Thomas H. Sullivan
Attorney at Law
Latest Blog Posts
What if I Can Find Only Photocopies or Digital Copies of My Estate Planning Documents?
Posted on: September 17th, 2021
If you were to ask attorneys across the country how often they get phone calls like the following, the answer (“Very frequently”) may surprise you. The phone call might go something like this: “Hi, this is John Jones. My dad, Bill Jones, passed away recently and we have torn the house apart looking for his estate planning documents. But despite our best efforts, we can’t find his will or trust anywhere! I know he did an estate plan with your office a few years ago, but we are at a total loss trying to find the original documents. Please tell me that you have the originals stored at your office?”...
When You May Not Be Able to Use a Financial Power of Attorney
Posted on: September 11th, 2021
Besides directing what happens to your finances when you pass away, a comprehensive estate plan also addresses the possibility that you could become unable to handle your financial affairs while you are still alive....
How Your Financial and Estate Planning Team Has Your Back
Posted on: September 7th, 2021
Comprehensive estate and financial plans are not just for the wealthy. Anyone who cares for a person or cause and who wants to provide for the person or cause after they die can benefit from such plans. Along with comprehensive estate and financial plans comes a team to help you create, manage, and support those plans. This team includes your estate planning attorney, financial advisor, certified public accountant, insurance agent, and even your spiritual advisor. They work together to make sure that you are protected during your lifetime and that your loved ones and the causes you support are taken care of after your passing. ...
What Is a Separate Revocable Living Trust?
Posted on: August 31st, 2021
When a couple engages in foundational estate planning, one of the first questions addressed by estate planning attorneys is whether it makes sense for the couple to use a revocable living trust (RLT) as a part of their plan. If using an RLT makes sense, an important follow-up question to married couples should be whether it makes sense for them to use a joint RLT or separate RLTs. ...
Basis: What You Need to Know
Posted on: August 24th, 2021
"Basis" is a term used frequently in tax law. But for many, the term is unfamiliar and intimidating—perhaps something they feel is better left to a certified public accountant to worry about. Nevertheless, a basic understanding of the concept can be very helpful for understanding important estate planning strategies used by your attorney and financial or tax advisors. So what is basis, and why is it important to be familiar with the term, particularly as it relates to your taxes and estate planning? A technical definition of basis is "the value assigned to a taxpayer's investment in property and used primarily for computing gain or loss from a transfer of the property. When the assigned value represents the cost of acquiring the property, it is also called cost basis."...
Trust and Estate Administration: Whom Should You Bring to the Meetings?
Posted on: August 20th, 2021
A loved one’s passing is felt by their entire surviving family. But when it comes to carrying out the decedent’s final wishes, not everyone has an equal say. In fact, in many cases, only one person—the executor, or personal representative, of the estate—plays a role in administering a will. This role includes gathering the deceased’s accounts and property, paying debts, managing the money and property, then distributing the money and property to the chosen individuals or charities named in the will. The same is true of trust administration. The trustee, and typically the trustee alone, is in charge of managing, investing, and distributing the trust’s accounts and property according to the instructions in the trust document. If you are the executor of your loved one’s estate or the trustee of their trust, there are some things you need to know....