Scriber Law Group, LLC.

Category: Blog

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

How to Talk to Older Loved Ones About Estate Planning

There is no avoiding the fact that some conversations are simply difficult to have, even with the people in your life with whom you feel closest. One of the most difficult conversations anyone can have is the conversation with older loved ones about what happens to them after they die. Quite often, they don't feel comfortable talking about it. This, despite the fact that everyone will die at some point, and most will die with assets. That means they will have to determine the value of those assets and what happens to them.   While "the conversation" with, say, your parents,… Read More

Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts

Quite often, an important part of estate planning involves the establishment of revocable or irrevocable trusts. Those involved in planning for the future should understand the difference between the two.   Both types of trust begin with what is called an inter vivos trust. That is a transfer of property that is set up to go into effect during your lifetime. Of course, the next decision you will have to make will be whether or not the inter vivos trust can be revoked – meaning that you can change your mind about the trust, or if it is irrevocable, which means it can never… Read More

An Ethical Estate Plan Deals With More Than Your Assets

The ultimate purpose of a traditional will and estate plan is to give the person who dies control over the distribution of his or her physical assets. In some cases, trusts or other devices may be used to pass assets on to future generations in a more meaningful way. In some cases, however, you might want to leave a lot more than physical property and other assets to your heirs. You may want to share the wisdom of a life lived, for example, or to share memories with your surviving loved ones, or just to let them all know they matter.… Read More

What If You Die Without a Will?

Okay, so everyone you talk to and every article you read is encouraging you to write a will. They're telling you you'll regret it if you don't do so long before you die. They tell you that if you don't have a will, your family and friends will lose everything. First, the state will come along and take almost everything in taxes, and your potential errors will be mad at you because you made such a mess of your legacy. So, you're wondering, are they right?   Yes and no.   It's pretty simple. A person with a will has… Read More

The Problem of Debt After Death

Because it can be very difficult to settle the affairs of a loved one who has passed away, quite often some of the surviving family members will have to make a number of important financial decisions on behalf of the recently deceased. Unfortunately, this occurs at a time when they are already very emotional and possibly stressed out.   One of the biggest decisions left to surviving family members has to do with whether or not they should repay debts incurred by the decedent, including such potentially large debts as mortgage loans, student loans or credit cards. Quite often, a… Read More