Weekly Update

Estate Planning News – Undue Influence Update -May 5th, 2014

[wp_lightbox_prettyPhoto_video link=”https://vimeo.com/57999385″ description=”Undue Influence” source=”https://smartestateplans.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/ui.png” title=”Undue Influence”] In this week’s edition of Estate Planning News, we’re highlighting legislative changes affecting an important elder law offense: Undue Influence. As the selected pieces linked below point out, the key features of this law change is broadening the class of people who are able to commit the offense and the time frame when it can occur. Under previous iterations of the statute, undue influence was limited to testamentary actions (such as gifts in a will or trust), and required a specialized relationship between the elder and the abuser. The new version of the law accounts for actions that steer seniors toward parting with their property during their lifetimes, even without a confidential relationship being present. Read the articles to learn more!   Bill Text – Assembly Bill No. 140 CHAPTER 668 Existing law provides that financial abuse of an elder or dependent adult occurs when, among other instances, a person or entity takes, secretes, appropriates, obtains, or retains, or assists in taking, secreting, appropriating, obtaining, or retaining, real or personal property of an elder or dependent adult by undue influence, as defined. Read More at http://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=201320140AB140 Estate Planning: Financial elder abuse and undue influence DENNIS FORDHAM On Jan. 1, 2014, California amended its statutory definition of “undue influence” in section 15610.70 of the Welfare and Institutions Code. This new definition of “undue influence” applies both to “financial elder abuse” that affects the victim while alive and also to undue influence that affect the victim’s “testamentary dispositions” after death. Read More at...

Estate Planning News – April 22nd, 2014 – IRA Inheritance

In this week’s Estate Planning News, our firm has highlighted the oft-overlooked area of Estate Planning and IRAs. We chose three articles that explain different IRA planning strategies, ideas, and perspectives on how IRAs can and should be used in an Estate Plan. Retirement accounts, in general, are governed by strict regulation and need to be handled carefully by well-informed parties. This digest should arm readers with information to adequately discuss their plans with a qualified professional. If You Are the Surviving Spouse of an IRA Owner – Fidelity.com If you are the spouse of an IRA owner who has named you as his or her beneficiary, it’s critical that you-and the owner of the IRA-understand the rules that govern IRA inheritances. Read More at https://www.fidelity.com/viewpoints/retirement/surviving-spouse-IRA Ed Slott and Company – IRA, Tax, Retirement Planning Articles, Insight Previously, same sex married couples did not have the spousal IRA benefits of opposite-sex married couples under the tax code. These benefits include the ability to make spousal IRA contributions, tax-free splitting of IRAs in a divorce, and spousal rollovers at death. However, the IRS recently issued guidance that gives same-sex married couples the spousal IRA benefits. Read More at http://www.theslottreport.com/2013/09/spousal-ira-rollovers-for-same-sex.html Understanding Who Should Be Beneficiary of Your IRA How To Turn A Modest Tax-Deferred Account Into Millions For Your Family How would you like to turn your modest tax-deferred account into millions for your family? Depending on whom you name as beneficiary, you can keep this money growing tax-deferred for not only your and your spouse’s lifetimes, but also for your children’s or grandchildren’s lifetimes. Read More at...

Estate Planning News – April 14th, 2014

In this week’s inaugural edition of Estate Planning News, our firm has selected some helpful articles from around the web that cover problems commonly encountered by clients during the Estate Planning process: so our readers won’t make them! In an article from CNBC, authors highlight mistakes Estate Planning clients frequently make. The problems discussed occur all too often, as clients consistently regard Estate Planning as a “one-time” action rather than the lifelong process it ought to be. This is great reading for people who have not reviewed their estate plan recently. Along similar lines, Professor Gerry Beyer of¬†Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog¬†identifies the “Ostrich Syndrome” associated with Estate Planning, where clients do not want to begin the process because it is difficult to confront the questions associated with drafting a comprehensive plan. We wholeheartedly agree with him that this creates more problems than it solves. The article about an Estate Planning checklist is a good place for people overcoming the aforementioned “Ostrich Syndrome” to start when they realize they need a plan. It can be overwhelming to consider all of the steps that need to be taken when planning for the future, and having an easy-to-understand list of potential considerations is a big help. Finally, we conclude this week’s Estate Planning News with an interesting piece about digital assets and estate planning. In an age increasingly dependent on intangible assets and cloud technology, considering things like email accounts, subscriptions, and other digital property are often an afterthought when it comes to Estate Planning. Avoid the top 5 estate-planning blunders – CNBC.com CNBC.com Avoid the top 5 estate-planning blunders...