Estate Planning

Estate Planning | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath | Dallas, TX

► Capacity to sign

Different legal actions require different levels of mental capacity to be valid.  For example, the level of mental capacity required to sign a will, referred to as “testamentary capacity,” is lower than the level of capacity required to sign a contract, called “contractual capacity.” The various standards are discussed below. Capacity to Sign a Will […]

FBAR deadline is April 18

The annual due date for filing Reports of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts (FBAR) for foreign financial accounts has been changed from June 30 of each year to April 15.  This date change was mandated by the Surface Transportation and Veterans Health Care Choice Improvement Act of 2015, Public Law 114-41 (the Act).  Section 2006(b)(11) of […]

Digital Assets in Estate Planning

Digital asset planning

As technology advances over time, the average person owns more and more digital assets. The definition of digital assets is very broad and includes intangible assets ranging from online accounts, such as bank accounts, email accounts, and social media, to digital files stored on a computer or in the cloud.  Traditional estate planning tools have […]

Christian Kelso | Farrow-GIllespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

It’s time to make your 663(b) trust and estate distributions!

Trusts and estates often pay more tax than individuals in like circumstances.  This is not because they are taxed at higher rates, but rather because the same rates applicable to individuals are “compressed,” meaning that each marginal rate increase happens at a lower level of income than it does for individuals.  For example, the highest […]

Family Governance Arrangements: Putting the SUCCESS into succession planning

By Christian Kelso June 4, 2016 Family Governance Arrangements: Putting the SUCCESS into succession planning By Christian S. Kelso, Esq. It is a little known fact among us mere mortals, but the über-rich have a trick for both keeping the peace in their families and preserving their vast fortunes. They engage in something called family […]

Estate Planning | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Do I Need a Will?

One of the most common misunderstandings about estate planning is the belief that it is only for the wealthy. Anyone who owns property of any kind has an estate. Basic estate planning is an important component of an organized and responsible life, whether or not your estate is large enough to be subject to federal […]

Angela Hunt Assists Aldredge House to Keep Doors OPen

Forming a 501c3: The “Texas Three-Step”

Individuals and families may establish a 501c3 tax-exempt charitable organization to accomplish substantive philanthropy while receiving very favorable tax treatment. The degree of maintenance such an organization requires depends whether the organization can be classified as a public charity or is instead a private or family foundation. Either way, forming a 501c3 is a three-step process. Step One: […]

Jennifer Lewis | Farrow-Gillespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

What do “basic” estate planning documents include?

Even if an estate is not large enough to be subject to the Federal Estate Tax — and most are not — estate planning is a component of an organized and responsible life. Good estate planning enables a person to transfer his or her property at death in the fastest, easiest, least expensive manner possible; […]

Liza Farrow-GIllespie | Farrow-GIllespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

Power of attorney liability

A person (“agent”) holding a power of attorney for another person (the “principal”) must act with the utmost degree of loyalty to the principal.  The agent must avoid being involved in any transaction which benefits, or even which potentially benefits, the agent. That rule of law was enforced once again in 2015 by the Texas […]

Liza Farrow-GIllespie | Farrow-GIllespie & Heath LLP | Dallas, TX

New simpler 501c3 application for small charities

In July 2014, the Internal Revenue Service introduced a new, shorter application form to help small charities apply for 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status more easily. The new Form 1023-EZ is three pages long, compared with the standard 26-page Form 1023. Most small organizations, including as many as 70 percent of all applicants, qualify to use the […]