Thomas H. Sullivan
Attorney at Law
Estate Planning is Like Building a Snowman
Posted on: January 7th, 2020
A complete estate plan must include certain essential parts. In fact, it is similar to building a snowman in some respects. The traditional snowman has several critical components: bottom, middle, and top snowballs, as well as “arms” and a “ face.” If any of these are left out, the snowman can look a little odd! The consequences of an incomplete estate plan are much more serious, however. If you leave out important documents when you create your estate plan, it is unlikely to accomplish all of your goals, and the benefits you thought you were gaining could melt away....
What Impact Does the Citizenship of My Spouse Have On My Estate?
Posted on: December 3rd, 2019
According to the Pew Research Center, in 2017, there were 44.4 million foreign-born people living in the United States, 55% of whom were non-citizens. As a result, there are many occasions when a non-citizen may be the beneficiary of the estate of a U.S. citizen, for example, if the non-citizen immigrant married a U.S. citizen. There are no laws prohibiting this, though non-citizen spouses—regardless of whether they are in the U.S. legally or illegally—may be treated differently for estate and gift tax purposes....
Myths We Tell Ourselves About Estate Planning
Posted on: October 20th, 2019
Estate planning can be a very difficult process. While it’s not brain surgery, making the decision to move forward with the planning requires us to face the fact that we will not live forever. This thought can stop many people right in their tracks. Others talk themselves out of seeing a qualified attorney to put together an estate plan based on some of the following common myths:...
Missed a Required Minimum Distribution?: Here Is How to Fix It
Posted on: October 17th, 2019
The retirement years are supposed to be carefree—but what if you neglected to take the required minimum distribution (RMD) from one or more of your retirement accounts or took a distribution that was lower than required? This could be a costly mistake resulting in a tax penalty of 50% of the amount of the distribution you did not take, which may amount to thousands of your hard-earned dollars. Fortunately, the IRS has provided retirees with the opportunity to seek a waiver of penalties if the proper remedial action is promptly taken. ...
Estate Planning Awareness Week
Posted on: October 14th, 2019
In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust despite the fact that 76% viewed them as important. Many of the respondents said this was due to procrastination, but many others mistakenly believed that it was not necessary because they did not have many assets....
Can I Refuse an Inheritance?
Posted on: September 3rd, 2019
Why would anyone want to refuse an inheritance? Although it is surprising to many, there are several circumstances when declining an inheritance can be beneficial. The law does permit you to refuse an inheritance if you comply with certain strict requirements. The legal term for a refusal of an inheritance is a “disclaimer,” which is defined as an irrevocable and unqualified refusal to accept an interest in property....