Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I have heard that I can “disclaim” inherited assets or property. What does this mean?

A “disclaimer” is the refusal to accept a gift, bequest, or beneficiary designation on an account (e.g., an IRA or life insurance policy).

Monday, December 22, 2014

Dementia and Driving Liability

It is natural for a person to go through certain physical and psychological changes as part of the aging process. This can include worsening eyesight, slowed reaction time, poor night vision, and in some cases a decline in cognitive ability.

As you notice these changes in your loved ones as they age, you may become concerned about their continuing ability to drive. No one wants to have to take the keys away from a friend or family member, but this may be the best option to ensure not only their safety, but the safety of others on the road as well.

But what if you cannot bring yourself to separate your loved one from their car, or if you do not realize the severity of a loved one’s physical or cognitive impairments and they get into an accident?

Monday, December 15, 2014

In Terrorem Clause/No Contest Clause

You may have heard of an “In Terrorem Clause,” also called “No-Contest Clause.” Joan Rivers had one in her Will.*

This is a provision that can be included in a Will which states that if any beneficiary or legal heir of the Estate tries to contest the Will, they will be treated as though they predeceased he Testator—in other words, they will be disinherited.

Monday, December 8, 2014

IRS Subpoenas and Summons—What to do?

The IRS is getting much more aggressive in seeking and collecting monies that may be owed. A number of my clients have received summons from the IRS.

The IRS does have the power to issue administrative summons to taxpayers, oftentimes requiring them to produce papers, books, or other documents, and requiring them to appear before an IRS worker and give testimony under oath.

However, these summons are not always enforceable. In certain cases, an IRS agent may simply issue a summons to get the taxpayer's attention. A summons may be overly broad in its request for the production of documents and cannot be enforced.

Q and A: Non-Probate Property

Q: My relative just passed away. It says in their Will that their IRA goes to me, but I found out that it is passing to someone else instead. What’s going on?