrative costs and the debts of the settlor and for the

James Gandolfini’s Death Will Bring in Money to IRS and NYS

James Gandolfini’s Death Will Bring in Money to IRS and NYS

July 10, 2013

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

Gandolfini

The terms of James Gandolfini’s December 2012 Last Will and Testament were made public last week when it was filed in New York County Surrogate’s Court. There are a series of specific bequests to his teenage son by his first marriage and some friends and relatives, but the bulk of his probate assets is disposed of as his “residuary estate” and is divided among his sisters, his wife and his baby daughter.

The tax clause of his Will directs that all estate taxes are to be paid from his residuary estate. What does that mean to his beneficiaries? And what does that mean to the IRS and to the NYS Department of Taxation and Finance? Only the 20% of the estate that passes to James Gandolfini’s widow will qualify for the Federal

St. Louis Compliance Workshop for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers – July 24, 2013

   

ACA Compliance Group St. Louis Skyline

ACA Compliance Group, Bryan Cave, ExamFX and Global Relay Present  St. Louis Compliance Workshop for Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisers – July 24, 2013

Wednesday July 24, 2013 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. Cocktail Reception Immediately Following

Location: Bryan Cave One Metropolitan Square 211 N. Broadway St. Louis, MO 63102-2750

RSVP By July 17, 2013

ACA may provide information about roundtable attendees (name, company name, provided address, phone, and email information) to our event co-sponsors. However, you may opt out of this information sharing if you prefer (see instructions following registration).

Twitter  LinkedIn

The attorneys of Bryan Cave LLP make this site available to you only for the educational purposes of imparting general information and a general understanding of the law. This site does not offer specific legal advice. Your use of this site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Bryan Cave LLP or any of its attorneys. Do not use this site as a substitute for specific legal advice from a licensed attorney. Much of the information on this site is based upon preliminary discussions in the absence of definitive advice or policy statements and therefore may change as soon as more definitive advice is available. Please review our full disclaimer.