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June 2012 Archives

In New Jersey, domestic partners exempt from state inheritance tax

Same sex couples in New Jersey, while they do have some of the same advantages as heterosexual couples, face unique challenges and issues that heterosexual couples do not. One example of this is that New Jersey, as our regular readers know, imposes an estate tax where the value of a deceased person's estate exceeds $675,000. Generally speaking, gifts to a surviving spouse are fully deductible for purposes of New Jersey estate tax. This is known as the unlimited marital deduction.

Estate of NY copper heiress subject of two separate disputes

The court appointed public administrator for the deceased copper heiress Huguette Clark is reportedly seeking to have recipients return $37 million in gifts. According to the administrator, Clark's caretakers took advantage of her feebleness and exerted undue influence on her to make the gifts. In addition, the administrator has asked for an investigation into whether a hospital where Clark received care should be required to return a $6 million Manet and whether an art gallery in Washington should be required to return a $250,000 donation.

What to do when you are name executor of an estate, P.2

In our last post, we began speaking about some of the steps one will need to take in winding up an estate. As we noted, the process can be overwhelming for those who've never encountered it, but a bit of planning ahead and knowing who to turn to for help can be a great help.

What to do when you are name executor of an estate, P.1

Probate refers to the legal process of winding up the estate of a deceased person. Because there are a number of steps to the process and the death of a loved one can be difficult, the probate process can be overwhelming, especially for those who've been appointed as executor who have never been through it and don't have a basic understanding about how it works. In particular, it can be difficult to navigate probate and tax laws. There are a number of things one can do, though, to make this easier.

What should I discuss with my adult children regarding my estate plan? P.1

Communicating with one's children can be difficult when it comes to serious issues, particularly issues of inheritance and estate planning. Sometimes people put the conversation off, thinking they will have time to do so later. Unfortunately, too many people do this so long that their family is unprepared when the time comes to wrap up their estate.

Despite uncertainty as to future of federal law, tax minimization opportunities abound

In estate planning, everyone should be concerned about how to reduce to a minimum the tax liabilities of their plan. Not only is there gift and estate tax to be mindful of, but also income tax, generation skipping transfer tax, and inheritance tax in some states. A good estate plan will address each of these potential tax liabilities and determine the best way to reduce them.