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ACTEC Law Journals


ACTEC Journal - Summer 2010
Volume 36, No. 1
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Looking Back and Looking Ahead: Preparing Your Practice for the Future: Do Not Get Behind the Change Curve
Jonathan G. Blattmachr
Change is exploding at an ever increasing rate. One expert estimatesthat human knowledge will increase by more than 100 times in just thenext ten years. This article addresses how lawyers and their firms mayprepare for successful practices over the next few years in light of thesedramatic changes. It addresses the preparation for legal practice in thefuture in general and focuses more specifically on trusts and estates practices.

GRAT Expectations: Questioning, Challenging, and Litigating the Service Position on Estate Tax Inclusion of Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts
Michael D. Whitty
The Service position on estate tax inclusion of GRATs where the annuitant dies during the GRAT term, as presented in the Final Regulations to Treas. Reg. §20.2036-1(a) issued in 2008, is inconsistent with the nature,economics, and actual legal rights of a GRAT annuity interest, represents poor policy (in particular, by treating similarly situated taxpayers differently),and deserves to be challenged.

Blood and Behavior
Anne-Marie Rhodes
Two nineteenth-century developments in American succession law,legal adoption and spouse as heir, significantly changed the perception ofwho should be an heir. At the same time that succession law was expanding heirship beyond blood, the law was contracting heirship because of behavior. This article explores this double-helix approach through history.This article also advocates for an explicit role for behavior in succession law as the law grapples with changing views of family andproperty.

Heirs in the Freezer Bronze Age Biology Confronts Biotechnology
Dominic J. Campisi, Claudia Lowder, and Naznin Bomi Challa
The authors trace development of relevant law, philosophy and religion and navigate a maze of issues arising from modern medical technology that can have enormous impact on the disposition of a person’s property at death. Twenty-first century life and death issues can present extreme challenges both to the planners who draft wills and trust instruments as well as to the fiduciaries who administer and distribute estates and trusts.

Estate Planning — An Oxymoron? Thinking About Retroactivity or Repeal in 2010and Estate Tax with Portability
Shirley L. Kovar
In this article, the author explains the basic rules of portability according to a prominent Senate bill, suggests a method to discuss portability with clients, and provides examples depending on retroactivity or repeal for 2010.