Tag: inheritance

Conference Call: Top 10 Dangers and Opportunities for Seniors

Unique challenges face us all as we grow older and become “seniors,” but with proper planning, you and your loved ones can be well-prepared to successfully navigate this stage of life.

Today, John O. McManus held an educational conference call with clients to discuss the “Top 10 Dangers and Opportunities for Seniors” – whether it’s you, your parents or your grandparents. Click below to listen to the enrichment call recording, which covers the following topics:

 

1.    Anticipate, Before It’s Too Late: As we age, there is a significantly greater risk of incapacity. It is essential to ensure basic protections are in place so that loved ones can act immediately in the event of an emergency.

2.    Spend a Little Time Planning to Save a Lot of Time Doing: The need for the Court to oversee the administration of an estate can be time-consuming, costly, and frustrating. Proper planning will allow for the probate process to be completed with greater expediency.

3.    Take Advantage of the Opportunity of a Lifetime (Gift Tax Exemption): Dramatically reduce future potential federal estate tax by utilizing the temporary increase to the lifetime gift exemption.

4.    Don’t Skip Over Generation-Skipping Tax: Understand the tax implications of the transfer of wealth across multiple generations to preserve your legacy for your descendants.

5.    Decrease Your Chances of an Increase in Federal Income Taxes: Evaluate strategies to avoid a potential increase in federal income taxes due to limitations on state and local tax deductions.

6.    Step Up Your Planning with a Step-Up in Basis: Review the power of a step-up in basis upon death, reducing capital gains tax and delivering income tax savings your loved ones can enjoy.

7.    Plan for Long-Term Care in Short Order: The cost of long-term health care could drastically deplete an estate, but strategies may be available to mitigate the attrition of assets.

8.    Expect the Best, Plan for the Worst: Protect the inheritance of your heirs and ensure wealth is not diverted, in case a child’s marriage fails.

9.    Pay Special Attention to Special Needs: Ensure the inheritance of your children and grandchildren can be used to enhance their quality of life, while preserving their ability to receive governmental benefits.

10. Prepare Your Heirs: Aid your loved ones in the effective deployment of the wealth you pass along by imparting your family mission and values, including the intrinsic benefits of philanthropy.

McManus Raises Concern about Reverse Mortgages in Investment News Article

investmentnewslogoGreg Iacurci, reporter for Investment News, recently explored reverse mortgages, a type of home equity loan for borrowers age 62 and older that allow homeowners to access part of their home equity in cash. For his story, “Advisers like reverse mortgages, but only in unique circumstances,” Iacurci interviewed John O. McManus, founding principal of McManus & Associates, who shared some words of caution.

While reverse mortgages may be an ok option for clients who plan to stay in their home indefinitely and who could use some supplemental income, McManus warned against draining one of your most valuable assets to pass down to children or other loved ones.

The Money Coach® Taps McManus for “3 financial lessons that could protect your heirs”

Get Rich Slowly

 

 

Lynnette Khalfani-Cox is known as The Money Coach®; she’s a personal finance expert, television and radio personality, and the author of 12 books, including a New York Times bestseller. She recently reached out to John McManus for guidance on how to avoid a quandary like the one her family faced when three loved ones passed away in short order.

Writing for Get Rich Slowly, a personal finance publication with over 750,000 regular readers, The Money Coach® shares her heartbreaking story, which includes a nightmare custody proceeding after her sister passed away.

DailyFinance Shares How McManus Helped Clients Avoid Estate Planning Nightmares

Daily FinanceEstate planning nightmares don’t just exist in dreams. Writing for DailyFinance, Reporter Michele Lerner relays several real-life horror stories that arose—and certainly have been replicated in similar forms far and wide—due to families neglecting to have detailed conversations about inheritance plans. “According to the 2014 Intra-Family Generational Finance Study by Fidelity Investments,” Lerner writes, “64 percent of parents older than 55 who have at least $100,000 in investable assets and their adult children over 30 aren’t on the same page about when the right time is to have conversations about estate planning.”

John O. McManus Pictured and Quoted in the New York Times

New York Times graphic

New York Times “Wealth Matters” columnist Paul Sullivan recently interviewed John O. McManus, founding principal of NJ-based McManus & Associates and a top AV-rated attorney, about the implications of a recent court case in which he successfully helped a client named Kate contest the will of her late grandmother. John grasped the dynamics at play in Kate’s situation with her family, which was crucial to a successful outcome with the case.

