Latest Blog Posts

Why Medallion Guarantees Can Be Nearly Impossible to Obtain

Posted on: November 7th, 2012
“As securities transactions increasingly involve principals who have no employee agents on the ground who know the securities holder, how do you avoid fraudulent requests for the sale of securities? How can you assure that the request to sell is coming from the owner and not his black sheep nephew or an identity thief? The medallion stamp program was put into place to provide transfer agents and others with assurance that the transaction request is coming from someone who has the authority and capacity to make the request. If this proves to not be the case, the medallion guarantor is obligated to immediately make up any loss and pursue any ultimate remedy on its own. For providing this essential service to safeguard the efficient transfer of securities, the medallion guarantor receives basically nothing. This may be great for transfer agents, issuing companies, and mutual funds, but an increasing number of banks have reached the conclusion that it is no longer feasible to provide a service that generates no revenue, is costly to properly run, and exposes the bank to large financial risk. Many banks have concluded it is safer to say no than to incur the inevitable angry response to a quoted fee that is commensurate with the costs and risks involved. I strongly suspect that transfer agents for publicly held companies, mutual funds, insurance companies, and others who routinely demand medallion signatures have no clue how difficult it has become for many to obtain a medallion guarantee.” We close the week with Michel Nelson’s commentary on medallion signature guarantees. LISI Commentator Michel Nelson, JD, is Senior Vice President and heads trust services and investment management for Iowa Savings Bank, and is a frequent lecturer for charitable groups, bar association seminars, and estate planning councils. ...

The 2013 Investment Income Surtax

Posted on: October 15th, 2012
A provision for a new 3.8% investment income surtax also known as the health care surtax or the Medicare tax is coming into effect in 2013. In this blog entry we provide some useful links and information for those looking for more insights into the surtax....

Wendy Goffe on Adam Yauch's Will: Handwritten Changes to Will Could Prompt Years of Beastie Litigation

Posted on: August 24th, 2012
Beastie Boys member Adam Yauch’s will demonstrates one of the greatest fears of estate planners, the client who modifies our best drafting – after it leaves our office. It isn’t clear yet whether Yauch edited his will outside the presence of his attorneys or in his attorney’s office. But it is clear that not as much time was put into his quick hand-written edit as the rest of his very well-thought-out will. It is a good reminder to us all to have clients sign wills in our presence whenever possible, so we can monitor any last minute self-lawyering. It is also a reminder that clients have a variety of motives behind their will provisions, not all of them necessarily in their family’s best interest. If you decide to be a part of drafting an estate plan that makes a statement, keep in mind that you may later be called as a witness in the litigation that may ensue. Yauch’s situation also highlights the messy intersection of estate planning and intellectual property....

Legal Battle for the Twetens of California

Posted on: August 20th, 2012
An interesting look into the ever changing world of estate tax law....
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