Posts tagged Trusts
Tune-up Time

One of our cars was running a little rough so I took it into our local mechanic last week for a tune-up. Turns out in addition to the tune-up I was a little behind on some of the maintenance. A new water pump and timing belt later and the car is ready to run. I could have postponed the work, but eventually it had to be done and if I had not taken care of it quick enough, there may have been some real damage to the car.

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The Incapacity Issue – How to Remove an Incapacitated Trustee

Next week in Los Angeles County Probate Court, a trial will occur to determine if Donald Sterling, the now infamous owner of the Los Angeles Clippers, was properly removed as a trustee of the Sterling Family Trust. Sterling’s removal paved the way for the Clippers to be sold to former Microsoft CEO Steve Balmer for $2 billion. Sterling was removed after two doctors determined that he was mentally incapacitated and, as a result, no longer able to manage his own legal and business affairs, nor that of the Trust. The Trust provided for a removal in such instances. Sterling has now sued to be re-instated as the Trustee.

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Death of the Living Trust Greatly Exaggerated! How You Can Still Benefit from a Living Trust

After the premature news of his passing, writer Mark Twain was once purported to have said: “Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated.” Lately I have read several articles on the death of living trust based planning for all but the super wealthy. I would echo Twain’s sentiments and state that the reports of the death of the living trust have been greatly exaggerated. While the higher estate tax exemption amount and the dawn of portability have made the estate tax a non-factor for many individuals and couples, the usefulness of living trust based plans was never solely about estate taxes and most of the benefits continue unabated.

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James Gandolfini’s Estate Plan – Lessons in Privacy for the Common Man

I will preface this post with the admission that I have never seen an episode of The Sopranos. Mr. Gandolfini may have been a great actor, but I was generally unaware. What I have seen is a tidal wave of articles since his death dissecting his estate planning and the alleged “mistakes” that were made. I had determined not to join the chorus as many of the alleged “mistakes” are based on presumptions which may or may not be accurate. I also thought; how many people reading this blog are likely to have estates purported to be worth nearly $100 million or anywhere near that amount. Do most of us really benefit from knowing about these alleged “mistakes.” But as I read another article recently it occurred to me there is actually something we can all learn from this untimely death and the sea of publicity surrounding his plan – the benefit of keeping things private.

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Planning for Retirement Accounts – More Senate Action on the Stretch IRA

Last year in this Blog I wrote about the efforts of Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) to limit the ability of non-spouse beneficiaries of IRAs to stretch out withdrawals over their lifetime. Presently a non-spouse beneficiary can enjoy years, if not decades, of tax deferred or tax free growth on inherited IRAs (traditional or Roth). Last week, the Senate took up this cause again in relation to its efforts to fund the extension of low interest rates on student loans.

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