Trust & Estate; Estate Planning

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Estate Planning for Married Couples and Parents

In this two-part series, the articles focus on the importance of proper estate planning.  The previous article focused on Estate Planning for Young Adults. This article will highlight important documents and considerations for married couples and parents. Getting married is often a fun and exciting time for a couple. As you make arrangements to head down the aisle, you should also discuss your estate plans ...
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Estate Planning for Young Adults

Estate planning is the tool that allows individuals to control how their assets and lives will be managed in case of their incapacitation or death. One common misconception is that estate planning is solely for the wealthy. On the contrary, estate planning is for everyone! No matter what stage of life you are in, every adult should have a proper plan for managing their affairs ...
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COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Fiduciary Obligations

COVID-19 and Retirement Plan Fiduciary Obligations

Under ERISA, the federal law that regulates retirement and 401(k) plans, plan fiduciaries are required to prudently administer the plan, select and monitor plan investments and sufficiently diversify plan assets to minimize the risk of large losses.  When third parties are retained to assist with these duties, they may become co-fiduciaries, but the employer retains fiduciary oversight responsibility to monitor the selection and performance of ...
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Money In Rubber Band

COVID-19 and the CARES Act – Partial Termination Relief for Retirement Plans

Many employers have had to terminate or furlough employees in 2020 due to COVID-19.   Under IRS rules, a partial termination of a retirement or 401(k) plan may occur when there is a significant reduction (generally more than 20%) in plan participation due to employer-initiated terminations or layoffs during the plan year.  If a partial termination occurs, affected participants (those who are terminated) become 100% vested ...
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COVID-19 and the CARES Act – New IRS Guidance and Relief for Retirement Plan Distributions and Loans

On June 19 and 23, 2020, the IRS issued additional guidance (IRS Notices 2020-50 and 2020-51) clarifying and expanding relief for retirement plan participants under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).  A previous article summarizing the CARES Act retirement plan provisions can be found here. The new guidance makes the following changes. Required minimum distribution (RMD) waiver relief.  The CARES Act ...
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Last Will and Testament with Fountain Pen

COVID-19 Isolation – A Good Time to Review Your Estate Planning Documents

Are you stuck at home, isolated from the public, and your normal social interactions?  Perhaps this would be a good time to review those old estate planning documents: your Will, Power of Attorney, Health Care Power of Attorney, and Advance Medical Directive.  Do you have a Revocable Trust that needs to be updated?  Have you been putting this off until you have time?  Now is ...
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VIRGINIA LAW ALLOWS FOR THE FIXING OF ERRORS IN THE TERMS OF A WILL OR TRUST

VIRGINIA LAW ALLOWS FOR THE FIXING OF ERRORS IN THE TERMS OF A WILL OR TRUST

Crisis potentially averted, Virginia law now allows a court to reform the terms of a deceased person’s trust or will. Although the issue of mistaken estate planning was first addressed by the Virginia General Assembly in 2005, the legislation only specified the reformation of mistaken trusts. However, similar legislation was enacted this past year that provides a legal remedy to reform a will to correct ...
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THE NEW TAX ACT AND MY ESTATE PLANS: NOW WHAT?

Great news: the new “Tax Cut and Jobs Act” (“TCJA”), doubles the estate tax exemption amount from $5.49 million per individual (the 2017 exemption amount) to $11,180,000 million. (For convenience, this article will use the $5.6 million projected exemption amount for 2018 before TCJA and $11.2 million).  The new higher number will be adjusted for inflation. This means at least until 2026 married couples may have ...
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Last Will and Testament with Fountain Pen

Virginia Law Provides Avenue To Save Imperfectly-Executed Wills

It could be a family’s nightmare.  A deceased relative tried to make his or her will, but it was improperly executed.  Therefore, the relative’s estate will be distributed pursuant to an old will or, if there is no other will, the intestate laws of the Commonwealth.  Such a result could lead to that person’s estate being distributed in a way inconsistent with his or her ...
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Young Attorneys Keep Moving Forward

ESTATE PLANNING FOR FAMILY HELD BUSINESSES: AN UPDATE ON THE NEW IRS PROPOSED REGULATIONS TARGETING “DISCOUNTING”

Last August, the IRS launched its latest offensive against parents who want to transfer closely held family-owned business interests to younger family members free from estate tax. Here is the typical scenario: Mom and Dad inherited and then successfully grew a small business, “Soup to Nuts”, a small town hardware store with a small bakery and popular lunch counter. Mom and Dad’s three children work ...
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