With the holiday season upon us, many folks, like me, realize that they have a fantastic beautiful spouse who is perfect and has everything she could ever want. Unsexy as it may seem, for that special person who is hard to buy for (particularly when you share a balance sheet and a family), a wills-and-trusts package may belong at the top of your list.
I see that it has been almost a year since my last blog post. I have been very busy in the meantime, doing great things like hiring new employees at the firm, as the other pages on our newly-renovated website can attest to. However, like many busy people, I have been neglectful of other pots on the stove... it’s easy to skip regular constructive activities that have not yet solidified into a habit. So I pause for a moment and lament the many blog posts I haven’t written. Now, as I notice that the calendar is down to a single page, two things strike me:
Thanksgiving can be a good time to talk to parents or other older loved ones about the plans they have in place, whether to understand more about what those plans are or to encourage them to make appropriate plans. It's also a great time to share with others what you've done on that front, to make sure that your own plans are in place.
Families of children with special needs often consult an estate planner like myself after larger questions have been resolved. If the disability results from some kind of accident, where a trust may be needed to administer the proceeds of a settlement, it is not unusual for the settlement lawyers to prepare a suitable trust during the litigation to obtain the settlement. That presents its own set of challenges and is more typically the province of a good special needs litigator.
In a year that is saddened by many celebrity deaths, including some recent deaths in the sporting world, one that's notable from an estate planning perspective is that of Arnold Palmer—but not in the way that you might expect.
In this back-to-school season, parents are about to find—whether their children are 18-year-olds who are still in high school or children going off to college—that when a young person turns 18 and reaches the age of majority, the parents’ ability to deal with the child's private data is severely curtailed.
As those of you who follow the inside baseball of estate planning surely know, the Treasury Department recently promulgated regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704. The detailed discussion of these regulations is obviously beyond the scope of a blog post, but it is worth noting their effect in broad brushstrokes.