Posted on May 17, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
Do you own a house with someone and don’t want to register as domestic partners, but you still want an exclusion from a change in ownership for property tax purposes when you die? Now you can. Here’s how it works. (more…)
Filed under: Estate Planning, Legal Topics, Real Property, Tax Law | Tagged: change in home ownership, coowner, cotenant, domestic partners, property tax, property tax reassessment, same-sex couples | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 8, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
Posted on March 18, 2013 by Julie Brook, Esq.
For every parent, the most important function of his or her will is the nomination of a guardian for minor children. (more…)
Filed under: Estate Planning, Family Law, Legal Topics | Tagged: death, death of parent, Estate Planning, guardianship, minor children, nomination of guardian, will | 4 Comments »
Posted on January 28, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
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.
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Tax Law | Tagged: American Taxpayer Relief Act, charitable deduction, charitable donation, income tax, Individual Retirement Account, IRA | 2 Comments »
Posted on January 18, 2013 by Robert Denham, Esq
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 »
Posted on December 21, 2012 by Julie Brook, Esq.
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…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics | Tagged: Estate Planning, estate plans, wills and trusts | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 17, 2012 by Robert Denham, Esq
Updated January 4, 2013: The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 restores the original 3 percent phaseout of itemized deductions for income above $300,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $250,000 for single taxpayers. The Act also restores the 39.6 percent top rate for income above $450,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly and $400,000 for single taxpayers.
Most readers are aware that many provisions of the tax law “sunset” or expire at the end of 2012 if nothing happens before the end of the year. One little-noticed provision could help both sides move beyond the current impasse. (more…)
Filed under: Estate Planning, Legal Topics, New Legal Developments, Tax Law | Tagged: American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, fiscal cliff, high-income taxpayers, Pease phase out, tax law, tax rates | 2 Comments »
Posted on December 14, 2012 by Robert Denham, Esq
Updated: The Supreme Court heard oral argument in Windsor v U.S. on March 27, 2013, with negative implications for domestic partners, as discussed in the April 2013 issue of CEB’s Estate Planning & California Probate Reporter.
The U. S. Supreme Court’s grant of review in Windsor v U.S. puts the marital deduction in doubt for same-sex surviving spouses but it doesn’t change the advice: for now, practitioners should keep filing estate tax returns claiming the marital deduction until someone tells them to stop. (more…)
Filed under: Estate Planning, Family Law, Legal Topics, Tax Law | Tagged: DOMA, domestic partnerships, Estate Planning, estate tax, IRS, marital deduction, registered domestic parternships, same-sex marriage, Windsor | 6 Comments »
Posted on December 10, 2012 by Julie Brook, Esq.
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…)
Filed under: Elder Law, Estate Planning, Legal Topics, Young Lawyers | Tagged: estate plan, Estate Planning, wills and trusts | 1 Comment »
Posted on November 19, 2012 by Robert Denham, Esq
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 »