Blog Archives

Why Many Estate Planning Lawyers Don’t Quote Fees Before Meeting You

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So you finally get the gumption to call an estate planning lawyer.  You’ve done your research, asked friends for referrals, and then you make contact with the lawyer.  But when you ask what the lawyer charges, he or she won’t give you a straight answer. This is frustrating.  Is the lawyer trying to hide something? …

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Disclaimers: When Rejecting an Inheritance is Actually Beneficial

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For 2012 only, anyone who dies with less than $5.12 million will not owe any federal estate tax.  This protection is presently set to decrease to $1 million on January 1, 2013.  While few believe that lawmakers won’t increase this amount before the end of the year, anything is still possible.  Read more...

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Maybe Joe Paterno’s House Transfer Wasn’t So Dumb After All

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“You see my husband as a saint, so he must be right in everything he says and does.  And then you see him as a devil, and everything he says and does must be wrong.  Well, my husband is neither a saint nor a devil.  He’s just a human being and he makes mistakes.”  Read…

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Consider Digital Estate Planning Services

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NOTE:  I am proud to announce that my post below also appears in the January 2012 edition of the WealthCounsel Quarterly Newsletter, linked here.  While written mainly for estate planning practitioners, this overview is also hopefully helpful to anyone with any digital assets.  Enjoy, and Happy New Year!  Read more...

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What is the Federal Estate Tax? Examples Using 2012 Rates

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Everyone Has an Estate For purposes of understanding the federal estate tax, we must first examine the definition of “estate” provided by the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. “Estate” Includes Property Owned at Death Contrary to what seems to be popular belief, every person has an “estate”, whether it’s worth $1 or $100 billion. An individual’s…

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Lending Money to Family – Don’t Forget About “Imputed Income”

IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman Addresses The AICPA Annual Conference

Let’s say you want to lend a significant amount of money to your child, another family member or even a friend.  To further help, you decide that you want to make the loan without interest (or at a below-market rate).  Bully for you – you should be commended for your support and assistance to your…

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ALERT: Gift Tax Exemptions Could Be Significantly Lowered By Next Week

The Deficit Reduction Super Committee Holds Meeting For Opening Statements

There is an increasing buzz in the estate planning community regarding the decisions the Super Committee must make by next Wednesday, November 23. As we have discussed previously, the Super Committee is made of six Democrats and six Republicans evenly split from the U.S. House and Senate.  Their task is to come up with a…

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Last Month in Estate Planning (October 2011)

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The following is a summary of popular topics discussed in estate planning blogs and articles last month. Federal Estate and Gift Tax Updates The IRS announced that for 2012, the federal estate tax exclusion will increase to $5,120,000 (it was $5 million in 2011).  As Julie Garber of about.com notes, this means that the lifetime…

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20 Reasons Estate Planning Lawyers Are Not Professional Athletes

20 Reasons Estate Planning Lawyers Are Not Professional Athletes

Former Philadelphia Phillie John Kruk once said to a fan, “Lady, I’m not an athlete.  I’m a professional baseball player.”  Well, if you ever run into that same lady, you can also tell her these 20 reasons why estate lawyers can almost claim the same thing:  Read more... Desks don’t fit well on the field…

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14 Advanced Ways to Transfer a Personal Residence to Your Heirs

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Yesterday’s post covered 13 options for homeowners wanting to transfer their personal residence (“PR”) within their circle of family or friends after death.  Today, we continue the discussion by presenting 14 additional options more appropriate for families that are anticipating an estate or gift tax liability in the future.  Read more...

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