Thomas H. Sullivan

Attorney at Law

Handling the Legal Affairs of a Missing Person

Posted on: March 20th, 2021
Approximately 600,000 people go missing in the United States each year. The loved ones who are left behind must carry not only heavy emotional burdens but significant practical burdens too. People who go missing often leave behind real estate and personal property, debts and ongoing bills, insurance premium payments, employment or business concerns, pets, family support obligations, and more. But if someone is missing, and it is uncertain when or if they will ever return, these practical issues must be addressed at some point to prevent them from becoming even more burdensome in the future....

Demystifying Estate Tax Returns

Posted on: March 16th, 2021
When an individual passes away, tax issues are one of the many things that must be considered. For most individuals who pass away, a final income tax return must be filed with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state (if the particular state also taxes income) to settle any income tax liability that may exist. Much less commonly, a federal estate tax return and state estate tax returns (if the state has an estate tax or the decedent held property in a state that has an estate tax) may also be required. Federal estate tax returns are designed to ensure that the federal government can properly assess the amount of estate taxes (if any) due upon the death of a taxpayer. While these types of returns are rarely filed today, there are still a number of reasons why it may be beneficial to file such a return with the IRS, even if not necessarily required (though a state estate tax return may be needed in some states)....

How to Talk to Mom and Dad about Creating an Estate Plan

Posted on: March 11th, 2021
Conversations about death and dying are rarely fun. Most people avoid them because they invoke feelings about our inevitable demise. Broaching this subject can be particularly difficult for parents and their adult children. Adult children may avoid bringing up the topic because they do not want to think about their parents’ mortality, and they may also want to avoid sounding as though they are waiting for their parents to die....

What You Should Know about Life Insurance Settlements

Posted on: March 5th, 2021
Though many people are familiar with life insurance policies and have a general understanding of how they work, the process of selling a life insurance policy to a third party may be less commonly understood. When an insured party sells a life insurance policy to a third party investor, the transaction is called a life settlement....

What If No One Wants My Stuff?

Posted on: February 28th, 2021
A critical question to ask yourself when creating an estate plan is who will get your stuff when you pass on? While most people think about who they would like to receive the major items—homes, retirement accounts, savings—personal property such as jewelry, clothing, sports equipment, vehicles, and other possessions are often overlooked. The truth is that while some mementos and sentimental items may be very valuable to you, the people that you want to give them to at your death may not need or want them. Who, then, will get your remaining property and possessions if no one wants them?...

Reviewing Your Accounts and Property upon the Death of a Loved One

Posted on: February 20th, 2021
How your accounts are owned makes a big difference in estate planning. The main objective is usually to ensure that no accounts and property are in only your name when you die. Otherwise, they will be subject to probate, a costly, public, and time-consuming court process that many people prefer to avoid. Therefore, it is important that you review your accounts and beneficiary designations to be sure that the death of your loved one has not compromised your previously established plan....
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