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What to Know if You’re Getting Divorced and Your Spouse Holds Power of Attorney

Worried about a financial power grab in divorce?   A power of attorney can be like writing a blank check to your spouse.  Many married couples will sign powers of attorney as part of their estate planning documents, which provide broad authority to act on the other spouse’s behalf.  Estranged spouses have used powers of attorney

It is Now Easier and Less Expensive to File a Late Portability Election via Form 706

On July 8, 2022, the IRS issued Rev. Proc. 2022-32 that simplified the method for obtaining late relief for failure to timely make an estate tax portability election and extending the time for filing portability returns from two years after the death of the first-to-die spouse to five years.  A portability election allows the surviving

Estate Planning 101: Making Exempt Gifts

I have yet to meet a client who wants to pay estate taxes. Tax avoidance is among the primary reasons people meet with estate planning attorneys and develop estate plans. In 2022, the federal gift, estate, and generation skipping transfer tax exemptions are $12,060,000 per person (which is indexed for inflation and will rise through

The Importance of Post-Divorce Beneficiary Planning

When you’re in the throes of a separation or divorce, it is easy to forget the importance of updating your will and your estate plan.  With so much happening in the here and now, things like beneficiary designations and estate planning can feel very much like an “I’ll get to it someday” problem.  However, as

Estate Planning in the 21st Century

On January 1, 2022, the Washington Uniform Electronic Wills Act (“Act”) took effect and in so doing brought estate planning documents into the 21st century.  The Act modifies existing requirements in order to enable people to execute a valid Electronic Will.  The changes allow clients, witnesses, and attorneys to overcome challenges such as lack of

Seven Things to Consider about Prenuptial Agreements

Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are no longer the sole domain of the rich and famous.  There are many reasons why more couples consider one as they enter into marriage.  Each prenup is tailored to the needs, desires, and circumstances of the parties involved.  What follows are some common factors to help you determine whether you would

WHAT IS AN ESTATE PLAN? DO I NEED ONE?

What is an Estate Plan? An Estate Plan is a set of legal documents that memorialize how you want your assets distributed at your death.  A good Estate Plan will also include documents that provide for options to manage your assets and health during your life if you are unable to do so yourself.  Estate

Christmas in July? UPDATE to ‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity

In November, 2020, Lasher Estate Planning attorney, Gurneet Takhar, published the original post “‘Tis the Season: A Gifting Opportunity.” This is an update. If you are in the holiday spirit this season, you may wish to make gifts using the 2021 annual federal gift tax exclusion amount.  To qualify for this exclusion for the year