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Legal Updates in Estate Planning & Administration




ERISA & Employee Benefits 

Welfare Benefit Plans

Investment Management Law

Estate Planning & Administration

Employment, Labor & Human Resources

Litigation, Corporate & Real Estate

March 2015

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Benefits Litigation - Stephen Rosenberg, American Conference Institute's ERISA Litigation Conference (Chicago, Illinois), April, 14, 2015

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Wagner Law Group News 


The Wagner Law Group website provides comprehensive resources on ERISA and employee benefits; estate planning; and employment, labor and human resources law. Below are links to these resources. 




Articles Quoting The Wagner Law Group 


The Best Way Plan Sponsors Should Pay Fees for 401k Fiduciary Advice - Steve Rosenberg, Fiduciary News, March 3, 2015


Excessive-fee Lawsuit to Result in Major Changes - Marcia Wagner, Investment News, March 2, 2015


Flood of 401(k) suits expected if Tibble prevails - Marcia Wagner, BenefitsPro, February 23, 2015


Wagner Law Group Adds ERISA Attorney - Marcia Wagner, PlanSponsor, February 23, 2015


Settlements offer lessons in breach suits - Tom Clark & Steve Rosenberg, Pensions & Investments, February 23, 2015


We're Living Longer - Get Ready to Pay for It - Marcia Wagner, ThinkAdvisor, February 9, 2015


What Should You Be Afraid Of In Obama's Budget? - Marcia Wagner, 401kWire.com, February 6, 2015 


Fiduciary breach issue gets Supreme Court hearing - Steve Rosenberg, Pensions & Investments, January 26, 2015




Webinars and Podcasts

Your Independent Contractors Are Not Who You Think They Are: Employee Status Matters - David Gabor & Steve Wilkes, Employment Law Webinar, March 5, 2015


A Checklist for the Ever Evolving Employer-Employee Relationship - David Gabor, Employment Law Webinar, February 26, 2015 


2015 Regulatory Kickoff for Investment Advisers and Broker Dealers - Steve Wilkes, Investment Management Law, February 19, 2015 


Performance Advertising Issues for Investment Advisers - Steve Wilkes, Investment Management Law, January 22, 2015




Publications and Articles


Nationwide Settlement: One for the Books? - Marcia Wagner, 401(k) Advisor, February 2015



Tussey v. ABB, Inc.: What’s Next? - Marcia Wagner, 401(k) Advisor, January 2015



Mortality Table Updates - Marcia Wagner, PlanSponsor, January 20, 2015



Tussey v. ABB, Inc.: What's Next - Marcia Wagner, 401(k) Advisor, January 2015



Clouds on the Horizon as ERISA Turns 40 - Marcia Wagner, Bloomberg BNA Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal, January 2, 2015





Wagner Law Group's Newsletters provide information on the latest changes in ERISA and employee benefits; investment management; litigation; estate planning and administration; and employment, labor and human resources law. 




Contact Info


The Wagner Law Group


Massachusetts Office 


Tel: (617) 357-5200


Fax: (617) 357-5250


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Boston, MA 02110

Florida Office 

Tel: (561) 293-3590
Fax: (561) 293-3591 

7108 Fairway Drive, Suite 125

Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33418


California Office

Tel: (415) 625-0002

Fax: (415) 358-8300

315 Montgomery Street

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San Francisco, CA 94104 







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Pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we hereby inform you that any advice set forth herein with respect to US federal tax issues is not intended or written by The Wagner Law Group to be used and cannot be used, by you or any taxpayer, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code.


This Newsletter is provided for information purposes by The Wagner Law Group to clients and others who may be interested in the subject matter, and may not be relied upon as specific legal advice.  This material is not to be construed as legal advice or legal opinions on specific facts. Under the Rules of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts, this material may be considered advertising.


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Oftentimes, I'm asked questions about estate planning and retirement, so I've compiled a list of the most frequent questions that I receive.


If you have any questions, please contact me.




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FAQs on Estate Planning and Retirement




My spouse and I spend winters in Florida and are considering making Florida our legal residence. We have been told that aside from the weather, Florida offers a favorable "tax climate." Is that true?



Yes, for several reasons. For example, Florida has neither an income nor an estate tax. (New York's top estate tax rate is 16%!) Changing one's domicile to Florida also brings about important non-tax consequences, most of which are favorable. We will deal with these in future newsletters. Bear in mind that such a move may be scrutinized by the state from which you are moving; particularly if you plan to maintain some ties with that state. (For example, should you wish to keep a home for use in the summertime.) We will also discuss how to change domicile effectively. Please stay tuned!




What are the most important estate planning questions that soon to be retired people need to answer?


Retirement by any reasonable standard is a major life cycle event. Thus, planning for retirement should include a review of one's estate plan. Whether changes are necessary depends upon individual facts and circumstances. And depending in part on how much time has elapsed since the last review, facts and circumstances may have changed significantly. Thus, revisiting the basic questions is important:

  • Who are my beneficiaries? 
  • In what manner - outright or in trust - should their inheritance be structured? 
  • Are beneficiary designations of non-testamentary assets (such as retirement plans and IRAs) current? 
  • Given the very significant and numerous changes in the tax laws over the last several years, should tax issues be addressed? 
  • To whom shall I entrust the administration of my estate - Executors, Trustees, etc.? 
  • Are documents such as a durable power of attorney and health care proxy current?


Should you tell potential heirs about your estate plan?


As a general rule, yes. Certainly exceptions exist, and each family's circumstances should be addressed. But absent special circumstances, discussing the estate plan with family members is helpful and very often will avoid post-death conflicts that might otherwise arise if certain members are not convinced that documents reflect actual intent. ("I don't care what the Will says, I know Mom wanted me to have her engagement ring.")


Does retirement make any real difference in your estate plan? For instance what impact does losing employer paid life insurance make?


Retirement from employment may and very often does bring about significant changes in one's financial circumstances. From an income standpoint, employment related compensation will be replaced by retirement benefits and accumulated savings. Employer-provided health insurance may no longer be available. Term life insurance provided through employment will likely terminate. Even personally owned term insurance may be too costly to continue. Thus, while we function as legal rather than financial advisors, we do recognize the importance of a review of one's financial circumstances and the need for understanding how one's financial life will be different in post-retirement years. (The "golden years" are not so gold if the gold is lacking.)


With people living into their 80s and 90s, should you expect to have to revise your estate plan?


Making generalizations is difficult, because individual situations differ so greatly. But regardless of age, we recommend that at least every five years, a client review his or her estate plan to determine whether any changes are necessary. In our view, the need for periodic review and possible updating increases rather than diminishes in post-retirement years.


We all hate to face our mortality. Why is it important for people in their 50s and 60s to have an estate plan?


Estate planning is generally defined as the process by which one arranges an appropriate disposition of his or her net worth to desired beneficiaries without incurring unnecessarily high transfer taxes. Thus, estate planning is important for anyone who has accumulated net worth; and also for anyone with young children, regardless of financial circumstances. Young adults, for example, may have little need for sophisticated tax planning, but considerable need for appropriate documentation to designate a guardian for their kids. People in their 50s and 60s are no different.


We do need assistance with our financial and estate planning. How can Wagner Law Group help?


We offer no investment advice and sell no product. Wagner does however, offer the services of experienced estate planning attorneys. We believe in a "team approach" to estate planning and work closely with your other advisors, such as your accountant, insurance agent, and investment advisor. Biographical information on individual attorneys is available on our Firm's website.