Should my relatives give money directly to my child with special needs?
No. Family members and friends should be cautioned against gifting money or property, or leaving money or property in their wills directly to your child except in ways that do not result in a loss of eligibility for public benefits or liability for the cost of your child’s care. If you desire, a special needs trust can be established during your lifetime to accept such gifts. It would be prudent to have grandparents’ wills reviewed by an attorney familiar with special needs trusts to avoid bequests that will have unintended and unwanted consequences. Further, neither you nor your relatives should establish any Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA) accounts for your child, as these accounts may disqualify your child for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid.
The October 2011 7520 Interest Rate dropped to 1.4%.
The October 2011 Applicable Federal Rates can be found here.
With interest rates dropping, October may be a good month to consider refinancing existing promissory notes. Consider contacting your attorney if you have any existing notes with high(er) interest rates.
Congratulations to the following members of Bryan Cave’s Private Client group, who were named to the 2012 edition of The Best Lawyers in America:
In our Atlanta office:
In our St. Louis office:
In our Washington, D.C. office:
For a complete list of the 116 Bryan Cave lawyers selected for the 2012 edition, click here.
The IRS today extended the deadlines for filing Form 706 or Form 8939 for decedents who died in 2010.
A doctor must obtain informed consent from you before providing medical care or performing any type of medical treatment. If you are unable to communicate your wishes, state laws determine with whom the doctor should consult regarding these decisions and the decisions would be made with the medical preferences of the family member(s) and the doctor. However, you can direct who should make these decisions and establish your preference with an advance directive for healthcare.
An advance directive is a document authorized by state law that combines a living will with a healthcare power of attorney. This document is typically referred to as an advance directive because it allows you to provide your directions in advance of your incapacity, but the exact name of the document will vary from state to state. Most people have heard of a living will, which allows you to state end-of-life treatment preferences when you
On August 29, 2011, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis held that an eight-year-old Iowa girl born two years after her father died is not eligible to receive his Social Security benefits. If your grandmother, like mine, would have thought it was fishy that a child was born less than nine months after a wedding, imagine her reaction to learning that a child was born two years after the father’s death!
But with the use of assisted reproductive technology, like in vitro fertilization and artificial insemination, it IS now possible for a baby to be born more than 9 months after a parent dies. The use of assisted reproductive technology means that, if a parent preserves his or her genetic material (his sperm, her eggs, or their
The current low interest rate environment provides excellent opportunities to transfer wealth to family members. One approach commonly used to accomplish this goal is to sell assets to an intentionally defective irrevocable trust (“IDIT”). An IDIT is an irrevocable trust for the benefit of someone other than the creator of the trust (the “Settlor”), perhaps Settlor’s descendants. However, the “intentionally defective” component of the IDIT means that, for income tax purposes, the assets in the trust will continue to be treated as owned by Settlor. Thus, Settlor’s sale of assets to the IDIT will not result in income tax consequences. Additionally, Settlor’s payment of income taxes on the income earned by the IDIT provides an additional means of reducing Settlor’s taxable estate, while allowing the benefits of the income earned by the IDIT to benefit Settlor’s descendants.
Typically, Settlor will take back a promissory note for the assets
Many of those who perished died without having executed a Last Will and Testament. If you die without a Will, the state in which you are domiciled at the time of your death will determine under the laws of intestacy where the property you held in your own name will pass. It takes many people by surprise, but the list of intestate takers or heirs may not be the people you want to inherit and they might not take in the percentages or shares you would want.