» estate planning

Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 15, 2014 – Probate filings for musician Lou Reed’s estate were recently entered in the Surrogate’s Court, Manhattan’s probate court. With an estate worth over $30 million and assets still earning millions in royalties and other income, Reed was among a small number of individuals who relied only on a will for estate planning. Reed left only a 34-page will, signed in April 2012. Reed passed away on October 27, 2013 from liver disease, at the age of 71. “A well-written trust can make estate administration quicker and more private,” said Lisa McDevitt, an […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) August 25, 2014 – Businessman’s $12.3 million gift for Arlington House fixes offers a lesson on estate planning. On July 17, billionaire and history buff David Rubenstein announced that he would be contributing $12.3 million toward the restoration of Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s home in Arlington, Virginia. The multimillion-dollar gift will restore Lee’s plantation site, which has been in need of major repairs, to its historical appearance. Charitable contributions like Rubenstein’s often make historic preservation projects and national park maintenance possible. Frequently, these projects struggle during times when government funds are strained. Such contributions […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) July 8, 2014 – On June 28, 1969, members of the gay community spontaneously rose up in protest against a police raid being conducted at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. The ensuing riot is now considered one of the most important instigating events for the LGBT rights movement that followed. Though there is no set date for LGBT Pride events nationally, many cities center their events to commemorate the Stonewall Riots. Now, as June comes to a close with days or weeks of pride for the LGBT community, extra attention should be paid […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) May 8, 2014 – It is increasingly important for comprehensive estate plans to account for assets managed online. “Traditionally, when someone died without a comprehensive estate plan in place, heirs could use paper records to piece everything together,” said Andrew Hook, a Virginia Beach estate planning attorney. “But now, that is not always the case. Many people are opting to manage checking accounts, retirement accounts and investment accounts online. If those assets are not properly documented, it may be difficult for rightful heirs to gain access to them or even to become aware of […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) April 28, 2014 – Rachel Lambert Mellon’s will was carefully written to encompass all her wishes. When Mellon died at the age of 103 on March 17 at the Upperville, Virginia estate that had been her principal residence for decades, the Old Dominion and the nation lost a great philanthropist and patron of the arts. And on March 26, when her will was filed in Virginia’s Fauquier County Circuit Court, the document provided some insights into the financial and estate-planning affairs of the late heiress. Mrs. Mellon, who was also known as “Bunny,” was the […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) March 17, 2014 – Legal news outlet JD Supra recently asked attorneys to describe common, costly mistakes people make when preparing estate plans and the best ways to prevent or fix them. Hampton Roads estate planning attorney Andrew Hook weighed in with his take on some of the top issues reported by JD Supra. Procrastination. Too many people, perhaps unwilling to face their own mortality, wait until the very end of their lives to consider any sort of estate planning. Many will never get around to it at all. “The earlier estate planning begins, […]


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Florida confab of lawyer, accountants, etc. discuss new law’s implications. Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 28, 2014 – As the annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning reconvened in mid-January in Orlando, Fla., the eagerly anticipated conference of some 2,900 attendees was particularly interested in discussing the impact of recent changes in tax law. And the major engine for change in how lawyers and accountants will approach estate planning is the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012. The buzzword for estate planning since the passage of the new law is so-called portability, which allows widows and widowers to carry over […]


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Virginia Beach, VA (Law Firm Newswire) February 19, 2014 – Projections show that within 20 years, typical retirees will rely mostly on 401(k)s and other private retirement accounts to meet financial needs. “That may be alarming to some, but the industry is evolving to help meet that challenge,” says Virginia estate planning attorney Andrew Hook. “A number of trends are increasing the effectiveness of 401(k)s and workers’ utilization of them.” Hook identified the following six trends in the retirement investing industry. Increased use of Roth 401(k)s: Like Roth IRAs, Roth 401(k)s are funded with after-tax contributions. Workers pay income taxes […]


