Can trusts be trusted in the event of divorce?

Preserving family wealth is uppermost in many families’ minds.  Therefore, knowing how structures created to hold family wealth will perform in the event of a family member divorcing is crucial.
Unfortunately, the treatment of trusts on a beneficiary divorcing is to some extent uncertain.  The legislation is clear enough: anyone with an irrevocable, fixed interest in a trust (e.g. life tenant/capital remainderman) can have their interest transferred to their spouse or child in the event of a divorce or separation.  The terms of ‘nuptial settlements’, be they discretionary or fixed interest, can also be varied to permit a spouse and/or children to benefit.  Therefore, trusts that want to remain outside the divorce courts will take care not to be regarded as nuptial settlements. 
However, this can be difficult to achieve as, if there is some connection between the trust and a spouse to the marriage, in that capacity, the court has shown itself to be capable of some creative thinking if it decides that it needs to find that a trust is a nuptial settlement.  There is no statutory definition of a nuptial settlement for these purposes – the matter is entirely caselaw driven, so the boundaries of what constitutes a nuptial settlement are still being explored.
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Multistate Tax Update — November 20, 2014

California: Berkeley will tax sodas and other sugary beverages, San Francisco will not

On November 5, 2014, the LA Times proclaimed the City of Berkeley’s Sugary Beverages and Soda Tax, Measure D, to be a success; about 75 percent of voters backed it. The penny-per-ounce tax affects the following sugar-sweetened beverages sold in the city:

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Viborg Kommunes køb af reklamer på Viborg Stadion af Viborg FF A/S

Viborg Byråd traf beslutningen om, at Viborg FF i en femårig periode må benytte eller sælge stadionnavnet til Viborg Stadion, der ikke fremstår som økonomisk forsvarlig.

I marts 2014 fandt Statsforvaltningen, at der ud fra de i sagen foreliggende oplysninger ikke var påvist en egentlig saglig kommunal interesse i den trufne beslutning, men at beslutningen nærmere og i det væsentlige syntes båret af hensynet til at give Viborg FF A/S en økonomisk håndsrækning, hvilket ikke er lovligt. Viborg Byråds beslutning fremstod derfor ikke som økonomisk forsvarlig.

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Veronica Franco presented at CHOA Fall Education Program

Last night, Veronica Franco presented at the Condominium Home Owners Association of BC (CHOA) Fall 2014 Strata Education Program in North Vancouver. Veronica spoke on Creating Notice Packages for Strata General Meetings.

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NYC Affordable Transit Act Passes – Expanding the Right to Pre-Tax Transit Benefits to More New Yorkers

Technology, media, and telecommunication employers doing business in New York City should take note of a new ordinance Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law on October 20, 2014 – The Affordable Transit Act.

The Affordable Transit Act (the “Act”) requires employers in New York City with 20 or more full-time employees to offer pre-tax transit benefits to employees. The Act allows employees to use up to $130 in tax free money towards their transit costs, which is the current IRS limit.  Full-time employees are defined as employees working an average of 30 hours or more per week.

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Rainmaking Recommendation from Jaimie Field: 2015 – The Year of the Client

I’m easily pleased, so I’m happy to report that I’m currently typing this blog post while on a plane to Costa Rica – I love inflight wifi!

I’m bringing you another excellent rainmaking recommendation from expert Jaimie Field today, who is declaring 2015 the “year of the client.” I couldn’t agree more!


I am officially declaring 2015 – The Year of The Client.

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Webcast — Anatomy of a data breach

This webcast is for claim personnel (both P/C and WC).  This training presentation will relate to claims handling of cyber liability (data breaches, etc.) claims.  As we’ve discussed, this is a growing area of our business; thus we believe that providing this training opportunity to our claim professionals is timely and highly appropriate.

Please distribute (forward) this webcast to all CCMSI claim professionals that would benefit from this training opportunity and encourage participation.  Attendance / participation is not mandatory, but is strongly encouraged. 

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Sales Representative Litigation and Consulting Alert: Sales representative agreements – Are you protected?

Do you know the answer to this threshold question: are my company’s agreements with our sales representatives even legal and enforceable? Whether you know it or not, there is most likely a state law that imposes certain requirements on the relationship between you and your sales representatives. Particularly in the manufacturing world, there may be several statutes that apply depending on the location of your and your customer’s facilities. Nearly every state has enacted a statute that governs the relationship between companies and sales representatives. These statutes primarily govern the payment of commission during the representation relationship and following termination of the relationship. If a company violates these provisions the penalty can be severe.

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ILN Today Post


Royal Oak, Michigan, November 18, 2014: Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC was recognized among the “Cool Places to Work in Michigan” for 2014 by Crain’s Detroit Business.

The Crain’s Cool Places to Work recognition program honors employers that go the extra mile to make employees feel appreciated — as judged by the employees themselves. The program was open to Michigan businesses, nonprofits and government entities. To participate, an organization must have at least 15 employees at a Michigan location. More…

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BC Supreme Court Addresses Interesting and Novel COC Policy Issues

By Glen Boswall

In the recently decided case of Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc. v. Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Co., the BC Supreme Court addressed some interesting and novel issues concerning Course of Construction (COC) insurance. Particularly, the Court,

  • clarified the distinction between excluded defects and covered resulting physical damage within a building component;
  • dealt with a novel argument that fortuity was not required to trigger coverage under typical COC policy wording; and
  • was the first in Canada to interpret a design and workmanship exclusion wording that is becoming more common in COC policies.
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