Scriber Law Group, LLC.


Prenuptial Agreements and Estate Planning

Divorce is simply a fact of life these days, and the number of people who end up marrying more than once continues to grow. That makes prenuptial agreements a nearly essential element of estate planning these days. This is especially true for those who have children from a previous marriage, or if there are specific assets you want to keep on your side of the family.   For example, suppose your desire is to pass your home on to the children from your first marriage when you die. Without proper planning and a carefully drawn prenuptial agreement in place, your… Read More

You Don’t Want to Leave Your Heirs Paperwork, Right?

Imagine, if you will, that a loved one passes away, and you are required to sift through thirty or forty years of financial records and other paperwork during one of the most stressful times of your life. That would not be easy, especially if you're unsure of what you're looking for. What do you keep, and what do you throw away? What's valuable and useful, and what is worthless?   Is that what you want your legacy be when you pass away? Do you want to be the one who kept every piece of paper they received, but left no… Read More

IRS Extends 2011-2013 Portability Deadline

So as to provide a little more time for surviving spouses to elect portability on their tax return and to allow them to use their deceased spouse’s unused federal estate tax exemption, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the portability deadline for filing an estate tax return for those decedents who passed away in 2011, 2012 or 2013 to December 31, 2014. To elect portability means that a married couple can in effect combine their available exemptions. That move could potentially save a family a significant amount of money when the second spouse dies. For example, if one spouse died… Read More

How Long Does the Georgia Probate Process Take?

Two of the most common questions every estates and trust lawyer in the state of Georgia is asked are; How long does the Georgia probate process take? And; When will I receive my share of the assets from my loved one's estate? There are a number of factors that contribute to the answersto these questions, so the answers aren't always easy to answer.  For example, the speed is partly dependent on how fast the petition for letters testamentary or administration can be completed and filed with a Georgia probate court. It is also dependent on how quickly that court can… Read More

The Pitfalls of Do-it-Yourself Wills

A lot of people these days are trying to save money, which is understandable. Other people are also the do-it-yourself types, and just like feeling the independence that comes with completion of an unwanted task that a lot of people told you couldn't be done without hiring an expert. The feeling of accomplishment one feels when you put in your own carpet or install new windows on your house is great. However, too often people approach estate planning with the same attitude. It's tempting to walk through the office supply store and see a display for "will kits," wherein you… Read More

Being an Estate Fiduciary is an Honor and a Responsibility

When the fiduciaries for an estate are chosen, most of those who have been chosen see it as a great honor, which it usually is. However, it's not just an honor; the job comes with a significant amount of legal responsibility. The position as a fiduciary for an estate is not just honorary, it's legal. And as is the case with any legal responsibility, there is also the potential for legal liability if you don't perform your tasks to the highest legal standards. Such legal liability could end up costing you dearly if you're not as careful as can be.   So, what is… Read More

Basic Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples

Currently, 33 states plus the District of Columbia now allow same-sex couples to get married legally, and to have that married recognized. However. That means 17 states do not, including Georgia. The fact of the matter is, same-sex couples face a number of unique considerations when it comes to creating an estate plan. What follows are some of the considerations that same-sex couples have to make when putting together an estate plan that many other couples, with the benefit of either licensed of common-law marriage, do not.   The Will   At the heart of any estate plan is the… Read More

It’s Time for Year-End Planning

It's hard to believe 2014 is almost over. As 2015 approaches, many folks with estate plans should be thinking about a number of things that will enhance their estate plans. Many techniques have to be implemented before December 31, while others can be implemented after the first of the year, in order to take advantage of savings opportunities with regard to estate and gift taxes. One example is that individuals have the opportunity to limit the size and growth of their taxable estates by making annual gifts to potential heirs. For example, as the law stands for 2014 and 2015, it is possible to… Read More

Now or Later? When You Should Make Gifts to Your Heirs?

Obviously, any estate plan involves leaving gifts to your heirs. But quite often, the question revolves around whether it's better to give them your assets when you pass away, or should you give them away now? Which is better for them, and which is better for you?   The first thing you should know before you make such a decision; what is the difference between the gift tax and the estate tax?   The gift tax is imposed by state and federal governments on any transfer of property without compensation. In this case, the definition of property includes both tangible… Read More

Highlighting the Benefits of IRA Trusts

Earlier this year, the United States Supreme Court issued a ruling in the case of Clark v. Rameker that will have a significant impact on what happens when Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) are inherited. Specifically, the court ruled that money in an IRA is not considered to be “retirement funds” for bankruptcy purposes.   The circumstances of the case are as follows: back in October 2010, the Clarks filed for bankruptcy. When they did so, they claimed that the $300,000 IRA that Heidi Clark inherited was exempt from their bankruptcy estate. In doing so, they cited Section 522 of the… Read More