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Paoli, PA (Law Firm Newswire) February 17, 2014 – James. J. Ruggiero, Jr. has demonstrated a high level of professionalism and commitment to specialization in estate planning by earning board certification as an Estate Planning Law Specialist (EPLS), awarded by the Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc. This is an organization accredited by the American Bar Association and affiliated with the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Mr. Ruggiero is the managing partner of Ruggiero Law Offices LLC with two locations in Pennsylvania: Paoli and Saucon Valley. “Technology has caused information to be commoditized. I believe there is no substitute […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) February 10, 2014 – Michael Gilfix, a prominent Palo Alto estate planning attorney, is offering an estate-planning seminar in San Jose, CA. The 2013 tax return filing season has begun in earnest, and many taxpayers will rush to meet the April 15 deadline for filing returns. That often pell-mell pre-deadline dash may seem the norm, but taxpayers will need to employ a more methodical, long-term approach to dealing with their estate-related tax issues. And there are few ways better to inform oneself about estate planning than to attend a seminar hosted by a seasoned […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) January 10, 2014 – The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) has named Bernard A. Krooks, JD, CPA, LLM, CELA, AEP® to be Vice Chair of its Elder Law Committee. ACTEC is a national organization of more than 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence and experience as trust and estate counselors. Its members work to teach those who aspire to enter the field and to improve and reform laws, procedure and standards while working with their peers and other professional organizations. […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2013 – Planning one’s estate should be paired with planning one’s retirement, says a prominent estate planning attorney. Lisa McDevitt, a Virginia estate planning attorney with the McDevitt Law Firm, said that while many people only think of wills and trusts when they think about estate planning, they should actually be thinking about retirement planning at the same time. “Of course estate planning includes creating a will and any necessary trusts to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes after you die,” said McDevitt. “But in order to make sure […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 30, 2013 – Most workers who participate in 401(k) plans are trying to save enough for a comfortable retirement and perhaps an inheritance for their children and grandchildren. A prominent estate planning attorney says that while 401(k)s are a good way to add to one’s retirement savings, it is important to take a look at the fees a plan charges, as these fees can erode one’s savings. “Employers are now required to provide workers with more information about the fees connected with administering 401(k)s and the different investment options they provide,” said Michael […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 23, 2013 – A prominent estate planning attorney says digital assets need to be considered as part of estate planning. “In today’s world, many people own significant assets that exist only in digital form, whether it is currency such as Bitcoin or items of sentimental value such as family photos,” said Palo Alto estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix. “There needs to be a plan to pass these assets on to one’s heirs.” Gilfix said that online assets may also include such items as PayPal accounts, frequent flyer miles, iTunes libraries, online gaming accounts […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) December 17, 2013 – A prominent estate planning attorney says that autumn is the season to take stock of one’s retirement savings. “As we draw close to the end of the year, it is a good time to think about whether your retirement savings plan is on track,” said Michael Gilfix. For many people, a 401(k) is a key part of their retirement savings plan. If an employer matches contributions, then it is a good idea to contribute at least the amount that will be matched. But according to Gilfix, one may want to […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) November 26, 2013 – The college savings plans known as 529 plans can also be an estate planning tool. Parents saving for their children’s college education often make use of 529 savings plans, which allow for significant tax advantages and multiple investment opportunities. According to Virginia estate planning attorney Lisa McDevitt, the plans can also be incorporated into an estate plan. “A 529 plan is an excellent way for parents to save for their children’s future, or for grandparents to transfer assets to younger generations,” said McDevitt. The tax advantages of 529 plans are similar […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) October 16, 2013 – Debt can affect retirement plans, says a prominent Virginia estate planning attorney. Americans entering their golden years should be looking forward to enjoying their retirement and perhaps planning to leave an inheritance to their children. However, many of the baby-boomer generation are finding that things like credit card debt, mortgages, the cost of caring for elderly parents, and providing support for college-aged children, are significant obstacles in retirement and estate planning. “Debt is a growing problem for older Americans, and it definitely affects estate planning,” said Lisa McDevitt, an estate planning […]


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Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) October 15, 2013 – Attorney Michael Gilfix, of the estate planning firm Gilfix & La Poll Associates, is presenting estate planning options to the public on October 21, 2013 in Palo Alto, California, at the Crowne Plaza Cabana. Due to overwhelming demand, two seminar sessions are available, from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Members of the public are invited to this very special Gilfix Seminar on long-term care planning, asset protection planning and special needs planning. The discussion is to include asset protection and Medi-Cal issues when facing […]


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White Plains, NY (Law Firm Newswire) October 2, 2013 – Financial advisors and estate planning experts are seeing an increase in the number of grandparents helping to raise their grandchildren. For many, the added financial responsibility means plans for retirement must be put on hold. More than 2.6 million grandparents were raising grandchildren below the age of 18 as of 2011, according to the U.S. Census. Many households are disrupted due to underemployment, divorce, mental health or substance abuse issues or chronic illness. When adult children are not able to fully parent their own children, other family members often step […]


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Fairfax, VA (Law Firm Newswire) September 25, 2013 – Bequeathing digital assets should be part of estate planning, too. While estate planning usually involves bequeathing money, real estate and heirlooms, Virginia estate planning attorney Lisa McDevitt says that people planning their estates should think about online assets as well. “Digital assets can range from sentimental items such as photographs to things with commercial value such as access to business documents that are kept online,” said McDevitt. “Online assets do have value and they should be considered in your estate planning.” Passwords can be preserved in a physical location, and online […]


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