News & Insights

Do You Have a Comprehensive Estate Plan That Address All of Your Assets?

Estate Plan

A proper estate plan involves more than just drafting a will. That’s because a will only controls the distribution of what are known as “probate assets.” These are assets that do not have separate beneficiary designations. “Non-probate assets,” which include life insurance, retirement accounts, joint bank accounts, and real property owned “with rights of survivorship,” … Read more

When Can a Difficult Executor or Trustee Be Removed?

Executor or Trustee

Conflicts between fiduciaries (whether executors or trustees) and beneficiaries are not unusual. For instance, these often occur with trusts of long duration, where the trustee controls a beneficiary’s access to assets which the beneficiary would prefer to have outright. Disputes may also arise among co-executors or co-trustees, especially if they have differing views on how … Read more

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 Assets deposited into these accounts are only subject to income tax when they are withdrawn.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