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The Paley Rothman Blog

Paley Rothman shares this library of resources with clients and friends of the firm to help them stay ahead of legal and business developments and trends. Here, you will find helpful tips and tools written by our attorneys.

Estate & Trust Administration, Estate Planning

Changing Retirement Plan Beneficiaries

You have just spent months working with your lawyer to draft an estate plan that suits your needs. You created one trust for your beloved second wife and another trust for your equally beloved children from your first marriage. In order to take advantage of the unlimited marital deduction currently available under the federal estate tax laws, you have made your kids the beneficiaries of your current wife’s marital trust upon her death. She will hopefully live a long time and be able to enjoy the benefits of your successful career and when she dies there will still be assets to provide for your children.

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Estate & Trust Administration, Estate Planning

Some Negative Impacts of DOMA on Same-Sex Spouses

By now you have almost certainly heard that the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal definition of marriage as “marriage only between a man and a woman” in United States v. Windsor, 570 U.S. ___ (2013). As a result, same-sex spouses can now enjoy many federal benefits that were previously unavailable to them.

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Estate & Trust Administration

Fed Program Preempts Virginia Death Benefits Statute

Virginia Code §20-111.1(A) and (D) revokes a beneficiary designation in any contract naming a former spouse as the beneficiary of death benefit proceeds. If the revocation is preempted by federal law, the statute stipulates that the former spouse is personally liable to the person who would have received the death benefit. This law was intended to prevent divorced individuals from inadvertently granting a windfall to an ex-spouse.

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