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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Planning for a Pet


Animals shelters often see beloved pets suddenly homeless because of the death of their owners and failure to plan properly. And while there may be more people willing to rescue a dog, but what about a horse or a lizard?

One way of planning properly for the care of a pet is to leave some designated money for the benefit of a shelter, to be used specifically in the care of your pet. This way, if anyone adopts the pet, the shelter can use the money to reimburse the new owner for the pet’s care. Of course, you should carefully research the shelter and ensure that they agree to this type of a plan.

Another way of doing it is to set up a Trust in your Will, designating both a caregiver and some money to a pet.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Can Medicaid place a lien against the apartment?


Recently someone asked me a question: if an co-op apt. is owned jointly by spouses with right of survivorship, can Medicaid enforce a lien against the estate or the decedent's interest in the co-op when the joint owner who was a Medicaid recipient dies?

There is a prohibition against placing a lien on the estate of a deceased Medicaid recipient if the recipient is survived by a spouse. As long as there is a surviving spouse, there can be no lien against the estate of the deceased Medicaid recipient.
But - the Medicaid lien is held in abeyance. When the second spouse dies, a lien can be placed against the second spouse's estate to recover Medicaid benefits paid to the first spouse.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Estate Planning Tips for same-sex couples


In the United States v. Windsor, the Supreme Court rules that federal government must recognize same-sex marriages legally performed in a state for federal law purposes. Below are some tips in an estate planning concept:

  1. Boomerang assets.

Lots of same-sex couples do not have children. While the couple may want to provide for each other, after the death of the second-to-die spouse, they each may have different dispositive wishes.
Read more . . .


Saturday, November 4, 2017

Some Legal Trivia


Did you know? Code of Hammurabi (around 1792 BCE) is one of the oldest and most complete written collections of law. Hammurabi was the soxth king of Babylon.

The prologue to the Code expresses its purpose: “that the strong might not oppress the weak, that justice be given to orphan and widow”

Code has 252 separate provisions, arranged by subject (debts, family, personal injury, etc). Laws vary based on crime and social status of offender and victim.

The most famous principal of the Code is “an eye for an eye”.
Read more . . .


Sunday, October 29, 2017

Some Legal Trivia...


Did you know? The Code of Ur-Nammu, written around 2100 BCE, is the oldest found legislative code. It later influenced the code of Hammurabi.

It’s the first time when a schedule of predetermined consequences for violating rules of conduct was written. Most penalties were monetary: 15 shekels for perjury, 5 shekels for deflowering a man’s slave, 10 shekels for breaking a man’s bone. Yet murder and rape (of a free woman) were punishable by death.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Imagine your family at peace: How to Have Crucial Conversations with Your Loved Ones about End-of-Life issues


Talking about end of life issues with a loved one who is already sick is difficult. Your loved one may not be thinking clearly, may be in pain, and everyone is likely to be very emotional. That’s why it’s important to have this conversation early, while everyone is thinking clearly. A plan is likely to be empowering for all involved.

A parent may be resistant to receiving care and having crucial conversations with you because she is afraid of losing her way of life, losing privacy, getting old, not having sufficient financial assets, being a burden, having her money taken away from her, being thrown into a nursing home and dying.


Read more . . .


Thursday, October 12, 2017

Are you at risk of getting sued, if you agree to act as a Fiduciary (Executors, Trustees and Agents under Power of Attorney)?


Trust and estate litigation is on the rise. The conflict can arise due to beneficiaries who feel they were entitled to more money or Trustees, who are supposed to act as fiduciaries with care, loyalty and impartiality, but often don’t.

Unfortunately, you cannot plan for every contingency. You hope that the Trustee that you picked will act as a proper fiduciary, will not steal the beneficiary’s money and will act in accordance with the Trust’s provisions. You also hope that beneficiaries will honor the wishes of the Grantor, even when the Trust provides for unequal distributions.


Read more . . .


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Will the 1031 “Like-Kind” Exchange be now eliminated?


Section 1031 of the tax code allows those who sell a real estate property and invest the proceeds in a different real estate property to postpone capital gains taxes. It is a great strategy for investors: with a 1031 exchange, after a sale of a property you can use 100% of the proceeds to buy a new building; without 1031, if you had to pay capital gains taxes, you would only be able to reinvest approximately 65% of the proceeds.

This provision dates back to the 1920s. Yet both Democrats and recently Republicans have talked about eliminating it. The provision is viewed as a loophole, and all loopholes are currently getting reviewed, as part of the overall package of decrease in tax rates.


Read more . . .


Monday, October 2, 2017

Get a FREE online evaluation - what kind of documents you need

Have you always wondered if you need an estate plan? Have you thought of doing it yourself, but were not sure if you are doing it right?

Take this FREE online evaluation and find out!

http://sverdlovlaw.com/index.aspx?TypeContent=CONTACTUS


Read more . . .


Friday, September 29, 2017

Trump just proposed to eliminate the Estate Tax completely. Will it affect you?


Currently, the gift and estate tax threshold is $5.5MM per person ($11MM per married couple). Assets passing at death that are above  that threshold are taxed at 40%. Gifts made during lifetime that are above this threshold are also taxed at 40%. 

Less than 1 out of 550 of people who die have taxable estates.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You have a Trust? When DO beneficiaries find out about money left to them ?


Clients often establish Trusts for the purpose of deferring distributions to beneficiaries. These Trusts are usually established to protect assets from risks such as mismanagement, imprudent spending, creditors and divorce.

But when do Trust beneficiaries have to receive information about the Trust and the assets? This question is different from the one about when the beneficiaries should start receiving trust distributions. A grandfather may establish a Trust with $1 million for the benefit of his two young grandchildren, name his accountant as the Trustee, and provide that grandchildren will receive the money outright once they turn 30. Do the grandchildren have a right to know about this money before they turn 30? 

A parent may not want the child to find out about the money for many different reasons.


Read more . . .


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