Insure.com Calls on McManus to Find Out if Scheming Relatives Can Steal Life Insurance Money

Insure logo

Have you ever wondered if scheming relatives can steal your life insurance money? Insure.com recently sought out the answer to this very question for readers.

scheming relativeTo understand what is often at the heart of inheritance wars – the “mysterious life insurance policy” – Reporter Ed Leefeldt turned to John O. McManus, McManus & Associates’ founding principal and top AV-rated attorney, for help. As recognized by McManus:

“Life insurance is an area where you can get cute, coy and clandestine,” warns John McManus, head of McManus & Associates, a New York City-based firm specializing in trusts and estates.

Leefeldt explains that assets such as homes, cars and furniture may be listed in a will, but others may not. Says McManus, “Life insurance, IRAs and joint bank accounts don’t show up as part of the estate because they’ve already been distributed,” says McManus. From the story:

Money from the life insurance policy is paid directly to the beneficiary, so other family members may not even be aware of a payout. The deceased also could have tucked away a life insurance policy in a trust that no one else knows about, McManus warns.

When it comes to contesting a life insurance beneficiary, the article notes that “it’s tough to prove that mom was bonkers when she signed the policy, especially if an insurance agent was present.” According to McManus:

“Even if the deceased walked around in pajamas talking to Elvis, they may still have had the capacity to understand what they signed,” says McManus. Hiring a psychiatrist could also prove futile, unless the doctor actually knew the patient.

The piece goes on to discuss the lengths to which insurers will go in order to find beneficiaries and why you don’t need to worry about the wrong person being paid. To read expert tips on how to avert family fights over intentions for the payout, check out the full story here.

For questions about how best to utilize life insurance to transfer wealth to loved ones, call us at 908-898-0100 or drop us an email at communications@mcmanuslegal.com.

Motley Fool Turns to McManus to Answer, “Who Should Be Executor?”

Daily Finance

Michele Lerner, a contributing writer to The Motley Fool, this week turned to McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus to answer the question, “Who Should You Ask to Be Executor of Your Estate?” From the article:

“A common adage in the industry is to name your enemy as your executor as a means of revenge,” says John O. McManus, an estate attorney and founding principal of McManus & Associates in New York City. “It’s a thankless job. If you appoint someone you love as executor, get your house in order. Otherwise, appoint someone you do not.”

Lerner points out that many people choose their closest relatives, but “before you decide, think hard about what you’re asking this person to do.”

She goes on to share that she talked to McManus about “what it means to be an executor and how to go about choosing one.” Below are the questions for which she shares answers from McManus & Associates:

Q: What are the responsibilities of an executor?
Q: Do you need to have a financial or legal background?
Q: How much time does it take to be an executor?
Q: Should you have more than one executor or is it best to have only one?
Q: Is it best to ask someone before you name them in your will as executor?
Q: Can someone turn down the job of executor?
Q: Can you get compensated for the time you put in as an executor?
Q: Can you be sued as an executor?
Q: Is there anything an executor can do to reduce family fights over personal property?

To find all of our answers to Lerner’s questions, check out the Daily Finance article here.

McManus in DailyFinance: “Stop Family Feuds Over Inheritances Before They Start”

Daily Finance

Michele Lerner, contributing writer for The Motley Fool, recently spoke with McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus to take a deeper dive on a recent chapter of the firm’s educational series, “‘These are a few of my favorite things’ – Top 10 Considerations when Planning for Tangible Personal Property”.

She this week published a very interesting article based on the conversation that’s definitely worth the read. Lerner’s story, “Stop Family Feuds Over Inheritances Before They Start,” shares colorful examples, telling stats and “5 Tips to Prevent Family Fights Over Heirlooms” from McManus.

From the write-up:

“More than 50 percent of the lawsuits we see are about items that have a total asset value of less than 10 percent of someone’s estate,” says John O. McManus, an estate attorney and founding principal of McManus & Associates in New York City. “The toughest part about family fights over a piece of jewelry or a painting is that it isn’t about the value of the item, it’s about what it means to loved ones.”

