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Assets Not Held As Part of Trust Pass to Different Successors

DECEMBER 15, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 45 From time to time we see appellate court decisions dealing with a common estate planning problem: after creation of a trust, changing title to assets is an essential element of completing the estate plan. Once in a while, as appears to be the case in this week’s court …

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New Florida “Trust Protector” Case Shows How the Idea Can Work

DECEMBER 8, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 44 We’ve written several times about the relatively new concept of “trust protectors.” The idea is that a trust can be much more flexible if someone — necessarily someone who is entirely trustworthy — has the power to make at least some kinds of changes after the trust becomes …

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Nursing Home Arbitration Agreement May Not Be Enforceable

NOVEMBER 17, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 42 If you have recently signed a family member (or a friend, or yourself) into a nursing home or other care facility, you probably have been presented with an agreement to submit all disputes to arbitration. Such provisions are very popular among the facilities themselves, though most individuals who …

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Lawyer Has Responsibility to Monitor Conservatorship Administration

OCTOBER 27, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 39 Guardianship (of the person) and conservatorship (of the estate) cases pose special problems for lawyers. Usually, a lawyer involved in such a case will have responsibilities to several different persons. To name three obvious choices, the lawyer will have duties to: the guardian or conservator the lawyer represents; …

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Undue influence

Even Lawyers Can Have Trouble Recognizing Undue Influence

OCTOBER 20, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 38 We often say that experienced lawyers can be pretty good at judging the competence of a client to make a will, sign a power of attorney or execute other documents. We (collectively) probably make better witnesses on those questions than even the doctors and medical staff attending to …

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Advice for Trustees: When to Make a Requested Distribution

OCTOBER 13, 2014 VOLUME 21 NUMBER 37 Let’s imagine that you are the trustee of an irrevocable trust, and you are considering making a distribution from the trust. Perhaps the distribution has been requested by a beneficiary, or a family member. How do you make your decision? There is surprisingly little written direction for trustees. …

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