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It’s Estate Planning Awareness Month. Is Your Plan Up-To-Date?10/06/2023

October is Estate Planning Awareness Month. This annual reminder offers the opportunity to review your estate planning and ensure it is up-to-date and accomplishes your goals. Funding your Revocable Trust Your estate planning is prepared. You signed it. Mission accomplished? Almost…. There is a very important step, called “trust funding” that often gets missed after executing a trust. If you…

Your Guide to the Second Half of 2023: Gift Giving & Tips for Parents with College Students08/09/2023

As we find ourselves well into the latter half of the year, the thoughts of winter travel, holidays and the bustling activities of the upcoming months begin to occupy the minds of many. It is also an opportune moment to reflect on your estate plan and decide if any aspects require careful attention before the year's end, including contemplating annual…

Estate Planning Awareness Week 202210/17/2022

Why Estate Planning Awareness Week? In 2008, Congress designated the third week of October (October 17-23, 2022) as National Estate Planning Awareness Week as a reminder to the public of the importance of estate planning. Having a proper estate plan is important to ensure that you and your loved ones are taken care of. When done well, estate planning aims…

Trusts and Estates Checklist of Information to be Maintained02/27/2020

The first step in implementing your estate planning is to prepare lists of personal and financial information.  These should include lists of assets, estate planning documents, personal information, important people and personal directives.  Once gathered and organized, keep the information up-to-date and stored in a …

Letters of Wishes: An Administrative and Moral Headache in Disguise?02/04/2020

Trustees may have difficulties determining whether to make distributions when the grantor’s intentions are unclear.

New Illinois Statute Creates Presumption of Invalidity as to Transfers to Caregivers Over $20,00010/11/2015

A new section in the Illinois Probate Act, 755 ILCS 5/4-a, et seq., titled "Presumptively Void Transfers," which took effect January 1, 2015, creates a rebuttable presumption that a document that transfers assets upon a person's death, referred to as a "transfer instrument," that transfers $20,000 or more to a caregiver is invalid. The intent of the new law is…

Leaving S Corporation Stock to a Special Needs Individual09/24/2015

An owner of an S corporation with a special needs child may be faced with a dilemma.  If the S corporation is a family business, much of the S corporation holder's wealth may be held in the S corporation, but the business owner may feel strongly about treating all of his or her children equally in terms of gifts and…

Gay Marriage, Unequivocally, Now the Law of the Land06/26/2015

In a 5-4 decision handed this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to marry to same-sex couples.

From Father and Son to Married Same Sex Couple05/29/2015

For the first time in Pennsylvania’s history, a gay couple who had existed legally as father and adopted son for over a decade to legitimate their relationship, ended their father-son relationship to finally legally marry.

Same Sex Marriage and Tax Law: A Rough Landscape01/23/2015

Another tax season is upon us, and the hardships of complying with another annual tax return filing requirement affects most of us. However, for same sex couples, the hardships are further exacerbated by the different tax laws at the state level.

Gay Marriage: A Split amongst the Circuits11/11/2014

On November 6th, those fighting for the right to gay marriage across the entire U.S. were dealt a heavy blow when the U.S Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled against the practice of gay marriage in four states (Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee)…

Coordinate Your IRA Beneficiary Designation with the Terms of Your Estate Plan10/01/2014

In a recent Private Letter Ruling (201438014), the IRS issued a taxpayer a triple-whammy…The moral of the story is that the tax issue could have been avoided by simply better coordinating the various parts of the client?s estate plan, including the IRA….

Developments in Estate Valuations and C Corporations09/04/2014

On August 4, 2014, the U.S. Tax Court issued a final decision in the case of Estate of Franklin Z. Adell v. Commissioner (T.C. Memo 2014-155). The case involved Franklin Z. Adell, deceased. At the time of his death, Franklin owned 100 percent of the …

Recent Changes in State Transfer Taxes07/29/2014

According to a list published by Forbes magazine in 2013, Maryland was among the worst states for retirement for several reasons.

FBAR: Costly Noncompliance and Heightened Scrutiny06/11/2014

The Department of Justice and Carl A. Zwerner (“Taxpayer”) have agreed to settle the case of United States v. Zwerner (S.D. Fla., No. 1:13-cv-22082). The settlement calls for the Taxpayer to pay penalties and interest totaling about $1.8M in connection with the Taxpayer’s failure to …

Recycle Your Charitable Dollars06/06/2014

For private foundations interested in a “return on investment” on the distribution of their foundation’s charitable dollars (that is, a return beyond the satisfaction of doing good), Program Related Investments (“PRI’s”) are generally the tool of choice. A PRI can be counted as part of …

How Do You Define “Philanthropy”?05/20/2014

For many Gen Y’ers (a/k/a Millennials, and generally understood to be people in their 20’s and 30’s today), philanthropy goes far beyond writing a check to one?s favorite public charity (or, even, texting a donation to the Red Cross following some natural disaster or another). …

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