SkinnyGirl Gets Divorced

January 29, 2013

Bethenny Frankel is the real housewife turned mogul, who sold her SkinnyGirl drinks to Beam Global for $120 million.  In a matter of a few years, Bethenny went from near bankruptcy to multi-millionaire.  She also went from single, to marriage, to motherhood in that same time frame. And now, she is getting divorced. I don’t pretend to be […]

Do I Still Need An Estate Plan?

January 23, 2013

Some people continue to ask why they need an estate plan, especially since Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act, which made the $5 million federal estate tax exemption permanent. The question is often, “If my estate is under $5 million, why do I need an estate plan or need to be concerned with any […]

Don’t Forget the Annual Gift-Tax Exclusion

January 21, 2013

Amid all the other fiscal cliff headlines and the American Taxpayer Relief Act provisions, you may have missed the annual gift-tax exclusion changes that automatically became effective January 1, 2013. The annual gift-tax exclusion increased from $13,000 to $14,000. You can give away up to $14,000 in 2013 to as many different recipients as you […]

Audrey Hepburn

January 20, 2013

May 4, 1929 – January 20, 1993 Today is the 20th anniversary of Audrey Hepburn’s death. Audrey Hepburn was a beautiful, iconic Hollywood actress, who eventually left the movie star life and began doing humanitarian work for UNICEF. Ms. Hepburn was born in Belgium and spent part of her childhood in the Netherlands during World […]

The handy dandy super easy estate planning checklist

January 17, 2013

Make this your new year’s resolution.  Or don’t.  Either way, these six things should give you peace of mind that your family and friends will not struggle through the probate process. 1. Make a list of your stuff Create a simple list of your assets with corresponding values – use a ballpark value if you don’t […]

Communicating End of Life Wishes

January 15, 2013

Last week, The New York Times ran a piece called “Help for Planning End of Life Care.” The blog post, by Paula Span, discusses a new website called Prepare, which is to help people prepare for their death and communicate their end of life wishes to their loved ones. Here at Epilawg, we have talked […]

Now That The Fiscal Cliff Was Avoided – How Does It Impact You?

January 10, 2013

The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 does the following: Tax Rates – For most individuals it extends the lower federal income tax rates that have existed for the last ten years.  However, if you make more than $400,000 (or $450,000 for joint filers), your top rate will increase to 39.6%. Capital Gain Rates – Again for […]

1 or 2: Joint vs. Separate Revocable Trusts

January 7, 2013

We have written about the benefits of utilizing revocable trusts for incapacity planning, probate avoidance and out-of-state real estate. However, we often get the question from couples, “Why do we need two trusts? Why can’t we just have one joint trust?” To be honest, in some instances, a joint revocable trust might be the appropriate option […]

Downton Abbey: A History Lesson on Inheritance

January 6, 2013

A couple of us here at Epilawg are big fans of Downton Abbey and are very much looking forward to tonight’s premiere of Season 3 on PBS. Without giving a ton of plot points away to those of you who have not yet watched the series (Season 1 is available on Netflix and both Seasons […]

Sonny Bono

January 5, 2013

February 16, 1935 – January 5, 1998 It has been 15 years since Sonny Bono died in a ski crash on Heavenly Ski Resort in California. Mr. Bono died at 62 years old. Mr. Bono was a famous singer and television star, most notably from The Sonny and Cher Show. Later in life, he became […]

Permanent Estate Tax Relief

January 3, 2013

Congress passed The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 on January 1, 2013.  Among its many provisions are the following pertaining to estate taxes: