Wealth Strategies Journal

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Protector Allowed to Amend Trust

A recent Florida appellate court decision upholds the ability of a trust “protector” to amend the provision of a trust. See Minassian v. Rachins and Minassian, 4th DCA, Case No. 4D13-2241, December 3, 2014.

See also Chuck Rubin, “Protector Power to Amend Trust Upheld, But Litigants Also Raise an Continue reading

Facebook Chief Values Mistakes

Mark Zuckerberg, founder and chief executive of Facebook, addressed public questions at his second town hall meeting in Menlo Park, California, among which was his conception of making mistakes. He values mistakes as he said: “If you’re successful, most of the things you’ve done were wrong.” He also thought important … Continue reading

Pass of ABLE Act Sees Hope in Congress Hot Issues

The Achieving a Better Lifer Experience (ABLE) Act, which aims to remove bureaucratic obstacles to help Americans save for future, has passed Congress. Under the ABLE Act, people with disabilities are allowed a saving account up to $100,000 with tax-free treatment. Thus the ABLE Act helps pay for disability-related expenses … Continue reading

Year-End Tax Planning Techniques

With the year soon coming to an end, taxpayers can still take steps to lower their potential tax liability. The author feels that tax deferral is among the most important steps in tax planning. To accomplish this, he suggests clients max-out contributions to qualified plans, make calculated Roth conversions to … Continue reading

Considerations in Appointing a Trust Protector

In addition to a trustee that oversees trust asset distributions, a trust protector can also be appointed in order to oversee the trustee. A protector can be granted powers as broad as replacing a trustee or vetoing investment decisions based on changing circumstances or a shift in tax laws. While … Continue reading

Espen Robak: The Whys and Hows of Valuing Life Insurance

By Espen Robak

When changing the ownership of a life insurance policy by gift or sale, many advisors report to us that their client experienced a sticker shock. As an example, an attorney called to say his client had a $20 million term policy with an annual premium of $120,000. … Continue reading

Live Like Richard Branson for a Week

The Lodge, Richard Branson’s ski chalet in the Swiss Alps, can be rented for $88,000 to $180,000 a week. A property in the Virgin Limited Edition collection, the chalet can accommodate up to 18 adults and 6 children and comes with a staff of 12, including a Michelin-starred chef. Other … Continue reading

Why Objects Matter in Estate Planning

Tangible objects are often intertwined in family stories, symbolising certain milestones of a family’s journey as well as serving as a source of cohesiveness and tradition. Families should consider the  shifting significance of these objects caused by intergenerational transitions so as to avoid any potential conflict and/or litigation.

But on … Continue reading

Same-Sex Couples Can Now Obtain Green Card for Spouse

After the decision in U.S. v. Windsor, same-sex married couples are now eligible to file for their spouses to receive green cards. Length of a marriage is a factor that often works against many same-sex couples with newly granted rights to marry. With that in mind, couples petitioning for … Continue reading

Espen Robak: Valuing Fund Carry – Consider the Market Evidence*

By Espen Robak

Pure profits interests like a carried interest of a venture fund or hedge fund – at their inception – have zero intrinsic value.1 Much like out-of-the money stock options, they either make rapid leaps in value or expire worthless: this represents a significant transfer tax planning … Continue reading

Federalizing Principles of Donative Intent and Unanticipated Circumstances by Reid K. Weisbord

Reid K. Weisbord has made available for download his article, “Federalizing Principles of Donative Intent and Unanticipated Circumstances,” published in the Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 6, 2014.  The Abstract is as follows:

Federal preemption has begun to upend an array of settled principles of state property succession law

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Disclaimers and Federalism by Adam J. Hirsch

Adam J. Hirsch has made available for download his article, “Disclaimers and Federalism,” published at the following locations:  Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 67, No. 6, 2014, and San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 14-174.  The Abstract is as follows:

The beneficiary of an inheritance has the right to disclaim (i.e.,

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Probate Law Meets the Digital Age by Naomi Cahn

Naomi Cahn has made available for download her article, “Probate Law Meets the Digital Age,” published at the following places:  Vanderbilt Law Review, Vol. 67, 1697-1727, 2014, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2014-55, and GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2014-55.  The abstract reads as follows:


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Contrary to Popular Belief, Divorce Rates Are Declining

In a recent New York Times article, Claire Cain Miller clarifies that the belief that divorce rates are rising is misconstrued. In fact, marriages in the 1990s and the 2000s are much stronger than those that began in the 1970s and 1980s, as proven by statistics concerning divorce rates as … Continue reading

Perpetual Trusts: May Not Be Perpetual

A Harvard Law School professor, Robert H. Sitkoff, has written an academic paper arguing that perpetual trusts may be unconstitutional under various state’s Constitution.

According to , Gretchen Ertl, in the paper, “Unconstitutional Perpetual Truts,” which will appear in the next issue of The Vanderbilt Law Review, Mr. Sitkoff and … Continue reading

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