Following the December 2016 death of “Growing Pains” actor, Alan Thicke, tensions have risen between his loved ones concerning his estate, and the validity of a 2005 prenuptial agreement with his third wife. In a petition filed in May in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Thicke’s sons, Robin and Brennan, requested guidance regarding distributing their father’s trust property and the legitimacy of any potential claims from his widow, Tanya Callau Thicke, about the prenuptial agreement. Callau Thicke recently responded through a reported filing in early July. It seems that the legal battle is just getting started.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s recent veto of Florida’s proposed “Electronic Wills Act” has added to the recent buzz in the estate planning world surrounding proposed new legislation regarding electronic wills. Florida’s proposed Electronic Wills Act (House Bill 277) aimed to authorize the creation of electronic wills and the execution and witnessing of such wills by way of remote technology.
We have all been witness to the probate headache accompanying the unfortunate death of the late musical mastermind, Prince, as the result of his passing without a will. While the process has taken over a year, in early May, Judge Eide ruled that Prince’s sister and five-half siblings were the heirs to his multi-million dollar estate. Underlying issues, however, remain unresolved.
Tennessee does not currently have a statute which directly addresses the execution and validity of electronic wills. The formal recognition of electronic wills, however, may be coming.
Bryant v. Bryant: Tennessee Supreme Court Rules Co-Owner of Joint Tenancy May Unilaterally Sever the Joint Tenancy and Destroy the Right of Survivorship
The Supreme Court of Tennessee recently released an opinion in Bryant v. Bryant that, although two people have expressly created a joint tenancy with a right of survivorship, the survivorship interests of the joint tenants may be severed by the unilateral action of one joint tenant, and that doing so converts the estate into a tenancy in common.
In a recent press release, dated March 8, 2017, the Chamber of Digital Commerce and Steptoe & Johnson LLP jointly announced the formation of the Digital Assets Tax Policy Coalition (“the Coalition”). Made in response to a lack of guidance from the Internal Revenue Service regarding the tax treatment of digital currencies, the Coalition aims to “help develop effective and efficient tax policies for the growing virtual currency markets.”
With tax season well underway, the IRS recently released guidance on recent developments pertaining to the estate tax and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax.
A validly executed will not only allows individuals to express their wishes, but also allows a court to uphold a will if contested by disgruntled family members. Tennessee is a strict compliance state meaning that if Tennessee’s statutory will execution requirements are not met, then the will may be deemed invalid.
With the simple addition of two words, the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act (the “Act”) empowers mentally competent individuals with disabilities to establish a special needs trust on their own behalf. Effective December 13, 2016, the Act corrects a legislative drafting error that previously made it necessary for such individuals to rely on either their loved ones or a court to advocate on their behalf.
As we settle into 2017, the time has finally come to get started on a few New Year’s resolutions. Every year, we can quickly come up with a list of areas in our lives that need improvement. Achieving those goals, however, can sometimes prove to be a less than simple task. One way to get a jump start on making a change is by creating an up-to-date estate plan. Here are some common New Year’s resolutions and how estate planning can be used to your advantage to help achieve them: