Good News: The IRS Simplifies Its Proposed ABLE Act Rules

NOVEMBER 23, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 43 The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act initially looked like it would provide important opportunities to people with disabilities. Although much work was left to the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and individual states, advocates hoped that it might open up a simple choice for […]

Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, or Not? You Judge

NOVEMBER 16, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 42 This week we’re going to ask you to be the judge. We’re going to tell you a story, then give you a moment to decide what you think should be the outcome of a lawsuit. Once you’ve decided, we’ll tell you what actually happened in the courts. Ready? […]

Weighing Estate Tax “Portability” Against the Bypass Trust

NOVEMBER 9, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 41 Here’s a challenging problem for lawyers who focus on estate planning: how can we explain federal estate tax “portability” to clients in a way that helps them figure out how the concept applies to them? After five years of experience with the idea, you might expect us (collectively) […]

Things to Consider When You’re Named as Successor Trustee

NOVEMBER 2, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 40 When a family member dies, you will need to address a number of items. One that might come up: handling the revocable living trust they created. If you are named as successor trustee you will have a number of obligations you need to discharge. You might need help […]

Quit Claim Deed Was a Mistake, Says Mother

OCTOBER 26, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 39 We’ve made the key points before: don’t sign your home over to your children while you’re still alive, and be very careful about doing your own estate planning without an attorney’s help. This week we’re going to add a couple of other points: do not rely on non-lawyer […]

Beneficiaries Permitted to Modify Trust Terms by Agreement

OCTOBER 19, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 38 Not every client we speak with wants to set up a trust for generations of descendants, but some do. The notion of allowing assets to grow for two or three (or more) generations can be attractive. It is difficult, of course, to imagine what one’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren […]

Handling Your Own Legal Work — Without a Lawyer

OCTOBER 12, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 37 Last week we wrote about when you might reasonably represent yourself — that is, when you might not need a lawyer for your legal work. We suggested that what lawyers do is not precisely brain surgery, and that reasonably intelligent, informed and diligent non-lawyers might well be able […]

When You Need to Talk With a Lawyer

OCTOBER 5, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 36 So often we field questions (on this website and in our practice) about whether people need to consult a lawyer. Unsurprisingly, perhaps, there is a terrific resistance to seeking legal advice. We lawyers don’t always help — our fees can be substantial, and unpredictable. We speak a language […]

Not Every Cognitively-Impaired Senior Needs a Conservator

SEPTEMBER 28, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 35 We handle a lot of guardianship and conservatorship proceedings at Fleming & Curti, PLC. We also meet with a lot of clients (or potential clients) and help them figure out how not to initiate a guardianship or conservatorship proceeding — we subscribe to the modern view that court […]

Mother’s Gifts to Children Create Dispute Over Special Needs Daughter

SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 34 What plans should you make when you have a child receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid benefits? Should you create a special needs trust? Disinherit that child so their benefits won’t be affected? Leave their “share” of your estate to another child or children instead? We get […]

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