How Your iPhone Can Save Your Life
If you use a passcode for your phone, your emergency contacts--or any contacts for that matter--are locked, meaning if you're incapacitated your phone cannot be used to identify and contact friends or family. To solve this problem, Apple incorporate Medical ID into its health app. It allows you not only... »
Robin Williams' Estate Finally Settled After Family Feud
You may recall reading our post last year lauding how Robin Williams protected his family by minimizing estate taxes using real estate holding trusts and providing for his adult children through trusts. Unfortunately, his planning still did not allay a family feud. His estimated $100 million estate was to be inherited... »
Should We Be Friends? Social Media in Law
It wasn’t so long ago that Facebook, Instagram, and social media lay far, far in the future.  In terms of civil procedure, such things were – and to a certain extent, still are – light years away.  When someone becomes a defendant in a lawsuit, be it a matrimonial... »
5 Important Steps in Planning for Your Digital Afterlife
Q. I have a variety of social media accounts – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, not to mention my blog, website, and other various sign ins! What happens to my digital accounts if I die? We live in a digital age. Most of our lives are on line. Even the least... »
Ralph Nader Opens Connecticut Tort Law Museum That Features His Nemesis, The Chevy Corvair
In his 1965 book "Unsafe at Any Speed," Ralph Nader railed against the structural flaws of the Chevrolet Corvair. Last month he posed beside it at the opening of the American Museum of Tort Law in Winsted, Connecticut. Some of the most famous tort (laws regarding negligence and liability)... »
Leaving it All to the Birds--New York Millionaire Wills $100,000 to 32 Cockatiels
You made your money, you should be able to decide where it goes. And so believed Leslie Ann Mandel, a Manhattan entrepreneur and millionaire who willed $100,000 to her 32 Cockatiels, dog, and cat. The animals were named individually in her will, and her instructions were specific: “It is my... »
Ex-spouse Removed as Beneficiary under New York State Law
In more news on life insurance beneficiaries .... New York state law provides that a divorce automatically revokes a beneficiary designation to a spouse unless the divorce decree clearly states otherwise.  In Estate of Sugg, the decedent died in 2013 leaving a will that named his sister Janet as... »
Handwritten Note Insufficient to Effectuate Beneficiary Change
After his divorce 17 years ago, Jon bought a $100,000 insurance policy to fulfill his obligations under the divorce settlement to secure his child support obligations for his daughter Nikki.  He named his sister Joetta as beneficiary, and the policy application stated that he was "[n]aming sister as beneficiary so ex-wife can't... »
"Ultimate" Irrevocable Trusts for Chronic Care Riders
"Ultimate" and "Irrevocable Trusts" are probably two words that you wouldn't ordinarily combine together.  Yet there have been rumblings of discussions among  estate planning and elder law attorneys about this type of trust which is designed to be the owner and beneficiary  of life insurance that has a long-term... »
Supreme Court Declares Same-Sex Marriage Legal in All 50 States
On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that individual states could not prohibit same-sex couples from marrying and must recognize their unions. According to a Gallup poll, the decision reflects the public opinion, with 60% of Americans supporting extending the same rights to same-sex... »
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