On their way out the door on May 18, 2012, the Missouri Legislature approved S.B. 628, which included a revision to R.S.Mo. 456.8-808 setting forth a first of its kind, comprehensive statute governing the powers, rights and duties of “trust protectors.” Unless derailed by the Governor, this statute would become law on August 28, 2012 and could set an example for other states grappling with the roles trust protectors play within the modern estate planning world.
So what is a “trust protector” anyway? Under the Missouri statute, a trust protector would be someone other than a settlor, trustee, or beneficiary who is given power over the trust by the trust instrument. Trust protectors are used in modern estate plans to provide flexibility in trust administration and can be given any powers set forth in the trust instrument necessary or appropriate to carry out the purposes and intentions of
The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled in the case of Astrue v. Capato, No. 11-159, holding that children conceived after a parent’s death through the use of in vitro fertilization are not automatically entitled to survivor benefits under the Social Security law, depending, in part, on whether applicable state law would allow posthumously conceived children to inherit from a parent’s intestate estate (that is, who would inherit under state law if the parent does not have a Will).
New reproductive technology is changing the landscape of determining who qualifies as a child or descendant under the laws of inheritance. For a more detailed explanation about how this evolving technology could affect your estate planning, see our blog post from September 6, 2011, How Reproductive Technology Can Affect Your Estate Plan in Unforeseen Ways.
Generally, there are three basic goals of estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax planning: (1) the reduction of estate and gift taxes upon transfer; (2) the deferral of the estate, generation skipping transfer, and gift tax burden; and (3) ensuring for the necessary liquidity to pay the taxes when they come due.
We are in the midst of very volatile times which, at least for a foreseeable future, although no one knows for how long, can provide opportunities to achieve these goals in particularly beneficial and tax-efficient ways. This is the result of the present low interest rates and the drop in value of most types of assets, which allows clients to engage in some estate planning that may not be available when interest rates rise and values are driven higher.
With research contributed by Melissa Fernley.
As the old saying goes, the two things you can’t avoid are death and taxes. But while the grim reaper may arrive unplanned, it’s generally understood in the U.S. that the taxman comes calling on April 15th – except when he doesn’t. This year, today, April 17th, is Tax Day. And last year, in 2011, it was April 18th. What causes this variation in the tax filing deadline? And why is Tax Day April 15th (ish) anyway? Read on for answers to all of your tax questions (that don’t actually relate to your taxes).
Bryan Cave has been ranked number 2 out of approximately 650 law firms which serve Fortune 1000 companies, in BTI Consulting Group’s annual “Client Service A-Team.” BTI’s annual survey of law firm client service performance is designed to identify and recognize those firms which deliver best-in-class service. This marks the 4th consecutive year in which Bryan Cave has been included in the top 30 firms in the survey. “The results of this independent survey are a very important confirmation of our emphasis on client relationships and service,” said Don Lents, Chair of Bryan Cave LLP. Read More.
We are delighted to announce the combination of Holme Roberts & Owen LLP into Bryan Cave LLP, effective January 1, 2012.
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Under the American Invents Act passed by Congress on September 8 of this year and signed into law by President Obama, among the many patent reforms is a ban on patenting any strategy for reducing, avoiding, or deferring tax liability, whether known or unknown at the time of the alleged invention or patent application (with certain limited exclusions related to software technology). This type of patent application will no longer be able to be filed or prosecuted with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
In essence, this legislation stated that tax strategies are indistinguishable from prior strategies and therefore cannot be patented as a novel or non-obvious invention.
It is important to note that this legislation does not invalidate any patents that have already been issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which continued to issue such patents as late as the week immediately prior to the passage of