What to Expect as an Executor or Trustee (Wells Fargo)

Being asked to serve as an executor or a trustee for a family member’s estate is certainly an honor, but it’s also a considerable responsibility.

Knowing and understanding your responsibilities — and asking the right questions — can help you be prepared. Here are five things you need to know now if you’ve been asked to serve as a family member’s executor or trustee.

Source: What to Expect as an Executor or Trustee

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: Buyer Beware | Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. – JDSupra

Funerals rank among the most expensive purchases many consumers will ever make. A traditional funeral costs about $7,000, although “extras” like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards and limousines can bring the total to well over $10,000. Moreover, people often “overspend” on a funeral or burial because they think of it as a reflection of their feelings for the deceased.

Source: Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: Buyer Beware | Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel, P.C. – JDSupra

NYSBA | The Digital Footprint After Death:  WHO WEARS THE SHOES?

Email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumbler, online banking, online shopping, and other forms of electronic communications, comprise our digital footprint. They are seemingly ubiquitous and omnipresent in the life of our business, social, and personal affairs. But, on death, who has the right of access to a decedent’s digital footprint? More importantly, what is the scope of that access? Can a fiduciary figuratively step into the decedent’s shoes and gain full access to the decedent’s digital assets and electronic communications?

Source: NYSBA | The Digital Footprint After Death:

Nate Smithson Provides an Update on Tax Reform | Jackson Walker – JDSupra

Jackson Walker partner Nate Smithson has prepared an updated guide to tax reform which reflects the senate’s newly-proposed tax bill. The guide covers tax brackets, deductions, capital gains, and other relevant topics in tax law.

READ MORE: Nate Smithson Provides an Update on Tax Reform | Jackson Walker – JDSupra

With tax reform pending, it’s time to consider actions now – USA TODAY

Taxpayers who wait until the ink is dry on the sweeping Republican tax-reform plan could leave some money on the table. While the vast majority of changes won’t take effect until January, procrastinators might miss out on key tax breaks before then.

read rest of article here: With tax reform pending, it’s time to consider actions now

IRS Announces Key Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018 | Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP – JDSupra

On October 19, IRS issued Revenue Procedure 2017-58, announcing inflation adjustments for 2018 for dozens of important figures across the Internal Revenue Code, including the following two key numbers regarding the estate tax, gift tax and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax

Source: IRS Announces Key Estate and Gift Tax Exemptions for 2018 | Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP – JDSupra

11 Ways to Help People Who Have Dementia but Don’t Realize it | The Intentional Caregiver

Being a caregiver for someone who has a memory deficit can be extremely challenging. It becomes even more difficult when that person is unaware of their dementia or any other limitations associated with it. Dementia can directly impact a person’s ability to follow directions, can compromise their safety,  impedes problem-solving and abstract reasoning. It can cause them to be impulsive or unrealistic about their abilities. There are things you can do and approaches you should avoid as a caregiver facing these parameters.

Source: 11 Ways to Help People Who Have Dementia but Don’t Realize it | The Intentional Caregiver

Some Important Factors To Consider Before Creating A Special Needs Trust | Cole Schotz – JDSupra

A Third-Party Special Needs Trust (also referred to as a “Supplemental Needs Trust”) allows parents or other relatives of a special needs beneficiary to dedicate assets to the beneficiary by gift or inheritance without affecting his or her eligibility to receive government benefits and without any need for reimbursement of benefits that are provided by government agencies.  Although Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid programs require that applicants have limited income and resources in order to be eligible for assistance, assets which are owned by a Special Needs Trust are not counted in determining the child’s eligibility to receive benefits.  Rather, the Special Needs Trust allows the beneficiary to enjoy the use of the assets in the Trust while preserving his or her qualification to receive government benefits.

Source: Some Important Factors To Consider Before Creating A Special Needs Trust | Cole Schotz – JDSupra

Online Tools Can Ease the Burden of Being Executor of an Estate – The New York Times

Being named the executor of a family member’s estate can be overwhelming: At at time when you’re grieving, you’re called on to handle a host of unfamiliar administrative duties.

Daniel Stickel learned that firsthand when his father died in 2013. Mr. Stickel has worked as a software executive for companies including Google. But he found himself challenged by the many tasks required of him as executor of his father’s estate. Executors are charged with settling the deceased person’s affairs, including paying

Source: Online Tools Can Ease the Burden of Being Executor of an Estate – The New York Times

How To Do Estate Planning On The Cheap (Forbes)

Yes, it can be painful to pay for estate planning. Lawyers charge a lot. The benefits of a plan are delayed, and you don’t live to see them anyway. Who wants to spend big bucks on a plan when times are so tough and the federal estate tax is in flux? Fewer and fewer Americans, it seems. Only 35% had a will in 2009, and only about half had any estate-planning documents at all–a will, a trust or a financial or medical power of attorney, according to a survey by Lawyers.com. That’s a drop from previous years.

Source: How To Do Estate Planning On The Cheap