Thursday, April 14, 2016

Estate Planning and Conflicts of Interest: Who Exactly Is Your Client?

by Thomas D. Sands, Esq.

There are few things that are clear in the law. With that said, knowing who your client is should be one of them. Not having a clear understanding of who your client is can lead to a whole host of problems such as conflicts of interest, malpractice, and ineffective representation.

This blog will focus on the representation of a client in the context of estate planning. First, you must understand at what stage of the estate planning your representation is being requested. Are you simply drafting a will, a trust, or other estate document? Or are you past this stage and now working through a probate proceeding?

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Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Three Critical Ethical Concerns in Elder Law Practice

by Nancy Black Norelli

Adult children are often faced with an uncomfortable role reversal when it comes to ensuring aging or elderly parents have the appropriate estate plans in place to protect their health and assets.

This emotional process can be complicated by the fact that special care must be taken when attempting to assist parents making estate planning decisions because serious ethical landmines exist that can trap the unwary.

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Friday, September 12, 2014

5 Steps to Take After Signing Estate Planning Documents

by Jack T. Carney, Jr.

The signing of estate planning documents (such as a Will, Power of Attorney, and Health Care Directive) is a significant accomplishment for most people. It is one of those important acts that many people put off until it's too late. Even though the documents are signed, there are still a few additional steps that should be taken.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Celebrities in the News: Wills and Estates Made Famous

by Jack T. Carney, Jr., Esq.

The topic of estate planning rarely makes national headlines. There are no television dramas based on the exploits of an estate planning firm (just so you know, CBS or ABC, we would be interested in talking about a Carney Dye reality show). However, when estate planning does make national news, it is usually in the fascinating and sad area of celebrity deaths. We can learn a lot of lessons from these high profile estate situations.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Not All Property Is Titled Equally

by Jack T. Carney, Jr., Esq.

An important factor in developing a successful estate plan is to have an understanding of how all property is "titled." The title to a property basically states who owns it, but it also conveys certain rights to each of the parties, especially in the event of death.

When two or more people own a piece of property it is usually titled as "tenants in common" or as "joint tenants with a right of survivorship." In both cases two people would each own an undivided one-half interest in the property. However, there is a difference in how the property would be treated in the event of death.

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Planning for Incapacity: The Benefits of Advance Directives

by Lisa L. Coggins, Esq.

Planning now for potential incapacity later will go a long way in helping families handle the difficult situation of having a loved one who needs assistance.

Advance directives for health care purposes, such as living wills, medical powers of attorney, and/or advance health care directives, allow an individual (the declarant) to make and document various health care decisions and/or to give authority to another person to make such decisions on his or her behalf while he or she is mentally competent to do so. The benefits of such documents are many.

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Thursday, August 28, 2014

Clark v. Rameker and the Inherited IRA

by William W. Erhart, Esq.

As you also know, for most Americans, the largest asset we typically have is our house, but the second largest asset we typically have is our qualified retirement plan, such as an IRA.

We do not usually have to worry too much about our own IRAs with regard to asset protection. Qualified retirement plans, for the most part are exempt from the execution process. That means that judgment creditors cannot attach IRAs if we are unfortunate enough to have a car accident or get otherwise sued and have a judgment against us.

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Thursday, June 5, 2014

The New Estate Planning Landscape

by Marshal S. Grant, Esq.

Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001

For many years, estate planners have struggled with uncertainty in federal transfer tax law. EGTRRA, the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (the "Bush Tax Cuts") immediately increased the estate tax exemption from $675,000 in 2001 to $1,000,000 in 2002, increasing to $3,500,000 in 2009 with full repeal of the estate tax scheduled for 2010. However, EGTRRA contained "sunset provisions" which required a return to the old law unless Congress acted to preserve the changes.

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Friday, January 24, 2014

Medicare and Medicaid: What's the Difference?

by Heather Carty Ward,  Esq.

Do you understand the difference between Medicare and Medicaid? Attorneys and others advising seniors and their families should have a basic understanding of these programs and the services each provide.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

Don’t Drag Your Business Down With You When You Go

by Shenanne Tucker, Esq.

They say you can’t bring things from this world with you when you die. But, without proper and diligent planning, your business may be the one thing you do drag into the grave with you when you go. While estate planning and disability planning is recommended for everyone, business owners have special concerns that require additional attention and proactive planning.

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