Category Archives for Probate

Are Handwritten Wills Enforceable? Princess Diana Thought So…

Princess Diana was one of the world’s most loved celebrities – and one of the richest.  Her tragic death in 1997 was world news. The majority of her estate, reportedly worth $40 million at the time of her death, was divided between Prince William and Prince Harry in her estate plan. However, she also prepared a handwritten will that directed her executors to give a number of personal effects to her godchildren. Those executors, her mother and her sister, went to court and had it ruled unenforceable.

However, she also prepared a handwritten will that directed her executors to give a number of personal effects to her godchildren. Those executors, her mother and her sister, went to court and had it ruled unenforceable.Continue reading

Sorrell Law Firm, PLC 7575 E Redfield Rd # 217, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 776-6055

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs

The bad news:  probated estates are subject to a variety of costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. Depending on the probate’s complexity, fees can run into tens of thousands of dollars.The good news:  probate costs can be reduced by avoiding probate. It’s really that simple.

Here are three simple ways to avoid probate costs by avoiding probate:

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What the Recently Released 2016 IRS Inflation Adjustments Mean for You

The Internal Revenue Service has released the official inflation adjustments that will affect 2016 federal reporting for estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, and estate and trust income taxes. These changes will affect the way your accountant and your attorney help you plan as 2015 comes to an end.

2016 Federal Estate Tax ExemptionContinue reading

Sorrell Law Firm, PLC 7575 E Redfield Rd # 217, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 776-6055

Which States Collect a State Death Tax?

In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person’s estate and who inherits it.

Which States Collect a State Death Tax?

As of January 1, 2015, the following states collect a death tax:  Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee (but it will be repealed in 2016), Vermont, and Washington.Continue reading

Sorrell Law Firm, PLC 7575 E Redfield Rd # 217, Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (480) 776-6055

Early Predictions About 2016 Estate Tax, Gift Tax, GST Tax and Annual Gift Tax Limits

Under current law the federal estate tax, gift tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions have become unified and are indexed for inflation on an annual basis.  Since 2011, the exemption and tax rate have changed as follows:Continue reading