News & Insights

Contesting a Will Because of Undue Influence

One ground which can be raised to contest a decedent’s will (or a particular bequest) is that the decedent was subject to “undue influence.” Proving undue influence is difficult. The mere fact that someone was close to the person who died and may have been in a position to exert undue influence is not enough … Read more

Say Goodbye to the Stretch IRA Under the SECURE Act

IRA

IRAs and 401(k) plans are popular investment vehicles because of the tax benefits. Assets deposited into these accounts are only subject to income tax when they are withdrawn. The IRS sets a certain age at which withdrawals must start (currently 72) and provides for annual “required minimum distributions (RMDs).” These RMDs are calculated based on … Read more

Preserving an Inheritance as Separate Property in the Event of Divorce

When a couple prepares to marry, one question which may arise is whether they should enter into a prenuptial (or antenuptial) agreement, which among other things sets forth what happens to their assets in the event of a divorce. There are many situations in which this may be appropriate, including when there is a significant … Read more

U.S. Supreme Court Limits State’s Right to Tax Trust Income

trust tax

If you are considering creating a trust, there are many considerations including analyzing the tax consequences. Taxation can get complicated if the trust, trustee, and beneficiaries are in different states with varying laws. Not surprisingly, many states are eager to tax trust income. The U.S. Supreme Court recently addressed this issue in North Carolina, but … Read more

Divorce Revokes Annuity Beneficiary Designation to Ex-Spouse

During marriage, typically couples will name each other as beneficiaries of their retirement accounts, pensions, life insurance policies and similar assets. However, if a couple separates or divorces, they usually want to change their beneficiary designations to another person. As discussed in a previous post, it is important to talk with an estate planning attorney … Read more

When Does Filing an Objection to a Will Trigger a “No Contest” Clause?

If you want to discourage others from challenging your will, you can use an “in terrorem” or “no contest” will clause. Such provisions provide that if someone contests your will or any of its provisions, the person forfeits what they would have received under the will. The idea is to leave a disinherited heir enough money … Read more

What Happens to Your Estate Plan When You Divorce?

By Michael Giusto and Lois Brenner Getting a divorce is a stressful experience and it’s not unusual for spouses to forget to address estate planning issues either before, during, or afterwards. However, not updating certain documents or considering your future financial situation could have serious unintended consequences.   Impact of divorce on existing planning documents … Read more