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Category Archives: Estate Planning

The Right to Farm in Idaho Takes Precedence over Easements

It is common in Idaho for road easements to be granted across properties to permit access to landlocked parcels to and from public roads.  Oftentimes, the easement is across agricultural land.  It also can happen that the development plans of the owners of the landlocked parcel can enlarge over time.  So what are the rights… Read More »

SHOULD MY ESTATE PLAN INCLUDE A SPECIAL NEEDS TRUST?

Does your estate plan contemplate giving property or income to an heir who now, or in the future may, receive government benefits (such as Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income) that could be lost or reduced if the heir receives assets or income directly from your estate? If so, consider distributing the property or income to… Read More »

IF YOU HAVE MINOR CHILDREN, HOW SHOULD THEIR FINANCIAL AFFAIRS BE HANDLED IN THE EVENT OF YOUR EARLY DEMISE?

If you have minor children, it is important to execute a Will in which you name a guardian to care for your children if you should die before they are 18 years old. In addition, if you are leaving assets to assist in paying for your children’s expenses, you may wish to consider nominating either… Read More »

THE US SUPREME COURT RULES THAT INHERITED IRAS ARE NOT PROTECTED IN BANKRUPTCY, HOWEVER, STATE LAW MAY OVERRULE THAT!

When an individual files for bankruptcy, the Federal Bankruptcy Code permits the debtor to exclude certain types of assets from the “bankruptcy estate” and thus protect them from his or her creditors.  One of the types of assets excluded from the estate are “retirement funds”  (11 U.S.C. x 522(b)(3)(C)).  On June 12, the US Supreme… Read More »

WHY DON’T PARENTS WITH MINOR CHILDREN HAVE A WILL?

When parents with young children are asked why they don’t have a Last Will & Testament, the most common responses are: I won’t die anytime soon, I don’t have any money to leave to anyone, It is too expensive, and It will all work out. Unfortunately, failing to name a guardian for minor children in… Read More »

Estate Planning – Now More Complicated than Ever Even for “Non-Taxable” Estates

If you consulted with an estate planning lawyer at any time prior to 2010, more likely than not, your discussion of taxes focused firstly on how to avoid the Federal and state estate and gift taxes and secondly on income and capital gains taxes.   Due to recent changes to the US tax code, for the… Read More »

BENEFICIARY DESIGNATIONS- SIMPLE MISTAKES THAT CAUSE BIG PROBLEMS

When you open an IRA, other retirement plans or annuities, the custodian always asks you to indicate in writing who should receive the balance in the account at your death.  This is called a “beneficiary designation”.  What could be simpler? All you have to do is list the primary beneficiary and name a “contingent” beneficiary… Read More »

Idaho Living Wills and Durable Powers of Attorney

While it can be very hard to think about the care you will want if you are chronically ill and unable to express your medical wishes, it is true that people can unexpectedly find themselves in such a situation.   Even worse than being ill and unable to communicate is not preparing in advance a statement… Read More »

Ten Thoughts (Well, OK, Eleven) To Consider This Year End

The President’s 2014 Budget proposals issued in April earlier this year are still being considered by the Congressional Budget Committee.  Also, many people wrote their wills and revocable trusts when the amount exempted from Federal gift and estate taxes was much lower.  Therefore,  the following are a few ideas (and there are many others) for… Read More »

TO GIFT DURING LIFE OR TRANSFER PROPERTY AT DEATH

Clients often ask whether it is better to give property to their children now or transfer it to them on their death.  In addition to considering the client’s non-tax objectives, the answer will be shaped by Federal estate and gift taxes and capital gains taxes.   Non-taxable Estate, Transfer By Gift.  If the client’s estate will… Read More »

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