Blog Archives

In Appreciation: A Tribute to My Dad, 10 Years Later

Carl K. Zucker, Esq. (1934-2002)

It was the first week of law school, Torts class.  We were studying negligence, and on this day, the question was whether or not a witness to a car accident should be able to recover damages for emotional distress from the party at fault.  Read more...

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2012 Changes in Virginia Trust Law (Part 2): Decanting & Directed Trusts

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Last week, we discussed in Part 1 of this topic how Virginia recently passed several bills that will revise state trust law on July 1, 2012.  Today, in Part 2, we will continue our discussion about these changes in the law. As a reminder, while these rules are currently the law in a minority of…

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2012 Changes in Virginia Trust Law (Part 1): Asset Protection Trusts

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Virginia recently passed several bills that will revise state trust law on July 1, 2012.  In this post and the following post, I will attempt to briefly describe these changes in the law, define key terms and discuss the effects of each.  Some of these rules are already in place in other states, but the…

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Why Should Estate Planning Be A Priority For Me?

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Excuse me; may I interrupt your self-imposed blog posting hiatus? Sure, what’s up? You once said that every adult needs an estate plan.  Isn’t that a bunch of hooey?  I mean, if you go to a financial planner, you hear “everyone needs a financial plan.”  If you go to an insurance salesman, you hear that…

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Estate Planning and Optometry Are Quite Different … Or Are They?

The author's actual glasses in disrepair.  Enhanced image by  Krysteena Marie Photography.

The very glasses that provided “insight”.  Enhanced image by Krysteena Marie Photography. So over the weekend, my glasses broke.  As displayed in the accompanying picture, the top half of the frames are made of metal while each lens is held in by a small elastic band. The glasses lost a battle with my knee and…

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20 Annoying Things About Being an Estate Planning Attorney

Background photo from quickmeme.com

No, for the most part, we don’t starve.  These may also have a “First World Problems” vibe as well.  But as you read the following list, maybe, just maybe, you’ll laugh and perhaps shed a tear too: 1.  The Binding Struggle Pictured to the right.  Choices include 3-ring binders, staples, wire, coil, comb-binding, velo-binding, spiral…

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Have Dependents? Then Strongly Consider Standby Guardianships

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Today we discuss a strategy that is useful in case of what is likely the most devastating, worst-case scenario for many families – the unexpected and sudden death of parents or caregivers. While we hesitate to even think about it, we must consider all possibilities in estate planning so that loved ones can be left…

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Follow-Up Answers to “Revocable Living Trusts in a Nutshell” Webinar

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Online Presentation This past Monday, I gave a 90-minute webinar entitled “Revocable Living Trusts in a Nutshell”.  It was sponsored by the good folks at the National Business Institute (“NBI”) and simulcast by West Legal Ed Center.  The course was geared toward a national audience and is approved for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit in…

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What is the Federal Gift Tax? The Rules for 2012 (And Beyond?)

Photo credit = "Taxes" by 401kcalculator.org via flickr

Image by 401kcalculator.org via flickr. Let’s discuss federal gift taxation for 2012. Our government has been fairly active lately initiating proposals for gift taxes in 2013 and beyond. For example, earlier this month, President Obama proposed the application of the gift tax rules that were in place in 2009. Since this would result in a…

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No Digital Estate Planning? Go Google Yourself!

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Have you ever Googled yourself?  Did you find any fascinating careers and/or hobbies that your same-named friends have undertaken?  It is amazing and a bit scary how much one kind find through this three-second exercise. Searching My Own Name I entered my first and last name in quotes earlier today and found the following information:…

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