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The governing principle of this blog is to be useful to the general public.  One way to accomplish this goal is to avoid the use of jargon; another way is to avoid reporting on the minutiae of the practice by rehashing the recent decisions from the courts.  (Attorneys have many outlets for such shoptalk.)

In

In these troubled times, we at Jaspan Schlesinger LLP extend our best wishes for the coming year to all.

Before my colleague Sally Donahue continues her series on guardianship matters next week, I thought I would fill in the gap and digress from the world of Trusts and Estates with some thoughts on the role

Continuing our theme of odd bequests (last time the blog considered the adventures of Trouble, Leona Helmsley’s millionaire Maltese), let’s consider some other weird or questionable estate plans if only as a warning to the reader.

“Item I gyve unto my wife my second best bed with the furniture.” Thus did William Shakespeare make the

Cutting right to the chase, a spoiler alert: Trouble is dead!  She shuffled off this mortal coil some years ago at the tender age of 12. You recall (don’t you?) that Trouble was a Maltese owned by Leona Helmsley. Trouble was the beneficiary of a $12 million bequest to a trust established for the dog’s

  1. In earlier entries, we warned of the changing tax landscape and the possibility that a new administration will bring a new set of tax laws and regulations. One aspect of the Internal Revenue Code particularly ripe for change is the high level of exemption amounts applicable to estates and gifts.

The Internal Revenue Service announced

For very wealthy individuals and families, the strong possibility of a change of administrations in Washington portends massive changes in tax policy and it is not too soon to consider the possible changes and to plan for them.

For example, on the estate tax side of the ledger, the current estate and gift  tax exemption

A cousin is a solicitor in the U.K. He describes a Will as a ‘crisis purchase.’ In other words, it is decision frequently delayed until the end. Hence, our title is taken from Shakespeare (another Will) and his play Richard II when the king realizes he is close to his royal and violent end. Then