April 2013 Archives

Choose your executor carefully--it can be a risky job

Executors, or personal representatives in some states, are responsible for administering a person's estate after that person dies. These duties include collecting and managing any assets, paying off any bills and taxes, closing the estate and eventually distributing what is left of the assets.

Suggestions for making things easier on your loved ones

Scott Taylor Smith, author of the book "When Someone Dies," recently wrote an article suggesting several important steps folks can take to make things easier on their loved ones when they die. Many, if not most, of these suggestions are routinely handled in the estate planning process. Some of them, however, may not be, so we'll take a look at what he says.

Financial planners looking into ways to work around IRA funding cap proposal

As part of its ongoing effort to address the national debt load and the possibility of hitting the "debt ceiling," the Obama administration has made a number of proposals that would increase income to the federal government and help alleviate the problem. As we've previously mentioned, some of these proposals will impact the estate planning process.

Rollins family dispute over trust management to head back to court

Beneficiaries of trusts have certain rights to the property being held in trust for their benefit. Because of this, suits between beneficiaries and trustees can involve a number of legal issues. One of these is the way the trustee is handling the trust assets. If the trustee fails to exercise his or her legal duties with regard to managing the trust assets, beneficiaries may choose to take legal action against the trustee.

Obama administration proposals could affect important estate planning tools, P.2

In our previous post, we began looking at how current proposals to cut spending and increase revenue could affect important estate planning tools. Last time, we looked specifically at how grantor retained annuity trusts could be affected, and we began to speak about intentionally defective grantor trusts.

Obama administration proposals could affect important estate planning tools, P.1

The American Taxpayer Relief Act, passed not too long ago by Congress, was able to provide a measure of certainty for estate planners with respect to tax planning, but there is still uncertainty ahead because of political debates over government spending and revenue generation. Depending on the way lawmakers choose to tackle the problem, certain estate planning tools may be targeted.

Famous art collector's estate can't afford to bury his body because of dispute

The body of New York-based artist Merton D. Simpson, a painter well known for championing African art and who accumulated a collection worth millions of dollars, is in a bit of a predicament after last month's funeral. After the ceremony, the body of the art collector was not buried, but was instead returned to the funeral home in Charleston where it had been for more than two weeks since his death at the age of 84 early last month.

State income taxes on trust income should be kept in mind in trust administration

Trusts are very useful tools when it comes to estate planning. Their uses in this area include protecting and providing for children, tax planning benefits, professional management of assets, among others. But trusts do have their own unique challenges.

Mr. Teiger, Thank you very much for your time and results. I will definitely recommend you & your firm to anyone who wants to be treated professionally courteously and needs results.Hope all is well.Again...thank you. Regards, Paul L.

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