Category: Estates / Wills

A New Will! (What Could Be More Fun Than That?)

If our ultimate denial is death, it should shock no one that preparing a will is only a notch above a root-canal for many (though we touch a different nerve). But to put it off can be to have your hard-earned estate distributed in ways… Continue reading

Increasing Estate Tax Exemption

For many years, the federal estate tax scheme provided essentially that by virtue of a dollar-for-dollar credit against the federal estate and gift tax liability (the “unified credit”), up to $600,000 worth of property could be sheltered from estate tax. As a result, basic estate… Continue reading

An Estate Tax Review (or Dare We Look Congress in the Eye?)

Anyone who has written a will with an eye to the effects of the federal estate tax may wish to pull the will off that dusty shelf in the closet (actually a safe deposit box is a better place for such storage) and assess its… Continue reading

Estate Planning Includes More Than Just A Will

When most individuals think of estate planning they think of a will or a trust. However, a document that is as important as a will in completing your estate plan is a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney is a written document in which… Continue reading

Wills: Selecting an Executor

If you have not yet prepared a will and are considering doing so, you will need to determine who to appoint as executor. An executor (or executrix) is the person responsible for carrying out the instructions of your will. If you already have a will… Continue reading

Where There’s a Will…

In the last issue of the Law Update, I wrote an article about choosing an executor of a will. So, you may ask, what happens if someone appoints you as the executor of his or her will? (The chances of this happening are actually quite… Continue reading

Estate Administration – Surviving Spouse

Estate Administration – Surviving Spouse When a person dies, he or she will usually leave behind an estate. This estate must be administered, which basically means transferring the assets of a person who has died (the “decedent”) to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries. Assets must… Continue reading

Planning for the Costs of Long-Term Care

It is estimated that this year nearly nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care. Long-term care includes a variety of services such as medical and non-medical care to those who have a chronic illness or… Continue reading

Death Without Dignity: An Avoidable Tragedy

On March 31, 2005, Terri Schiavo, the severely brain-damaged woman originally from this region, died while in hospice care in Florida. She died nearly ten days after her feeding tube was ordered removed from her body by a state court judge. Ms. Schiavo became the… Continue reading

Schizoid Estate Planners Rejoice: Relief is in Sight

One of the stranger episodes in the world of tax law may be coming to a close, mercifully. In 2000, to fulfill a campaign promise of the new President, Congress adopted an amendment to the Internal Revenue Code; by any measure it was bizarre. The… Continue reading