Blog – “Altman Speaks”

Clinton vs. Trump: Comparing Their Estate Tax Policies

Monday night’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump showcased just a handful of the extreme policy differences between the two candidates.  Of course, as estate planners, we are obviously keeping an eye on the candidates’ positions as it pertains to taxes, especially the estate tax.  Here is the latest information we could find on their positions on […]

Buying a Will is Not like Buying a Toaster

I often get this asked this question:  “My wife and I need Wills and other documents.  How much does it cost and can you draft them quickly so we can just come in and sign?” Part of my job is to explain to clients that estate planning is not a product. Buying estate planning is […]

Changes to Virginia’s Elective Share Law Imminent

Changes to Virginia’s Elective Share Law Imminent Understand the changes before they go into effect Virginia’s elective share law allows a surviving spouse to make a claim on their spouse’s estate if they are not satisfied with what was left to them through the will. The current law allows the surviving spouse to claim one-third […]

When Celebrities Fail to Plan (It Happens All Too Often)

As we have written about in the past, many celebrities die without an estate plan, and sometimes even without a simple Will.  It appears that, like Barry White, Jimi Hendrix, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain, and many others, Prince died without a Will and without any plan for who is going to control his […]

This Labor Day weekend is especially meaningful for us as here Altman & Associates as we are also celebrating a very exciting milestone!!! It is with great pride that I announce that yesterday marked our firm’s 20th year in business! We are so grateful to our clients, friends, family and, of course, the incredible Altman […]

Art Heists: The Importance of Due Diligence for Art Collectors and Enthusiasts

Do you own artwork?  Have you transferred it into your Revocable Trust?  Mentioned it in your Last Will and Testament?  Great!  But, you may need to do more! Art heists make for unbelievable stories;  In 2004, thieves stole the Edvard Munch Scream and Madonna  from the Norwegian Munch Museum.  In 2010, Van Gogh’s Poppy Flowers was taken […]

Treasury Proposing New Regulations on Minority Discounts in Family Controlled Entities

The Treasury has issued proposed regulations under Internal Revenue Code Section 2704 that would result in significant changes to the valuation of interests in many family-controlled entities for estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax purposes. If adopted, they would eliminate almost all minority (lack of control) discounts for closely held entity interests, including active businesses, owned […]

Limiting Liability When Serving as a Personal Representative (Executor)

Family members are often appointed to serve as the Personal Representative (or Executor) of a loved one’s estate. This role can be extremely challenging, especially in instances where its discovered that the person’s financial affairs are in disarray. One all-too-common scenario, for example, is finding out that the loved one failed to file taxes for years leading up to their death.  What […]

Digital Asset Planning: Who Will Care for Your Pokémon When You’re Gone?

If you’ve been outside at all this week, there’s a good chance you’ve noticed plenty of people (adults, not just children!) wandering around while staring down at their phones.  Indeed, the new Pokémon Go craze has turned neighborhoods around the world into scenes from a zombie apocalypse movie.  Sure, it seems like fun, but it’s risky to walk the […]