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Evidence Of Undue Influence Came Too Late

September 24, 2015

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Evidence Of Undue Influence Came Too Late

September 24, 2015

Authored by: Luke Lantta

Of the many reasons estate litigation can get so expansive (and expensive), family relationships often take a central role.  In addition to the depth and complexity of relationships among family members, the sheer number of relationships to investigate and pin down when a claim is raised can make estate litigation particularly toilsome.  For an undue influence case, for example, you may want to track down and interview every person who interacted with the testator within a certain period of time before and after the will was executed.  At least an undue influence case puts a premium on evidence close to the execution of the will.  For some disputes, the relevant time period may stretch decades.

In Debter v. Stephens, the Georgia Supreme Court highlighted the danger of not running all the evidence to ground early on.  After summary judgment was entered against the

Thomson Reuters Checkpoint Calculates Projected Inflation-Adjusted Figures for Estate and Gift Taxes for 2016

ThinkstockPhotos-482577350Thomson Reuters Checkpoint has calculated the projected inflation-adjusted amounts for several transfer tax figures for 2016. These calculations are based on the average Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the 12-month period ending on August 31, 2015. Please note that these are the projected inflation-adjustments and not the official figures from the IRS which will be released later in the year.

The following relevant items are included within this report:

• The “unified credit” or lifetime gift tax and estate tax exemptions are projected to increase from $5,430,000 in 2015 to $5,450,000 in 2016.

• The generation-skipping transfer tax exemption is also projected to increase from $5,430,000 in 2015 to $5,450,000 in 2016.

• The gift tax annual exclusion is not projected to increase; it is projected to remain $14,000 in 2016.

• The gift

Personal Representative Should Have Been Removed For Conflict Of Interest

September 16, 2015

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It’s not often that a personal representative asks a court to remove her.  It’s probably less often that a trial court refuses to remove a personal representative who asks to be removed.  But, that was the situation before the Court of Appeals of Wisconsin in Rapp v. Weller.  The appellate court, however, ultimately decided that the personal representative should be removed for an unmanageable conflict of interest.  What was the conflict of interest?

The personal representative had conflicts stemming from her fiduciary duties to the estate she represented and her personal interest as an heir of that same estate.  Laura Rapp had been appointed as personal representative for her brother Laurence Berg’s estate.  She participated in a mediation and signed a settlement agreement on the estate’s behalf.  The agreement required Rapp’s and Laurence Berg’s father, James Berg, to pay

Who’s Richer Than the 1%?

Who’s Richer Than the 1%?

September 11, 2015

Authored by: Stephanie Moll

ThinkstockPhotos-80614811Are you getting ready to write that big check to the IRS?  If so, you should be aware that the IRS is no longer accepting checks in amounts larger than $99,999,999.00.  In Internal Revenue Bulletin 2015-36, the IRS announced that, starting on January 1, 2016, the IRS will begin returning checks in amounts greater than $99,999,999.00 to the originator.  If you are one of the unlucky few who owe this much in tax (I might disagree and say you’re lucky to owe that much because how much do you have left after paying $100 million in tax?) you should be aware that you will have to send the IRS more than one check to make your payment.

Starting and Governing a Nonprofit 501(c)(3) Organization in Missouri

When: Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Where: Social Sciences and Business Building — SSB # 411 on the UM-St. Louis North Campus Fee: $89 (includes lunch)

Program Description:  Starting a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and governing a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization are flip sides of the same coin.  Steps you take in forming a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation affect how your organization must operate in the future. Steps you take in the governance and operation of your 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation affect your ability to maintain your 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the IRS on an ongoing basis.

Come to this class to learn how to start a Missouri nonprofit corporation that will seek to obtain 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the IRS. In addition, this class will also cover good governance policies, strategies, and requirements that will allow your organization to maintain its 501(c)(3) tax exempt status on

How Much Notice Is Required To Remove A Georgia Executor?

September 2, 2015

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Just how much notice is required before removing an executor in Georgia?  Maybe not all that much.

In Myers v. Myers, the beneficiary of several testamentary trusts filed a petition in probate court seeking, among other things, removal of the executor of the estate for numerous alleged breaches of fiduciary duty and a conflict of interest.  The beneficiary later withdrew the request that the executor be removed out of concern over an in terrorem clause and limited the petition to a request for an accounting.  In the amended petition, however, the beneficiary still repeated all of the original petition’s breach of fiduciary duty and conflict of interest allegations – he just didn’t specifically seek removal based on those allegations.

Although the request to remove the executor was withdrawn, the probate court entered an amended scheduling

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