Thomas H. Sullivan
Attorney at Law
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."...
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....
Make Gifts That Your Family Will Love but the IRS Won't Tax
Posted on: July 25th, 2021
Do not let constant political and financial speculation prevent you from making tax-free annual exclusion, medical-payment, and educational gifts to or for the benefit of your loved ones....
Why Is My Trust So Long?
Posted on: June 3rd, 2021
When you met with an attorney a few weeks ago, perhaps all you expected was a simple will. Maybe you thought that, with your situation, the work should be easy and the documents should be few. But now that you have finished working with the attorney, your parting gift is a large binder filled with hundreds of pages. You may be wondering, “Why is my trust so long?”...
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)....