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The Inheritance Rights Of ‘Rejected’ Adopted Children

From BryanCaveFiduciaryLitigation.com

When it comes to so-called ‘rejected’ adopted children, many of us are most familiar with the outrage in 2010 when a Tennessee woman sent her adopted son back to Russia on a one-way flight after claiming the 7-year-old had bouts of violence.  But what about the inheritance rights of these adopted children?  Do they have any?

Recluse Leaves Estate to Actors

Recluse Leaves Estate to Actors

February 21, 2013

Authored by: Stephanie Moll and Alan Singer

What to do when you have no friends or family to whom to leave your estate? Why not do what Ray Fulk of Illinois did? Fulk had no family to which he wanted to leave his estate, so he executed a Will leaving $5,000 to his favorite charity, and the rest of his nearly $1,000,000 estate to his two favorite actors, Kevin Brophy (perhaps most famously known for his role in the 1977 television show, Lucan) and Peter Barton (who spent five years on The Young and the Restless in the 80s and 90s and starred in Linda Blair’s 1981 movie, Hell Night), whom he had never met.

First-Time Father at 94? Illinois Court Calls Foul

It is no secret that when it comes to inheriting money, people have been known to dream up some creative schemes to get rich. Recently, however, an Illinois Appellate Court nixed the idea that marrying a man and persuading him to adopt—at the age of 94—your 50-plus year-old children could be a successful means to that end.

In November, the court in Dixon v. Weitekamp-Diller held that to allow the four adult adoptees, at least one of whom was a grandmother, to inherit under several trusts created to benefit descendants of the settlor would be to give judicial approval to an act of “subterfuge.” Where an adult adoption is undertaken solely to make the adoptee an heir or a beneficiary of a trust, the court ruled, the adoptee will not be permitted to inherit.

At issue in the case were three trusts created by ancestors of William Hughes Diller,

I Want My Exemption Back! Reconsidering Gift Splitting after The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

In 2012, the federal estate and gift tax exemption, which is the amount a person can give in life or pass at death before having to pay estate and gift tax, was $5,120,000 per individual. As the infamous “fiscal cliff” approached, the federal exemption was set to drop back to $1,000,000 per individual on January 1, 2013 if Congress did not pass new tax legislation. At that time, most commentators believed that Congress would compromise by lowering the exemption to $3,500,000, which was part of the Obama Administration’s tax plan.

Based on these assumptions, many clients entered into gifting plans in 2012, the primary goal of which was to use as much of the $5,120,000 exemption, or combined exemption of $10,240,000 for married couples, as possible before it was lost. Many married couples who could not give $10,240,00, transferred assets to a single spouse to allow that spouse to give

Private Client Lawyers Named Best in America 2013

The Best Lawyers in America, the oldest lawyer-rating publication in the U.S., has selected 156 Bryan Cave lawyers for inclusion in the 2013 edition. Selection is based on a peer-review survey in which leading attorneys cast almost 4.4 million votes on the legal abilities of other lawyers in their specialties.

Included in the rankings are the following attorneys from the Private Client group:

Atlanta:

William Linkous Jr.

Frank S. McGaughey

St. Louis:

Lawrence Brody

Michael N. Newmark

John D. Schaperkotter

Kathleen R. Sherby

Franklin F. Wallis

 

Steve Daiker in Ladue News

Steve Daiker in Ladue News

February 1, 2013

Authored by: Stephanie Moll

St. Louis Partner Steve Daiker was quoted at length Jan. 25 by the Ladue News concerning when, why and how to modify life insurance policies in order to protect yourself and your family. Life insurance should be obtained at a young, healthy age to qualify for a lower premium, then policy holders should be mindful of when to update policies, Daiker said. Marriage, the birth of a child, divorce, retirement, even changes in the growth of a business all are events that may warrant a change in life insurance, he said.

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