Back to the Basics: How Do Assets Pass at the Death of the Owner?

Have you heard of a situation where a deceased person’s former spouse ended up receiving his life insurance or retirement savings, instead of the person’s new spouse or children? Have you heard of a situation where the deceased person wanted to have assets held in trust for her minor children after her death, under her [...]

Should I Use a Will or a Revocable Living Trust? Separating Facts From Fiction- (Updated September 2016)

You (or someone you know) may have heard that a Revocable Living Trust (often referred to simply as a “Living Trust”) is necessary for everyone. Revocable Living Trusts are often said to provide income tax or estate tax benefits, to ensure that one’s assets won’t be tied up in prolonged and expensive court probate proceedings [...]

2016-12-22T06:23:43+00:00 June 30th, 2015|Articles, News, Newsletters, Revocable Trust, Wills|

Take Steps to Prevent Destructive Post-Death Disputes Over Your Estate Plan

A large part of the estate planning process is determining how you want assets distributed at your death and selecting the fiduciary who will be in charge of carrying out your intended distributions. When considering these issues, it is also critical to consider whether your desired asset distribution plan or fiduciary choice is likely to [...]

“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 [...]

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 [...]

Basic Estate Planning Topics: What Is a Self-Proving Affidavit, and Why Does My Will Need One?

In a previous newsletter, we went back to basics and discussed the question of “What is a Trust?” For this issue, we’d like to look at another very basic estate planning concept: the self-proving affidavit. To begin our discussion of this topic, we will first provide you with some background information about what must happen [...]

2011 & 2012: The Golden Gifting Years

As you should now know, The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “2010 Tax Act”) became law December 17, 2010, and made a number of changes to the federal wealth transfer tax laws.  The federal wealth transfer taxes are the estate tax, the gift tax, and the generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) [...]

To What Extent Should You Rely On Temporary Wealth Transfer Tax Changes Made By the 2010 Tax Act?

The Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance, and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the “2010 Tax Act”) was signed into law by President Obama on December 17, 2010. Among the 2010 Tax Act’s many provisions were a number of items relating to the federal wealth transfer taxes, which are the estate tax, the gift tax, and the [...]

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