Feb 7, 2017

Will the Federal Estate Tax Be Repealed this Year? If So, Will Anyone Notice?

House of RepresentativesCompanion bills have been introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the Senate to repeal the federal estate tax.  On January 24, 2017, Representative Noem introduced H.R. 631 which was referred to the House’s Ways and Means Committee for consideration.   The same day, Senator Thune introduced comparable legislation in the Senate.  If enacted by Congress and signed by President Trump, no federal estate tax would be assessed against estates of decedents dying thereafter.… Read more

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It’s How That Old Joke Goes

EthicsA tax professor, an IRS ethics advisor, and a meth dealer all walk into a bar. Except it’s just one guy.

An adjunct professor at Georgetown Law who also worked in the Office of Professional Responsibility for the Internal Revenue Service was recently charged with selling large quantities of methamphetamines.

If one is considering a similar career path, better to work for Pfizer where the governmental red tape is significantly lessened.

Charges are not … Read more

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Jan 31, 2017

What Becomes Of Fido When You Are No Longer There?

OllieWhen most people think of estate planning, I would venture a guess that their thoughts don’t usually include making provision for their pets in the event of their own untimely passing.  That is not surprising given that most of us assume, correctly, that we will outlive our beloved four-legged companions.  However, experience shows that such is not always the case.  So, as you look deeply into the eyes of your faithful and devoted canine/feline, ask … Read more

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Jan 24, 2017

Photo Radar – A Case Even a Law Professor Can Win

Traffic cameraIn a recent amusing post Adam MacLeod tells the story of his encounter with the burgeoning photo radar system in his local court which caused him “to go over the top”.

After winning his trial he still had to fight to get back the money the court had made him pay in order to get his trial.  As Orin Kerr points out here, many of his more pretentious constitutional  arguments are not legally sound, … Read more

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Jan 23, 2017

The New Year Brings Some Changes to Estate Planning

Tax - 012317With the change of the calendar to a new year, there are some changes in the law which might be of interest to you and even impact your estate plan.  For example:

  • In the State of Washington, the “applicable exclusion amount” has increased from $2,079,000.00 to $2,129,000.00. By statute, the change in the exclusion tax is calculated by reference to the Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton metropolitan area October consumer price index (CPI).  So, a Washington resident who dies
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The Crime of the Wild – Know Your Endangered Species

vintage-1830208_1920Although our schools do not equip us to distinguish between the almost 1500 different bugs, lizards, birds, rodents, fish, etc. that the government labels “endangered”, it is now being argued that to take or kill even one of these creatures should be criminal regardless of how innocent or inadvertent the act.  Even an endangered splat on your car’s windshield might render you a criminal and send you to jail.

The Overlawyered story itself has a … Read more

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Jan 20, 2017

Giving False Testimony to a Grand Jury is a Privilege

CourtroomTestimony before grand juries is serious. It generally results in the issuance of felony charges and a warrant authorizing the arrest of the person charged.  Testifying falsely before a grand jury so that an innocent person is indicted and arrested can really ruin the victim’s day.  However, a recent 6th Circuit Court case eloquently demonstrates that you can’t recover damages for malicious prosecution or for violation of your civil rights under 42 U.S.C. §1983 … Read more

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Jan 10, 2017

Criminal Law and Wheelchairs: Be Careful Where You Roll

Motorized wheelchairMost of us wouldn’t think that hang gliders require the same regulation through rules and laws as airplanes and helicopters.  Most of us probably wouldn’t think that wheelchairs, even if motorized, should logically be governed by the plethora of traffic laws and rules applied to cars, buses and trucks driving down our streets and highways. After all, a wheelchair enables someone who can’t walk to achieve a personal mobility equivalent to walking.  A wheelchair does … Read more

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Jan 6, 2017

Oregon Court Says “No” to DHS’ Medicaid Rule Change

Supreme Court - 010617In a long-awaited decision, the Oregon Supreme Court has struck down Medicaid repayment rules issued by the Department of Human Services in 2008.  The court ruled that DHS did not have the legal authority to issue rules which would allow it to recover Medicaid payments from assets a Medicaid recipient transferred to his or her spouse up to five years prior to applying for Medicaid.  The decision upholds a 2014 ruling from a lower court … Read more

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Dona Eis Requim; If They’d Only Thought Ahead

GraveA recent Washington case illustrates why it’s prudent to specify how and where you want your body disposed of after death if you really want to rest in peace ever after.

Kyril Faenov left a wife and two young children when he committed suicide.  His widow and her father arranged and paid for the burial of his remains in a Seattle cemetery.  However, Kyril had forgotten to leave written instructions concerning his place of burial … Read more

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