Estate and Elder Law

Recent Posts

David Shulman on Estate Planning: Facebook Allows Users to Designate a ‘Legacy Contact’ to Manage Their Account After Death
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 by David A. Shulman

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... Read More

Dedon On Estate Planning: Failure To Plan Has A Price
Posted on 27 Feb 2015 by John Dedon

“I never worry about action, but only about inaction.” Winston Churchill “I haven’t decided what I ultimately want to do with my business, or when I want to exit, or how much money I’ll need, or whom to sell to, so how... Read More

Dedon on Estate Planning: The President’s 2015 Budget: Limitations on Crummey Withdrawal Rights
Posted on 10 Apr 2014 by John Dedon

President Obama’s $2.9 trillion budget for the 2015 fiscal year includes several tax increases, particularly on the wealthy, to pay for increased spending without increasing the deficit. One increase that will not be widely reported pertains to... Read More

Dedon on Estate Planning: Disposition of Tangible Personal Property in a Side Letter
Posted on 14 Feb 2014 by John Dedon

A common question asked by clients preparing their Wills is how to dispose of tangible personal property upon death. For example, I am asked, "I have jewelry and a coin collection, do I need to specify how those items are distributed among my children... Read More

Dedon on Estate Planning: Pets and Estate Planning
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 by John Dedon

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... Read More

Ask Liza: Annual Gifts and Lifetime Gifts
Posted on 14 Jun 2013 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza, I would like to give my son $200k to upgrade homes. Can me and my wife each give $13,000 to my son, daughter in law, and two grand children? That would be $102,000, and then apply the remaining $98,000 to the unified tax credit. Can I write... Read More

McNees Insights on Estate Planning: Who Gets Your IRA? – 6 Common Mistakes
Posted on 10 Apr 2014 by McNees Wallace & Nurick LLC

By David M. Watts, Jr. | Do you want your heirs to have to chase after your 401K or IRA money? Many of us have a significant portion of our assets held in retirement plans, such as 401Ks and IRAs, and your Will does not control who gets your 401K or... Read More

Ask Liza: Capital Gains Taxes on Appreciated Property
Posted on 3 Mar 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

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... Read More

Ask Liza: Is A Survivors Trust A Necessary Part Of A Trust?
Posted on 27 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: My parents have a revocable Trust that is very outdated and we want to make amendments to it. I understand most of the Trust but am having trouble with the Survivors Trust. I was surprised to see that upon the death of one spouse a Survivors... Read More

Ask Liza: What to Do When One Parent Lacks Capacity
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza, my parents do not have a living trust in place. I need to help them set one up. My father and mother are 91 and 83 respectively. My father has a form of dementia that prevents him from making decision about his property. My Mother is fully... Read More

Ask Liza: How To Store That Estate Plan
Posted on 27 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: I’ve just completed my estate planning documents using the latest edition of WillMaker Plus, including the will, health care documents, power of attorney, final arrangements, etc. I think all totaled it comes to over 65 pages. I’d... Read More

Ask Liza: Avoiding a Lump Sum Inheritance
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza My father wants to leave some of his assets to my brother and sister, however neither of them is particularly adept at handling money and he doesn’t want to hand them a large, lump sum. Can a Will stipulate that they receive payments on... Read More

David Shulman: Who Gets Paid If an Alleged Incapacitated Person Dies Before the Hearing? Nobody?
Posted on 14 Feb 2014 by David A. Shulman

By David Shulman I’m sure there are some independently wealthy attorneys out there who take all of their cases pro bono . Most of us though are hard-working schlubs like everyone else who while we love what we do, need to pay the bills too. When... Read More

Ask Liza: Are Wills Drafted In Other States Valid?
Posted on 24 May 2013 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: I would like to know if my wife and I had a will drawn up in Colorado and now reside in Arzonia do we need to have it redone? If your Will was valid in Colorado, it will be valid in Arizona. Both states require that a Will be in writing, be... Read More

Ask Liza: Can the Executor Give Away Estate Assets?
Posted on 26 Feb 2015 by Liza Weiman Hanks

Dear Liza: My husband is the sole executor (and only child) of his mother’s Will. There are no other beneficiaries listed in her Will. The only asset she had was a home which is valued at about $300,000. Does he need to probate her Will? As the... Read More