Decanting a Trust: What it Means and When it Should be Considered

Manish Bhatia / June 1, 2017
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Is this about wine?  Unfortunately, no.  What does it mean to decant a trust?  Trust decanting is the process of pouring the assets of one irrevocable trust (the “original trust”) into a second irrevocable trust with more desirable terms (the “new trust”).  There are many restrictions on when and how a trust may be decanted, […]

New Digital Asset Law May Be a Double-Edged Sword

Manish Bhatia / December 22, 2016
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As an increasing amount of our information and assets is stored online or in cloud-based services, access to such content is at the forefront of succession and estate planning. While service providers encourage us to store our family pictures, music collections and stock certificates electronically, access to those items for our loved ones becomes more […]

Prince Leaves a Complex, Unplanned Estate

Manish Bhatia / May 4, 2016
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Unfortunately, too many recent newsletters have focused on the death of musical legends. This month left us with another untimely death. Prince, whose legal name was Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21st at his Paisley Park recording studio and home in Chanhassen, Minnesota. As unbelievable as it may seem, according to his sister, Tyka […]

Spectrum of Withdrawal Limitations

Manish Bhatia / February 26, 2016
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The phrase “control from the grave” is often used to describe withdrawal limitations on an individual’s inheritance.  These provisions direct or require a beneficiary to reach certain benchmarks before a trustee can permit a withdrawal.  While some grantors (the creator of the trust) may be motivated by control, simpler withdrawal limitations can provide significant asset […]

Powers of Attorney: Underrated Estate Planning Documents

Manish Bhatia / January 25, 2016
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Powers of attorney are very flexible documents used to reflect your wishes for decisions regarding your health care and control of your assets if you are ever unable to make those decisions yourself.  If you (the principal) are ever incapacitated, your powers of attorney dictate the individuals you have appointed to serve as your agent […]

The Missing Will

Manish Bhatia / January 11, 2016
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The Missing Will Do you know where your original Will is located? You should, and so should your executor. The dilemma of a missing original Will has come up in the death of Melissa Mathison, screenwriter of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and ex-wife of Harrison Ford. Mathison died on November 4th as a resident of […]

The Right Way to Inherit

Manish Bhatia / December 20, 2015
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While an inheritance is often considered a gift by the recipient, from a tax perspective, there optimal ways to inherit a retirement account. From the language used to designate the beneficiaries to important IRS-imposed deadlines, the manner in which a retirement account is inherited can significantly affect its value. If you are the beneficiary of […]

Year-End Estate Planning To-Do List

Manish Bhatia / December 5, 2015
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The end of the year is an ideal time to review your current estate plan and confirm that you are taking advantage of all planning opportunities available to you. This includes not only tax planning, but also asset protection, probate avoidance, beneficiary designations and changes in your family and financial situations. On the other hand, […]

Lamar, Khloe & the Urgency of Estate Planning

Manish Bhatia / November 14, 2015
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Former NBA and reality TV star, Lamar Odom, was found unconscious on October 13, 2015, and remains hospitalized in Los Angeles. Odom and his wife, Khloe Kardashian, had been separated for years and were in the middle of a divorce that had not been finalized, allowing his estranged wife to serve as his health care […]