Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Web Traffic for Cooper-Gordon Firm Doing Well

After a lovely meeting with our FindLaw marketer, Dyonne Wollin, I was happy to learn that we have a very high number of hits to our web site, of which I am very proud.  I would love to hear from anyone visiting our web site, and this blog, whether they like the web pages and whether some changes might improve the site and/or my blog.  We are grateful for your responses, both positive and constructively critical.

Happy New Year from all of us at Cooper-Gordon LLP.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Where Oh Where Has the Estate Tax Gone?

A virtual Black Hole was created for all of us who have, or intend to create an estate plan this year. As of January 1, 2010 our federal estate tax laws were repealed. However, only persons dying on and after January 1, 2010 but no later than December 31, 2010 will be affected. It may be comforting to note that Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus has pledged that the Senate will pass a bill reinstating the tax, which has passed through the House of Representatives in legislation previously passed on December 3, 2009, but this fact still leaves us with the question of whether a retroactive reinstatement of the federal estate tax will survive constitutional scrutiny for persons dying on or after January 1, 2010, but before the date of the bill’s passage and signing by the President. Best solution is to see your estates and trusts professionals and do whatever it takes to shelter your assets from estate taxes now, rather than later.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Time to Review and Fund the Assets in Your Estate

Every five to seven years it is wise to review your estate plan, and if there has been any life-changing events, or large purchases, divestments or inheritances, or if you no longer speak to the person(s) you listed as next in line to make the most important decisions of your life for you when you are no longer capable of doing so yourself, it is time to contact your estates attorney and get your estate plan modified. Should you be among the majority who have put off that very important task too long, let this be a reminder that it is NEVER too soon to take care of those near and dear to you.

I was saddened recently to learn that a client of mine passed away, having done all he could to preserve his estate and provide for his intended beneficiaries. Unfortunately, the person he chose as Trustee did not change title to the liquid assets in the estate, thus negating one of the best the reasons for the Trust in the first place. At some cost, I am in the process of rectifying that situation. Please do not be one of those who forgets that every asset that should be in the trust must affirmatively be transferred to the trustee of that trust. It does not happen automatically!