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Gregory Herman-Giddens
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Gregory Herman-Giddens’s Answers

502 total


  • Is the IRS taxing on what the IRA made since death? Can I be held accountable for difference? Is there a way to take RMDs?

    I am administrator of and ongoing 3 year administration in Virginia. There was no will. I have heirs and underage heir. There are stocks and IRAs. There was a problems with the administration that would not allow timely distributions or inheritanc...

    Gregory’s Answer

    There is not enough information in your question for an advisor to provide a complete answer. I recommend consulting with an attorney with experience in dealing with IRAs post-mortem and that you do so as soon as possible to avoid potential penalties and personal liability. This is a very complex area of the law and professional help is crucial.

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  • Can you help me make an addendum to my separate property trust.

    Hello, I need to make a change to my separate property trust due to a divorce. I just need to remove my exwife and replace her with my daughter as executor. I have made one addendum before. Thank you

    Gregory’s Answer

    That would require an amendment to your trust to replace your ex-wife as trustee. You also may need to replace her as personal representative (executor) in your will, agent under your durable power of attorney and health care surrogate. I would have an estate planning attorney review all of your documents to see what changes are recommended. You should be able to find one to assist you in the Avvo directory.

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  • How do I go about setting this up this trust?

    I have a 25 year old son with autism. Would like to set something up to take care of him when I'm gone (special needs trust?).

    Gregory’s Answer

    It's good that you are thinking about planning for your son now. My advice is to consult with a local attorney experienced in special needs planning. He or she can discuss the options with you, but setting up a special/supplemental needs trust will likely be involved. The trust can be in your will, living trust, or a standalone trust just for your son. The laws are very complex so this is not something you should try to do yourself or even use a lawyer who doesn't specialize in special needs planning.

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  • Should I consult with a tax attorney?

    I am the executor of my wife's estate. She was ill for a long time and failed to file a tax return. She ram property management and owned some properties but had no other income. I know she has some fines levied but I have not heard anything fr...

    Gregory’s Answer

    If failure to file was due to a reasonable cause, as it appears in this case, the IRS will often abate the penalties.

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  • Would my brother be taxed if he gives me a cash gift and another cash gift to my wife?

    My late father had a conjoined savings bank account with one of my brothers, they both owned the account (we are three brothers). That brother would like to split the money in the joined bank account equally among us three brothers and we all agre...

    Gregory’s Answer

    Gift t axes are not due unless the donor has used up his or her entire $5.45 million gift and estate tax exemption. For most of us, the primary issue with not exceeding the $14,000 per person per year is avoiding having to file a gift tax return.

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  • My Dad passed Jan. 1, 2015. When can I read my Dad's will? I am not executor. I am a beneficiary.

    My Dad passed. He said when he died to go by his lawyer. We had the funeral in his home town on Sunday. On Mon. I went & ask to view the j before going back home to my home town. The lawyer said his granddaughter, my brother's daughter is executer...

    Gregory’s Answer

    Once the will is probated, you should receive a notice from the court. You can get a copy made for your records if you wish.

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  • Are you aware of situations when shares transfer between non-like titled brokerage accounts is not a gift?

    A specific stock (tax lot) came into my account from someone else's account in 2014. In 2015, I returned the same tax lot to the same someone else's account. My broker coded this 2015 transfer as a gift and adjusted the cost basis accordingly. ...

    Gregory’s Answer

    Without knowing more, it does sound like the two transfers should be treated as gifts for gift tax purposes. As you may be aware, the donor's cost basis is carried over the donee, unless the fair market value of the stock is lower than the cost basis, in which case the lower FMV becomes the new basis. A gift tax return should have been filed for 2014, and one will be due for 2015.

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  • How can I preserve my IRA and Non Qualified Annuities investment, as stated above

    I have an Annuity Trust in my name, my husband is the beneficiary after my death, of the earnings while he is alive. The RMD's of the Qualified IRA's are based on my age ( I am a few years younger). After his death I have named several others in m...

    Gregory’s Answer

    It's difficult to accurately answer your question without additional information, but assuming the IRAs were inherited by you/the trust from another person, after your death the RMDs can continue to be paid out over your remaining life expectancy per the IRS tables. If the IRAs hold annuities, the annuity contracts may provide differently, however. To be fully advised you will need to provide a copy of the trust and the IRA/annuity contracts to an attorney knowledgeable in this area of the law.

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  • How should we structure a special needs trust, the deed, etc.?

    My husband and I are currently purchasing a home that will be the home our special daughter will live in, with 24/7 support, for the rest of her life. If they choose, our daughter (29) and son-in-law (29), may live in the home also. They will be...

    Gregory’s Answer

    Most likely you will want to set up a Special Needs Trust to own the home and any receive funds you plan to leave your daughter at your deaths. It is important to work with an experienced special needs/elder law attorney to ensure that you receive sound advice and the trust is structured properly. For example, for a third-party trust such as the one you would establish, there is no requirement that the State be repaid for benefits paid during your daughter's life.

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  • Power of Attorney question...

    If I fill out a "do it yourself" power of attorney form and have it notarize and signed by two witnesses, does it become a legal document? Or do I still need to bring it to a lawyer for some reason?

    Gregory’s Answer

    Possibly, but Florida has strict laws regarding powers of attorney. To ensure that the document is valid, and that you receive advice regarding the power of attorney, you should consult with an estate planning attorney.

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