Asset Ownership

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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5 Options for Individual Beneficiaries of an Inherited IRA

February 5, 2010 - Paperwork

In this post, we discuss what specifically happens when an IRA account holder dies.  What choices does the individual beneficiary have? Here, we’ll start with the individual (i.e. human being) beneficiary’s options for distributing Traditional or Roth IRAs (other types of IRAs, such as SEP IRAs, SIMPLE IRAs, and Self-directed IRAs, are beyond the scope…

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Don’t Have $5 Million? 50 Reasons to Get an Estate Plan Anyway

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“Estate Planning” is somewhat of a misnomer.  For example, let’s check out The Free Dictionary’s definition of “estate”. You’ll find that the majority of the 8 provided definitions associate the term either with land or with some kind wealth, social position, or political power.  Read more...

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Obama Signs New Tax Law: How It Affects You

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The House and Senate have passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010, also known as the 2010 Tax Relief Act, and President Obama signed the bill today.  Let’s take a brief first look at how the new law will affect all of us.  Read more...

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Digital Assets: Estate Planning for Online Accounts Becoming Essential (Part II)

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Today, we’ll continue our discussion on digital assets (see part I here) by reviewing the current state of the law, including the enforceability of the “Terms of Service” we all click on before opening an online account. Categories of Property First, let’s discuss the broad ways that the law defines different kinds of property before…

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5 Estate Planning Ideas for Cliff Lee (& Other Pro Athletes)

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I am a life-long Phillies fan.  Imagine my pure delight when I heard that on Monday, elite pitcher Cliff Lee signed a 5-year, $120 million deal (plus a potential 6th if he reaches certain goals) with my phavorite team to help shepherd in a new era of excellence.  For more information, type “Cliff Lee” into…

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“Do I Need a New Will if I Move to Another State?”

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Generally, if a will is valid in one state, it will be valid in the next state.  However, if your state laws differ in the areas discussed below, a revision or a completely new will is likely warranted. Proving Your Will Your personal representative will have to prove the validity of your will to the…

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Ownership, Beneficiaries and Disclaimers in Estate Planning

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Today, we will again discuss how drafting wills and trusts are sometimes only part of the recommended strategy towards avoiding estate taxes.  Close inspection of your asset ownership, the naming of beneficiaries, and proper drafting of your estate documents are essential towards a complete estate plan. We discussed the mechanics of the A-B Trust plan…

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Tenancy by the Entirety — Ownership Between Spouses

Today, we discuss tenancy by the entirety ownership in Virginia and Maryland. The discussion is obviously not an exhaustive restatement of the law upon which you can strictly rely, but is intended only as a broad summary.  Read more...

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