Colorado Probate Blog - Wade Ash Woods Hill & Farley, P.C.

Marc A. Chorney

Wade Ash is saddened to announce the passing of Marc A. Chorney. Marc retired from Estate Planning in our firm last year. He will be sorely missed by his many friends, clients, family members, and those of us that worked with him. 

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282 Hits

Thinking About Moving to a Retirement Community?

Maybe your adult children have brought up the idea, or maybe you’ve had some discussions with friends about their moves to senior communities. Whatever the case may be, if you’re considering a move, be sure to plan well ahead and educate yourself about your options.

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533 Hits

Tax Update

This Tax Update article is authored by Laurie A. Hunter, Kevin D. Millard, Jonathan F. Haskell and Heidi J. Gassman.

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759 Hits

Planning for the Apocalypse

Your options for preparing to survive a zombie apocalypse or other collapse of civilization as we know it now include some rather luxurious possibilities. According to a January 30, 2017 article in The New Yorker entitled “Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich”, highly affluent citizens of the United States have been quietly planning their survival strategies by hoarding rations, gold coins, and weapons and building state-of-the-art underground bunkers stocked with years of supplies.

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1001 Hits

Leggo My Eggo -or- Who Gets My Gametes When I Die?

Among the many wonders (and occasional terrors) of modern medicine, few strike more of an emotional chord than advances in reproductive technology. Preserving our genetic material for use after death has passed from science fiction to scientific fact; but the law remains unestablished in Colorado as to what happens if there is a dispute about ownership of frozen sperm, ova, or embryos after the death of one or both of the donors.

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1099 Hits

Colorado's New Trust Decanting Statute

Effective August 10, 2016, the Colorado legislature enacted C.R.S. § 15-16-901 et seq., the Colorado Uniform Trust Decanting Act (the “Act”). “Decanting” generally refers to the distribution of trust property from one trust to another trust pursuant to a trustee’s discretionary power to make distributions for beneficiaries. New York was the first state to enact a trust decanting statute in 1992; now, nearly half of the states, including Colorado, have specific statutes addressing and authorizing trust decanting in various forms.

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4557 Hits

Death, Taxes, and the Business of Dead Celebrities

Prince, the artist formerly known as Prince Rogers Nelson, died on April 21, 2016 at the age of 57. While people all over the world are mourning the loss of this music icon, his surviving family and the lawyers for his estate may soon be mourning his lack of legal planning for his death.

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1395 Hits

IRS Annual “Dirty-Dozen” List of Tax Scams to Avoid is Highlighted as April 18 Tax Deadline Approaches

The Internal Revenue Service just issued a warning that scammers may try using the April 18 tax deadline to prey on hard-working taxpayers by impersonating the IRS and others with fake phone calls and emails.

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1196 Hits

Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act (the "PATH" Act)

PATH Act of 2015 - Makes 3 charitable giving incentives permanent; clarifies valuation of charitable remainder trust interests.

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1667 Hits

Health Insurance Subsidies Confirmed to be Available to Taxpayers in all States

On June 25, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States held in the King v. Burwell decision that tax credits for health insurance premiums are available to taxpayers in every state, regardless of whether those taxpayers live in a state which has established its own health insurance exchange or a state which instead uses a federally-established exchange.  Chief Justice Roberts delivered the 6-3 decision.

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1462 Hits

Equal Dignity: U.S. Supreme Court Validates Same-Sex Marriage

The United States Supreme Court entered its opinion this morning validating same-sex marriage at the federal level. Importantly, the majority opinion in Obergefell v. Hodges recognizes that “No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. ... [the challengers] ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.”

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1418 Hits

2015 Projected Inflation Adjustments

Certain income, estate and gift tax figures are adjusted for inflation annually based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).  After the Department of Labor announced the August 2014 CPI figures, RIA and other economists released the following 2015 projected inflation adjustments, all of which will be effective January 1, 2015:

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2064 Hits

U.S. Supreme Court Declines to Hear Same Sex Marriage Appeals

On Monday the U.S. Supreme Court let stand appeals court rulings from five states which legalize same sex marriage.  This clears the way for same sex marriages in Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.  The Court gave no explanation for its decision not to hear those cases.  This non-action lets stand decisions from three federal appeals courts, which together have jurisdiction over additional states of Colorado, Kansas, North Carolina, South Carolina, West Virginia and Wyoming.  This brings the number of states with legal same sex marriage to 30.  Colorado’s Attorney General, John Suthers, stated county clerks will now issue same sex marriage licenses in every county.  It is unknown what will happen to Colorado civil unions, and the state’s civil union statutes.  For some clients, the legalization of same sex marriage will impact tax related estate planning, and you should review your current estate plan if you believe this change will impact you. And if this change in Colorado’s law signals wedding bells, be sure to contact us to discuss whether preparation of a prenuptial agreement is right for you. For more information, see Denver Post.

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1763 Hits

Colorado Secretary of State Announces Fee Holiday

On June 9th, Colorado Secretary of State Scott Gessler announced a "fee holiday" for all new entities in Colorado.  Instead of the scheduled $50 fee for creating and registering a new entity, such as an LLC or a partnership, the fee is now $1.  Citing a repayment from the Colorado legislature and a department budget surplus, Secretary Gessler said the State Department’s office now has the financial resources to enact this reduction.  He hopes the fee holiday may encourage Coloradans to start new businesses.  No end date to this fee holiday has been announced.  If you have considered creation of an entity for business or estate planning purposes, give our office a call and we can discuss how to properly plan for your needs.

