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Need Another Reason To Avoid Mixing Family & Finances?

July 25, 2017

Authors

Luke Lantta

Need Another Reason To Avoid Mixing Family & Finances?

July 25, 2017

by: Luke Lantta

You have a big heart and a little bit of money.  You want to help out a cash-strapped family member, and – “because you’re family” – you don’t put down how much you’ll loan or how it’ll be paid back.  You would hate to do it, but, in a worst-case scenario, you suppose a court could help you get it back.  Through its opinion in Roberts v. Smith, however, the Georgia Court of Appeals may have made it harder to get that money or property back from a family member through an implied trust.

Four siblings arranged to purchase a home for the benefit of one of the siblings.  All of the siblings verbally agreed to contribute money toward the purchase and maintenance of the house.  One of the siblings testified that “[n]obody had a set amount to pay,” and another testified that “we

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When Can A Trust Be Reformed To Add Remainder Beneficiaries?

August 26, 2015

Authors

Luke Lantta

When Can A Trust Be Reformed To Add Remainder Beneficiaries?

August 26, 2015

by: Luke Lantta

We’ve looked at a lot of cases where courts have permitted trust reformation or modification.  In many of these cases, trusts had been modified to avoid unintended or adverse tax consequences, to fix a scrivener’s error, or to tweak some administrative provision.  A Florida appellate court’s ruling in Megiel-Rollo v. Megiel causes us to add another potential circumstance to that list: adding remainder beneficiaries.  Adding beneficiaries gets to the core of a trust’s dispositive provisions, so let’s turn briefly to the unique circumstances underlying this decision.

The grantor created a revocable trust naming herself as trustee and beneficiary during her life.  Upon her death, the grantor’s assets were to be “divided between the Beneficiaries as tenants in common in proportion to their respective interests as

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Bankruptcy Ruling Highlights Potential Problems Of Using Deeds As Estate Planning Tools

January 22, 2014

Authors

Luke Lantta

Bankruptcy Ruling Highlights Potential Problems Of Using Deeds As Estate Planning Tools

January 22, 2014

by: Luke Lantta

Northern District of Oklahoma Chief Bankruptcy Judge Terrence L. Michael’s introduction to the opinion in In re Harrison (2013 WL 6859303) serves as a good introduction to this post:

Whether for carpentry or estate planning, it is usually a good idea to use the right tool for the job.  Unfortunately, when it comes to estate planning and asset transfer, people are often ill-informed about the tools available to them and the perils of choosing the wrong one.  If a parent wants to gift an asset to a child only upon the parent’s death or incapacity, state law provides tools to accomplish that end.  Unfortunately, use of the wrong tool could unwittingly result in a present transfer and the unintended loss of the asset.

This case highlights issues that can arise when people use deeds conveying real property to others rather than using other estate planning devices.  Here, Angela

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