Tidbits from the Law – October 2009

October 2009
By Denice A. Gierach

Here are some new items in the law that you may have an interest in:

. . .The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in a unanimous decision that a husband and wife could legally disinherit any grandchildren who married outside the Jewish faith as long as the method of doing so did not encourage divorce.  The trust provisions caused the grandchildren to be lifetime beneficiaries of the trusts.  However, if any of them married a non-Jewish spouse and their non-Jewish spouse did not convert to Judaism within a year, their share of the trust would revert back to their parents.

. . .A new Nevada law was just passed to create the Nevada Restricted LLC and LP.  These new forms of advanced asset protection and estate planning allow for assets to be moved out of a taxable estate and transferred to a limited liability company or a limited partnership.  These entities lock in the underlying assets for up to 10 years, which can create significantly higher valuation discounts than can be obtained under any other state law.  This technique is for a client with high net worth, i.e. in excess of the $3.5 million federal estate tax exclusion and definitely in the $10 million plus range.

. . .The elderly son of New York socialite Brooke Astor was convicted by a jury of defrauding his mother of money as she struggled in her last years with Alzheimer’s disease.  The son, Anthony Marshall, age 85, gave himself a raise for managing his mother’s holdings when she wasn’t mentally aware enough to approve this.  He also helped to manipulate his mother into changing her will, leaving Mr. Marshall millions of dollars that she had intended for charity.  The prosecutors in the case said that Mr. Marshall was one of her primary caregivers and took advantage of his position to steal from her accounts.  The trial touched on issues of elder abuse, as well as abuse of Mr. Marshall’s position.