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

Premarital planning - Protecting your assets without a prenup

Protecting family assets in the event of a divorce is particularly significant for family business owners, who typically want to avoid sharing ownership with their ex-spouses or their children’s ex-spouses. A prenuptial...more

Recent Cases of Interest to Fiduciaries

In re Estate of House, 2014 Wash. App. LEXIS 3006 (Wash. Ct. App. 2014) - A release waiving any and all claims that the parties may have or may acquire, bars recovery for unknown claims existing at the time the release...more

Latest Challenge by IRS to Family Valuation Discounts

Overview. Many sophisticated estate planning techniques include gifts, sales or other transfers to family members that incorporate significant discounts on the value of the property transferred. These discounts can range from...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2015

In This Issue: - Premarital planning: Protecting your assets without a prenup - The ABLE account: A good alternative to a special needs trust? - Make net gifts to reduce your gift tax rate - Estate Planning...more

Death and Bitcoin: How Digital Currencies Affect Estate Planning

It may not be at the forefront of your digital currency interests, but cryptocurrencies have unique characteristics that require careful consideration for estate planning. If you have bitcoin, for example, but your...more

Personal Planning Strategies - July 2015

Income Tax Considerations of Estate Planning Are More Important Than Ever - Gifting assets during life will reduce the size of your taxable estate at death and, correspondingly, reduce your estate tax liability. But with...more

The Effect of Obergefell v. Hodges for Same-Sex Couples

issued on the second-to-last decision day of the term, and provides that same-sex couples have had a constitutional right to marry since at least the passage of the Fourteenth Amendment. This ruling may come as a surprise to...more

The Obergefell Decision and Property Considerations for Married Same-Sex Couples

In Obergefell v. Hodges, the United States Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion, determined that prohibitions on same-sex marriage are an unconstitutional infringement of Fourteenth Amendment rights. This decision throws the doors...more

Family Limited Partnerships: Are Discounts Disappearing?

“Family limited partnerships” – that is, family investment entities usually structured as LLCs or limited partnerships – have been a popular estate planning technique for years. Generally speaking, a client can transfer...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Same-Sex Marriage To Be a Fundamental Right

The United States Supreme Court issued its opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges, 576 U.S. ___ (2015) on June 26, 2015. In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage...more

New Maine Budget Brings Significant Change to Estate Tax Law

With Tuesday’s override of Governor LePage’s veto of Maine’s 2016-2017 budget, the Legislature has approved a significant change to the state’s estate tax law. The Maine estate tax exemption amount for individuals dying in or...more

Low Interest Rate Is High Time for Some Estate Planning Ideas

When practitioners and clients think of estate planning, several goals typically come to mind: (1) identifying family members and charitable organizations to whom or for whose benefit assets are to be given; (2) ensuring that...more

The Same-Sex Marriage Ruling: Key Employee Benefits Take-Aways

Last Friday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its highly-anticipated decision in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, ruling that all 50 states must license marriages between two people of the same sex and must...more

Eight Key Estate Planning Opportunities Arising from the Supreme Court's Decision on Same-Sex Marriage

On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The landmark ruling in the combined cases known...more

Estate Planning for Young Families

Proper estate planning for young families is essential, despite often being overlooked by both clients and attorneys. Many young families view their estate as being “simple” because in their minds they “don’t have much,” and...more

Till Death Do Us Part. . . or at Least Until the Divorce Becomes Final

When important changes occur in life, it is advisable to reevaluate your estate planning to ensure it continues to meet the goals and objectives you have for your estate and your beneficiaries – and going through a divorce is...more

Estate Planning for Real Estate

Almost all estate planning clients own real estate in one form or another – a residence, a vacation home, or rental property. Real estate presents unique challenges in estate planning because debt is often associated with the...more

Trustees Beware: Which Fiduciary Standard Applies to Your “Business Judgments”?

To what legal standard must a trustee adhere when he or she also participates in the control of a family or closely held business? Courts continue to grapple with this question. The high courts in both Georgia and Nebraska...more

Asset Protection Strategies

During the estate planning process a question we are frequently asked relates to the best way to protect assets from creditors. The easy answer, although not the most satisfactory, is to give the assets in question away,...more

Estate Planning Pitfall: Your IRA owns real estate

Most people invest their IRA funds in stocks, bonds and mutual funds. But others may opt for nontraditional investments, such as real estate, in the hope of boosting their returns. As this article details, when choosing to...more

Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts: An Estate Planning Strategy

In the current economic environment, IRS-prescribed monthly interest rates for certain intra-family transactions are at historic lows. As a result, an excellent opportunity exists to transfer wealth to lower generation family...more

California introduces ‘opt-in’ digital assets bill

On June 8, 2015, it was reported that the California legislature is considering a new bill, A.B. 691, which would set forth the procedure for handling a deceased individual’s digital assets, including their social media...more

Estate tax relief for family businesses

If a substantial portion of a person’s wealth is tied up in a family or closely held business, he or she may be concerned that the estate will lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate taxes. If that’s the case, heirs may...more

What Happens to Your Digital Life After Death? Planning for the Transfer Of Digital Assets

Most people do not think about the large digital footprint that they have created. More importantly, they do not think about how their digital assets might pass (or not) at death. Since these assets may have value, either...more

Does a private annuity have a place in your estate plan?

A private annuity can be a powerful strategy for passing assets to heirs in a tax-efficient manner. In a typical private annuity transaction, a parent transfers property to his or her children in exchange for their unsecured...more

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