Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Rules of Succession in Dubai

What law governs? The main source of law in the UAE is Sharia in which all laws are formulated and based on. It is considered a public order. The governing law for succession in the country is UAE Federal Law No. 5 of...more

Should You Create Trusts for Your Kids?

If your children are under age eighteen, you should have trusts for them in your Wills, in the event you and your spouse should die before all your children reach age 18. If minors receive assets prior to reaching age...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter- March 2017

This week has brought a much-anticipated decision by the Supreme Judicial Court regarding trust decanting, and the past month also brought the latest chapters in two cases that we reported on previously....more

Update on 2704 Proposed Regulations and Impact on 2016 Gift Tax Reporting

Following the December 1, 2016 public hearing, the IRS reportedly began working on revisions to and clarifications of the new 2704 proposed regulations. While the uproar from the estate planning and accounting communities...more

A Guide for Challenging a Joint Account Arrangement in Michigan

Joint bank account arrangements are as useful as they are common, providing a simple means for transferring an individual's assets to others - either during his/her life or post death by operation of a survivorship...more

UPDATE: Can an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Still Sue a Will’s Drafter?: The General Assembly of Virginia Enacts a...

Back in the summer I wrote a post discussing the impacts of the Thorsen decision by the Supreme Court of Virginia. In Thorsen, a testator wanted to leave her estate to a charity if her daughter did not survive her. The...more

Fiduciary Access To Digital Assets

I don’t need to tell you that social media has become a mainstream way to communicate ideas, photos, and information. Even the President uses this technology as a prime form of expression. Have you considered what happens to...more

How to protect your family-owned business from your child’s spouse

For most people, a child’s wedding is one of those great life moments that is filled with months of planning and excitement. However, for people who own a family-owned business, the old myth that 50 percent of marriages end...more

When Life Imitates Art

– Will Caveats or “The Family Feud” Part 2 –  The North Carolina Court of Appeals continues to publish opinions in Will Caveat cases that could easily serve as a storyline from a daytime television series. One example...more

Getting Your House in Order: Estate Planning is for Everyone

A recent survey found that nearly 50% of individuals with children do not have a Will and over 40% of individuals over the age of 55 do not have one. Whether a person is 18 or 98 with net assets of $200,000 or $20 million,...more

Alzheimer’s Legal and Financial Planning Tips

If you or someone you love has Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia, it is important to put legal and financial plans in place as soon as possible....more

IRS Limiting GST Private Letter Rulings and Presubmission Conferences

At a recent Federal Bar Association Tax Law Conference, an IRS Chief Counsel branch chief advised that due to budget cuts: a. The IRS has temporarily suspended issuing private letter rulings regarding modifications to...more

The Future Of Proposed IRS § 2704 Modifications Is Uncertain

Proposed changes to Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 2704, which would impact the valuation of transfers of family business interests at death, come at an interesting time politically given the Trump Administration’s desire to...more

Quick and Easy Tax Strategies Sometimes Backfire as New Jersey Estate Learns

From time to time, clients ask whether their estates will save on death taxes if they simply transfer title to their residence to family members while continuing to live in the residence until they die. We advise clients...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs) and Sales to Grantor Trusts

I. Introduction - A grantor retained annuity trust (GRAT) or an installment sale to a grantor trust can be useful in transmitting wealth in a tax-efficient way, and often one of these techniques is superior to other...more

Jury Trials in Surrogate’s Court Removal Proceedings

As parties prepare for trial before the Surrogate’s Court, a question that oftentimes arises is whether the parties have a right to a trial by jury. The right to a jury trial is anything but universal in Surrogate’s Court...more

Estate Tax Changes Past, Present and Future

I. INTRODUCTION - This outline is a selective and evolving review of the history of the modern federal estate tax. It originated during the attempts to repeal the estate tax in President Clinton’s second term and...more

A Word of Advice: Address Estate Planning Sooner Rather than Later

Earlier last month the New York Times ran an article about basic reasons why you need to pay attention to your family’s estate planning. The article made me think of several instances where families would have benefited from...more

Oral Contracts to Make Wills

The vast majority of people have no idea that Virginia law recognizes oral contracts to make a will. As a result, people often miss out on asserting a claim to an inheritance because they didn’t know that they had one to...more

Digital assets create new complications for estate planning

“Digital assets” encompasses a wide variety of things, from your email and Facebook accounts to your iTunes music to your electronically stored data to your domain name to bitcoins. Some of them may have actual value, while...more

Do You Have a “Day After” Insurance Policy?

Insurance is a form of risk management, designed to minimize the loss associated with certain events like flood, fire, accidents, disability, and even death. Most insurance requires an agent and the payment of premiums. ...more

5 Important Estate Planning Lessons for Parents in Manchester by the Sea

When released in late 2016, Manchester by the Sea, directed by Kenneth Lonergan and starring Casey Affleck, received nearly unanimous critical acclaim for exploring themes related to family, personal tragedy, and grief. For...more

A Deceased Can't Always Will What They Want

There is a common misconception that the testator is free to leave their estate to anyone they choose. While this is largely true, certain family members who were left out or feel they were inadequately provided for under a...more

Potential Repeal of the ‘Death’ Tax

Assuming you have not been living under a rock for the last two years you have heard of Donald J. Trump, now President Trump, speak about the need to repeal the so-called “Death tax”. In addition, you are likely aware that...more

Estate Tax Reform Predicted for 2017

A key goal for those of us who practice with Ward and Smith is to inform our clients and future clients of potential developments that may impact them.  With respect to Trust and Estate Law, the potential for repeal of the...more

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