George E. Meng, an estate planning attorney in Maryland for over 35 years, has written an article in The American Chronicle entitled “Realistic Estate Planning.” In it he discusses some of the following issues: Will or Trust? Mr. Meng points out that the primary reason for using a trust is probate avoidance, something I’ve written about… Read More
One of the bedrock rules for estate planning attorneys is that our clients must have sufficient mental capacity to execute their documents. This does not mean that a client has to have perfect understanding of every passage of legal boilerplate. Basically, a client needs to be able to understand the nature of their property and… Read More
I’ve written numerous posts about how the estate tax remains in flux. Right now the exemption, that is the amount a person can own when they die before being subject to the federal estate tax is $3,500,000. Next year (2010) that amount becomes unlimited, and the year after that it goes down to $1,000,000. No… Read More
This past weekend was the annual conference of the American Bar Association Section on Taxation. At one of the sessions focused on the estate and gift tax, aides to Senate Finance Committee Member Charles Schumer (D-NY) and John Kyl (R-AZ) appeared jointly. According to Sen. Schumer’s aide, there will much more likely be a “patch”… Read More
According to David Goldman, the other Florida Estate Planning blogger named David (but who lives 300 miles away in Jacksonville), Leona Helmsley’s estate made distributions of $136 million to charities, and “only” $1 million to her pets.
I apologize for not updating this, my continuing series (and my blog in general) in which I order estate planning documents from an Internet document service. As I previously wrote, I attended the ABA Techshow in Chicago, and got sick when I came back. Between the late nights, and the Chicago cold, and the uncirculated… Read More
As you have probably read, first Iowa, and then Vermont have voted to legalize same sex marriage. Also, the District of Columbia has voted to recognize same sex marriages performed in other states. However, as I have previously written, there is still no relief for same sex couples for federal tax purposes.
I’ve never been a big fan of About.com. Everything about it screams “Web 1.0” to me in the way it is organized, marketed, and advertised. That being said, in the internet, “Content is King” no matter who is behind it. I recently stumbled upon the About.com:Wills & Estate Planning area which is run by Key… Read More
The Motley Fool just published a brief article entitled 3 Estate Must Dos. They are:’ Find an attorney who is thoroughly versed in estate planning. Your divorce lawyer or patent guy probably won’t hack it. Stay up to date on tax changes. They affect your planning documents. Make sure that the right people know where… Read More
As I posted in my last post, I decided to go to an internet website that purports to provide wills and trusts (among other things), to see how good their service really is, and whether they are properly helping their customers. I will not say their name right now, except to say while their zip… Read More