The death of a client is the true test of how all the estate planning plays out. Understanding the nuts and bolts of the estate administration process can help you anticipate potential problems in your drafting. Cover how the attorney can help with the estate settlement responsibilities, tasks that will need to be completed and considerations for post-mortem tax planning.
Ensure thoroughness in each stage of the planning process with a step-by-step checklist to help you avoid malpractice claims - from pre-engagement to document drafting to termination of representation.
Explore the art of choosing the right client, the importance and content of engagement letters, and the client communication that most of us probably don’t do well: the conclusion of representation letter.
Understand the post-death administration of transfer-on-death assets, life insurance, retirement plan assets, and JTWROS assets with a focus on situations complicating the administration and transfer of these assets.
Families inheriting real property can present thorny issues. Second marriages, ancestral residential income property, or simultaneous deaths that were not contemplated in old and cold trusts can create sleepless nights for many lawyers. Additionally, closely held businesses may be similarly fraught with estate administration challenges. Several issues may arise causing an unsuspecting family to inherit substantial potential liabilities for which the family was not initially responsible. Finally, digital currency is here; online, streaming entertainment products are booming; and the number of oenophiles has soared because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore and learn how to address legal challenges attorneys must resolve when confronting these assets.
Antiques, art, jewelry, and other family heirlooms are often the source of the most anxiety and carry the greatest potential for conflict following a death in the family. In many cases, the financial value of the “stuff” is modest relative to other assets that comprise a typical estate or trust. Mitigating the risks of fights over stuff also goes beyond the standard language that is often written into estate plan documents to dispose of tangible personal property at death. Examine a few of the ways in which planners can help their clients reduce the risk of destructive and costly fights over stuff long before their clients actually die.
The post-death tax landscape can be thorny. Get a broad overview of personal income tax, fiduciary income tax, and estate and GST transfer tax and how each of these taxes are related from this session.