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A power of attorney is an essential part of an estate plan. You know that from past visits. The POA ensures that someone can manage your estate when you are unable to. Bills can be paid; investments can be managed; and other actions can be taken. Having a document called a power of attorney does […]
Many people know why making gifts is part of most estate plans. Yet, they hesitate to make the gifts, because they see potential pitfalls. They fear that the gifts might be spent unwisely or wasted. The donee could squander the assets on gambling, substance abuse, or other activities. Or the wealth could be well-managed for […]
Estate planning discussions often assume that a married couple is involved. We all know that frequently isn’t the case. People can be widowed, and the divorce rate among older Americans is rising. The Census Bureau reports a doubling since 1989 of the number of older couples living together without being married. A single person ? […]
Why do only 10% of family businesses reach the third generation? Perhaps one reason is that only 28% of family businesses have a succession plan. Yet, 40% to 60% of current owners say they want their businesses to stay in the family. Unfortunately, few have a plan to make that happen. Estate lawyers and financial […]
The most unexpected events can cause a will to be challenged. A carefully planned estate becomes a mess as legal fees lay waste to the family wealth and acrimony drives members apart. It doesn’t have to happen. In most cases, a will contest and related lawsuits could have been avoided with a few preventive steps. […]
Soon after I updated the tax status of family limited partnerships for our July visit, the Tax Court ruled in another FLP case. The decision went against the taxpayers and again dimmed the enthusiasm of many tax advisors for FLPs. I’m not as pessimistic about the decision, but it does add some uncertainty and should […]
Americans put their wills on the backburner in recent years, and it could cost their estates and heirs plenty. The data is clear. In 2004 only 42% of adults had even a basic will, versus 47% in 2000, according to legal publisher Martindale-Hubbell. Other studies have similar results. LegalZoom.com found that only 75% of adults […]
Last year a number of estate planners worried that the IRS and the Tax Court nailed shut the door on family limited partnerships. A recent federal appeals court decision recently made clear the door still is open, and it set some guidelines for the successful use of FLPs. Family limited partnerships have been premier estate […]