June 2011 Archives

Special needs trusts help provide for special needs relatives

Supplemental or special needs trust are a valuable tool in estate planning. Among other benefits, they are a great way to assist in caring for a disabled loved one without harming their ability to qualify for public benefits programs.

Intentionally defective grantor trusts: a unique planning possibility

Under the Tax Relief Act of 2010, the federal lifetime gift exemption was increased to $5 million per person, or $10 million per married couple. That number applies to estate, lifetime gifts, and generation skipping transfer tax. As a recent article in Forbes points out, with such a generous increase in the lifetime gift exemption amount, and with the uncertainty about when that number will change, many are now taking advantage of the ability transfer assets with little or no federal gift tax consequences.

The details of the Georgia Supreme Court Melican decision

In our previous post we discussed the background events which spurred a longstanding probate battle that was recently resolved by the Georgia Supreme Court. The court ruled that Anne Melican is entitled to proceeds from the sale of a condominium previously owned by the Marietta millionaire car dealer with whom she had a 10-year affair.

Georgia Supreme Court resolves Melican will contest

A longstanding Atlanta area probate court battle has finally been resolved by the Georgia Supreme Court. We have discussed the long standing will contests involving Anne Melican in previous posts. Melican was the mistress of multi-millionaire Harvey Strother, who made his fortune through several Atlanta-area car dealerships. Strother's estate was estimated to be worth approximately $37 million when he died.

Asset considerations in a Georgia estate plan

The status of a married Georgia couple's assets is important for estate planning purposes. Although many couples have separate bank accounts it is important to realize that your spouse will likely not have immediate access to your funds if something were to happen to you. Therefore it might be prudent to establish a joint account to provide for common expenses such as the mortgage in the event of an emergency.

Granting a Georgia power of attorney

Medical advancements have allowed many Georgia residents to live longer, but this means that more Georgians may face a diminished mental state in their later years. Residents who might be impacted by dementia and Alzheimer's disease should choose an agent by granting a power of attorney.

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