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Illinois Considers Adoption of Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

digitalassetsLast year, we told you about the Uniform Law Commission’s approval of the Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (“UFADAA”), the primary purpose of which is to empower fiduciaries, guardians, and agents with the power to “access, manage, distribute, copy, or delete digital assets and accounts”.

According to the Uniform Law Commission’s website, the UFADAA “is an important update for the Internet age. A generation ago, files were stored in cabinets, photos were stored in albums, and mail was delivered by a human being. Today, we are more likely to use the Internet to communicate and store our information. This act ensures account-holders retain control of their digital property and can plan for its ultimate disposition after their death. Unless the account-holder instructs

Last Day to Backdate Illinois Marriages — May 29

ThinkstockPhotos-88063929On Wednesday, the Cook County Clerk issued a statement reminding couples that the last day for same-sex couples in Illinois to backdate marriages to the date of their civil unions will sunset tomorrow, May 29.

Illinois’ gay marriage law took effect on June 1, 2014 and provided for the ability to backdate marriages for a period of one year.

Will New York State Join the List of Directed Trust States?

Will New York State Join the List of Directed Trust States?

May 26, 2015

Authored by: Stacie J. Rottenstreich and Karin Barkhorn

statuteoflibertyThe New York State legislature is considering becoming a directed trust state. In a directed trust, the trustee is allowed to act under the advice or direction of someone else, an advisor or protector, who could make decisions regarding investments, distributions or other trust matters. Earlier this year, the New York State Senate referred a bill to its Judiciary Committee which would expressly allow grantors to establish directed trusts in New York State and sets out general parameters for such trusts.

Does A Trustee’s Lawyer Owe A Fiduciary Duty To The Trust Beneficiaries?

May 20, 2015

Authored by:


There is seemingly a line – at least under Florida law – that will not yet be crossed in the expanding world of third parties who purportedly owe duties to trust beneficiaries.  In Walther v. Kane (unpublished), the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed a federal district court’s ruling that, under Florida law, an attorney retained to represent only the trustee does not owe a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries of the trust.  This decision stands in contrast to the trend in jurisdictions, including Florida, to chip away at the privity requirement when it comes to legal malpractice claims against estate planning attorneys.

Lawyers representing Florida trustees can rest a little easier for two reasons.  First, although unpublished, a federal appellate court has

Applying The Doctrine Of Dependent Relative Revocation

May 6, 2015

Authored by:


The name of the doctrine itself is something that could only be loved by trusts and estates lawyers: dependent relative revocation.  The idea that it captures, however, is more intuitive.  If cancellation of an old will and making of a new will are parts of the same scheme, and the cancellation of the old will is so tied to the making of the new will that its revocation is entirely dependent on a new will being made, then, if the new will is not made or is otherwise found to be invalid, the old will (though cancelled or revoked) is given its effect.  In other words, if you revoke a will only as part of making a new will but the new will either doesn’t get made or is invalid, then the old will springs back into effect.


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