Category Archives: Estate Planning

Disinheritance vs. Forced Heirship

The American system of inheritance allows individuals to exercise a relatively unfettered freedom to choose their beneficiaries, whether it be their immediate family, charity, or really anyone they see fit. The French system of inheritance does not allow testators a….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Methods to Gain Access to a Safety Deposit Box After a Person Dies in Tennessee

A frequent question that is raised following someone death is how someone can get access to their safety deposit box post death in Tennessee.  This includes questions about who is entitled to this access the box in this circumstance.  This issues usually comes to a head when family members are trying to locate a will that cannot be found or to determine if there are any valuables in the box.  The Tennessee legislature adopted a statute to address this specific situation.   T.C.A. § 45-2-905 is the statute that addresses access to a safety deposit box after someone’s death but it has several other provisions related to safety deposit boxes that I will not address here.  The key portion for our purpose is found in subsection (c) as follows:   (c) Upon the death of the sole or last surviving lessee of a safe deposit box, access is authorized as follows: (1) The duly qualified executor or administrator of the lessee may have access to….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Spousal Election Does Have an Exclusion

The spousal election can be a benefit in the future. When a surviving spouse inherits almost everything and gets a double exemption when he or she passes away, there is also another benefit to the spousal election, according to the NAEPC Journal of Estate & Tax Planning in "Forget "Must Love Dogs" — Go with "Must Love DSUE" or the Portability Election: Simplified Late Election Relief." The details can get a little complicated, but the idea is relatively simple. If the first spouse who passes away does not have a large enough estate to have had to pay the estate tax, then there is an unused portion of the exemption limit leftover. The surviving spouse can take advantage of that.  However, it is also available for anyone the surviving spouse might marry later. Some people are apparently even advertising that they have this deceased spousal unused exclusion available on dating sites. An estate planning attorney can advise you, if you did not….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Estate Planning and Funeral Arrangements

Regardless of the size of your estate, comprehensive estate planning can help you make the most of the assets you have worked hard to build. It is important to make sure that you take a thorough approach to estate planning in order to preserve as many assets as possible, and also to make sure that you make dealing with a loss as easy on your family members and friends as possible. One of the most common ways to do that is to include funeral arrangement and instructions for the disposition of your remains. There are a number of approaches to doing this, and ultimately the terms you set forth will be unique to you and your family’s wants and needs. However, a recent article from the National Law Review provides some helpful information about this aspect of estate planning. Pre-Death Arrangements Most states allow you to iron out many of the details of your funeral arrangements and the disposition of your remains ahead of time. In many cases, these are integral pieces of a….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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Retirement Accounts May Be Up but Highly Concentrated

Not that many Americans have sufficient stocks to take advantage of the market. The total amount of money in retirement accounts might be at all-time highs.  However, that money is heavily concentrated in a small percentage of the population and limiting opportunities, according to Think Advisor in "Trump Asks 'How's Your  401(k)?' But Most Voters Don't Have One." While there are different measures of how many Americans have retirement accounts and how much money most people have in those accounts, it appears that overall people are not saving enough for their own retirements. Only about 45% percent of Americans have an employee-sponsored retirement account and only about 14% own any stocks directly. Even among those people who have retirement accounts, it appears that most of them are not putting nearly as much into them as they need to. This could make things more difficult for Republicans to reform Social Security and Medicare.….. To continue reading this legal news please click Read full information...

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