by SAMUEL B. LEDWITZ, J.D., LL.M. | Last updated Mar 4, 2022 | Advanced Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Estate Planning, I.R.S., Probate, Taxes
In December 2021, the estate of the musician known as Prince, The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Minnesota Department of Revenue (MDR), settled the valuation of Prince’s estate. Prince’s music rights were the main point of contention –what is the day of death value of all of his songs and music rights?
by SAMUEL B. LEDWITZ, J.D., LL.M. | Last updated Jan 17, 2022 | Children's Trusts, Court, Divorce, Estate Planning, Guardianship, Litigation, Living Trusts, Mortgage, Trusts
On the wedding day nobody expects to get divorced ever. We often think we will ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. However, the sun rises the next day and problems occur. A day of problems turns into weeks of problems and then into years of problems. Your friends tell you there is a light at the end of the tunnel, and they are right; however, it is the headlight from an oncoming freight train called divorce.
by SAMUEL B. LEDWITZ, J.D., LL.M. | Last updated Jan 16, 2022 | Advance Health Care Directive, CMIA, Estate Planning, HIPAA, Wills
We are all worried about our children and especially what would happen to them if they got a severe case of Covid-19 and needed parental help while away at college.
When your child turned age 18, they became an adult in the eyes of the government. And, although you may think they are still a kid, they have many rights that come with adulthood.
by SAMUEL B. LEDWITZ, J.D., LL.M. | Last updated Jan 13, 2022 | Advanced Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Living Trusts, Lottery, Probate, Taxes, Trusts, Wills
So you won the lottery? Now what? First Things First Time Limit to collect the money, Don’t rush. Bearer instrument. Sign the back Make copies of the ticket—do not run around town with the actual ticket Do not tell everybody. Keeping it private is one of your biggest assets. How much did you win.
by Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates, APC | Last updated Feb 22, 2023 | Advanced Estate Planning, Estate Planning, Litigation, Living Trusts, Probate, Samuel B. Ledwitz, Trusts 1. A living trust brings all of your assets together under one single estate plan with ONE set of instructions. This arrangement makes your wishes easier to carry out. Trusts are designed to facilitate the distribution of your estate in that it will be simplified, unambiguous, and clear-cut. Provisions made to ensure the correct titling of your assets/beneficiary designations from your retirement savings plans and life insurance policies are given the highest priority. This preemptive action guards against legal contests and family squabbles that can easily erupt due to poor estate planning. 2. A clearly written and legally correct living trust is a private matter which is not obligated to be a part of the public record, plus they are not easily prone to litigation (as wills frequently are). Probate is a court supervised set of procedures that are mandated by law to be carried out in public. Disappointed or disinherited heirs are free to retain counsel to contest the validity of your will, and to call into question your state of mind when you signed/executed it. In addition, opportunists with varying motivations and self-interests can gain easy access to your family’s personal and financial information. This results in unnecessary expenses, animosity, and delays in settling your estate. Having a trust in place bypasses this very real possibility entirely. 3. A trust can help you avoid court interference should you become incapacitated. Any reasonable person would much rather have their long-term care and assets managed privately by those they know and trust. Without having appointed a trustee/attorney beforehand, the probate court must become involved and appoint a...
by Bezaire, Ledwitz & Associates, APC | Last updated Feb 22, 2023 | Advance Health Care Directive, Advanced Estate Planning, Children's Trusts, Estate Planning, Executor, Guardianship, Living Trusts, Pasadena, Succesor Trustee, Trusts, WillsWHY “DO IT YOURSELF/FILL IN THE BLANK” WILLS & TRUSTS OFTEN RESULT IN DISASTER Retaining the services and expertise of an attorney who can assist you in preparing a smart estate plan requires a serious investment of time and money. The benefits (however) far outweigh whatever the upfront costs may be. Having the assurance and peace of mind that you and your family will be legally and financially protected in taking on the challenges of the future is inestimable. However, these guarantees vanish immediately when one chooses to forgo retaining experienced legal advice and opting for the “do-it-yourself” approach to estate planning. Many unpleasant scenarios and real potential dangers await those who want to save a few dollars in the short-term; and whose loved ones will probably end up having to pay tens of thousands of dollars correcting their mistakes. Everyone is unique. No two families are the same. The slick advertising that online legal services utilize (especially with using formercelebrity attorneys to pitch their offerings) cannot deny this simple fact: virtual legal document preparers that promise cheap, fill in the blank options for estate planning will never replace the professional, confidential relationship between a lawyer and his/her client. When circumstances require urgent technical advice and counsel, these do-it-yourself websites are of no use to a distraught client. Their staff is prohibited from rendering any kind of practical legal guidance to consumers. If you are making a terrible mistake in your estate planning, they can’t prevent you from doing so (the unauthorized practice of law is a criminal offense in all 50 states). In addition, these online services...