We don’t usually give tax tips, but here’s one in honor of the season.
Remember the rule against perpetuities from law school? Although the rule against perpetuities is often associated with famous old English cases, it is actually a modern problem. As reported by the ABA Journal, the rule recently played out when the heirs of a “cantankerous Michigan lumber baron” finally reached the end of a $100 million waiting game for his estate, 92 years after his death. The rule may be old, but it still applies and California attorneys need to know how it works in this state.
Family lawyers and estate planning attorneys operate quite independently of one another. Each discipline is complex, and its practitioners are specialized to the point that it may be unreasonable to expect attorneys to be fully versed in both areas. But it is important for attorneys to recognize that their advice and actions in one context for one purpose may well have significant implications for the other. It is important for attorneys in both specialties to educate themselves about Automatic Temporary Restraining Orders (ATROs), which are integral to family law, but may also have a significant impact on estate planning.