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Fundamentals of Guardianship in Nevada

In our legal practice, we are often asked basic questions about guardianship in Nevada.  Here are some answers to these fundamental guardianship questions: Are issues relating to persons who lack capacity dealt with in a special Court or as part of the general Court system?  In Nevada issues of competency or lack of capacity are addressed in the District Court, which is the court of general jurisdiction where the incapacitated individual resides.  Depending on the population of the county of residence, the District Court may have a Family Court Division.  Additionally, such family courts may have a specific Guardianship Court wherein...

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Go for the Gold – Taxation of Olympic Prizes

[caption id="attachment_1024" align="alignleft" width="272"] Olympic Medals[/caption] The Weekly Standard recently posted an article on the tax liability associated with earning Olympic medals. As reported in the article, "Americans who win bronze will pay a $2 tax on the medal itself. But the bronze comes with a modest prize—$10,000 as an honorarium for devoting your entire life to being the third best athlete on the planet in your chosen discipline. And the IRS will take $3,500 of that, thank you very much. There are also prizes that accompany each medal: $25,000 for gold, $15,000 for silver, and $10,000 for bronze.  Silver medalists will owe $5,385.  You...

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The American Flag

  A visitor from Holland was chatting with his American friend and was jokingly explaining about the red, white and blue in the Netherlands flag. "Our flag symbolizes our taxes," he said.  "We get red when we talk about them, white when we get our tax bill, and blue after we pay them." "That's the same with us," the American said, "only we see stars, too." Sadly this resonates today more than the original-thirteen-colonies explanation....

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Windsor v. U.S.: Married Same-Sex Couples Can Take Advantage of Marital Deduction for Estate Tax

The United States District Court for the Southern District of New York has ruled that legally married same-sex couples can take advantage of the estate tax marital deduction. Windsor v. U.S., 109 AFTR 2d 2012-870 (DC N.Y. 6/6/2012). In this case, the taxpayer’s claim was essentially that the definition of marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) violated the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution. The court found the DOMA definition unconstitutional under the “rational basis” standard of review which requires that laws have a rational basis for any of their classifications. The court determined that the rationale of protecting...

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Obama’s New IDGT Proposal

By Attorney David M. Grant President Obama’s administration has recently proposed a change to the federal income and estate tax laws that would make the use of the Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (“IDGT”) strategy essentially useless.  Important elements of the administration’s IDGT proposal can be found here. As a summary of the key features of the proposal, it would: Include the assets of  an IDGT in the gross estate of the grantor for estate tax purposes; Subject to gift tax any distribution from the IDGT to one or more beneficiaries during the grantor’s life; and Subject to gift tax the remaining IDGT...

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Facebook Founder Renounces U.S. Citizenship, Saves Taxes

By Attorney David M. Grant It was announced on Bloomberg.com earlier this week that one of Facebook's founders, Eduardo Saverin, renounced his US citizenship last September.  The article is very good at explaining Mr. Saverin's savings as related to the capital gains tax, but fails altogether to point out his huge potential transfer tax savings as related to the Gift Tax, Generations Skipping Transfer (GST) Tax, and Estate Tax. While he undoubtedly paid the "exit" tax or the expatriation tax (see the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008), all future growth and appreciation in Saverin's estate will no longer be subject to...

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3rd Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings Chart Released

The 3rd Annual Domestic Asset Protection Trust State Rankings Chart has been released!  The rankings and information is compiled by our colleague, Steve Oshins of the Law Firm of Oshins & Associates, and is herein used with his permission.  It can be accessed here on our website. Please know that for the first time since the chart was originally created, it now assigns numerical rankings to each DAPT state. Also, the approximate weights assigned to each variable are listed.  However, please note that in the interests of impartiality, since Nevada is the only state (of the top eight states per the rankings) that...

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Top Ten Common Estate Mistakes

By Bob Morris and David Grant “Poor Man’s” estate plan.  Do-it-yourself estate plans can create more problems than they solve.  Many well-intentioned people will title assets jointly with a spouse, friend, or child, not understanding the significant legal ramifications.  Others will name a “Pay on Death” (“POD” or “TOD,” as they are sometimes called) beneficiary and consider their estate planning complete, while not planning for very real risks and contingencies. Failure to plan for significant others.  Domestic partners and others who cohabitate and live together do not share the same legal rights as married couples with regard to inheritances, health...

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Probate Question: Am I responsible for my half sister’s debts after she passed away?

By: Mark L. Dodds, Esq., Partner at Grant Morris Doddsdebts

Question: Am I responsible for my half sister’s debts after she passed away?

Question Detail: My father is trying to get me to renounce my rights in favor of him regarding a half sister I have not seen in twenty years; he says I will be responsible for her debts if I do not sign the papers. Is this a fact? Am I responsible for someone else’s debts since she has passed away?

Answer: The fact that your father is  trying  to scare you into giving him an interest in your half-sister’s estate suggests to me that there must be some reason why he wants to get control of this estate, that reason most likely being that the value of her estate exceeds the debts of her estate. There is no reasonable scenario that I can think of where it may be possible that your father is trying to do you a favor; instead, it is likely he is trying to scare you into giving up a valuable inheritance.

In the first place, a person’s death cannot cause you to ever be liable for the debts of the one who died unless you were already a co-signer with the decedent on a debt. Furthermore, your act of accepting or rejecting your rights in the decedent’s estate will have absolutely no effect on your liability for any such debts. Since you have not seen your half-sister for 20 years, it is virtually certain that you are not a co-debtor on any of her debts, so you will incur no risk of liability in refusing to release your interest in her estate. And if it should be that the value of her estate is sufficient to cover any of your half-sister’s debts, then you will be entitled to your share of the estate after those debts are paid.

Back Door Tax Hike–Bad for Nevada Business

On Thursday of last week the interim Legislative Subcommittee on Regulations approved a rule that now requires limited liability companies (LLCs) to pay an annual $200 business license tax, which is assessed and collected by the Nevada Secretary of State. This new regulation prevents LLCs from claiming an exemption to the tax for home-based businesses that earn less than $27,000 per year. Nevada Secretary of State, Ross Miller, sought the rule because he says hundreds of LLCs wrongly claim the exemption. The new regulation will cost businesses an estimated $10 million per year, and that does not touch upon the significant loss of new...

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