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Michael E. Lehr
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The tasks of an administrator must be done with an eye to following the intent of the will and the law. The surviving spouse of an Oklahoman decedent asked the estate to file a federal estate tax return for the estate and elect portability of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion... Continue reading
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Blending a family is not an easy task, but doing so successfully can create a new and strong family unit. Among the challenges are how to blend finances. Blended families are no longer limited to television sitcoms. The Pew Research Center reports that 41% of all Americans have at least... Continue reading
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Unintended consequences can occur when dividing up real property, which is often harder to distribute than investment accounts or savings accounts. Planning for real property division must take into account the different circumstances of your heirs. You may have envisioned a time in the future, when your children and grandchildren... Continue reading
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In the best of all possible worlds, your retirement finances include a nest egg that generates a steady flow of income while your principal assets continue to grow. There are six key investment points that, if you can meet them, will make retirement finances work in your favor, according to... Continue reading
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Saving on income taxes and keeping your income below certain taxable levels, are just two of the benefits of making a tax-free transfer from your IRA to a non-profit organization. But mind the details; you likely need an estate planning attorney’s guidance. Once you hit the mark at 70 ½,... Continue reading
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There’s no need to wait until you retire to be more proactive about managing your retirement accounts. In fact, there are a few steps you can take, including using an “in-service rollover” while you are still working. The days when Americans worked for a single company for a lifetime and... Continue reading
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By traveling to Eastern Europe and obtaining documents thought to be long-gone, a genealogist has built a profitable business finding lost heirs. However, a court appointed lawyer reviewing his documents on one case says they are likely forgeries. Vadim Tevelev may be a hero to those who retain his services... Continue reading
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Estate planning is something that young families need to do just as much as their parents or grandparents. Estate planning is about far more than asset distribution. Did you know that estate planning includes naming guardians for minor children in the event that both of their parents die before the... Continue reading
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A lawsuit filed against Christie’s auction house by the estate of Elizabeth Taylor, is the latest in a long battle centering on a famed diamond with a legend that may or may not be true. Given to the movie star Elizabeth Taylor by her husband Richard Burton on the occasion... Continue reading
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An estate plan does a lot more than distribute your assets among family members and organizations that share your values. It also protects you and your loved ones. That’s why everyone needs an estate plan, especially if you have minor children. It’s amazing that some people still think they don’t... Continue reading
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At last, a happy ending for the estate of the late Veronica Shoemaker, a community activist who made service the heart of her life and business. With the conclusion of the estate battle, Mattie Young, the daughter of the late Veronica Shoemaker, will now be able to keep her mother’s... Continue reading
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Britney Spears five dogs enjoy the same quality of life as she does, but without a pet trust, if anything happened to her, their lavish lifestyle would be at risk. Pet trusts are no longer the exclusive province of the rich and famous, but a recent article in Trust Advisor... Continue reading
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Before you tell HR what your final day of work will be, there are more than a few details that you need to cover to prepare for taxes, make the most of any potential benefits and start retirement on the right foot. If there’s a retirement season, it’s spring or... Continue reading
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Who would have ever thought that a huge exhibit of Elvis’ clothing and personal effects wouldn’t draw record-breaking crowds in Vegas? Instead, it was a colossal flop. An ambitious exhibit that featured Elvis’s stage outfits, jewelry, personal letters and other items at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino is... Continue reading
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It’s not enough that some of the most vulnerable taxpayers are targeted by scam artists, but now they are expected to know the difference between legitimate collectors hired by the IRS and scam artists. The potential for disaster is on the minds of consumer watchdog groups and those who are... Continue reading
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Unless you are a financial professional, and maybe even if you are, consider getting help when figuring out your required minimum distribution, if your traditional IRA includes an annuity. If you thought figuring out your RMD—required minimum distribution—was confusing to start with, then consider the challenge faced by individuals whose... Continue reading
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When it comes to saving for retirement, saving early and often is one of the best pieces of advice. Want to know how to build, protect and grow your retirement savings? One of our favorite sources of practical advice comes from the 70th-anniversary issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. In “5... Continue reading
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An order from the New Mexico Supreme Court has been issued to create a 16 member commission charged with taking a closer look at the guardianship system and making informed recommendations. In addition to Elder Law and estate planning attorneys with experience in guardianship law, representatives from three branches of... Continue reading
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Some taboos have changed, but the talk about wills and distribution of assets remains an awkward one for many. That includes telling adult children where estate planning documents have been stored. To keep peace in the family and to avoid the conflict that so often follows the death of a... Continue reading
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Each state handles taxation on the sale of jointly owned stocks differently. Selling jointly owned stock after the death of a spouse, is different than selling other jointly owned assets. A recent article from Kiplinger, “Selling Jointly Owned Stock After the Death of a Spouse,” provides good information on how... Continue reading
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The death of an elderly patient is being blamed on elder abuse and negligent hiring. It’s distressing to read about, and presents a worrisome picture of what can happen to vulnerable seniors. A lawsuit has been filed by the daughter of Jeanne Roney, 91, against Golden LivingCenter in Napa, California,... Continue reading
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A federal judge has ruled that a police officer’s uninvited entry into a house to check on the well-being of an adult with dementia, is shielded by qualified immunity. The response to a possible crisis was correct. Given the number of elder abuse cases, it is encouraging that New York... Continue reading
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Without the spending habits of Michael Jackson and the involvement of members of his inner circle, the Jackson estate has been transformed into an efficient multi-million dollar empire. As it stands now, the only factors that might keep the Michael Jackson money machine from moon-walking into eternity are his heirs.... Continue reading
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Even if you are still working, once you turn 65, you have to navigate your way through an entirely new and complex health care system. While there’s no HR department, there are resources. It starts the day you turn 65, and it’s a bit of a challenge. Seniors need to... Continue reading
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This case is an example of how open and above board communication about estate planning, especially in step-family situations, is so important, both to preserve relationships and to prevent litigation. When Tony and Dan Thompson, sons of actor and former U.S. Senator Fred Thomson, did not receive answers to questions... Continue reading