On the Cover

More than 50 years after her death, Marilyn Monroe is a hot property; people make money with, and fight over her. It’s easy to see why. We love her, too. That’s why this February, as our valentine to the talented actress, we’re featuring Marilyn pictures.

Even in a down market, these pictures flew off the shelves Dec. 16, 2008, at Christie’s “Icons of Glamour & Style: The Constantiner Collection” auction in New York.

The auction comes just months after a decision in a case extinguished the Monroe estate’s right to publicity. In September 2008, Manhattan federal district court judge Colleen McMahon ruled that Marilyn Monroe’s estate cannot claim the actress was a resident of California, after previously claiming that she was a resident of New York, just to take advantage of a new California law meant to give the estate control over the licensing of images of Marilyn.The 32-page decision affirmed an identical decision handed down by a federal court in California last March in a separate but related case.

The Constantiner Collection, which garnered $802,250 at auction, featured the largest collection of photographs of Marilyn Monroe to appear on the market. And looking at any of her images, it is no wonder people made a federal case over them.

Some of our favorites from the collection were:

  • On the cover, “Marilyn Monroe (3 works)” by Cecil Beaton, circa 1955, sold for $13,750;
  • p. 16, Bob Henriques’ 1959 photo sold for $1,375;
  • p. 33, “Marilyn in Tulle Skirt,” a 1950 photo by Milton H. Greene, sold for $8,750;
  • p. 41, Elliott Erwitt’s 1956 photo sold for $8,750;
  • p. 47, Cornell Capa’s Marilyn Monroe circa 1950 sold for $5,250; and
  • p. 58, another shot from the “Marilyn in Tulle Skirt” series.

BRIEFING

8/ Tax Law Update

David A. Handler, partner, Gina Forgianni, associate, and Patricia H. Ring, associate, in the Chicago office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP, report on:

  • General power of appointment—Internal Revenue Service says a decedent at the time of her death, doesn’t have a GPA over trust property.
  • Private Letter Ruling 200846001—Grantor’s substitution power doesn’t cause a trust to fail to qualify as a grantor retained annuity trust.
  • PLR 200850004—Assignment of an inherited IRA from an estate to charities isn’t a transfer.
  • Interim guidance—Taxpayers are not required to determine what portion of a bundled fiduciary fee is subject to the 2 percent floor.
  • PLR 200848009—Bequest of a remaining generation skipping transfer tax exemption is a pecuniary bequest.
  • Estate of Thelma G. Hurford—Tax Court finds transfer of assets to family limited partnerships (FLPs) was not bona fide; thus, property contributed to the FLPs are includible in the decedent’s estate.


14/ Madoff Enablers?

David T. Leibell and Daniel L. Daniels, partners in the Stamford, Conn. office of Wiggin and Dana LLP, discuss a new angle to the Bernard Madoff debacle: Charities may not only have been victims of Madoff’s fraud, but also may have served as his enablers, knowingly or unknowingly.

FEATURES

Estate Planning & Taxation

17/ The Audit Rate Is Skyrocketing
By Richard A. Behrendt

Reality check: from now on, the odds are nearly 100 percent that your client’s federal estate tax return will be audited. See why the IRS is able to keep increasing its vigilance. The numbers tell the story.

Richard A. Behrendt is a vice president and senior estate planner in the Milwaukee office of Robert W. Baird & Co., Inc.

Retirement Benefits

20/ How Much Do We Need To Retire?
By Irving S. Schloss& Deborah V. Abildsoe

The good news: retirees are living longer. The bad news: the market hasn’t quite done what we hoped it would. Nevertheless, we all still want to see our lifestyles continue—uninterrupted by retirement. Authors Irving S. Schloss and Deborah V. Abildsoe look at how much a retired couple would need to save in qualified plans, post-tax savings or Roth IRAs, to feel confident that they would survive until age 90 with their accustomed level of spending.

Deborah V. Abildsoe is managing member of Asset & Retirement Investment Assoc. LLC in Guilford, Conn.
Irving S. Schloss is a partner at Murtha Cullina LLP in its New Haven, Conn. and Madison, Conn. offices.

30/ Let’s Finally Perfect The Spousal IRA Rollover
By David S. Sennett

A surviving spouse who wants to move her deceased husband’s IRA payable to a trust into an account in her name typically has to request a private letter ruling from the IRS in order to get the green light from the IRA custodian or trustee. Here’s a solution that’s cheaper than the cost of a PLR, relies on published authority, and preserves the spousal election.

David S. Sennett is a risk manager in the California Trust Center of Wells Fargo. He’s based in Long Beach, Calif.

Fiduciary Professions

34/ As the Hearse Pulls Away . . .
By Michael M. Mariani

For an executor or personal representative of an estate, the first few weeks after a death may be overwhelming. There’s so much to do: marshalling assets, paying expenses and debts, raising cash, and distributing assets. To make matters worse, there’s more than 100 different elections that an executor may potentially encounter. Not to worry; here’s a guide.

Michael M. Mariani is senior vice president, deputy general trust counsel, and director of Trust and Estate Services at the New York headquarters of Fiduciary Trust Company International. He’s also an adjunct professor at St. John’s University School of Law in New York.

Investments

44/ Great Expectations, Disappointing Realities
By John Churchill

Seems like no one’s been spared by our spiraling economy. That includes registered investment advisors (RIAs), who’ve seen their clients’ assets plummet which in turn, means descending revenues for their own RIA businesses. A snowball effect for sure, but what’s worse is that many RIAs sold stakes to “consolidator” firms and are now scrambling to pay them quarterly disbursements. The nascent RIA industry isn’t used to bad news, but now even some big players are struggling.

John Churchill is a senior editor for Trusts & Estates’affiliated magazine, Registered Rep.

SPECIAL REPORT

Review of Reviews

49/ The Busy Practitioner’s Guide To Student-Edited Law Journals

We know your time is valuable. That’s why 11 of our advisory board members did the dirty work: They reviewed trusts and estates articles that appeared in student-edited law journals in the first half 2008, and gave their unvarnished opinions of what you should read—or not. Glad we can help.

PERSPECTIVES

Estate Planning & Taxation

58/ Burials—Going Green, Greener and Greenest
By Michael Gilfix and Carolyn A. Chandler

Cars are going “green.” Clothes are going “green.” Here’s the latest rage: burials are going “green.” No embalming. No cement vaults. Nothing but a body and biodegradable materials. And it’s not just the environmentally conscious who’re considering this end-of-life alternative. There are financial and religious incentives too. Educate your clients on this final disposition option. Here’s how.

Michael Gilfix is founding principal of Gilfix & La Poll Associates in Palo Alto, Calif.
Carolyn A. Chandler is a New York-based Trusts & Estates associate editor.

61/ Newman’s Own Way
By Herbert E. Nass

When Paul Newman died last year at the age of 83, we lost a screen giant, a theater legend, and a man whose heart of gold spread to charities around the world. The larger-than-life actor left behind actress Joanne Woodward, his wife of 50 years, as well as five daughters, two grandsons and his older brother. Author Herbert E. Nass shares the details of Newman’s will, a public document that doesn’t state the size of Newman’s estate, yet reflects how smart and straight-forward this legend truly was.

Herbert E. Nass is the name partner in New York’s Herbert E. Nass & Associates.