Probate & Estate Planning

You may have noticed a recent flurry of articles on “Governance” in our Family Business Resource Center. This is intentional. The concept of “Governance” as it applies to families and family-owned businesses is often misunderstood. But, done well, it is perhaps the one factor that most influences success for the family enterprise, which we generally believe means a family that communicates well, is aligned on key objectives, and a business that is well-positioned to flourish…
Can a disinherited person contest a trust amendment under California Probate Code section 17200?  No, said the Court of Appeal last August in Barefoot v. Jennings (2018) 27 Cal.App.5th 1. The Barefoot opinion put pending trust contests in jeopardy, as contestants typically have used section 17200 as the procedural hook to challenge trust amendments that disfavored them.  Last week, however, the California Supreme Court granted review of Barefoot such that the opinion no…
Lindenau v. Lundeen, 2018 WL 1152403 (M.D. Florida March 05, 2018) Florida remains the largest recipient of state-to-state migration in the US, and the top choice among retirees. Not surprisingly, many of these transplants are slow to abandon the professional relationships they’ve fostered back home — often for decades. When it comes to estate planning that can be a big mistake. Why? Because just because your estate planning documents work back home doesn’t mean…
Proposed regulations on Qualified Opportunity Funds (QOF) were released at the end of October.  The regulations are complex, and a complete analysis is beyond the scope of a blog post.  However, there are some interesting provisions to note:  There was some confusion over whether the deferred gain had to be recognized 12/31/2026 if the property is not sold.  The answer is “yes.” Investment in a QOF can be directly in a Qualified Business Zone Property…
12.14.2018 Steven Mignogna Named to Board of Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning Steven K. Mignogna, a Partner in the firm’s Haddonfield office, has been named to the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. As a board member, Mr. Mignogna will help to implement the goals of the Institute. With over 3,000 attendees, the Heckerling Institute is the leading conference in the United States for estate planning professionals, including attorneys, trust officers,…
THE FOLLOWING IS A TRANSCRIPT OF THIS VIDEO. FOR MORE INFORMATION, CLICK HERE Hi, this is Keith Davidson from Albertson & Davidson.  In this video, I want to talk about whether or not you, as a trust beneficiary, are entitled to an accounting.  And the answer is maybe – which is a typical lawyer answer.  But let’s go through who is and who is not, necessarily, entitled to a trust accounting. For starters, all current…
The New Jersey Tax Amnesty Program applies to state tax liabilities for tax returns due on or after February 1, 2009 and prior to September 1, 2017. The program provides incentives for taxpayers who come forward and pay delinquent state tax liabilities during the amnesty period. Taxpayers who take advantage of the program are relieved from half of the otherwise applicable interest and any late payment penalty, late filing penalty, cost of collection, delinquency penalty,…
We are pleased to share with you a link to a recent article from the Puget Sound Business Journal featuring DWT partner Bill Weigand. At a recent Northwest Family Business Advisors meeting, Bill and fellow family business advisors Dan Gaffney (Moss Adams LLP), Christian Schiller (Cascadia Capital), Richard Simmonds (Pacific Family Business Institute), and Ron Dohr (Pacific Family Business Institute) discussed key takeaways from the Pacific Family Business Institute’s recent survey, Governance & Compensation: The…
What is a reasonable trustee’s fee in California for a family member who acts as trustee?  We see a high degree of conflict over this issue even when the amount of the claimed fee is small compared to value of the trust estate.  Our blog analytics show that our post of a few years ago on the fee issue continues to draw a high number of hits.  If you found this post in a Google…
Our next criticism of Missouri’s pending Exam Handbook is its violation of the Four Corners Rule, which requires a document to stand on its own when being interpreted and applied.  Common law precludes parties from going to outside sources when applying the document to different situations.  While the Handbook gives lip service to the Four Corners Rule in Paragraph 13, other sections of the Handbook send examiners to various sections of law, to rules that…