A local story has a probate court angle. The City of Cincinnati has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by an 11 year old shoplifter who was tasered after running from an off duty police officer. The young girl, who had been caught and warned previously for stealing from the same store, had $53 of stolen merchandise on her. She will receive $220,000 from the city and $20,000 from Kroger for the indignity of being tasered.
Several points and one prediction:
1. Because the girl is a minor, the settlement will be subject to probate court supervision until she turns 18.
2. Funds may only be spent with the approval of the probate court and then only for her mental health to overcome the trauma of being tasered.
3. She will have unrestricted access to the funds when she turns 18.
4. Call it more than a hunch that the number of shoplifting incidents at Kroger without repercussions will increase dramatically.
Photo Credit: Albert Cesare/Cincinnati Enquirer
License: Fair Use/Education (from linked article)
Wednesday, October 31, 2018
Tuesday, October 16, 2018
At the risk of becoming CNN and MSNBC and reporting all President Trump all of the time, Stormy Daniels released a memoir last week titled "Full Disclosure. " I could not care less about her relationship with President Trump 12 years ago, but I am interested in her describing her recording her "last will." After the Wall Street Journal reported the existence of her non-disclosure agreement with President Trump, Daniels received threats which caused her to describe on video her insurance policy and her wishes with respect to the distribution of her assets.
A few points:
1. Most wills must be written and witnessed.
2. Oral wills are not recognized in most states.
3. Ohio only recognizes oral wills made upon one's deathbed and written down within 10 days.
Thursday, October 4, 2018
The New York Times just published 15,000 words about the estate and gift tax strategies President Trump’s father, Fred Trump, used to transfer his billion dollar real estate empire to his children more than 20 years ago. NYT reporters accessed public records and had others provide them confidential documents such as estate and gift tax returns. The point of the NYT piece is to disprove President Trump’s claim that he is a self-made man by claiming he received $413 million from his dad. They do not note that represents only 1/7 of his current net worth as reported today by Forbes.
A few points:
1. Even though the NYT used the terms “tax dodger,” “sham,” "dubious schemes," and “improper,” to describe Fred Trump’s planning, the actual planning strategies he used were legitimate.
2. Fred Trump utilized valuation discounts and special trusts called GRATs to greatly reduce the gift and estate taxes owed on the transfer of his assets to his children.
3. Any impropriety on the transfers is due to the appraisal values for the real estate which seemed low in light of later sales.
4. Try as the NYT might to implicate President Trump in any impropriety, any wrong doing belongs to the person making gifts, i.e. Fred Trump, not the person receiving the gifts.