Probate & Estate Planning

Starting with its 2014 fiscal year, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors has initiated 334 complaints against Missouri funeral homes.  That is an average of 11 complaints per month.  During the four years that preceding 2014, the State Board filed only 77 complaints against funeral homes, or an average of 1.5 complaints per month.  View Full Post
On March 13, 2018, the IRS announced that the Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Program (OVDP) will be closing on September 28, 2018. This program has been in place since 2009. In general, US persons, that is, citizens and residents of the US, must report their worldwide income on their US income tax returns. View Full Post
The ownership of firearms has been a topic of much debate and scrutiny in recent months. As a part of this national conversation, it is important for gun owners (and their fiduciaries) to generally understand the applicable legal regulations pertaining to the transfer of a firearm triggered by the death of the owner View Full Post
With a specific statute (Domestic Relations Law §236(3)) mandating that pre-nuptial agreements must be acknowledged, and with a specific statutory form of acknowledgment (Real Property Law §309-a(1)), it is surprising that there has been so much litigation over missing or defective acknowledgements and whether they can be cured after the fact. View Full Post
In December, both houses of Congress passed and President Trump signed into law the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, commonly known as the “tax reform bill.” The $1.5 trillion tax package reduced individual tax rates for the next eight years while cutting the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent indefinitely. View Full Post
Over the past couple of years, the Missouri State Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors implemented a number of policy changes that affected the funeral industry.  New requirements were imposed on licensing and reporting, and complaints were filed against licensees that failed to comply with those new requirements.  View Full Post
This February, Davis Wright Tremaine has hosted two family business events featuring prominent Seattle-based family businesses. On February 6th, Harbor Wholesale Foods was featured at a family business legacy series. Mike and Justin Erickson joined us to discuss how achieving shared family goals has been instrumental to the success of their family bu… Continue Reading View Full Post
Florida Supreme Court says YES to special purpose evidence code provision specifically shielding fiduciary-lawyer communications (finally!) In re Amends. to Fla. Evidence Code, — So.3d —-, 2018 WL 549179 (Fla. Jan. 25, 2018) F.S. 90.502 is our general-purpose attorney-client privilege statute. Historically, this rule was subject to the common law “fiduciary exception,” which was bad news for all concerned because it inhibited the free flow of information between personal representatives, trustees and other types of fiduciaries, and their attorneys. View Full Post
Executor Can Swing Away at an Omitted Spouse Petition Born in Fresno, Kirk Kerkorian was an Armenian-American who went on to become a wealthy businessman and philanthropist, known for his role in shaping development in Las Vegas.  After Kerkorian died in June 2015 at the age of 98, his last wife Una Davis filed a claim for a third of his large estate as an “omitted spouse.” Early this year, the California Court of Appeal ruled in Estate of Kerkorian (2018) 19 Cal.App.5th 709 that Kerkorian’s executor, his longtime business associate Anthony Mandekic, could defend against Davis’ claim, more broadly clarifying when executors can participate in petitions to determine entitlement to decedents’ estates. View Full Post
How to Protect Your Business Against a Client Going Bankrupt It’s an unfortunate reality that more small businesses fail than make it past their first five years. Even larger companies are not immune to bankruptcy. In fact, the number of businesses filing for bankruptcy protection has steadily grown over the last several years. View Full Post