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This & That: The B&G Blog

Welcome to our blog and the portal to our newsletter articles.  To the right, you can view past articles and blog posts by category, and below, we share some of the latest news and views from around the web and within the firm.  Please note that the information provided is meant for informational purposes and is in no way a replacement for professional legal, tax, or therapeutic advice.

Jun 15 2017

It’s World Elder Abuse Awareness Day

This year’s focus is on financial abuse, and stresses that the perpetrators are more likely to be spouses and adult children of victims than strangers. And the victims are usually women, people with cognitive impairments or disabilities, and those who are physically weak and/or isolated.  There’s till lots of work to be done, and this article argues that we should look to the culture, not laws or regulations, for fault and remedies.

Jun 15 2017

A Pro and a Con on Repealing the Estate Tax

The con: Estate tax repeal only demonstrates how fake President Trump’s populist message is.

The pro: Estate tax kills jobs, hurts families, and benefits lawyers, insurance salespeople, and big government.

Neither view appears to be very nuanced.

Jun 14 2017

Don’t Leave Heirs Who Are Unprepared

This article makes the argument that it’s you who must prepare your heirs for being able to handle their inheritance.  That’s right, you not only need to TALK about money, which most families don’t, you need to provide loved ones the skills to ensure they make the most of it (or at least don’t blow it).

Jun 13 2017

IRS Gives Taxpayers a Break

Surviving spouses have the ability to get their deceased spouse’s unused estate tax exemption, and they used to have to do that within 9 months of the death.  Apparently, so many people have asked for exceptions to that deadline that the IRS is just giving everyone more time.

Jun 12 2017

Spying on Your Folks’ Finances? Intruding? Or Necessary?

Parents often aren’t keen on their children monitoring their lives, but if there are signs of slipping, it’s important to take it seriously, especially with finances.  It’s possible to watch over accounts with online access, which can be a way to keep an eye out without meddling, so long as all is well.

Jun 09 2017

Do’s and Don’ts of Estate Planning

This article is aimed at financial planners in Australia to counsel their clients, so some of it doesn’t apply in the U.S. and some terminology is different.  But it still has decent messages for us, including: do have a plan, but don’t stop with a Will; and don’t tell yourself estate planning is too hard!

Jun 08 2017

Musician’s Estates Offers Rare Property Rights

The estate of Bill Monroe is offering some thing most estates of the famous never do: rights to the bluegrass legend’s name, image, and likeness, as well as other intangible assets.  Fans also have a shot at tangible items such as a cabin, his ATM card, and recordings.

Jun 07 2017

Is the Era of the ‘Stretch’ IRA Finally Ending?

Some of the most complicated issues in estate planning center on ensuring that beneficiaries of IRAs retain the ability to stretch an inherited IRA for their lifetimes.  There has been talk for years about Congress eliminating this perk, and some say this year it’s more likely to happen than ever.

Jun 06 2017

Charities Vie for a Share of Estate Based on Pledges

Charities are often put in a difficult position when it looks like estate might not pay up after a donor dies:  they don’t want to look greedy, but do believe pledges made should be fulfilled, though many are not careful about the circumstances of the pledge.   Here’s a case where capacity is in question, which might wipe out not only the decedent’s Will but also gifts to charities.

Jun 05 2017

Famous Chef, Siblings Fight Over Mom’s Estate

When Rocco Dispirito’s mother died in 2013, he became the administrator of her estate, and now his siblings are saying he hasn’t done a very good job.   In return, he says he’s owed for her care to an extent his sibs likely would be left with nothing.

Jun 02 2017

Arnold Palmer Gives to Charity, Employees, Family

Golf great Arnold Palmer is leaving behind a sizable legacy, much of it going to his charitable organization, Arnie’s Army.  He also left gifts for employees, his wife, and two daughters.

Jun 01 2017

Fisher, Reynolds Items Heading to Sale

The estate where Debbie Reynolds and daughter Carrie Fisher lived is for sale, and more than 1,500 personal items will be up for grabs at auction.  The actresses died a day apart in December and were buried together in January.