LexisNexis® Legal Newsroom
Ask Liza: Getting Good Advice When You Are The Beneficiary

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: After dealing with an unexpected death of my spouse my head is still spinning.. My spouse was very private after a divorce and we kept our affairs separate. Now the Will, of which I was unaware, allows me to stay in our home and if I choose to leave or pass it goes...

Ask Liza: Naming a Minor as a Beneficiary of an IRA

By Liza Weiman Hanks | Dear Liza: I want to name my minor grandchildren as beneficiaries of my IRA account. How do I do that? Can I use my Will? It’s a smart idea to name minors as beneficiaries of your IRAs. Since they are young, they’ll be able to withdraw that money slowly over their...

Ask Liza: The Right Plan For Now: Living Trust

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza, I’m a young professional and would greatly appreciate your feedback on what type of trust, if any, would suit me well given my current financial and life position. I’m single, 29 years old (30 later this year), with cash, stocks, and a stake in a high-growth...

Ask Liza: Creditor’s Claims and Trust Administration

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: I am the successor trustee of my parents trust. The have both passed and I was told before I disburse the assets I need to advertise a Notice to Creditors. How long and how many times do I need to advertise? Since I don’t know which state you live in, I can...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Planning Not Just For The ‘Very Wealthy’

Russ Alan Prince, for Forbes, published an article on October 13, titled "The Very Wealthy Embrace Severe Disaster Contingency Planning." The article outlined how today, "the exceptionally wealthy [are] vulnerable to geopolitical instability, market volatility, career criminals, and even...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Is It R.I.P. For IRAs?

In an October online article in The Wall Street Journal , the reporter described how Congress is examining large IRAs, and IRAs holding real estate and closely held business interests. Congress’ concern is that IRA income tax advantages are being used by the wealthy in ways beyond that contemplated...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: 1031 Exchanges And End Of Year Planning

My partner, David Lawrence, is an expert on Section 1031 tax-free exchanges involving investment real estate. His thoughts regarding end of year planning and the advantages of 1031s is below. Tax Straddling When Selling Investment Property Between now and the end of the year, taxpayers can legally...

Ask Liza: Disinheriting a Child

By Liza Weiman Hanks Dear Liza: My husband and I both have a will that states we are each other’s beneficiaries and executor’s and our son as 100% beneficiary of both of us died,. My husband has a daughter by a previous marriage. If my husband dies before me does she have rights to our...

David Shulman on Estate Planning: Facebook Allows Users to Designate a ‘Legacy Contact’ to Manage Their Account After Death

Finally. For those who have been following, the issue of “digital assets” is a fast developing problem in the estate planning world. Putting aside for a moment who has the right to “inherit” your assets, the bigger problem with estate planning attorneys is who has access to...

Dedon on Estate Planning: Pets and Estate Planning

Bella - A Tribute | Anyone who has not felt the sadness and loss from the death of a pet either has never owned a pet or is devoid of humanity. My three pound Yorkie, Bella (technically, my daughter's dog, but you know how that works), had neurological issues that affected her ability to see and...

Ask Liza: Capital Gains Taxes on Appreciated Property

Dear Liza: My mother gave her house to my sister just before she passed away. My sister is going to sell the house. Do we have to pay taxes on that? If your mother’s house had appreciated in value between the time your mother purchased it, and her death, then the answer is yes. I can’t answer...

Ask Liza: Paying Capital Gains on Appreciated Assets

Dear Liza, My father passed away in 2002 when the federal estate tax limit was $1million. At that time my mother chose to put their home in the Bypass Trust. She has now passed and the home is worth $1.4 million. Do we inherit tax free or pay taxes on the amount over $1million? It’s nice when I...

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP: 8 Key Estate Planning Opportunities Arising From The Supreme Court's Decision On Same-Sex Marriage

By Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP On June 26, 2015, the US Supreme Court ruled that a state ban on same sex marriage is unconstitutional, in violation of the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The landmark ruling in the combined cases known as Obergefell v. Hodges [1] struck down every...

McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC Insights: Estate Planning

ASSET PROTECTION STRATEGIES by David M. Watts, Jr. Durng the estate planning process a question we are frequently asked relates to the best way to protect assets from creditors. The easy answer, although not the most satisfactory, is to give the assets in question away, before any claims arise...

John Dedon On Estate Planning: Are Asset Discounts on Family Transfers a Thing of the Past?

Perhaps the primary estate planning strategy utilized in reducing gift and estate tax for several decades has been taking advantage of discounts for family transfers of closely held businesses and real estate interests. These same discounts also apply to marketable securities if packaged properly in...

John Dedon on Estate Planning: Buy-Sell Arrangements and Irrevocable Insurance Trusts

A common estate planning strategy for people with taxable estates is to have an irrevocable trust own life insurance, rather than owning the insurance themselves. Even with the current amount an individual can protect from estate tax at $5,340,000, some affluent taxpayers will benefit if irrevocable...

Ask Liza: Paying Credit Card Debt As Trustee

Dear Liza, My father passed away recently, and all of his and my mom’s assets are held in a living trust (except an individual checking account), of which I am now the Trustee. A few collection agencies are now contacting me about collecting on some credit card balances, which are fairly significant...

David Shulman On Estate Planning: Google Updates Page Regarding Deceased User’s Account

By David Shulman It looks like Google recently updated the support page in which a person can request information regarding a deceased user’s account. Now the options are: Close the Account of a deceased user Submit a request for funds from a deceased user’s account Obtain data...

McNees Insights on Estate Planning: Transferring the Family Business - Timing is Everything

By Vance E. Antonacci | One of the most important factors to consider in any business succession plan is the timing of the transition of ownership. Whether a sale or a gift (or combination of the two), no transition should occur before the next generation of leaders is identified and developed. However...

David Shulman: ULC’s Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act Supported by Tech Industry

By David Shulman The Uniform Law Commission is a non-profit organization that drafts “model” or “uniform” laws that can be adopted by state legislatures. Individual legislatures can then adopt the act as is, or can tweak it as they see fit. I have previously written about the...

John Dedon on Estate Planning: Good news on Estate Tax Exemption

The IRS recently announced the inflation adjusted figures for gift and estate tax exemption amounts for 2016. The annual exclusion amount remains at $14,000. That is the amount that can be gifted to US citizens each year without eroding the per person exemption amount. The exemption amount increases...

John Dedon on Estate Planning: Kardashian Family Continues to Teach Estate Planning Lessons

My March 30, 2015 Post, discussed how Kris Jenner, the matriarch of the Kardashian family, was confused about the difference between 1) her Will and the role of the Executor, and 2) her Living Will and the role of the agent. In an episode of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians," Kris told her...

Ask Liza: What Capacity Is Required To Change Beneficiary Designations?

Dear Liza: Can someone with stage four Parkinson’s change the beneficiary on their life insurance? My answer is: it depends. That’s a pretty lawyerly answer, I know, but the thing is that whether or not someone has legal capacity is fact-dependent and unique to each individual, and, in...

Ask Liza: Should We Create a Living Trust?

Dear Liza: We are a married couple in our early and mid 30s with a one year old son living in Southern California. I have been looking at setting up a trust and/or will for our little family but not sure what is needed in our scenario. My husband and I each own a home in our name (bought before we got...

McNees Insights On Estate Planning

YEAR-END TAX PLANNING 2015 By David M. Watts, Jr. As the end of the year approaches, it is a good time to think of planning moves that will help lower your tax bill for this year and possibly the next. Factors that compound the challenge include turbulence in the stock market, overall economic...