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To Do: Year-End Gifting. Check (or not)

With the end of the year approaching, we thought now would be a good time to re-post and update our annual blog entry on gifting.

For 2019, the annual exclusion gift amount will remain the same as 2018’s at $15,000, but the lifetime gift and estate tax exemption will increase to $11,400,000 (up from 2018’s $11,180,000, which doubled under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act).

With eleven days left in the year, many people are still planning how to make 2018 gifts, whether by making “annual exclusion” gifts of $15,000 per beneficiary, or by taking advantage of the 2018 gift tax exemption amount of $11,180,000.  Whatever the reason for the last-minute gifting, as the end of the year approaches, people may be tempted to make a “quick and easy” gift to their beneficiaries by simply writing a check. As the year draws to a close, however, if your gift is dependent

Aretha Franklin: The Future of Another Musical Icon’s Estate Left Uncertain

Please enjoy our first cross-Atlantic blog post since the merger of Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton Paisner.  Caroline Ferrigan is a Senior Associate in the Private Client team in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s London office.  Stephanie Moll is a Private Client Partner in Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner’s Denver and St Louis offices.

 

The music world was left mourning the death of another legend recently with the passing of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin.  A woman with a voice full of power and emotion, her death leaves a musical landscape with few (if any) who can emulate someone rated by Rolling Stone as the greatest singer of all time.  However, as well as leaving a gaping hole in the music industry, Aretha Franklin’s death may also leave an estate administration headache, as

Missouri Court Of Appeals Holds That Attorney-In-Fact Violated Fiduciary Duty

With research and drafting assistance from Washington University School of Law student, Kelsey DeLong.

In Estate of Lambur, the Missouri Court of Appeals addressed the issue of whether an attorney-in-fact is permitted to gift the principal’s property to herself when the gift is not expressly authorized in the power of attorney.

In 2005, Verna Irene Lambur (“Irene”) executed a durable power of attorney naming her nephew’s wife, Anna Stidham (“Anna”), and Jackie Johnson (“Jackie”) as her attorneys-in-fact.  The power of attorney granted Irene’s attorneys-in-fact the following power:

To establish, change or revoke survivorship rights in property or accounts, beneficiary designations for life insurance, IRA and other contracts and plans, and registrations in beneficiary form; to establish ownership of property or accounts in my name with others in joint tenancy with rights of survivorship and to exercise any right I have in joint property; to