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Richard Albert Luthmann
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Richard Luthmann’s Answers

477 total


  • Is trustee in NJ required to give account printouts right away when a beneficiary requests them? I'm a beneficiary of a trust

    established as irrevocable 18 years ago, only found out about it recently. I asked the trustee for first accounting; her lawyer wrote that it will take time. I replied itemized accounting takes time, but brokerage firm that holds trust told me tr...

    Richard’s Answer

    The trustee is usually required to give an informal accounting to beneficiaries within a reasonable period of time, but it depends on what the trust language says.

    If the trustee is not responsive, you should hire a lawyer to make a formal demand and, if needed, bring a proceeding to compel an accounting.

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  • My father granted an irrevocable trust, my children and I are beneficiaries. The trustee gave me notice of a deposit subject to

    gift tax about 34 days ago, and I the trust document gives me 60 days to demand a withdrawal. She did not give notice to my children over 18, not even my married children. She did not ask me for my children's addresses. Does the 60 day limit for ...

    Richard’s Answer

    You received a Crummey notice named for the famous tax case of Crummey v. Commissioner, 397 F.2d 82 (9th Cir. 1968). The case involves IRC § 2503(b), which provides that the allowable gift tax annual exclusion applies only to gifts in which the donee has a “present interest,” as opposed to a “future interest.” The issue was whether certain gifts to an irrevocable trust constituted a present interest that would allow the gifts to qualify for the annual gift tax exclusion. The court held that, rather than the existence of a present interest in the property turning on the beneficiaries’ actual enjoyment of the property, the determination should rest on their right to enjoy the property.
    The Crummey case has come to stand for the principle that a beneficiary’s right to withdraw assets gifted to a trust for a limited period of time creates a present interest in such assets that qualifies the gift for the gift tax annual exclusion ($14,000).
    I would speak with your father and/or his attorney about the intent of their planning. Usually, the Crummey gifts are intended to be left alone.

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  • Adding name to house as Joint Tenant Owner With Rights Of Survivorship will I also be responsible for house expenses?

    My elderly mom wants to add my name to the deed as Joint Tenant With Rights Of Survivorship. If I become the joint owner for the house, will I also become responsible for paying the house expenses, ie. property taxes, home insurance, etc.? Also, ...

    Richard’s Answer

    Why not choose a deed with retained life estate to get the step-up in tax basis at your mother's death and avoid capital gains on a future sale of the home? You should consult with an estate planning attorney before you do anything?

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  • How do I find a lawyer who has experience representing trust beneficiaries?

    I am the grantor and one of the beneficiaries of an irrevocable trust.

    Richard’s Answer

    You have come to the right place. AVVO has many excellent attorneys that practice in the area of Trusts and Estates.

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  • How DO i FILE A COMPLAINT ABOUT A LAW FIRM I PAID $3000 2 GET A LOAN MODIFICATION NO ACTION ON CAUSED A FORECLOSURE NOTICE

    I paid a lww firm $3000 to help with a loan modification. After 4 mos my home put in foreclosure and 0 action I requested a refund and they will not refund the full amount only half. ill not return my calls. No registration with Better Business Bu...

    Richard’s Answer

    I would send a certified letter and a fax in writing asking for a breakdown of the legal services rendered to date.

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  • Can a will be changed that calls for the sale of a house to be split 50/50 if 1 heir is being blamed for the loss in value?

    The will states for the house left to my sister and I be sold and split 50/50. The house was appraised at $270,000 but only sold for just over $219,000, so the lawyer states I am accountable for that as I resided in it for 6 months after my fathe...

    Richard’s Answer

    If you live in estate property, you will owe the fair market value of the rent to the estate. I would consult a lawyer because the rental value must be reasonable and you may get credit for improvements during your occupancy.

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  • Which form should I fill for tax return in my situation?

    Hello, I'm a US citizen, filing for tax return for the first time, I have dual citizenship and thus have been living abroad for decades, I never paid taxes because I was only a child the last time I was there, and I didn't know I had to. My f...

    Richard’s Answer

    You likely have FATCA, FBAR and tax reporting issues. You may want to consider the OVDP. I would consult an international tax lawyer immediately.

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  • Capital gain tax on second home

    I am selling a second home and capital gain tax will apply. . I have an someone interested but wants to have the mortgage for the beginning of next year. I want this year, because I have other write-off to offset it. Can I date the deed for ...

    Richard’s Answer

    It depends if you are cash basis or accrual basis in your accounting. There a multitude of ways you may be able to structure your deal so that you can achieve the desired tax result. I would call a tax lawyer right away.

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  • Paying credit cards and are we liable if going into assisted living

    my mom is 91 years old,recently had a stroke. She is currently living in rehab, has no assets , home, car, savings, only Social security monthly. She has Medicaid also. What happens if she can't afford paying her bills, is she liable for legal act...

    Richard’s Answer

    Yes, she would be liable for all of her debts. There is a question as to whether the credit card company can collect, but that is a separate issue. They could sue her and get a judgment against her.

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  • Have Federal gift tax rules for trusts changed significantly in the past 18 years?

    Trust with gift tax provisions established long ago.

    Richard’s Answer

    The answer is yes. The Federal Estate and Gift tax laws have gone through a multitude of important changes. I would take the document to a tax lawyer to review the state of the law and whether you are in compliance.

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