One of the most important decisions to make after someone dies is how to administer their probate estate. Many times family members rush to qualify as Executor without understanding the issues involved with being an executor.
In this series of blog posts, we are exploring the various statutory mechanisms by which an irrevocable trust may be modified or terminated. As previously discussed, a grantor may wish to create an irrevocable trust for any number of reasons, but if circumstances change over time, the provisions of an irrevocable trust may no longer be practical or economical.
Victims of recent severe storms and flooding in numerous states have more time to make tax payments and file returns if they are affected taxpayers in counties that have been designated as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance. Certain other time-sensitive acts also are postponed. The IRS has recently announced on its website that additional areas in Virginia have been designated as federal disaster areas qualifying for individual assistance.
For most couples in a first marriage with no children from other relationships, estate planning is a relatively uncomplicated process, particularly if the marriage is long-standing, the couple has amassed most assets jointly, and the children of the marriage are grown and do not have the need for creditor protection planning. By contrast, individuals who are in a second or third marriage who have children from prior relationships (and sometimes with the current spouse as well) can present greater challenges and require more careful analysis and planning. These familial situations are often referred to as "blended families". This article discusses several mutual goals of married couples who are planning for blended families and provides planning tips to ensure that a client's goals are honored.
The world noted Aretha Franklin’s recent passing with sadness as well as fond memories of her amazing talent and career. The news following her death, as reported by CNN, that she died without a will or trust, brought different discussions to the forefront.
When you owe money to the IRS, penalties and interest can add up, and eventually, the IRS can collect the money you owe with forced collection actions such as liens, levies, wage garnishments and asset seizures. If you owe back taxes, it’s best to pay the IRS as soon as possible or work out a suitable payment arrangement. Several different payment arrangements are available if you qualify (for example, the Offer in Compromise, Installment Agreement and Currently Non-Collectible Status), and by far the most common of these is the Installment Agreement.
If you served during active duty during a wartime period (WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War or Persian Gulf War) or if you are the widow of someone who has, you may be eligible for a monthly payment from the Veterans Administration. This benefit, known as “VA Aid and Attendance,” can be used to defray the costs of in-home, assisted living or nursing home care.
Modification and Termination of Irrevocable Trusts: Unanticipated Circumstances or an Inability to Administer a Trust Effectively (Va. Code Ann. § 64.2-730)
As outlined in my previous blog post, an irrevocable trust is one that by definition and design cannot be amended, modified, changed or revoked. A settlor, one who creates or contributes property to a trust, may wish to make his or her trust irrevocable for any number of reasons. As time passes, however, the circumstances under which an irrevocable trust was necessary or preferable may no longer exist. To this end, the Code of Virginia sets forth several provisions by which an irrevocable trust may be modified or terminated.
One of the largest expenses for a family is higher education expenses for their children. Education expenses continue to grow faster than inflation. This reality has resulted in even families with significant means having to plan for the future.
Over the past 40 years I have prepared thousands of wills. Each time the wills are organized in articles and paragraphs, all of the pages are numbered, the Testator’s initials are placed on the corner of each page, the will is signed at its logical end, and a self-proving affidavit is appended. All of these actions are designed to ensure that the wishes of the Testator (the person who makes the will) are followed and to reduce the possibility of fraud by the substitution of pages in a will.