January 2013 Archives

Long-term care insurance an important way of protecting your estate plan

With people living longer and longer, long-term care is becoming increasingly necessary. And with the costs of health care increasing, more and more people are finding that paying for nursing home or assisted living costs is increasingly difficult. Many people rely on Medicaid to pick up the slack when their own funds run out. Medicaid planning is a whole branch of estate planning with the goal of preserving one's wealth so that it doesn't get sucked up in long-term care.

Ray Charles Foundation loses challenge of notices terminating rights to Charles songs

Back in April, we noted that the Ray Charles Foundation-an estate that has encountered numerous financial and legal problems since the singer's death in 2004-was involved in a dispute with seven of Charles' children. Specifically, the Ray Charles Foundation-established to fund education for hearing impaired children-had sought as much as $3.5 million in compensation for Charles' children's decision to terminate the transfer of copyrights to dozens of Charles' songs to the foundation. That termination, the foundation argued, violated an agreement Charles had made with his children in 2002.

Married couples must file estate tax return to take advantage of "portability"

Under the American Taxpayer Relief Tax Act of 2012, passed by Congress in the eleventh hour, an important but not well known provision allows married couples to take advantage of one another's leftover estate tax exemption. This is an important thing to know, because while estate tax "portability" is available to all, it is only available if it is claimed in a timely manner.

What are the basic responsibilities of an executor?

Having the responsibility of winding up an estate can be intimidating, particularly for those who have little experience with legal or financial matters or for those dealing with a complex estate. The executor, the person responsible for making sure the will is carried out properly, involves gather all the information for the assets and making sure they are divided up properly.

End-of-life decision-making not always easy, even with preparation

Decision-making for those nearing the end of their life can be a trying time for families. In addition to the personal dynamics involved, there can be a lot at stake financially when somebody dies. When this happens,

Elder law may be new estate planning focus in coming year

Since the beginning of the New Year, we've noted that long-standing uncertainties about the estate tax have been resolved by the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). The law, as we've noted, makes permanent the system that has been in place over the last two years. This means that taxpayers will continue to enjoy an exemption of over $5 million.

Advance health care directives help people specify medical preferences

According to the Mayo Clinic, nearly three-quarters of Americans eventually find themselves in a medical situation where they are unable to communicate their wishes regarding health care to their providers. Both young and older persons encounter this problem. Fortunately, having an advance directive can help clarify your wishes so that providers know what steps to take when this happens.

How did the estate and gift tax change in the fiscal cliff deal? P.2

In our last post, we informed our readers about the new gift and estate tax rules that came out of the recent fiscal cliff deal. As we noted, the potential change has been a huge issue in the estate planning world for some time, attorneys not knowing what the future would hold and clients not sure what to do with their wealth. The bottom line is that the system that has been in place over the last two years was extended indefinitely.

How did the estate and gift tax change in the fiscal cliff deal? P.1

We want to update our readers on how the fiscal cliff deal will affect gift and estate tax planning in the coming year. This has, as our regular readers know, been a big issue in the estate planning world, and had many people taking last minute precautions over the last several months, so let's take a look at what happened.

Pet trust and other options available for pets in estate planning, P.2

In our last post, we spoke briefly about pet trusts, and how they can be excellent vehicles for ensuring a pet is cared for once its owner is gone. As we noted, pet trusts are probably the most reliable way to provide for a pet in estate planning, but they are not the only way.

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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