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

Community!

What is the city but the People...

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12 Days of Holiday Scams

12 scams you should be aware of this holiday season...

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Will Contests

The proponents of the Will have the initial burden of due execution, venue, and proof of death. The burden is on the contestant to show lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, undue influence, duress, mistake or revocation. However, undue influence cannot be inferred by motive and opportunity alone. There must be some evidence, either direct or circumstantial, to show that undue influence not only existed but also influenced the making of the Will. I have always considered the two most important witnesses in a Will contest to be the drafting attorney and treating doctor.

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Cyber Monday, Black Friday - Good Deals?

Shop "smart" this holiday season.  Scammers are watching for you...

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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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52 Hits

Happy Halloween From the Dark Web

The more you know, the better off you are...

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74 Hits

New Initiatives Underway!

Alternatives to jail, specialty courts for women and veterans, and juvenile justice reform...

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65 Hits

Scammers Are Rotating Around Hurricane Florence

Do your research - know where you are sending your money...

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Scammers Can't Wait for Back-to-School

Keep your college-bound children safe from a scammer's trap...

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What’s So Bad About Donor-Advised Funds?

Last Friday, the New York Times published a very negative article about donor-advised funds (DAFs), calling them a “Philanthropic Loophole” in its headline and quoting a tax professor at the University of Southern California as calling DAFs “a fraud on the American taxpayer.” What, exactly, is a DAF, and are DAFs really so bad?

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201 Hits

National Emoji Day Beware the Smiling Emoji

The sinister aspect of emojis....

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“Just Say No!” Apps for Smartphone Addiction

It’s time to put the smartphone down. Did you know the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes? This means touching your phone roughly 2,617 times a day. For Millennials, who are in the top 10 percent of phone users, it’s 5,427 times a day. We are all so consumed with checking our Facebook or swiping to the left or to the right on Tinder, or constantly checking newsfeeds, that our phones control and flood every waking hour of our days. Recently, Apple and Google have designed a plan to incorporate a “digital wellness” app that can monitor and track the time you spend on your phone. In an experiment, Nick Fitz, a behavioral researcher at Duke University, tracked the usage of smartphones on over 200 people. Most of these people received 60 to 80 notifications on their phones daily. He eliminated the alerts they were receiving on their phones and their stress levels dropped and their concentration improved. However, he also saw an increase in their anxiety levels due to the fear of what they were missing out on. In order to relieve some of that anxiety, Fitz and a team of his researchers formulated a plan to batch and distribute the daily notifications into three groups – morning, day and night. In doing so, people with this app on their phones saw lower stress levels, higher levels of concentration and no increase in anxiety. Although we enjoy using technology and all that it has to offer, the next time you pick up your phone to check your notifications, consider how technology is using you.

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News of the Firm

We are pleased to announce that Herb Tucker, Laurie Hunter and Kevin Millard were recognized as 5280 Top Lawyers in Denver in 2018. Herb was recognized in the area of Probate Litigation, and Laurie and Kevin were recognized in the area of Estate Planning.

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The Future of Estate Planning

“Alexa, who can I contact to prepare my Will?” Does the future of estate planning fall into the hands of a cloud-based registry?

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Making the Law Keep Up

Intestacy laws determine how a person’s assets pass if there is no will. What should intestacy law provide with regard to same sex marriage and with respect to parentage involving genetic materials. Under the Uniform Parentage Act a person may have three parents (and correspondingly more grandparents).

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207 Hits

Let's Face(book) it.

Think before you "Like."  Hackers are waiting to steal your personal information...

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Who Has the Right to a Decedent's Remains

Probate and estate litigation is fraught with emotion. We often see families divided over a deceased loved one’s property. And while each dispute is different, there are commonalities; one of which is that the disputes are often “not about the money.”

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March Comes in Like a Lion for Scams

You never thought it would happen to you...don't be the next victim of identity theft.

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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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Overview of 2018 Tax Act

President Trump signed the 2018 Tax Act into law on December 22, 2017. Most of the provisions apply only to taxable years starting January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2025. The changes in the corporate tax rates are permanent. Wade Ash intends to send out a newsletter in February that will summarize more fully the provisions of the Act, especially as affecting estate planning. The following is a list of some of the major provisions:

The estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption is doubled from $5 million to $10 million and still indexed for inflation since 2011. The 2018 exemption will be about $11.2 million.The individual standard deduction is also nearly doubled to $24,000 for married filing jointly, and $12,000 for single taxpayers; the income tax rates are slightly reduced.No more deductions for personal exemptions on individual returns (although they apparently do still apply for trusts and estates).Many itemized deductions for individuals were eliminated or reduced:$10,000 limit on the deduction for state and local taxesno deduction for interest on home equity loans, including current loansthe deduction for mortgage interest on new loans is only allowed up to $750,000 in indebtednessNo deduction for alimony on divorces finalized after 12/31/2018 (and the receipt of alimony will not be taxable income)medical expenses may still be deducted over 10% of AGIcharitable contributions may still be deducted (up to 60% of AGI instead of only 50% for cash contributions to public charities)NO miscellaneous itemized deductions, including investment advisor fees, accountants’ fees, attorney fees529 plan accounts may make qualified distributions for elementary and high school education up to $10,000 per year per studentC corporation changes are permanent and include:corporate tax rate reduced to 21% from 35%corporate Alternative Minimum Tax repealed100% expensing of new and used property used in the business, except for buildingsBusiness expense deductions include state and local taxes without the $10,000 limitNew 20% deduction for "qualified business income" under pass-through entities such as partnerships, LLCs and Sub-S corporationsMust be income earned in a "trade or business"Deduction excludes income from capital gains, dividends, interestIf total income is less than $315,000 for married filing jointly ($157,500 for single taxpayers), no further limit on the deduction.If more than the threshold, subject to limitation of greater of (a) 50% of taxpayer’s share of W-2 wages, or 25% of taxpayer’s share of W-2 wages plus 2.5% of depreciable propertyIf income is over the threshold, no 20% deduction for income from pass- through service companies, including health, law, accounting, performing arts, athletics, financial services, "reputation/skill-based" services, investment managementMany issues have not been addressed in the Act, and will need to be clarified in regulationsno deduction for business entertainment expenses (except if employees are included, like holiday parties)changes to fiduciary income tax (trusts and estates):miscellaneous itemized deductions (subject to the 2% floor) are NOT deductibleitems that are deductible are those NOT subject to the 2% floor and include trustee fees, attorney fees to administer the trust or estate, preparation of estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns (but not gift tax returns), and administrative expenses such as probate filing fees, appraisals and preparation of accountingsstate and local taxes up to $10,000 are deductiblecharitable contributions are deductible if required by the governing instrumenttrusts and estates still have the personal exemption ($600 for estates, $100 for simple trusts and $300 for complex trusts)
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