The IRS Took Half of Tony Soprano’s Estate: Don’t Fall into the Same Trap!

Gabriel Katzner - February 8, 2016 - Image

Actor and producer, James Gandolfini was famously known as the likeable mafia man Tony Soprano on the long running cable television series, The Sopranos. On the show, family meant everything. Well, sort of, anyway. In real life, Gandolfini’s family really did mean everything and he had the best intentions when it came to providing for […]

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What’s Hot in Estate Planning Right Now May Surprise You

Gabriel Katzner - February 4, 2016 - Image

Estate planning has truly evolved over the past 20 years.  Gone is the uncertainty about federal estate taxes and the absolute requirement for married couples to use complex trusts to minimize these taxes.  But also gone is planning for the “traditional” family.  In fact, today estate planning is more complicated than ever before. Estate Planning […]

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James Brown’s “Vague” Estate Plan Forced Family into Years of Litigation

Gabriel Katzner - February 2, 2016 - Image

James Brown, the legendary singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and bandleader was known to many as the “Godfather of Soul.” Although he intended his estimated $100 million estate to provide for all of his children and grandchildren, his intentions were somewhat vague.  This forced his family into years of litigation which ended up in the […]

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Michael Jackson’s Estate Liable For $200M in Taxes Due to Unfunded Trust

Gabriel Katzner - - Image

Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” had always been a controversial superstar. Over the years, he became the father of three children, Prince Michael Jackson II, Paris-Michael Katherine Jackson, and Michael Joseph Jackson, Jr. While Jackson created a revocable living trust to care for his children and other family and friends, he never actually funded […]

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Teaching a Guardian How to Raise Your Children

Gabriel Katzner - - Image

As parents we know that every child is different. Siblings have different likes and dislikes, hopes and dreams, fears and concerns. It’s sometimes a wonder that they came from the same parents! I remember the day my wife and I took our son Owen home from the hospital. After a short nap he woke up […]

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Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

Gabriel Katzner - February 1, 2016 - Image

While many wines get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts.  Maybe you’re the beneficiary of trust created by your great grandfather over seventy years ago that no longer makes sense.  Or maybe you created an irrevocable trust over twenty years ago that no longer makes sense.  Is there any […]

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Skyrocketing Probate Fees – Another Reason to Avoid Probate Court

Gabriel Katzner - January 29, 2016 - Image

As of July 1, 2015, Connecticut probate courts earned the dubious distinction of charging the highest probate fees in the U.S.  Amazingly, the Connecticut legislature voted to completely cut general fund support for the state’s probate courts for the next two fiscal years, thereby creating a $32 million deficit.  In order to cover the shortfall, […]

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What if Treating Your Children Fairly Means Unequal Inheritances?

Gabriel Katzner - January 26, 2016 - Image

When planning their estate, most parents express the desire to treat their children equally out of a sense of fairness.  However, sometimes being fair or doing what’s right by your children may not mean equal or the same inheritances. The Key Takeaways  Treating children fairly does not always mean equal inheritances. How and when each […]

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Dennis Hopper Saves Heirs with Last Minute Estate Plan Changes

Gabriel Katzner - - Image

Dennis Hopper, known for his role in Easy Rider, wanted to leave his fortune to his family.  Well, not everyone in his family. Hopper made numerous estate planning changes in the last months of his life. His goal? To make sure his heirs shared his approximately $40 million in wealth and that his fifth, and […]

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