McManus goes on to say:

“Fighting over personal property is the match to the tinderbox of emotions…Sometimes feuds start because of lingering resentments over who worked the hardest to take care of Mom or Dad when they were sick or even over who got the biggest scoop of mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving every year.”

To illustrate the all-too-common occurrence, Lerner shares several examples from John:

In one case, McManus says, a woman had her sister arrested for stealing less than $100 of clothing from their deceased mother’s apartment. In another case, brothers split in a lifelong feud over their father’s watch.

Lerner captures McManus’ key advice at the end of the article with “5 Tips to Prevent Family Fights Over Heirlooms”: Here’s what made the cut:

1. Make an inventory.

2. Share your list with family members.

3. Appraise your property.

4. Set up a jury system.

5. Write a personal property memo.

To get more details on each of these five tips, check out the full story here.

Conference Call: Top 10 Challenges to Estate Plans

McManus & Associates today hosted the June installment of its Educational Focus Series. Over the course of the firm’s 25 years in the field of Estate Planning, we’ve seen all manner of challenges to estate plans. From will contests to litigation, we are always aware of areas where even the slightest degree of risk might reside. Constantly working to protect against this, we are in a perpetual state of research and development to create the most comprehensive, state of the art plans that protect against even the most remote possible risks.

During this 30 minute recording, McManus & Associates Founding Principal John O. McManus reviews some of the areas of potential risk, discussing what we can learn from them. He also highlights effective strategies that the firm has created and employed to minimize risk and fortify your clients’ plans.

LISTEN HERE: “Top 10 Challenges to Estate Plans”

Top 10 Challenges to Estate Plans
  1. Will manipulated by third party and abuse of durable power of attorney. Undue influence by family members resulting in last minute changes to a will.
  2. Marshaling and valuing for tax purposes, international assets.
  3. Where has Generation Skipping Tax Exemption been utilized? You may be unaware of the significance of automatic allocation rates.
  4. Distributions to charities and notifying the attorney general/government agencies.
  5. Fiduciary’s responsibility to preserve and maintain the estate. (Stock fall in value, sale of home, house broken into, and unclaimed property.
  6. Significant gifts made during life that affect intended outcome of the estate plan.
  7. Failure to use a firm familiar with the sophistication of the planning documents to administer the estate. Failure to correctly interpret the documents.
  8. Personal property disputes after death of a loved one. Fighting in families over whether to sell or keep items to memorialize loved ones. Beneficiaries challenge distributions to surviving spouse from trust.
  9. Failure to title assets correctly. Joint accounts versus convenience accounts. Revocable Living Trusts not properly funded result in probate issues.
  10. Are there sufficient liquid assets available to continue to operate family business, preserve the family retreat and pay estate taxes?

We would be happy to answer your questions. Give us a call at 908.898.0100.

McManus Interview Inspires New Jersey Newsroom Column: “Who Inherits Dad’s Subscription to Giants’ Football Games?”

New Jersey Newsroom Columnist Warren Boroson (“Boroson on Money”) has a new, interesting piece on how to avoid fighting over family heirlooms and personal property after the death of a loved one. The column hinges on McManus & Associates’ recent conference call on the topic, which you can listen to here. Following the call, Boroson spoke with the firm’s Founding Principal and top AV-rated Attorney John O. McManus to gather more details. The result, “Who Inherits Dad’s Subscription to Giants’ Football Games?” is worth checking out.

Here’s a peek:

Who gets dad’s subscription to New York Giants football games – worth a ton of money? Who gets the little silhouettes someone made of all the family members? Who gets grandma’s expensive jewelry? Who gets Fido and the Chairman Meow and other family pets? What about liquor collections, gun collections, rare books, and other “non-titled property”?

A will may not specify who gets such property, with the result that the heirs may wind up fighting over trivial stuff – and expensive stuff. And the resentment may last the rest of their lives. A little planning, says lawyer John O. McManus of McManus & Associates in New Providence, can prevent a lot of hard feelings and family feuds. “Things, personal effects, closely-held assets and land can cause significant fighting among loved ones and oftentimes attorneys give hardly any attention to such items in the creation of legal documents,” McManus warns.

To read the whole thing, head over to New Jersey Newsroom: http://www.newjerseynewsroom.com/economy/who-inherits-dads-subscription-to-giants-football-games