A HISTORY OF SWEETHEART WILLS

Written by Jim Worthington on February 10, 2019

The simplest form of will for a married couple basically says: “I give, devise, and bequeath everything I own to my beloved spouse if my spouse survives me. If my spouse does not survive me, I … .” Estate planning lawyers call this a sweetheart will

Do I have to go through full probate?

Written by Jim Worthington on February 3, 2019

Many clients and potential clients call after the death of a loved one and ask if a full probate administration is necessary. The answer depends on how the loved one owned his or her assets. Some general rules follow:

  • Assets with a beneficiary designation, such…Read More

Organize Your Stuff

Written by Jim Worthington on January 28, 2019

All of the commercials tell us that the New Year is the time to get organized. It’s also the time to get in shape but that’s a topic for someone else’s blog. Here are some tips for getting organized.

  • Review your estate plan if you haven’t…Read More

A Time for Family

Written by Jim Worthington on December 23, 2018

Regardless of religious beliefs, the end of the calendar year marks a time for family get-togethers and plans for the future. This week’s blog will detour from the normal fare of technical estate and trust law and look at the importance of family.

Disputes during estates,…Read More

What to do with Mom’s China?

Written by Jim Worthington on December 16, 2018

Most wills have special provisions covering what estate and trust lawyers call tangible personal property. The best way to describe it is that it includes anything that is not permanently affixed to real estate and that can be touched. This isn’t a precise legal…Read More

Recent IRS Announcements: Inflation-Adjustments, Trust Deductions, and Anti-Clawback Proposed Regulations

Written by Jim Worthington on December 1, 2018

The IRS has recently issued three significant updates. They include a Revenue Procedure, a Notice, and Proposed Regulations.

The first, Rev. Proc. 2018-57, released Nov. 15, 2018, provides the inflation-adjusted numbers for various tax exemptions, limits, etc. Four major ones for trusts and estates matters include:

Giving Gifts to Charity

Written by Jim Worthington on November 18, 2018

Last week’s post discussed gift-giving in general with a promise to look more closely at gifts to charity. Gifts to charity aren’t governed by the gift tax rules but by the income tax rules. Essentially, giving to charity is deemed so socially valuable that Congress encourages it by allowing…Read More

‘Tis the Season: Giving Gifts

Written by Jim Worthington on November 11, 2018

As the year-end holidays approach, many of us are thinking about giving gifts to our family, friends, charities, and even our employees. Tax law has rules that affect this generosity.

In the tax law, a gift is marked by “detached and disinterested generosity.” The person who makes the gift,…Read More

Domestic Asset Protection Trusts

Written by Jim Worthington on November 7, 2018

DAPTs are trusts established under the laws of a state such as Delaware, Nevada, South Dakota, Tennessee, Ohio, or Alaska that allows self-settled spendthrift trusts. Historically, one could not protect one’s own assets from one’s own creditors by transferring them to a trust. Over the past 20 years, however, a number…Read More