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

Duties of an Agent Under a Power of Attorney

Many average people are named as agents under a power of attorney for a family member or friend, and most have little to no idea what they are getting themselves into. Many people also are aware of the fact that a relative...more

Family Vacation Home Planning

Transferring a family vacation home to the next generation without causing family strife takes serious planning. Even if the ultimate decision is to have the children own the property outright and figure out how to make it...more

"New Connecticut Laws Limit Transfer Taxes for Some Decedents, Increase Probate Fees for Most Estates"

Connecticut has implemented changes to its transfer tax and probate laws that affect nearly every decedent leaving even a modest estate via will or nonprobate transfer (such as a revocable trust). A new $20 million cap for...more

Estate Planning During Divorce (Part 2) [Video]

The term divorce provokes a number of commonly known thoughts and reactions (i.e. a division of assets, a new - residence, a custody agreement concerning children, and so on). Less obvious is the effect that a divorce may...more

Estate of Clara M. Morrissette Secures Victory in Groundbreaking Estate Tax Case

In a case of first impression, the United States Tax Court ruled in favor of a taxpayer whose estate planning focused on the preservation and succession of a 70-year-old family-owned business. In Estate of Clara M....more

Paradox of Mental Incapacity in State Estate Tax: How Moving Your Elderly Parent from Florida May Generate an Unexpected Estate...

It is a difficult enough for families to come to grips with having to care for an elderly parent that may no longer be able to live on their own. After coming to terms with this unfortunate reality, the next steps often...more

Post-Death Action Reduced Amount of Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

Decedent died and left a majority stake in a real property management corporation to a private foundation. The estate tax value of the stock was $14.182M. After the decedent’s death, but before the stock was transferred...more

Ten Tips for Preventing Feuds from Wrecking Your Family Business

Passing along a family business can be tricky business. There are a variety of legal, tax, and emotional issues that can complicate the process. A well thought out plan made far in advance of the events requiring the plan is...more

Observer Estate Planning - Spring 2016

Pennsylvania’s Revised Power of Attorney Act: Major Changes May Not Necessitate Revising Your Power of Attorney - You may have read about the overhaul of the Pennsylvania laws governing Powers of Attorney used for...more

Why the SBA doesn’t like your joint trust: A common estate planning trap for owners of certified small businesses with government...

It is common for business owners to have different attorneys for their estate planning needs and their business law needs – sometimes, the two attorneys don’t even work for the same law firm. This article will review the...more

Family Planning

Well thought out and prepared estate planning is important for many reasons. Some reasons are obvious, such as tax planning and making sure your assets go where you want them to go; others are not. These less obvious...more

Estate Planning Pitfall - Your college-age child doesn’t have an estate plan

In addition to essentials such as clothing, toiletries, bedding and a laptop, students heading off to college in the fall also should “pack” all the necessary financial and medical documents. This brief article details...more

Court Holds That Will Did Not Revoke Inter Vivos Trust

In Gordon v. Gordon, a man and his wife executed a revocable trust agreement and began to fund the trust. No. 11-14-00086-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3357 (Tex. App.—Eastland March 31, 2016, no pet. history). The couple later...more

The Use Of Trusts In Business Succession Planning

The transition of a family owned or closely-held business is an important event for estate planning clients. Historically, the use of trusts has played an important role in business succession planning. Recent changes to the...more

Donate art and secure a tax break

Valuable works of art may be ideal candidates for charitable donation. Generally, it’s advantageous to donate appreciated property to avoid capital gains taxes. Because the top capital gains rate for art and other...more

Plan Ahead to Avoid or Minimize US Estate Tax

If you are not a US resident or a US citizen and are considering buying assets in the US, there are ways to avoid or minimize US estate tax on those assets. ...more

Estate Planning and Administration – Be Prepared for the Year That Follows the Death of a Loved One

The loss of a loved one is a traumatic event and it can be among the most challenging of times to make important financial decisions. Proactive planning with an attorney and financial planner can significantly lessen the...more

Court Affirmed Holding That Trust Owned Real Estate And Was Entitled To Attorney’s Fees

In Courtade v. Estrada, Estrada created an inter vivos irrevocable trust and deeded real estate into the trust. No. 02-14-00295-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 3105 (Tex. App.—Fort Worth March 24, 2016, no pet. history). Two days...more

The Rise of Litigation Involving Trust Protectors

Disputes involving trust protectors are increasing in number and will likely only further increase in number in the coming years. This blog post discusses what a trust protector is, whether trust protectors owe fiduciary...more

Keying into your digital assets: Revise your estate plan to account for online documents

In the not-so-distant past, one likely kept copies of vital estate planning documents locked in a fire-resistant vault or file cabinet, with copies at an attorney’s office. However, in this digital age, it’s more likely that...more

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan?

Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for one’s spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be overlooked, such as parents or in-laws. This article offers a...more

Insight on Estate Planning - April/May 2016

Have you addressed elderly parents in your estate plan? Typically, an estate plan includes accommodations for your spouse, children, grandchildren and even future generations. But some members of the family can be...more

Parties Settle Closely Watched Tax Court Cases Involving Defined Value Clause

The IRS and executors have settled two cases in the United States Tax Court involving members of the Woelbing family, who own Carma Laboratories, Inc., of Franklin, Wisconsin, the maker of Carmex skin care products, and a...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

New Basis Reporting Requirements for Executors and Beneficiaries

Recent federal legislation adds fresh compliance burdens to an old concept in federal tax law: the step-up in tax basis of appreciated property at death. New reporting requirements will apply to estates required to file a...more

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