Welcome to Our Blog

  • Taxation of Trusts

    There is a great deal of confusion about the taxation of trusts. In this article, I hope to cut through the jargon and lawyer mumbo jumbo (technical term) so that you will have a better understanding of how trusts are treated by the tax code. First, we need to step away from a monolithic view of the tax code. There are many different types of federal tax that could impact a trust at different ...
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  • The Dangers of DIY Estate Planning

    “Can’t I just use an online will creator?” “My [son/sister/friend]’s estate is pretty small. An internet form will work for that, right?” I am no stranger to the do-it-yourself approach—I’m married to an engineer, after all. We enjoy personally maintaining our bicycles, we do a lot of our own car maintenance, and we even attempted to sand and refinish our hardwood floors (that was less of a ...
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  • Estate Planning In a Digital Age

    In the days where vinyl records were king your living room shelves may have been filled with your music library. Today shelf space is less of a concern for our music because more and more people utilize their computer to store their digital music library. You may now be asking yourself, what does music have to do with estate planning? The answer is the digitalization of music is a great ...
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  • Estate Planning for Military Families

    Estate Planning can be daunting for anyone. The dizzying array of benefits and options coupled with the emotional charge of knowing that a loved one may be in harm’s way when serving the country adds additional challenges to the process. This article briefly explores the unique issues military families face when preparing their Estate Plan. We will continue this subject with a subsequent ...
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  • TRUMP and TAXES - How Does This Impact Your Estate Plan?

    (W&M Law Student and Spring 2017 Extern) The results of the 2016 Presidential election were surprising to some and a relief to others. Towards the end of the election season, the spotlight was focused on Clinton’s campaign and less attention appeared to be given to Trump’s tax policy position. In order to help our clients better understand our 45 th President’s tax policy proposal and its ...
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  • Special Needs Trusts and the ABLE Act

    One of the most common goals in estate planning is to protect loved ones. How to actually do so really depends on the beneficiary’s particular circumstances and needs. A beneficiary with special needs is often a complex situation to address. The term “special needs beneficiary” refers to an individual who will likely receive needs-based government benefits in the future or is currently receiving ...
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  • How to Make Your Estate Plan Easy to Administer

    “I want to make my [child’s, spouse’s, niece’s, friend’s] life easier.” This is the one of the most common reasons my clients list for why they want to create an estate plan. With the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time to review your big blue binder and ensure you have provided your friends and family the information they need to easily administer your carefully crafted plan. ...
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  • Writing an Obituary

    A client recently asked me for advice on how to write an obituary. Having no idea, I consulted my father-in-law, Dave Callahan, who spent most of his career working for Gannett newspapers. All credit for this newsletter belongs to him. When to write an obituary Sometimes it's possible, and advisable, to prepare the obit ahead of time. If death is imminent, a family member who writes with clarity ...
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  • Isn't Trust Settlement Automatic?

    I have noticed a consistent misunderstanding amongst clients and potential clients that should be addressed. Too often I hear people exclaim that settlement of a trust at death is ‘automatic.’ I am not certain how they arrived at this conclusion; however, it is completely and utterly flawed. Let’s reason through this together. First, a revocable living trust (RLT) is a document, pure and simple. ...
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  • JGB Richmond Office Expansion and TrustguardTM

    Now that summer is winding down, we can reflect on the year’s events and look forward to finishing it out with happiness and success. With that said, Johnson, Gasink & Baxter, LLP is happy to announce a few changes with the firm regarding our Richmond office as well as an early reminder about our TrustguardTM program. New Office Our Richmond office has moved to a new, larger space at 3741-B ...
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  • The 4 Most Common Estate Planning Mistakes

    Please take a moment to read this article from Forbes.com describing the four most common estate planning mistakes. http://www.forbes.com/sites/nextavenue/2016/04/27/prince-made-one-of-the-4-big-estate-planning-mistakes/#469046e45795 -Spencer
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  • The $400 Emergency

    Most of our clients are prudent and fortunate enough to have set aside an emergency fund. A recent study by the Federal Reserve indicated that most Americans cannot come up with $400 to pay emergency expenses. Consumer debt is so easy to get that many forget how hard it is to make ends meet with additional monthly payments. Many Americans, including our friends and loved ones, are locked in a ...
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  • Celebrating Mom

    Celebrating the bond with mom is something enjoyed on Mother’s Day. That bond is particularly important for children who have mothers with Alzheimer’s. The attached article discusses three mother-daughter stories and how they are dealing with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s; as well as some startling statistics about women with Alzheimer’s. ...
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  • Probate of Prince’s Estate

    Over the last few weeks we have seen the drama unfolding with the tragic death of Prince. Prince resided and passed away in Minnesota and with no known estate plan. This leaves his substantial estate (estimated to be between $150 and $300 million) to be probated according to Minnesota law. The court recently appointed a trust company as the administrator tasked with protecting and controlling his ...
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  • Celebrities Who Have No Estate Plan

    What can you learn from Prince's estate? That you need to plan for your own affairs. Read the two below articles, one discusses Prince's estate in more detail and the other reminds us of other famous musicians who passed away with no plan in place. Prince's estate: 6 key questions answered http://usat.ly/26pIWps 6 legendary stars who died without wills http://usat.ly/1Sz2E8M - Dan
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