Among the more common estate plans for married couples is what is sometimes referred to as a sweetheart estate plan. Such a plan provides for the entirety of the deceased spouse’s estate to pass to the surviving spouse; on the death of the surviving spouse, whatever remains will pass to the couple’s children or other designated heirs. Mutual reciprocal wills can be used to accomplish this intent. Of course, on the death of the surviving … Read more
Aug 3, 2017
Jul 18, 2017
In a recent blog, we discussed the advantages of incorporating your retirement plan (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.) into your overall estate plan. As we discussed, this can be a complex matter because the tax advantages which are accorded to retirement accounts are generally not extended to heirs or designated beneficiaries once the retirement account owner has died.
By way of summary, we have identified three goals you may … Read more
Jun 12, 2017
Retirement plans (i.e., pension plans, 401(k) plans, employer established IRA plans, etc.) account for the majority of assets held by most Americans. Plans which meet certain legal requirements set forth under the federal ERISA law enjoy favorable tax treatment in order to promote growth and provide a comfortable retirement for the account holder. For example, the account holder is permitted to defer taking any distributions from his/her retirement account until the calendar year in which … Read more
Feb 27, 2017
Benjamin Franklin once observed “in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” For those who doubt Franklin’s sagacity in that regard, consider the recent case of Marci McNicol. A federal court found her personally liable to the Internal Revenue Services to the tune of $125,000.00 with respect to taxes owed by her late husband. Here’s what happened.
On his death, in addition to their four minor children, McNicol’s husband … Read more
Feb 14, 2017
Most folks will acknowledge that an adult of sound mind is free to give his money and property to whomever he pleases, both during his lifetime and after death, as directed by his estate plan. Such an acknowledgement, however, is subject to qualification, particularly when the soundness of the giver’s mind is called into question. This can arise in a variety of scenarios, often when the giver makes someone new the object of his affections … Read more
Feb 7, 2017
Companion 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
Jan 31, 2017
When 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