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  ALI-ABA Estate Planning Course Materials Journal
  Volume 16, Number 1, February 2010
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  • Risk Management For Trustees: Becoming Ill-Suited For Litigation
        John T. Brooks and Samantha E. Weissbluth
        p.7                                                                                          +cite        
        Litigation against fiduciaries has grown from fairly rare to commonplace and continues to increase each year. Disputes frequently arise due to the unique relationship and power imbalance between a fiduciary and beneficiaries. The "increasing codification and modernization of fiduciary law" have "provided fuel for new causes of action," and high-profile cases have drawn attention to these potential new claims to an increasingly litigious populace. Effective risk management requires trustees to carry out their fiduciary duties with great diligence and integrity and to adopt a "best practices" approach to serving as trustee. The result of these efforts will be that the trustee will more effectively serve the beneficiaries. The bottom line: Proper risk management should make for happier beneficiaries and, as a result, minimize fiduciary litigation.
  • Dealing With Divorce And Non Traditional Relationships In The Family Business
        Myron E. Sildon
        p.39                                                                                        +cite        
        Divorce must be recognized as a real possibility in a family business. Counsel must assume that a client, one or more of his or her children, or his or her business partner or co-shareholder will get divorced sometime during the life cycle of the family business. Owners have agreements to address the undesirability of having a deceased partner's spouse in the family business. Having a former spouse in the family business after a divorce is even more undesirable. There are many techniques available on a favorable tax and sound business-planning basis to assist in removing a former spouse from the business. To further complicate matters, non-traditional relationships, both straight couples living together without marriage and gay couples, are becoming far more accepted. Such relationships need to be recognized when they exist among the owners of a family business.