Income Taxation of the Third-Party Special Needs Trust

MARCH 23, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 12 Last week we wrote about how to handle income tax returns for self-settled special needs trusts. Our simple message: such trusts will always be “grantor trusts”, an income tax term that means they do not pay a separate tax or even file a separate return. This week we’re […]

Income Taxation of the Self-Settled Special Needs Trust

MARCH 16, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 11 This time of year, we are often asked about income tax issues — especially when a trust is involved. It may take us several newsletters, but let’s see if we can’t demystify the income taxation of trusts. We will start with the type of trust we most often […]

Does Your Existing Trust Split Into Two Shares On a Spouse’s Death?

MARCH 9, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 10 A letter from a reader asks: “My husband and I set up a revocable trust which will divide our assets in half when one of us dies. This was to avoid estate taxes.  Now that estate taxes are no longer a problem, are there still benefits to splitting […]

Choosing a Personal Representative for Your Estate

Have you decided who you should name as personal representative of your estate (and successor trustee of your trust, and agent under your financial and health care powers of attorney)? Make sure you’ve chosen wisely. Consider what can go wrong, as described this week in the Wills, Trusts and Estates Professor’s Blog.

Financial Exploitation Case Leads to Judgment, Disinheritance

MARCH 2, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 9 We hear variations on this same story once every week or so. Dad (it might be Mom, or Aunt Bridget, or a long-time family friend) seemed to be adrift after his wife (her husband, her long-time companion) died. Then he met this woman who moved in with him […]

Nursing Home Resident’s Lawyer Did Nothing Wrong

FEBRUARY 23, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 8 From time to time we report on cases in which lawyers are disciplined for behavior involving clients who are older or have disabilities. We do that not out of any sense of schadenfreude, but because the behavior described in the disciplinary proceeding is illustrative of an important limitation […]

Court Rejects Challenge to Living Trust After Settlor’s Death

FEBRUARY 16, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 7 Jessica Waltham (not her real name) died tragically in 2012, when her home south of Tucson burned down. She left a small estate, three sons and a bubbling dispute over the validity of her living trust. Jessica had first signed a living trust in 2000. She titled her […]

Medicare Savings Programs: QMB, SLMB, QI, QDWI and Extra Help

FEBRUARY 9, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 6 Health care programs for the elderly, the poor and the disabled can be complicated and confusing. We frequently find that clients are unclear about the differences — in eligibility and in coverage — between Medicare and Medicaid, for instance. Add in the fact that Arizona calls its Medicaid […]

Top Ten Reasons to Skip the Living Trust and Sign a Will Instead

FEBRUARY 2, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 5 Last week we suggested some of the reasons why you might think about having a revocable living trust as part of your estate planning documents. This week we’ll try to turn it around, and give you ten reasons why you might prefer to have a will (“just” a […]

Top Ten Reasons You Might Want a Trust, Rather Than Just a Will

JANUARY 26, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 4 Do you need a living trust? Even with an estate tax threshold of over $5 million (and double that, for most married couples)? That is the primary question posed by most of our estate planning clients. For years the answer depended mostly on the size of your estate. […]

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