Hodges Law Blog
You have taken the time and incurred the expense of having an estate plan prepared. This plan likely includes your Last Will and Testament (it may also contain a trust document, a Durable Power of Attorney, a Health Care Power of Attorney). Keeping the originals safe is extremely important. Why, you ask? You need to keep your original will safe because the law creates a presumption that you intentionally destroyed (read this as revoked) your will if the original cannot be located.
So what should you do with your original documents?
According to the United States Census Bureau there are an estimated 289,309,000, Internet users in the United States. Each of these users presents the potential for multiple email, social networking, blogging, and short message service accounts. In short, the amount of cyber material, or as I will refer to it, “digital assets,” has become absolutely mind-bending.
With the advent of the Internet, some of the most important components of our daily lives have been moved online. Bank and brokerage statements may be delivered only by email. Pictures, writings, mementos of our lives may only be stored in cyberspace. Our digital lives make it increasingly difficult for executors or appointed agents to locate these items or even know what accounts we have.
The Trustee is a fiduciary put in charge of overseeing the management of cash and property owned by a trust, commonly referred to as a “trust fund.” A Trustee can be an individual, an institution (such as a bank or trust company) or combination of both. Sometimes a Trustee serves as part of the board comprised of multiple Trustees. In that case a vote of the Trustees, or some other form of collaborative process, controls distributions, investments, and any other action of the trust. (more…)
Client’s often ask this question.
Every Last Will and Testament names an Executor, also sometimes referred to as a “personal representative,” to serve on behalf of the will maker, also called the Testator. (more…)
An unfortunate fact, which often comes to light after it is too late, is that many people have outdated wills that no longer reflect their wishes for the disposition of their assets.
Since I announced I was opening my own practice, the two most common questions that I have received are:
(1) Do you do Wills? and
(2) I’m not rich, do I need a Will? (more…)
Late last week Timothy Geithner, the Secretary of the Treasury, provided President Obama’s initial estate tax plan to House Republicans. The President’s proposal included lowering the estate tax exemption from $5.12 million to $3.5 million. It also included an increase in the tax rate from 35% to 45%. See Arthur D. Postal, Obama’s First Offer on Estate Tax, LifeHealthProf, November 30, 2012.
So where will estate tax end up? (more…)