Topic: Trusts & Estate Administration

The ABCs of Life Insurance and Divorce

The effects of divorce upon the right to life insurance are often greatly misunderstood,  and many individuals don’t realize the impact that divorce has upon this asset. As such, upon death, many policies are paid in a manner which is unintended. Divorce Supersedes Beneficiary Designations When individuals obtain life insurance, the insurer requires that they […]

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IRS Provides Portability Relief

Since the federal estate tax was resurrected on January 1, 2011, the IRS has allowed for the concept of portability as a valuable post-mortem planning tool for married couples.  When an individual dies, his or her estate is exempt from this tax for an amount known as the “applicable exclusion amount.”  This amount is in […]

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Protecting Your Assets and Preserving Your Wishes

Mike and Carol are a couple who both have children from a prior marriage.  Mike has three sons – Greg, Peter and Bobby.  Carol has three daughters – Marcia, Jan and Cindy.  After several years of marriage, they decide to execute Wills.  Wanting to keep it “simple,” Mike leaves everything to Carol, with the understanding […]

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Higher Gift Tax Limits for 2014

With the beginning of another year comes changes in the laws effecting federal estate and gift taxes.  There are three primary taxes in this area: (1) federal estate, (2) the generation skipping transfer (GST), and (3) the gift tax. For the year 2014, the exclusion from the federal estate tax is $5,340,000.  This is an […]

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But I Did Spend Last Night at a Holiday Inn Express!

In June 2009, Sophia Ricco died.  She had no Will and left behind two adult children as her surviving heirs.  The son, Al, with the consent of his sister, Eileen, applied and received Letters of Administration from the Camden County Surrogate.  Feeling that his mother’s death was caused by the acts and omissions of various […]

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Beneficiary Designations

Are your beneficiary designations for life insurance, IRAs, 401(k) plans as you intend them to be?  Are you sure? Query:  If you have designated a beneficiary for a life insurance or an annuity-related asset as “my children in equal shares,” is that truly your intention?  Keep in mind that if that particular designation exists on […]

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Choosing the Right Tax Clause

Lou Grant owned a successful horse tack business worth millions.  Through gifting and his estate, this business passed to his son, Lou Jr.  His daughters, Nancy and Virginia, had an opportunity to participate in this business but refused to sign the requisite agreements to do so based on the advice of Virginia’s husband who is […]

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Elder Law – 25 Years and Counting

In 1986, a group of attorneys from around the country met at the California Bar Association’s Annual Meeting to discuss the ever increasing senior population and how to deal with the myriad of issues facing them.  The theme of their talks was “How can we help?”  These attorneys came from diverse backgrounds including private practice, […]

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