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WSJ Podcast (Audio): Should Children Inherit Assets Jointly or Separately?

Wall Street Journal’s Veronica Dagher interviews Avi Kestenbaum to discuses how to best go about managing your children’s inheritance, and whether they should receive assets jointly or separately.


Die and Let Live! - A Review of Don DeLillo's novel Zero K

Jeffrey A. Galant, Counsel in our Trust & Estates group, gives a fascinating review of Don DeLillo’s novel, Zero K.

“We are born without choosing to be. Should we have to die in the same manner? Isn’t it a human glory to refuse to accept a certain fate?”

WSJ Podcast (Audio): What Prince's Death Teaches About Estate Planning

When Prince died without a will, it raised a lot of questions about his estate. Meltzer Lippe’s Avi Kestenbaum discusses why people put off estate planning and what the death of Prince can teach us about how to prepare for the future.


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Avi Z. Kestenbaum & Mary P. O'Reilly: "Stepping-Up" CLATS, a Win-Win for Beneficiaries and Charities “

“With today’s high federal income tax rates and the estate tax applicable to relatively few estates and at lower rates, there has been an increased focus in estate planning to achieve a step-up in income tax basis at death. However, in most cases moving assets outside of the taxable estate and receiving a step-up in basis are mutually exclusive—you can achieve one but not both. Enter the zeroed-out testamentary charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) when after death the estate sells its otherwise taxable assets to the family or to trusts for their behalf before the CLAT is funded. When utilized properly for clients who have already done significant lifetime planning, this technique allows for all of the client’s assets to pass to the family with a full step-up in basis, while paying no estate tax, a seemingly impossible achievement.”

Avi Kestenbaum and Mary O’Reilly provide members with their commentary on zeroed-out, testamentary CLATs.

Have We Got It All Wrong?

Trust & Estates Magazine published this article in their February 2016 issue, authored by partner Avi Z. Kestenbaum and associate Amy F. Altman. It asks the question, “Would you prefer to pass as much wealth as possible to your descendants? Or, would you rather give your heirs the greatest chance of truly being happy, well-adjusted, self-fulfilled and successful?” Research suggests that heirs may be better off with less wealth. Have We Got It All Wrong? Rethinking the Fabric of Estate Planning, featured in the February issue of Trusts & Estates Magazine.

What Happens to My Debts When I Die?

Sarah Max, author from MONEY Magazine interviews partner, Stephen M. Breitstone to find out what happens to your debts after you die.

What happens to your debts after you die depends on the type of debt, whether anyone cosigned the loan, where you live, and the size of the estate you leave behind.
If you are married, your surviving spouse will have to assume responsibility for the outstanding debt if he or she cosigned the loan.

WSJ Podcast (Audio): How to Speak to Your Parents ABout Their Estate Planning

Watching Your Wealth: Meltzer Lippe’s Avi Kestenbaum joins Veronica Dagher with tips on how to talk to your parents about their estate plan.

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Why the Buffet-Gates Giving Pledge Requires Limitation of the Estate Tax Charitable Deduction

The article raises interesting issues regarding the policy, theory and history behind the charitable deduction and the estate tax.

New Inheritance Rights for Children Conceived After Death

Laws are often unable to keep up with issues that arise from devloping bio-technology. This is especailly true for the advances in assisted reproductive technologies and the lag of state inheritance laws to address the rights of children conceived after the death of a parent.

Memento Mori: Death and Wills

While the process of estate planning should, by its very nature, include the contemplation of our mortality and personal legacy, it often doesn’t. In fact, despite modern society’s general fascination with death and affinity for all things macabre—like zombies and vampires—the personal estate-planning process and documents, such as wills, often are designed to avoid the direct mention of death.

Download the PDF for the full article.