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Are you an Executor?

30 Aug

How many times has someone told me, “I’m my mom’s executor”, and I have responded, “No you’re not.  Your mom is still alive!  You’re not an executor until she is gone.”  I usually tell them more.  I have to add quite a bit more information because they just keep adding layers of complexity and formality […]

An Honor to Serve

20 Dec

In my 22nd year, I’m as excited as ever about being your estate planning attorney.  Every new client gets the good news: there’s a better way to do things than what you’ve heard. We can avoid probate; we can plan strategically for taxes; we can protect and preserve your assets for generations. You can be […]

From the edge of the cliff

04 Jan

I think it’s generally a bad idea to react in fear.  And, I don’t like legislation that results from congressionally-created crisis.  That being said, the so-called fiscal cliff has been navigated.  We have new tax laws. There are changes to taxable rates for income and capital gains, yes.  My focus, of course, is on the […]

You need ICE

27 Nov

Do you have ICE on your cell phone?  No?  Don’t know what I mean by ICE?  I don’t mean really cold water.  I mean In Case of Emergency! If you are unconscious in your car or on your living room floor, first responders are trained to save your life and now, to find your cell […]

“Super Will” to the rescue!

05 Apr

I’ve been asked by some financial professionals why property would need to be styled in some way other than just in an individual’s name.   There are a couple of reasons.  Perhaps not all apply to you, but consider the following. You have a will.  That’s nice.  Wills transfer property after people die but wills must […]

“What’s up, Doc?”

04 Aug

Often after presentations, attendees exclaim to me their surprise at my passion for the subject of estate planning. They say, “Wow, Matt. You really love talking about wills and trusts and powers of attorney!” Yeah, I do. I love talking about it and doing it. My clients and I share a really good feeling after […]

We Don’t Need No Stinking Bypass Trusts Anymore. Do We? (Part Two)

04 Apr

To preserve your estate tax lifetime exclusion, your good attorney put in your will (or your living revocable trust) a bypass trust.  Might have called it credit shelter trust, might have called it the family trust, regardless, if drafted right, it followed the internal revenue code and could receive your lifetime exclusion upon your death.  […]

Our New Taxes

09 Feb

So we all heard that there was no estate tax in 2010, but did you know that there were no step-up in basis rules?  You see, in the years prior to 2010, when someone died and their will gave you their house, you usually got what is often called a step-up in basis.  Your basis […]

The Tax Relief…..Act of 2010

26 Jan

A blog is no place to give legal or tax advice, nor is any other medium.  When you ask your CPA or lawyer to advise you on taxes and they agree, then you’re getting tax advice.  This warning applies to everything on this website and its noted elsewhere here, but it’s worth repeating. So what […]