Last Week in Estate Planning (June 26 to July 2, 2011)

July 3, 2011
300px Commuter.VRE .LEnfantStation.7th.SW .WDC .25Jine200830 Last Week in Estate Planning (June 26 to July 2, 2011)

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A happy Independence Day to everyone!  I hope your extended weekend is enjoyable, satisfying, and cool.  Hopefully, the following list will help condense the amount of time you spend reading estate planning articles and posts during the holiday.

Top Stories of the Week

Individual State Developments

In Florida:  “New Legislation, Part II”, Jeffrey A. Cramer, Esq., Cramer Law Center.

  • A report on recent changes in Florida intestacy law.

In Ohio:  “Ohio’s Estate Tax is No More”, Michael D. Bonasera, Esq., The Ohio Trust & Estate Blog.

In Rhode Island:  “Rhode Island State Senate Approves Civil Unions”, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer, Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog.

Federal Developments

“Finally, An Update on 2010 IRS Form 706, But Nothing New on IRS Form 8939”, Julie Garber, Esq.,

  • The Form 706 is the U.S. Estate and Gift Tax Return.
  • The Form 8939 is used t0 report any increase in basis for any property you received from a decedent.

“PLR 201125009: IRS Rules On Disclaimer Of Balance of Retirement Account”, Brian Spring, Wealth Strategies Journal 2.0.

  • The IRS interpretation of what is necessary for a beneficiary to effectively refuse a decedent’s gift of IRA or 403(b) funds without incurring any personal tax consequences.

“5 Month Extensions for Pass-Through Entities Made Permanent”Charles Rubin, Esq., Rubin on Tax.

Entertainment and Human Interest

“Peter Falk Leaves Bulk of His Estate to Devoted Wife”, Jen Heger, – cited in “Peter Falk Leaves Bulk of His Estate to Devoted Wife”, Estate of Denial.

“Marvel Superheroes and the Fathers of Invention”, Brent Staples, The New York Times – cited in “Marvel Superheroes and the Fathers of Invention”, Estate of Denial.


“Experiential Learning in Trusts and Estates Courses”, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer, Texas Tech University School of Law, and Prof. Mary F. Radford, Georgia State University College of Law, Wills, Trusts and Estates Prof Blog — full article posted on the Social Science Resource Network.

  • The authors list the current and proposed skills-based education methods used by Trust and Estates professors throughout the country, and encourages the reader to contact these professors for more information or to share experiences.

Top Posts and Articles of the Week

Honorable Mentions

“A GRAT Opportunity:  Taking Advantage of Low July 2011 AFRs”, Hani Sarji, Estate of Confusion,

  • A GRAT (“grantor retained annuity trust”) is an estate planning tool used to remove assets from a person’s estate to help his or her family avoid an onerous estate tax bill.

“Do Incentive Trusts Encourage Responsibility?”, Shomari Hearn, CFP, EA, Palisades Hudson Financial Group Sentinel – cited in “Do Incentive Trusts Encourage Responsibility?”, Adam Fleischer, Wealth Strategies Journal 2.0.

  • “Incentive Trusts” pay its funds to its listed beneficiaries only if they achieve certain goals or standards.

“The Tax Law That Could Make Your Grandchildren Super-Rich”, Karen Hube, The Washington Post with Bloomberg Business – cited in “Tax-Free Inheritance Using Roth IRAs”, Prof. Gerry W. Beyer, Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog.

  • Discusses the effects of converting an IRA to a Roth IRA after passage of two recent changes in tax law.

Estate Planning Post of the Week

“A Durable Power of Attorney Does Not Authorize An Agent to Settle An Estate (And Other Lessons)?”, Rania Combs, Esq., Texas Wills & Trusts Online.

  • Ms. Combs uses the example of a recent phone call from a client to gently demonstrate the importance of seeking legal advice to double-check yourself, even if you think you already know what to do.  The post is also an excellent illustration of how a majority of lawyers are actually quite approachable and willing to provide quick advice when needed.

Please nominate any top estate planning posts or articles for the week of July 3 to July 9, 2011 in the Comments section below.

 Last Week in Estate Planning (June 26 to July 2, 2011)
 Last Week in Estate Planning (June 26 to July 2, 2011)


Scott R. Zucker, Esq. is the owner of The Zucker Law Firm PLLC, located just outside the Capital Beltway in Annandale, within five miles of the City of Fairfax, the county seat of beautiful Fairfax County, Virginia. The firm focuses mainly on estate planning services for Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania clientele, and seeks to do so in an affordable and approachable way. People interested in learning more can contact Scott by phone or email.

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