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Special Note: As of January 1, 2017, I will no longer take new clients. I will be available to take care of existing clients and their immediate family members. This should reduce my work load so that I can keep helping old clients for several more years. At this time I have no plans for complete retirement.

Hank

What I do:

  • I help people with estate plans. I work on the administration of estates, guardianships, and trusts. I represent folks in controversies about estates, guardianships, and trusts.
  • I give legal advice, write legal documents, go to court, and serve as guardian, executor, and administrator. I have a Masters in Taxation from N.Y.U., and I give advice on taxes. But I let accountants do the tax returns.
  • I try to write my legal papers, when practical, in plain language.
  • I keep my overhead low and my fees reflect this.

Important news:


Caution: The Federal Estate Tax expired in 2010. This was good news for some families. But there was a downside to the expiration of the estate tax because property going through estates in 2010 did not automatically get a new income tax basis in inherited property equal to the fair market value of the property on the date of death. New measures were enacted eventually to deal with the potential for capital gains tax on property inherited in 2010 while there was no Federal Estate Tax.

Late in 2010, the Federal Estate Tax was extended for 2011 and 2012. The threshold for the tax was raised to $5,000,000. Later the tax was "made permanent" for 2013 and future years with a threshold in 2017 of $5,490,000 (the extra $490,000 is an inflation adjustment).  So the estate tax is no longer a middle-class worry. But if you have an estate worth more than $5,490,000 now, learning about the estate tax and how to plan for it could save your family a big tax bill later.

The paragraph above is accurate now. But any betting man would do well to put money on this proposition: our new President Trump and the current Republican Congress will repeal the Federal Estate Tax during 2017. That will likely make obsolete a lot of fancy wills.