MY JULY ESTATE PLANNING LAW REPORT REVISITS COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT TAXATION OF INHERITANCES
You didn’t include the birthday check from your grandmother on your income tax return, so why would you have to include the money you receive from her estate? That question and a few others are answered in my latest Estate Planning Law Report. You’ll find it in the same place where it’s posted every month: in the publications section at deconcinimcdonald.com.
Your comments are welcome, as always.
I WAS WRONG ABOUT ONE FACT CONCERNING CHARILE GARD, BUT THE WHOLE SITUATION IS STILL APPALLING
Apparently, contrary to what I said in my previous post, Charlie Gard is still alive. I apologize for the error.
There’s been one additional development that reinforces my feelings about the whole situation. The infant’s parents have now not only been denied the opportunity to bring him to the United States for treatment. Their request to take him home before he dies has also been denied.
Let me emphasize that bringing the infant to the United States would have been funded by the parents, and that the request to take the infant home was made after all treatment options had been ruled out.
Absent a demonstrable failure by the parents to act in their child’s best interest, which has not even been suggested as far as I know, state action depriving the parents of their right to make decisions about their child’s care is inexcusable. I know I’m not the only one who thinks so.
End of life care is a subject I have addressed before, most recently in my June, 2017, Estate Planning Law Report. Charlie Gard was an infant born in England who died recently after living for only a few months. The case attracted international attention when a court in the United Kingdom denied the child’s parents the opportunity to seek experimental treatment for Charlie in the United States. It’s a difficult situation with no easy answers, and I know this is controversial, but I found it pretty appalling that a court would deny the child’s parents the opportunity to seek experimental treatment for him at their own expense. There’s a brief commentary at The American Interest that sums it up pretty well.
If you are concerned about who will have the ability to make decisions for you, consider a health care power of attorney.
It’s an entertaining story: Alice Cooper recently discovered that he has an Andy Warhol silkscreen that’s been in storage for decades. Alice’s girlfriend bought the picture from Warhol in 1972.
Alice is generally entertaining, if you ask me. Have you heard his radio show?
I’m not even sure what “net neutrality” is. All I really care about is what effect it would actually have on me as someone who uses a high speed connection for work, and occasionally streams video and surfs the web. I don’t know if it would be good or bad for me, but I suspect that it’s more likely to benefit the people pushing it than the people it would supposedly protect. This post at Coyote Blog seems to confirm my suspicion.
A FREE SO-CALLED ROBOT LAWYER CAN HELP YOU “TACKLE LEGAL ISSUES,” BUT IS THE SERVICE WORTH ANY MORE THAN WHAT YOU PAY FOR IT?
Anything that helps people find information about their legal problems is fine with me. But equating an internet search engine with a lawyer is like calling the robotic arms on a garbage truck (you know, the ones that pick up the can, dump it in the truck, and put it back down) a surgeon.
People who obviously have their own motives keep coming up with these technologies and claiming that their ideas will, eventually, replace lawyers. I think the obvious comparison to the practice of medicine demonstrates the absurdity of those claims. When you’re ready to have a robot do your brain surgery, let me know.
ANOTHER ARIZONA MUNICIPALITY FINDS ITSELF IN A MESS AS A RESULT OF DABBLING IN REAL ESTATE
This one isn’t anywhere close to the magnitude of the Phoenix hotel mess that I wrote about recently, and it’s probably not as bad as the newspaper article makes it sound, but it still could be a mess. I hope the City of Tempe has lawyers who know enough to get good indemnity agreements and bonds from private parties who build commercial projects on city-owned property. That’s a way for the city to protect itself against what happened here, where contractors are claiming that the project developer hasn’t paid them for work they did on the project.
That reminds me of a truism that I heard once: an indemnity is only as good as the financial statement of the party giving it. That means that if someone promises you that they will cover the cost if something they do results in a claim against you, you better make sure that they have the financial strength to make good on that promise. That’s why there are indemnity bonds.
And what’s an indemnity bond? Here’s how I describe it to clients in the context of someone acting as a fiduciary: it’s an insurance policy against you absconding with the money that’s being entrusted to you. In the construction context, it’s an insurance policy against you causing a me a liability that you can’t satisfy.
PROPERTY OWNER SPENT $350 MILLION TO BUILD PROJECT, STILL OWES $306 MILLION ON IT, IS CONSIDERING SELLING IT FOR $255 MILLION – THAT DOESN’T SOUND LIKE A GOOD DEAL
Read about the potential sale of the largest hotel in Arizona, here.
Debt on the property exceeds the value of the property by $51 million? That's what you call being upside down.
Did I mention that the owner of the project is the City of Phoenix? Thanks, taxpayers!
IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THAT A DISPUTE ABOUT A GARAGE LASTED FOR OVER SIX YEARS AND WENT ALL THE WAY TO THE STATE SUPREME COURT
Maybe it’s not that hard to believe, actually, but it sure seems excessive that a homeowner in Sussex County, Delaware, had to spend six years defending against efforts by his neighbors to force him to tear down his garage. According to the news accounts, county officials said the garage is permitted by the local regulations, and the homeowner’s activities did not violate any regulations or require any governmental approval.
It sounds like the dispute also involved some contention over a shared driveway, but the news accounts predictably gloss over that aspect, since it was undoubtedly more complicated than the presence and use of the garage. Nevertheless, it took more than six years and a trip to the state supreme court to resolve a dispute over a garage and a shared driveway? That seems particularly ridiculous in light of the facts that, according to the news accounts, it sounds like the home sites of the parties involved are each more than one acre in size (a five acre parcel was split into four pieces), and the home of one of the complainers is 800 feet from the garage. 800 feet is a long way.
THIS POST HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING EXCEPT THAT I’M A FAN OF WAFFLE HOUSE
I wasn’t sure if I should link to this item posted on the Foundation for Economic Education site, but I decided to do it for the sole reason that I am a fan of Waffle House. The portrayal of Waffle House in the item may not be completely positive, but I think it is more positive than not.
I have never been afraid of getting poisoned, or otherwise injured, at Waffle House. I also like the idea that the company prides itself on being able to operate even in the immediate aftermath of natural disasters, when other restaurants cannot. You will see that mentioned in the item at the FEE site. I first read about it in an article published in The Wall Street Journal several months ago. That’s a testament to their supply chain management.
Most important, you can get a pretty good breakfast at Waffle House any time of the day or night. The disk of hash browns that you get with the eggs is excellent. Breakfast at Waffle House may not be as good as Village Inn’s V.I.B., but it’s cheaper, and Village Inn isn’t open all night.
The contents of this blog, this web site, and any writings by me that are linked here, are all my personal commentary. None of it is intended to be legal advice for your situation.