Estate & Trust Disputes: Common Types and How to Avoid Them

By Richard M. Morgan & Loraine M. DiSalvo Disputes that arise after a loved one dies can be incredibly destructive, to both assets and relationships. Such disputes can also cause the destruction of the loved one’s intended asset distribution plan. Careful estate planning, carried out with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, can [...]

“Do-It-Yourself” Wills & Other Estate Planning – If You Really Care, Beware!

As Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorneys, we see the significant benefits of planning done right and the tragic consequences of planning done wrong. Years ago, a metro-Atlanta probate court asked me to serve as a guardian ad litem in a probate matter where a father’s do-it-yourself will left his estate to his current wife [...]

News Alert: U.S. Supreme Court Says Inherited IRAs Are Not Protected From Creditors Under Federal Bankruptcy Law

On June 12, 2014, the Supreme Court issued its decision in Clark et ux. V. Rameker, Trustee, et al, 573 U.S. _____ (2014), which is an extremely rare unanimous ruling. The Court held that, for purposes of federal bankruptcy law, an inherited IRA was not protected in the hands of the beneficiary in the same [...]

Estate Planning – Focus on Same Sex Couples (Updated)

Everyone Needs Estate Planning; However, It Is More Critical For Some People. Estate Planning is Not Just for the Wealthy. You do not need to be wealthy or to have an estate tax problem in order to need an estate plan. If you own anything at all, you pretty much have an estate, which will [...]

Collaborative Process – The New Alternative Legal Process for Amicably Resolving Disputes

by Richard M. Morgan & Loraine M. DiSalvo In our July 2010 newsletter, we discussed various dispute resolution processes. We discussed traditional litigation, along with arbitration and mediation, which are two of the alternative dispute resolution processes which were developed to address some of the shortcomings of traditional litigation. To review the July 2010 newsletter, [...]

Same Sex Couples: If You Really Care About Building a Life With Your Partner… You Need to Do the Planning Now! (Updated)

Everyone needs comprehensive estate planning. However, even though same sex couples who are legally married under the laws of a given state or foreign jurisdiction can now receive federal recognition of their marriages for all purposes, most states, including Georgia, still treat same sex couples as strangers for purposes of state. This means same sex [...]

The Essence of Estate Planning: Let the Journey Begin

At its most fundamental level, estate planning is about controlling the otherwise-uncontrollable. Death is inevitable; disability is increasingly probable as we age. When death or incapacity occurs, what happens to us, to our property, and to our loved ones? Planning in advance and taking advantage of our many applicable federal and state laws allows us [...]

Importance of Proper Asset Ownership and Beneficiary Designations

This installment of the Passionate Estate Planner is a reminder that a well done estate plan includes not only properly prepared legal documents, but also the need to properly own your assets and have proper beneficiary designations. It is of key importance that assets are owned and beneficiary designations are handled properly now and periodically [...]

Corporate Fiduciaries for Estates & Trusts: Reliability, Prudence, Reasonableness, Protection and Peace of Mind

Choosing the fiduciaries to carry out your estate plan can be the most important decisions you make in structuring your estate plan.   Why is this issue so important?   We start with the premise that most clients will want to maximize flexibility and minimize costs and hassles unless a reason exists to be more restrictive.  With [...]

Time is Running Out for Those Who Want to Save Taxes and Provide Huge Benefits to Their Loved Ones!

As readers of our newsletter should already be aware, the 2010 Tax Act is set to expire, or “sunset,” at the end of  2012.  This means that the laws regarding the federal wealth transfer taxes, which are the gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer or “GST” taxes, will all revert to pre-2001 law, including significantly lower [...]

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