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During Commerce Lexington's Annual Dinner, Darby Turner was named a Public Policy Advocate of the Year alongside Lexington Mayor Jim Gray and University of Kentucky’s Dr. Eli Capilouto and Eric Monday.

Scott Miller of Umbaugh discusses municipal water rates. In this long-awaited segment, Scott delves into what elements of cost make up municipal rates. Scott also addresses some common issues encountered during the municipal rate-setting process, whether the utility is in a regulated or unregulated jurisdiction.

Posted in Estate Planning

Many people want to leave the substantial wealth they have accumulated in retirement accounts in trust for their beneficiaries, rather than having the retirement accounts pass outright to them.  However, the IRS has established extremely complicated rules governing when retirement plan, IRA and Section 403(b) annuity contracts payable to a trust can be distributed over the life expectancy of one of the trust beneficiaries, rather than under the general five year distribution time limit.

Bailey Roese may not be a native Kentuckian, but her commitment to community and social justice in the Commonwealth was apparent when she joined BGD in 2013.

Adding to the growing list of courts ruling on immigration cases this month, the Sixth Circuit recently vacated a Board of Immigration Appeals (“BIA”) decision to deny a woman’s motion to reopen her immigration proceedings. In a unanimous opinion, Judge John Bush held that the Board of Immigration Appeals had abused its discretion by discrediting evidence presented by the woman that she would be singled out for persecution and that circumstances in her native country had changed.  The decision sheds lights on how the Sixth Circuit intends to review similar cases in the future and provides a roadmap for practitioners and their clients attempting to ascertain which information may help or hurt them during their own immigration proceedings. 

Thank you for being a part of the authoritative policy discussions on issues impacting life and business in Indiana during the 26th Annual BGD Legislative Conference at the Indiana Convention Center on Dec. 13, 2017.

Posted in Estate Planning

The South Dakota Supreme Court recently decided a unique case which may be persuasive to jurists in many other states that have adopted the Uniform Trust Code, particularly as it relates to literal compliance with shortened time frames for beneficiaries to take action under the Code. In doing so, the Court ruled that an informal objection to a revocable trust did not constitute an effective contest of the trust’s validity under their trust law, because it was not a timely filed suit. 

Posted in Estate Planning

It is becoming increasingly common for beneficiaries to want to create a power to remove trustees of their trusts, when the trust agreement does not grant them this power. 

In states which have adopted it, the Uniform Trust Code does grant a statutory power of removal to the trust beneficiaries, even when the governing trust document does not bestow such removal power itself.  However, such statutory powers generally require court approval and compliance with certain criteria. 

Posted in Estate Planning

In Private Letter Ruling 201737008, issued by the IRS on September 15, 2017, the Service gave retroactive tax effect to a court modification of the power of appointment held by the donor’s spouse over the donor’s trust.  Based on the retroactive County Court modification in this ruling, the surviving spouse’s power of appointment over the trust was held to be a special power of appointment for tax purposes from the trust’s inception, thereby avoiding estate taxation on the trust assets in the taxable estate of the spouse at her later death. 

The U.S. Copyright Office replaced its paper-based system for designating agents for receipt of claims of copyright infringement under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (“DMCA”) with a new electronic system.  As part of this process, website operators and other online service providers must designate agents under the new electronic system by December 31, 2017, or risk losing protection under the DMCA.

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