The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA-2012) (Pub L 112-240, 126 Stat 2313) allows IRA owners to make retroactive direct distributions to charity for 2012. It could be a good deal for you or your clients, but you have to act by January 31, 2013—this week!—to take advantage of it.
A trustee is entitled to compensation for services as provided in the trust instrument when the trust “provides for a trustee’s compensation” (Prob C §15680(a)), or “reasonable compensation” when the trust instrument “does not specify the trustee’s compensation” (Prob C §15681). But what if the trust provides for no compensation? In that case, the trustee is out of luck. (more…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics | Tagged: Estate Planning, successor trustee, trust, trust administration, trust document, trustee, trustee compensation, wills and trusts | 4 Comments »
There is no ideal way to handle new estate planning engagements, and it’s important for an attorney to develop his or her own procedure. But there are common procedures taken by many experienced attorneys from which to learn. The first 5 steps in 10 Steps for Developing and Implementing an Estate Plan, Part I set the stage for an estate plan; these final steps take you through the process of putting the plan into place. (more…)
Every attorney has his or her own style and system for developing and implementing an estate plan, but that doesn’t mean there are no commonalities. In fact, there are certain considerations and practices that are common to the estate planning process for most attorneys. For those of you new to estate planning practice—and those who want to confirm they aren’t missing anything—here are the first five of the 10 steps of this common procedure for developing an estate plan and putting it into place (stay tuned next week for the next 5 steps!). (more…)
The unexpectedly decisive re-election of President Obama, and the apparent stability of his electoral coalition, confronts estate planners with a new political reality. Here are my thoughts on where tax law is likely to go. (more…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, New Legal Developments, Tax Law | Tagged: capital gains, charitable gift, Estate Planning, estate tax, estate tax exemption, gift tax, gift tax exemption, tax planning, taxes | Leave a Comment »
Blended families are very common today—from the Kardashians to the Jolie-Pitts, Hollywood has myriad examples. In a blended family, there are children from a prior relationship and also perhaps children with the current spouse. This situation presents many blessings and challenges, including those for estate planning attorneys. Even if your clients’ assets are modest, planning for them in the context of the “blended family” requires careful analysis. (more…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law, Legal Topics | Tagged: blended family, community property, conflict of interest, divorce, estate plan, marital dissolution, separate property | 3 Comments »
When an attorney is also acting as the trustee, there are very specific limitations on the attorney getting compensated both as counsel and as trustee. It may seem like an efficiency to have a two-for-one situation, but it may end up being double the work for half the money. (more…)
Deciding whether to purchase life insurance is a difficult question on its own, and when you factor in the many types of insurance available, you have a genuine puzzle. Here’s a handy insurance overview to help you figure it all out. (more…)
Another sad family drama is playing out in public because of its connection to a celebrity: Forbes.com reports that actress Reese Witherspoon’s mother is suing to annul the bigamous marriage entered into by her husband, Reese’s father, Dr. John Witherspoon. Reese’s mother fears that her father is suffering from early-onset dementia and claims to be using this lawsuit to protect him from his new “wife.” As the article explains, suing to annul the marriage may not be the best way to protect Dr. Witherspoon; instead, this may be an appropriate situation for a conservatorship. (more…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Family Law, Legal Topics | Tagged: annullment, bigamy, conservatee, conservator, conservatorship, legal capacity, Reese Witherspoon, undue influence | 1 Comment »
Talk about a Catch-22: By checking if a no contest clause in their parents’ trust applies under former law, the daughters actually made the clause applicable! The Second District Court of Appeal has recently made the odd holding that no contest clauses in trust documents that are unenforceable under current law can still be enforced. See Donkin v Donkin (Mar. 23, 2012, B228704) 2012 Cal App Lexis 340.