Monday, January 30, 2012

Powers of Attorney

Because powers of attorney are so powerful, and eyed suspiciously by financial institutions, it is better to have an attorney prepare one than use a standard off the shelf form.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Funeral Planning

I typically see a funeral bill of $10,000 for my clients.  Here are  a few quick tips to reduce funeral costs - shop around, remember that the funeral home exists to make money, and that a reasonable casket can be purchased for $400 - $600.  

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Clawback for Gifts?

If the gift tax exemption reverts to $1 million in 2013, as slated, some commentators opine that the IRS will attempt to collect gift taxes on gifts in excess of $1 million made when the exemption amount was $5 million.  I do not see how the government can do this either legally or practically.    

2012 - A Great Year to Plan

2012 is a great year to incorporate gifting into an estate plan.   The gift tax exemption amount is $5 million, interest rates are low, and asset values are depressed.  In 2013, while interest rates are supposed to remain low, the gift tax exemption amount is supposed to revert to $1 million.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Mistress Loses Claim Against Billionaire's Estate

The estate of Australia's 4th wealthiest man prevailed in a claim filed by his mistress, a former Penthouse Pet, for support and $5 million.  The court found that the absence of a written agreement was one of the big factors against her claim.  

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Wealth Tax?

The WSJ has an opinion piece favoring a wealth tax as a means of raising revenue.  Responses which mostly debunk it are here.  I agree with those who think a wealth tax is a stupid idea.