Estate Planning Wills

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

Personal Planning Strategies - December 2016

2017 Estate, Gift and GST Tax Update: What This Means for Your Current Will, Revocable Trust and Estate Plan - As we previously reported, the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (the "Act") made the following permanent:...more

6 estate planning techniques for blended families

A “blended family” is more than just a staple of TV sitcoms. Today, it’s not unusual for a household to include children and even grandchildren from prior marriages, as well as adopted family members or same-sex couples....more

Law Passed Amending NPCL

Over the summer, we posted about Bill No. A. 10365B/S. 7913, containing amendments to the New York Not-for-Profit Corporation Law (the “NPCL”) and the New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (the “EPTL”) here. After...more

A Post-Mortem, Spousal Surprise: Can My Husband Write Me Out of His Will?

Imagine this potentially devastating situation. Your spouse unexpectedly dies. You find his will and discover, shockingly, that he left everything to his adult son (or his mistress)! Is there anything you can do? This...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - November 2016

There has not been much case law of particular relevance in the T&E area since our last newsletter, but three recent federal court decisions—one from the First Circuit Court of Appeals, and two from the United States District...more

4 Must-Have Documents When Planning Your Estate

President Abraham Lincoln. Civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. Singer/songwriter Bob Marley. NFL quarterback Steve McNair. Singer/songwriter...more

Do It Yourself Wills: Will They Lead to More Litigation?

Here’s my prediction: do it yourself wills, also referred to as “homemade wills” or “online wills” or “internet wills” (I’ll refer to them in this blog post as “DIY Wills”) will result in a significant (though not massive)...more

California Passes Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

On September 24, 2016, the Governor of California approved the California Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act, which “would authorize a decedent’s personal representative or trustee to access and manage...more

Who Would Inherit Darth Vader’s Estate?

Who would be the beneficiary of the estate of Darth Vader? The answer is more than just an exercise in Star Wars fiction; in fact, the answer can teach us important lessons about estate disputes in our real world....more

Wealth Management Update - September 2016

September Interest Rates for GRATs, Sales to Defective Grantor Trusts, Intra-Family Loans and Split Interest Charitable Trusts - The September § 7520 rate for use with estate planning techniques such as CRTs, CLTs, QPRTs...more

Is Your Will Up to Date? - Trusts and Estates Update Volume 2016, Issue 1

Once again, a celebrity dies, and people are shocked that he died without a will. Just this past April, after the death of the well-known artist Prince, we learned that he did not have a will, and controversy is swirling...more

Still Haven’t Prepared a Will? You Could be Leaving A Mess for your Spouse/Partner

Statistics show that more than 50% of Americans die without having a Last Will and Testament. People tend to put off this important planning because they are either procrastinators (“I’ll worry about it later!”) or...more

The write stuff: A letter of instructions

When drafting an estate plan, the centerpiece is a will or living trust. Such a document determines who gets what, where, when and how, as well as tying up the loose ends of an estate. A valid will or living trust can be...more

Insight on Estate Planning - August/September 2016

In This Issue: - Alternate valuation date: Flexible postmortem planning a plus when markets are volatile - The write stuff: A letter of instructions - Making the most of your GST tax exemption - Estate...more

Court Voided Judgment Based On Family Settlement Agreement Where Party Revoked Consent

In In re Estate of Spiller, a party appealed an order admitting a will to probate and ordering the independent administrator to distribute the estate in accordance with a family settlement agreement. No. 04-15-00449-CV, 2016...more

Napkin Theory Saves the Day [Florida]

Renee established and funded a revocable trust, with charitable residuary beneficiaries at her death. The trust was revocable, but it did not provide a method for revocation. Four years later, Renee prepared a will that...more

Unfulfilled Expectations: May an Intended (and Disappointed) Beneficiary Sue a Will’s Drafter?

Imagine the following scenario.  Your elderly mother, your only surviving parent, wants to have a discussion with you about her estate plan.  She shows you her will and explains her intentions.  You look at the will and it...more

Court Reverses A Probate Order Requiring An Executor To Distribute Real Property Free Of Any Liens

In In re Estate of Heider, a probate court ordered that an executor should distribute real property to a beneficiary free of liens. No. 05-14-00436-CV, 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 5978 (Tex. App.—Dallas June 6, 2016, no pet....more

The Unintended Consequences of Not Having an Estate Plan

Nobody likes to think about death, but failing to plan for it can cause unintended consequences for loved ones. Prompted by the death of Prince, a client recently came to see me. He had read in the news that heirs to...more

McNees Insights – Estate Planning - June Newsletter

Education Tax Credits - There are two tax credits available to help you offset the costs of higher education: the American opportunity credit and the lifetime learning credit. Tax credits are more favorable than...more

How Non-Probate Assets Can Affect Your Estate Plan: A Few Cautionary Tales

When you think about the control of your possessions and assets after your death, you probably think of a Will and probate. A Will is a written, legally enforceable declaration that states how you wish your assets to be...more

Tax Law Blog: More Issues for Prince's Lack of Estate Planning

I’m not typically one to follow pop culture, but in the case of Prince’s lack of an estate plan, I’m following closely how this can serve as an example of how not to do your estate plan. An earlier post discussed the...more

Trial & Heirs: 5 Estate Planning Stumbling Blocks

Last month, Prince died at the ripe young age of 57. He had no will, as reported by his only full sibling (a sister). She filed for probate of his estate in Minnesota, where he owned a home in Paisley Park. Under Minnesota...more

Are You Still Partying Like It’s 1999?

Most of us prefer to do those things that are fun and tend to procrastinate as to things that are the more mundane and that are not so interesting or exciting. Does that describe you?...more

Planning for the $5-$10 Million Couple: Portability or Credit Shelter?

In 2009, each individual had a $3.5 million estate tax exemption. If a married individual had assets over $3.5 million, without careful planning, those assets in excess of $3.5 million would fall subject to a 45% estate tax....more

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