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Bay Area Estates and Tax Law Blog

What can happen when executor appointment is, well, not optimal

It's a safe bet that the three former wives of famed -- and now deceased -- song writer/guitarist Jerry Garcia do not hang out together listening to Grateful Dead albums.

Ditto that regarding former girlfriends and children from Garcia's various relationships.

Why most executors need help during probate administration

If you were asked to be the executor (often called personal representative) of a loved one's estate, that obviously means that trust was imposed in you regarding a very important matter.

You were likely honored by the appointment, and accepted. Many people do.

Well-heeled? Look with regularity at timely estate updating.

A recent Forbes article on estate administration notes that sound and timely planning is a smart strategy for a person "no matter what his or her level of worth."

And the magazine goes on to note in the virtual wake of that statement that staying on top of future-focused money matters can be singularly important for an individual or family with a comparatively significant amount of assets.

6 psychological reasons for estate disputes

You and your siblings are involved in a bitter dispute over your parents' wealth. You almost can't believe it's real. You never imagined you'd fight like this, and the passing of wealth from one generation to the next is pushing you apart.

Is it just the money?

Addressing money matters with aging parents: How do you do that?

There's an irony central to family life that is highlighted in the parent/child dynamic. And it is underscored in the role reversal that often takes place among family members.

When children are young, their parents lovingly protect them, teaching important things, instilling values and progressively encouraging their offspring to cultivate independent behaviors en route to adulthood.

Exacting FATCA focus on Swiss companies unrelenting

Here's a clear message for ultra-wealthy Americans who have been having bad dreams for years now that center on IRS and DOJ agents combing through the files of European financial institution for evidence of tax evasion: blissful nights of uninterrupted sleep are not yet on the imminent horizon.

Many people think that FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) probes into the overseas holdings of American citizens have been progressively winding down in recent years.

Author likely could have written epic on this: his own estate battle

Author John Steinbeck's novels are so highly regarded and widely loved that they were virtually destined from inception to undergo successive reincarnations as plays and films spanning decades.

East of Eden is an obvious case in point, with James Dean rocketing to fame in a starring film. The Grapes of Wrath (think Henry Fonda) is another film adaptation and instant classic screen treatment of an earlier Steinbeck opus.

This tangent of estate planning is underestimated by millions

A recent New York Times article addresses a distinct American phenomenon that has material implications for legions of estate planners in California and all across the country.

And that has to do with "stuff," that is, the lifelong accretion of physical objects that many Americans accumulate with a vengeance. The Times piece denotes that seeming national obsession as "the competitive accumulation of material goods."

Yes, there are lots of people who would like to see FATCA dumped

Since 2010, FATCA -- that is, the U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act -- has been deemed a nemesis rather than a savior by legions of Americans living overseas.

Although federal legislators undoubtedly anticipated a bit of blowback against a law they have always contended was written solely to catch American tax evaders residing abroad, they were unquestionably far from prepared for the widespread venom and condemnation hurled by "average" expats at the legislation.

The ABCs of federal estate taxes

The idea of estate taxes can be troubling. If you have extensive property that has a value of $10 million or more (if you are married), estate taxes can become a very real concern. However, for some people, estate taxes are never an issue.

When you pass, the last thing you want is the value of your California estate to be diluted due to taxes and thereby reducing the amount of assets your heirs stand to inherit.

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