Is Dispute Inevitable When Two Children are Named as Co-Trustees?

MAY 18, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 19 So often our clients assure us that their children are different from other children. Our clients know that their children will fundamentally get along. They are sure that there will be no big problems when they die, and that the children will communicate and cooperate. Fortunately, that turns […]

Savings and Income at Death Indicate Retirement Shortfall

MAY 11, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 18 You’ve probably read and/or heard about concerns that Americans do not save enough money to get through their retirement. A recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute shows just how stark the situation is — by focusing on the actual savings held by people who died over […]

The Patient Self Determination Act and Trends in Advance Directives

MAY 4, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 17 Last month the U.S. Government Accountability Office released a short report on the use of advance directives in hospitals, nursing homes and other health care facilities. The report, requested by members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, addressed the experience with health care powers of […]

Why You Aren’t Really Limited to $14,000 in Gifts Each Year

APRIL 27, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 16 There is so much misinformation (and misunderstanding) around gift taxes, that we thought we would take a few moments and try to straighten out the confusion. Let’s start at the end: if you live in Arizona, and are not fabulously wealthy, you probably don’t actually care very much […]

Health Care Directives — Advice for Snowbirds and Travelers

APRIL 20, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 15 Arizona weather is beautiful, especially this time of year. We do have our weather challenges — for most of the state, that means the summer months — but there is no doubt that Arizona is attractive to visitors from more northern climes during the fall, winter and spring. […]

Managing a Special Needs Trust — The Handbook

APRIL 13, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 14 Are you named as trustee of a special needs trust? Are you a trust beneficiary, wondering about how the trust should be administered? Or are you a parent or grandparent of an individual with a disability, wondering about what a special needs trust might actually look like in […]

Income Taxation of Trusts — Not Just Special Needs Trusts

APRIL 6, 2015 VOLUME 22 NUMBER 13 We have previously explained the income taxation of self-settled special needs trusts and third-party special needs trusts. We focused on special needs trusts because, well, that’s what we do — and also because there seems to be so much confusion about special needs trusts. But that is not […]

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 […]

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