Identifying the Places to File and the Forms to Use! A close family friend who was a federal retiree (under the Civil Service Retirement System) passed away recently, and it was an honor to help the family manage the correspondence needed to file for survivor benefits and life insurance. Many … [Read more...] about Filing after the Death of a Federal Employee or Retiree
As we all get ready for tax season, this is also a good time to think about organizing and planning for our “digital assets”. The newsletter has covered the topic over the years and will use this edition of the newsletter to update in depth. What are digital assets? Generally they break down … [Read more...] about Digital Assets, an Update
If you don’t have an estate plan, the state has one for you, known as the Laws of Intestacy. In Virginia that is codified in the Virginia Codeunder the Descent and Distribution section of the chapter on Wills and Decedent’s Estate. There are two key matters, what assets pass by the laws of … [Read more...] about Dying Intestate
Despite the grief and sense of loss experienced at the death of a spouse, there are steps that should be taken to settle the decedent’s estate and ensure the survivor’s planning is up to date. The survivor is advised to request as many as 20 certified copies of the death certificate, as they will … [Read more...] about Guidance for the Recently Widowed
One of the most important aspects of estate planning for families with a special needs child (no matter what age) is to preserve the child’s eligibility for public benefits such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Medicaid, and subsidized housing. Many parents seek a way to leave an inheritance … [Read more...] about Special Needs Planning
Fraud, Scams, Undue Influence, Theft, Deception , Oh My Elder Financial Abuse is broadly defined as illegal or improper use of an elder's income or assets. It can range from breach of fiduciary duty when an agent named in a power of attorney uses that authority for personal benefit, … [Read more...] about Financial Abuse of Elders
People who practice estate planning are always looking for examples to set before their clients of the value of planning. The death of celebrities often creates that kind of a learning experience. (see earlier article) Much has been made of musician Prince’s lack of a will after his unexpected … [Read more...] about Prince and Estate Planning
A Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) is used to defer federal estate tax when a U.S. citizen dies and leaves a large amount of money to a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen. If you are a citizen, and your spouse is not, and you expect that family assets of several million dollars may pass to your … [Read more...] about Qualified Domestic Trust
More than three centuries ago, English courts developed the “doctrine of necessaries” as a means of enforcing a husband's duty to support his wife. This rule permitted a woman whose husband refused or neglected to provide for her to buy her necessaries on credit. The provider of necessities would … [Read more...] about Doctrine of Necessaries: Who Pays the Bill?
Dying Without an Estate Plan The State May Have a Plan for You, but It Doesn't Cover Everything Michelle Singletary, a financial columnist for the Washington Post, writes a regular column called "The Color of Money". She has written poignantly about the death of her mother in … [Read more...] about No Estate Plan?