Virginia State Bar

An agency of the Supreme Court of Virginia

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Trusts and Estates

A Section of the Virginia State Bar.

Fall 2012 Newsletter

Newsletter - Trusts and Estates

Volume 22, No. 7

Message from the Chair
Southy Walton, Chair
Trusts and Estates Section

On behalf of the Board of Governors of the Virginia State Bar Trusts and Estates Section, I am pleased to introduce the Fall 2012 issue of our newsletter.

In this issue, Heather H. Szjada explores the practical side of powers of attorney, emphasizing the importance of considering “Rule Number One,” what the individuals to whom the power of attorney is presented will require in order to ensure that the agent can exercise the authority granted in the instrument. She provides examples in which the broad banking powers granted by incorporating sections of the Uniform Power of Attorney Act may be interpreted differently by different banks, and she highlights some important areas in which a power of attorney containing broad real estate powers can fail if the recordation requirements and title insurance requirements are not met.

Jennifer E. Shirkey provides some practical advice to attorneys advising clients who may have older estate plans including credit shelter trusts and other estate tax planning tools in place at a spouse’s death that may no longer be necessary or practical due to changes in the clients’ estate value and the estate tax laws. This article addresses the possible approaches to terminating credit shelter trusts, reviews the possible income tax disadvantages to maintaining Family LLCs that are no longer necessary to minimize estate tax, and discusses the portability election.

Trey T. Parker’s article discusses the tension that arises when a grantor or beneficiaries of a trust desire that the trust retain a concentration of a certain asset, such as a family business or real estate, when the law generally requires the trustee to diversify trust assets. Mr. Parker discusses provisions that are included in trusts with the intention of directing or permitting the trustee to maintain an overconcentration of an asset as well as steps that a trustee can take in the course of administering a trust to protect itself in exercising discretion to concentrate the assets.

We thank our newsletter editor, Jennifer E. Shirkey, and assistant newsletter editor, Jennifer L. Moccia, for their work in producing this newsletter.

If you have not already done so, I encourage you to visit our Section’s website at sections/trustsandestates and to review the archived newsletters that are now posted there. The newsletters contain a variety of articles on many different topics related to trusts and estates and are searchable to help the reader quickly find pertinent information.

Finally, if any member has suggestions for the Section, please feel free to contact a member of the Board of Governors with your ideas. A list of Board Members appears at the end of the newsletter.

Fall 2012 Newsletter (.pdf)