Why Jeffrey Epstein’s Trust Only Adds to the Murder Conspiracy

While America’s criminal justice system does not judge people to be guilty until proven guilty (even though it has no compunction with adjudicating innocent people as being guilty), Jeffrey Epstein sure does look like a bad, bad dude. The “Pimp of the Rich and Famous” would have been charged with human trafficking, statutory rape, prostitution, and likely many more demented crimes which thinking of would cause most decent people to throw up in their mouth a little bit. His trial and any plea bargain could have been an enormous bombshell that would have ruined at least a few people with HUGE shoes to fill. It was in this context that Jeffrey Epstein somehow hung himself from a five-foot high bunkbed

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Damian Hurley: Why Minimizing Estate Taxes is Not Always a Good Thing

For decades estate attorneys have been driven by a prime directive, a primary motivating cause that overcomes all other client desires: Minimizing estate taxes. I believe this is a huge mistake, and a recent court decision highlighted by a stern millionaire patriarch, celebrities, a free-living playboy, and an irrevocable trust shows us why. Today it takes a decent amount of money ($11.4 million or more) to face a federal estate tax when you die, and there are also certain irrevocable trusts, including GRATs and GRUTs, that further minimize or eliminate estate taxes. So, for many of us this article is not relevant, but for those who it is, it should come as no surprise that estate attorneys have traditionally focused

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How to Secretly (and Correctly) Purchase Real Estate with Trusts and LLCs

Privacy is an almost-forgotten concept in our world. Perhaps we are trying to avoid being found by a greedy family member or being served in a vexatious lawsuit by a degenerate loser. Maybe you are a celebrity or media personality and don’t want your fans – or detractors – waiting outside your building or driveway (I love all of my adoring fans, but I don’t want them knocking on my front door before I start binging Punky Brewster reruns on Netflix). Maybe you are a foreign diplomat trying to secretly create a safe haven for your money and yourself in our wonderful country in case you piss off the head of your political party. But real estate records are public

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Codicils and Trust Amendments May Burn Your Estate

Hiring an attorney has been obnoxiously expensive since the first time a guy’s donkey backing into another guy’s mud version of today’s tiny houses: You tend to want a person or document that best insures you are going to get things done your way, but good results cost a lot of money. So, it is not surprising that people prefer to change their Wills using Codicils and Trust Amendments instead of redrafting the entire original document. I have concluded this is often a mistake and now believe clients should spring for the costs of redrafting their entire document. Codicils are quick changes to existing Wills, and only modify the portions they are intended to change (and maintain the remaining contents

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Jerry Seinfeld Should Have Left His Royalties to a Trust

I have worked with some former authors and musicians who receive some form of royalties and “trailing income” from their past artistic works. Whether that occasional student of mid-20th Century Literature purchases a book from 1964 for his thesis, or CBS FM decides to play a song from 1982 (yes, the “Oldies” radio stations are now playing the songs you made out to in the backseat of your mom’s Dodge Minivan), someone somewhere is receiving a royalty payment. Copyrights, patents and trademarks tend to have long royalty periods (patents tend to vary the most), which you may think is good. However, the problem is that certain forms of intellectual property, such as copyrights, can continue for long after your passing,

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8 Steps to Transfer Your Coop to a Revocable Trust

Coops are a pain in the neck to transfer, especially if you pass away and your Coop is being transferred by your Will: The Coop does not like accepting payments from non-tenants (because they don’t want to create an excuse for undesired tenancy outside of the proprietary lease and interview process), so months of unpaid fees and late charges begin to stack up waiting for the Surrogate’s Court to admit the deceased-owners Will to Probate. So, it should come as no surprise that someone thought “Hey, if I can transfer my Coop shares using a Revocable Trust, I can save a lot of time and family frustration.” And they were correct: If your Coop is owned by your Revocable Trust,

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How Do I Refinance a Home that is Now Owned by a Living Trust? Guest Blog by Abby Hackmann

Abby Hackmann handles the marketing work for Trusted House Finance. You can read more of her blogs at https://www.trustedhousefinance.com/blog/     Are you looking to refinance a home that’s owned by a living trust? The good news is that is it possible to refinance the home. It just might take a little more work than a typical home refinance and you must be authorized to do so.   If you aren’t sure if your home is owned by a living trust then it’s best to completely understand what a living trust is before you get started. A living trust is a legal document that protects a person’s home and other real estate assets from probate court. The trust will name the trustee,

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When a Trust Beneficiary Doesn’t Have a Copy of Their Trust

The last few generations have seen an immense growth in wealth that can be transferred to family members. They have also seen an increase in the types of temptations available to those family members: More drugs, more frivolous items to spend on, more high-risk business opportunities that don’t pan out. So wealthy family members leave these bequests using trusts, so the funds may be protected from the beneficiary, for the beneficiary. But what happens when a beneficiary can’t find their copy of the trust, and what rights does that beneficiary have over those funds?   I see this problem at least once per week: The beneficiary’s parent / grandparent / uncle left them funds in a trust, but the beneficiary

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What and When Should I Tell My Kids?

Parents who have gone through the estate planning process typically ask what information they should share with their children and when. The answer requires balancing many factors, but can be boiled down to a simple concept: Take responsibility and own up to your decisions, and don’t leave it to your kids to fight about it. First, if a child has been left out of a Will or is receiving less money than other siblings you may want to tell them so, and why. Clearly this is not a universal approach, but taking responsibility and informing them up-front allows the child to reconcile this fact. This will also help minimize your other children having to deal with the dispossessed child’s bitterness

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Your Prenup: How Your Family Law Attorney Betrayed You

If you have a prenuptial agreement, chances are that the family law attorney who represented you betrayed you and didn’t even realize it.   I often tell clients to get a prenup if they are getting married later in life, and insist my older clients pay for their child’s prenup. And soon thereafter, much to my dismay, I see yet another prenup that unintentionally-yet-completely screws my client if his or her spouse dies unexpectedly.   Prenups serve one vital purpose: “Split Money.” There is usually a financial disparity between the parties when the couple marries, so the wealthier spouse naturally wants to protect his or her money from the other spouse’s financial grasp after a short marriage. So the prenup

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