WHAT DO I NEED?

WHAT DO I NEED?

What Do I need? February 2019. By Timothy S. Barkley, Sr. The handshakes concluded, the Johnsons sit across from the lawyer. “We need to get wills. We’re both in our seventies, and we’ve never had a will. And we think we might need a trust.” Mrs. Johnson interjects, “My cousin told me we should have a trust. She has one.” “Thank you,” responds their lawyer. “Tell me a little bit about yourselves. I see the two of you … kids?” “We have three,...

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LESS COMPLICATING

LESS COMPLICATING

Less Complicating. June 2018. By Timothy S. Barkley, Sr. First, the phone call. “Can you look over our wills and trusts?  It’s been a few years, and we want somebody to make sure they’re up-to-date. And we’re going on vacation and want to make sure everything is covered in case something happens.” Certainly. Let’s get together. Next week? The meeting. “We had this done about twenty years ago by a lawyer in Rockville. I read your articles, and I...

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PROBATE AVOIDANCE ON A BUDGET

PROBATE AVOIDANCE ON A BUDGET

Probate Avoidance on a Budget. December 2016. [As published in Frederick’s Child] We shook hands and sat down. “Now, if I understood you correctly when you called to set the appointment, you are here to talk about wills.” “Well,” ventured the husband, “wills or trusts – I’m not sure what we need. We hear a lot about trusts.” The wife nodded. “My brother has a trust and says everybody should have one.” The lawyer pondered. “Trusts are a...

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HOME ALONE

HOME ALONE

By Tim Barkley. September 2016. Estate planning is often discussed in the context of the “typical American family” – Mom, Dad and 1.8 happily adjusted children. But what if that’s not you? Planning for unmarried, divorced or widowed clients who have no children presents a special challenge to the planning professional, and requires ingenuity and resourcefulness to avoid the traps for the unwary. The parents of the “typical American...

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TIS THE GIFT

TIS THE GIFT

By Tim Barkley. December 2015. The text message was from Susan: “How much can my fiancé’s mom give away in a year?” I called her back. Some things are best handled in person. “What’s up?” “Thanks for calling right back! My fiancé’s mom wants to give money to her kids before the end of the year so she can get a tax write-off. I knew there was a limit of $10,000 or something. And Bobby’s worried about how much tax he’ll have to pay on what he...

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