Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Trusts Are Still Needed

Even with the current estate tax environment, trusts are still necessary.  My reasons for recommending them are to protect youthful heirs and to simplify the administration process.  The forthcoming decrease of the estate tax exemption amount to $1 million is a third reason.  

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Sports Blog Post

Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer allowed me to write his blog today.  I consider it the Moby Dick of blog posts (in terms of length, not quality).

What to do with Collections?

Collections are difficult to plan for because their value can be mostly emotional.  People should decide the value of their collection, decide whether it should be kept intact, and choose which family member(s) should receive it or whether it should sold or donated.  None of this applies to Beanie Babies, which should be thrown away.    

Friday, February 24, 2012

Never Mind

The prior post about a possible law requiring that inherited IRAs must be distributed within 5 years of date of death is now moot because lobbyists have urged Senate Dems to remove the provision from a highway funding bill.  Skipping the question of why an IRA payout provision is in a highway funding bill, apparently everything has a price, except integrity and strong leadership are priceless.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Accelerated IRA Distributions

The Senate has proposed mandating that withdrawals from inherited IRAs be made within 5 years of the death of  the IRA owner.  The purpose of the legislation is to accelerate income tax revenues.  I agree with this proposal.  IRAs receive preferential income tax treatment because they are intended for retirement.  They were not created to distribute wealth from generation to generation in an income tax advantageous manner.  

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Facebook and Virtual Data After Death

In what is becoming a common story, questions arise as to what happens to an individual's virtual data after his death.  Some states are passing laws to authorize executors to access the on-line data of a decedent.   In the meantime, wills should authorize the executor to access data including passwords.  

Monday, February 13, 2012

Pet Trusts

Clients can overlook providing for their pets upon their deaths.  Pet trusts are a viable means of ensuring the post-mortem  care of pets.  Ohio has a statute which provides for the creation of pet trusts.  Kentucky does not have a specific statute but the objective of providing care for pets can be accomplished via other means.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Parents' Personal Belongings

A few tips about dealing with the personal items of parents.  Having seen families fight over furniture and jewelry, I agree with "go slow" and "be diplomatic."  I would also add "remember it is just stuff" and "your relationship with your siblings is more important than any item."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Adopting a Girlfriend or Mistress?

This is a bit tawdry.  A man who is being sued in a wrongful death case previously created a trust to benefit his 2 minor children.  He has now adopted his 42 year old girlfriend so she can be a beneficiary of 1/3 of the trust.  Assuming they remain a couple, she may use the trust assets to support herself and him even if he is forced to pay a large damage award in the lawsuit.  My trust documents are designed to prevent this because they provide that an adoptee must be younger than 18 to be considered a beneficiary.