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Rial Moulton
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So-called blind trusts have been in the news frequently. This is because of the wealth of President Trump and many of his cabinet members. They are not a difficult concept to understand. For the past year, journalists and attorneys have debated on TV about President Trump's assets and how they... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Washington Estate Planning
The tragedy in Las Vegas has resulted in a court battle over the shooter's estate, pitting his family against some of his victims. It still is not entirely clear what happened in Las Vegas. It is known that a man named Stephen Paddock killed multiple concert goers from a window... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Washington Estate Planning
Glenn Frey of the Eagles passed away recently. Details of his estate have been made public. The details of Glenn Frey's will are not that interesting on the surface. Nevertheless, the will does contain an interesting provision that illustrates how many wealthy people choose to handle their estate plans. Frey... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Washington Estate Planning
Few states have inheritance taxes any more, but Iowa still does. A recent court case there illustrates that the Iowa law has a strange provision. A handful of states have an inheritance tax either in addition to or instead of a state estate tax. Inheritance taxes are similar to estate... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Washington Estate Planning
Bill Gates has called for a new approach to combating Alzheimer's disease and announced that he is contributing money to the cause. It is a well-established fact among researchers: the earlier that Alzheimer's disease can be detected and diagnosed, the better it is for the patient. It is possible to... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Washington Estate Planning
The latest celebrity estate to see a dispute between relatives over control of the estate assets belongs to the late poet Maya Angelou. In recent decades, students all over America have studied Maya Angelou's poem "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" in school. It was the late poet's best... Continue reading
Posted Dec 7, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
People would like to know how much money they need to have in their accounts, before they can consider retiring. That is not always an easy question to answer. How much folks need to save for retirement depends on several different factors. One important factor is what they plan to... Continue reading
Posted Dec 6, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
If a trustee is removed from his or her duties, the former trustee usually turns over any assets he holds to the new trustee as quickly as possible. However, there are exceptions to that rule. Marsha Sinzheimer and her late husband had created a trust for her benefit. The trust... Continue reading
Posted Dec 5, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Executors and estate administrators can sometimes be tempted to use their powers to enrich themselves. They would be wise to resist the temptations. People entrusted to administer an estate are given broad powers to complete their tasks. While they often work under the supervision of the court, it is not... Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
As the world becomes more globalized, courts are having to sort out sometimes messy conflicts between the estate laws of different cultures. A recent example comes out of Switzerland. More and more people today are interacting and marrying people from different countries and cultures. They also are choosing to hold... Continue reading
Posted Dec 2, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
After much speculation, a repeal of the estate tax is included in the GOP tax reform plan. Republicans have wanted to reform the federal tax system for a long time. They have rarely had the power to do so on their own. However, they have made all sorts of different... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
A dispute between a widow and four of her stepchildren leaves the future of the largest federally subsidized housing complex in the U.S. up in the air. Starrett City in Brooklyn is the largest federally subsidized housing complex in the country. It even has its own power plant. The original... Continue reading
Posted Nov 30, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
When a person writes a will, it can be the first time they think seriously about the possibility of their own death. This was the case for one famous kidney donor. The entertainer Selena Gomez has Lupus disease. The disease can be very debilitating and result in many different medical... Continue reading
Posted Nov 29, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
In a surprising move, the GOP tax plan includes a hit to one of the places where wealthy people like to contribute in their estate plans: college endowment funds. Many wealthy people have hopes of leaving a legacy and using their money to do good things. While they donate to... Continue reading
Posted Nov 28, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
The initial tax proposal introduced in the House of Representatives by Republicans contains provisions that would allow the wealthy to easily transfer great sums of wealth to their heirs. There has been a lot of talk by politicians and the media in recent years about income inequality and whether it... Continue reading
Posted Nov 27, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Some people will go a long way in their efforts to claim that they are the heir to a valuable estate, when they are not really related to the deceased. That can be a problem. Recently the remains of Salvador Dali were exhumed by an order of a court in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 24, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Including a no-contest clause in a will can be a powerful deterrent to challenges to the will. However, they have their limitations. Sometimes it is possible to foresee that a family member or other person may not be satisfied with the inheritance planned for them through a will. For example,... Continue reading
Posted Nov 23, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Lacking an official place to bury their beloved pets, the citizens of Belgrade, Serbia have turned to clandestine methods. They have created hidden pet cemeteries in the city's parks. It used to be that cities did not worry too much about what to do with residents' deceased pets. Most people... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Many state governments have experienced budget shortfalls in recent years. That has led to the inability to properly inspect and regulate funeral homes. In 2016 residents of one Flint, MI neighborhood began noticing an awful stench. They all knew where the smell was coming from. It was a local funeral... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
Having failed to secure a portion of her father's estate in California, the daughter of Douglas Tompkins has taken her case to the courts of Chile. The founder of Esprit and North Face, Douglas Tompkins, was also a conservationist who was best known for purchasing large amounts of land in... Continue reading
Posted Nov 20, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
A court in London has determined that trusts created by a former Russian senator are not trusts. This is because they were designed to be a sham to hide assets from creditors. The name Sergey Pugachev probably does not ring a bell for most Americans. In Russia, however, he is... Continue reading
Posted Nov 17, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
A woman claims that she is the unacknowledged daughter of the late Jerry Lewis and thinks that she is entitled to part of his estate. In his private life, the comedian Jerry Lewis was not known to be anything like his on-screen goofball image. He was known to be cranky... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
When the specific reasons that an older person originally purchased life insurance no longer exist, that person might be tempted save money by no longer paying the premiums. That can be a mistake. Most people purchase life insurance for specific reasons. The most common reason to get a life insurance... Continue reading
Posted Nov 15, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
People who want to have their remains treated in a way that is environmentally friendly, have not had too many options. However, a new cremation method may be the answer. Some people today are more concerned about their environmental footprint than ever before. They are even willing to pay more... Continue reading
Posted Nov 14, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning
In the U.K., taxes on estates are handled differently than in the U.S. They also tax gifts differently. The recent death of Bruce Forsyth, a television personality in the U.K., is a good opportunity to show how the U.K. and the U.S. treat taxes on gifts and estates differently. In... Continue reading
Posted Nov 13, 2017 at Washington Estate Planning