Thomas H. Sullivan

Attorney at Law


When Should You Consider a Qualified Personal Residence Trust

Posted on: December 8th, 2021
Americans have enjoyed historically high estate tax exemption rates for most of the last twenty years. Such high exemption amounts have kept many of them from needing to seek out more advanced estate planning strategies to avoid estate taxes, which have been as high as 60 percent during those same years. However, it is uncertain what the estate tax exemption amounts and rates will be in the future. ...

Are Family Limited Partnerships under Attack?

Posted on: November 26th, 2021
A popular estate planning tool that has long been used effectively may be facing new challenges under the current administration in Washington, DC. The family limited partnership (FLP) is an estate planning tool that allows families not only to transfer significant amounts of their wealth to succeeding generations while reducing estate, gift, and income tax liabilities but also to achieve several other important estate planning goals....

What Is HEMS and Why Is It Included in So Many Trusts?

Posted on: November 4th, 2021
In the world of estate planning, you may come across the acronym HEMS from time to time. HEMS stands for “health, education, maintenance, or support” and is frequently included in trust agreements to guide a trustee on the types of distributions they may make to a trust beneficiary. When a trustee is limited to this type of distribution standard, often called an ascertainable standard, they must ensure that whatever they distribute to the beneficiaries falls within one of the four categories. Failure to do so can have a variety of negative results, including tax consequences and loss of asset protection....

Why You Might Want to Go through Probate

Posted on: October 15th, 2021
Avoiding probate is a common goal for individuals deciding how they want their money and property to be handled when they pass. It is a worthy one and is regularly promoted by estate planning attorneys across the nation. However, probate is not an inherently bad process and does not always need to be avoided....

Why Singles Should Worry about Estate Planning

Posted on: September 23rd, 2021
As a single individual, you may feel overwhelmed when you think about who will step in and make decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself and who will receive your money and property when you die. You may consider your parents or siblings, but depending on whether they are living and the nature of your relationship, they may not be an option. Having an estate plan is important to ensure that your wishes are carried out during your life and after your death. If such worries are preventing you from completing your estate plan, we are here to help you....

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."...
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