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1628 Hits

Social Media Provisions in Marital Agreements

A new trend in marital agreements involves the use of social media during the marriage. Couples are considering the inclusion of a provision which describes acceptable use of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other on-line social websites, and penalties for unauthorized use. For example, a couple might state that neither will post any pictures which include nudity or could be detrimental to a professional career. Ann-Margaret Carrozza, a New York state attorney, says it is only recently she has seen these kinds of clauses, but reports 1/3 of her clients now want to include such a provision. A violation of such a clause often comes with a monetary penalty for the offending spouse. Although we here at Wade Ash have yet to hear such a request, we feel certain it's coming soon. For more on this trend, see Social Media.

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1797 Hits

New Form 1023-EZ Released

On July 1st, in Rev. Proc. 2014-40, the IRS released the much anticipated Form 1023-EZ application which is intended to make it easier for smaller organizations who wish to apply for 501(c)(3) status. The new application is a much simplified version of the full Form 1023 and must be filed electronically. Mirroring the 990-N eligibility requirements, the streamlined application process is generally available to organizations that anticipate having annual gross receipts of $50,000 or less and assets of $250,000 or less.  The user fee is also reduced to $400 (down from the $850 required for the full 1023).  It is hoped that the new application process will help relieve the huge backlog of IRS exemption applications. The IRS currently has more than 60,000 pending applications for exemption, many of which have been waiting for approval for more than 9 months. 

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2086 Hits

Controversy in the Estate of Mickey Rooney

The legendary screen actor Mickey Rooney died on April 7, 2014, leaving behind his wife, Jan, eight children and three step-children. During the last few years of his life, Mr. Rooney and his wife of 37 years were separated, but not divorced. As the result of prolonged litigation, in which Mr. Rooney accused some of his children of physical and financial abuse, a court-appointed conservator was managing his financial affairs. On March 11, 2014, Mr. Rooney signed a Will which left his estate to one step-son, as that step-son had been caring for Mr. Rooney during the last years of his life. Shortly after his death, Mr. Rooney's widow and Mr. Rooney's biological children all filed lawsuits contesting the validity of the Will. The children contend the step-son exerted undue influence over Mr. Rooney, resulting in a Will that disinherited them. Mrs. Rooney claims that in written agreements between herself and Mr. Rooney's conservator following her separation from Mr. Rooney, she never waived her rights as his surviving spouse. Most states, including Colorado, give surviving spouses the right to inherit from the deceased spouse, based on the length of the marriage and the assets of the spouses. The executor of the estate stated the agreements between Mrs. Rooney and Mr. Rooney executed upon their separation explicitly waived her right to inherit from his estate. The executor also stated Mrs. Rooney did not waive her rights as a surviving spouse for purposes of social security and pension benefits. The sad fact is that Mr. Rooney died with very few assets (approximately $18,000 in personal property) and with large medical bills and amounts owed to the government. However, the potential for rights to likeness, royalties, and other intangible valuables may create an incentive to move forward on these Will contests. After payment of taxes, debts and attorneys, it is doubtful anyone in Mr. Rooney's family will walk away with anything besides memories.

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1924 Hits

Aid in Dying

Should Colorado enact legislation to allow physicians to aid terminally ill patients in dying? In response to one Colorado man's plea to legislators prior to his death on March 6th, Colorado State Rep. Lois Court, D-Denver, may be looking into the issue for the next legislative session. Mr. Selsberg was suffering from ALS and choose to end his life on his own terms, before succumbing to the disease. Mr. Selsberg is not alone; more and more terminally ill patients are taking on the medical establishment and choosing to die rather than to fight for a life in which they foresee continued suffering, pain and loss of dignity. Currently five states - Oregon, Washington, Montana, Vermont and New Mexico, have constitutional laws allowing physicians to assist terminally ill patients in dying; and three other states - Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Hampshire, are reportedly working on legislation. Colorado lawmakers rejected legislation twice in the mid 1990s, but it remains to be seen whether Colorado voters are supportive of a measure to allow for terminably ill patients to receive assistance in dying.

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2025 Hits

Tax Extender Legislation (including renewal of IRA Charitable Rollover) Clears First Hurdle

The effort to renew the IRA Charitable Rollover provision, which expired at the end of 2013, recently gained some momentum in Congress. On April 3, 2014, the Senate Finance Committee approved the Expiring Provisions Improvement Reform and Efficiency (EXPIRE) Act, which would retroactively extend a number of important and popular tax provisions through December 31, 2015. The House Ways and Means Committee Chair has also recently indicated that a vote would be permitted on an extenders package. The date of any vote on this or similar extender bills in the House and the full Senate is yet to be determined, but it may well be postponed until after the fall elections.

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1941 Hits

Colorado Court of Appeals Reaffirms Critical Element of Fraudulent Concealment Claim

On March 27, 2014, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued its published Opinion in Jehly v. Brown, affirming the trial court's findings in favor of the Defendant, Allen Brown.

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2471 Hits