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HTMLWhat Is Probate? How Do I Avoid It?
Jim Schleiffarth; Schleiffarth Law Firm LLC;
Legal Alert/Article
February 11, 2016, previously published on February 10, 2016
Probate is an entirely avoidable event. The process is typically undesirable due its time, expense and administrative requirements. Proper planning, through various methods, can remove all assets from the probate estate, allow for a smooth transfer of a decedent’s property and assure that...


HTMLInternational Estate Planning - Starting with a Will
Patrick Hamlin, Patrick Hamlin, Freda Lim, Chua Yee Hoong, Chua Yee Hoong; Withers Bergman LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
February 11, 2016, previously published on February 2, 2016
Globalisation has changed the way we live. A less discussed topic is that globalisation has also changed the way we die. Cross-border investments and worldwide acquisition of assets have increased dramatically with technological advances and the ease of travel. It is also an increasingly common...


Adobe PDFGrantor Retained Annuity Trusts in a Low Interest Rate Environment Can Be a Valuable Estate Planning Tool
Nita S. Vyas; Greenbaum, Rowe, Smith & Davis LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
January 26, 2016, previously published on January 2016
On December 16, 2015, the Federal Reserve announced its decision to raise the benchmark interest rate, for the first time since 2008’s financial crisis, to a range of between 0.25 - 0.5%. With IRS statutory rates still low, from an estate planning perspective, the current rate environment...


Adobe PDFUS Government to Penetrate Secrecy in Manhattan, Miami Residential Transactions
Michael W. Galligan, Marc A. Landis, Tiberio Schwartz; Phillips Nizer LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
January 21, 2016, previously published on January 16, 2016
On January 13, 2016, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) ordered certain title insurance companies to identify the individuals behind the purchase of residential real estate in Manhattan (New York County, New York) and Miami-Dade County,...


HTMLWhat You Need to Know About Relation Back of Amendments
Travis J. Graham; Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
January 7, 2016, previously published on December 2015
When we say that an amendment to a pleading “relates back” to the filing of the original pleading, we are simply saying that we are going to pretend that the new allegations appeared in the original document, even though they didn’t. The reason for this concept, and indeed the...


HTMLExecutors Responsible for New Estate Reporting Requirements
Sloane Jumper Hankins; Butler Snow LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
December 29, 2015, previously published on December 11, 2015
Executors (or beneficiaries in certain situations) of estates for which an estate tax return was required to be filed under Section 6018(a) after July 31, 2015 must now supply the IRS and each person acquiring any interest in property included in the decedent’s gross estate for Federal estate...


HTMLSocial Security Changes
Thomas N. Lawson, Alan J. Tarr; Loeb & Loeb LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
December 28, 2015, previously published on December 2015
The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, which was signed into law on November 2, 2015, included various changes to the Social Security law. Those changes primarily impact couples and eliminate certain options previously available when one spouse is eligible for a spousal benefit based upon the other...


HTMLTrust Allowed Charitable Distribution Deduction for Amount of Unrealized Appreciation in Property Transferred to Charity
Thomas N. Lawson, Alan J. Tarr; Loeb & Loeb LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
December 28, 2015, previously published on December 2015
Estates and trusts are subject to different rules than individuals for charitable contribution deductions. Individuals’ deductions are limited to a percentage of their adjusted gross income each year. Under certain circumstances, individuals can give away appreciated capital assets, such as...


HTMLSalvaging the 2015 Roller Coaster Ride with Your Retirement Accounts: Roth IRA Conversion
Linda Kotis; Ivins Phillips Barker Chartered;
Legal Alert/Article
December 10, 2015, previously published on December 2015
The stock market has been full of crazy swings this year. Your retirement accounts were buoyed by the 1.2% gain in the Dow Jones Industrial Average on January 8. Then you cringed as account values bounced around in March with a 333 point drop. You nearly fainted as the Dow plunged again this summer...


Adobe PDFUpdate on Taxation of Estate Plans
Marni Pernica, Clare A. Sullivan; Aird & Berlis LLP;
Legal Alert/Article
December 9, 2015, previously published on November 2015
On January 1, 2016, new tax rules relating to certain types of trusts come into force. These new rules will eliminate some of the advantages of using trusts established by Will (“testamentary trusts”) for tax planning purposes and will impact existing trusts.


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