Back in December 2010 there was a much reported flurry of work done on changes to the US Tax laws. One of the big changes was to increase the amount an individuals could pass free of estate or gift (“transfer”) taxes. The changes made it possible to pass during $5,000,000 you life or at death (or combination thereof) without paying either of the transfer taxes. This “exemption amount” was substantially more than in prior years. (The amount is adjusted for inflation and is $5,120,000 for 2012.) Additionally, the then new law made it possible for spouses to share this amount so that a surviving spouse could use any unused portion of a predeceased spouses $5,000,000.
Minimizing Exposure in the Landlord/Tenant Relationship
While there is no full-proof way of eliminating exposure to problems or difficulties with tenants, there are a few that one should keep in mind:
A battle now rages in our own United States District Court for the Western District of New York to defend the precious right to free speech that is once again being attacked. It is in the context of religious expression, also protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. Take Notice: The case of Owen v. City of Buffalo is nothing less than a test of strength of the guarantee to the people that we may speak freely and responsibly without fear of arrest.
The importance of a lease
There is nothing that can provide more benefit to the landlord/tenant relationship than a written lease. In the residential setting, a plain language lease helps greatly in outlining the rights and responsibilities of either party. The law requires that leases be in clear language (which is different than rules regarding commercial leases). Many people use pre-printed forms or forms found on the internet, but it is important, especially for the landlord, to have those forms reviewed by an attorney make sure that the following issues are addressed thoroughly:
We are saddened to announce that our office lost a brilliant legal mind and tireless advocate in Steven Bachmann Dietz recently.
Durable Power of Attorney: A Durable Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you appoint an agent to assist you with handling your financial affairs and to make financial decisions on your behalf during your lifetime, either for convenience or in the event you become incompetent or disabled. A Durable Power of Attorney can help avoid the necessity of a costly and protracted guardianship proceeding. A Durable Power of Attorney remains in full effect throughout your lifetime and terminates only upon your death or revocation.
Searching through hundreds of listings on your iPhone or your realtor’s website to find the perfect home is a time-consuming process. Once you find the perfect red-brick, 4-bed, 2-bath cape on the quiet, tree-lined sidestreet around the corner from your favorite café, the work isn’t over. I’m not just referring to the seemingly endless stack of papers you’ll be asked to read (ha!), sign, and initial. I’m not talking about the enjoyable and gratifying job of packing up every single item you own into those little cardboard banker boxes you swiped from the copy room at the office. You’ve negotiated the price, you’ve secured a lender, and now comes the infamous property inspection. That’s where the old adage “Buyer Beware” comes into play.
As April 17, 2012 approaches; tax day for the 2011 Individual Income Tax, the question becomes, “file or don’t file my return?” Setting aside tax protest issues – sternly addressed by courts, this question often arises when a taxpayer does not have the money to pay their tax bill. This inability to pay is never acceptable to the IRS as “reasonable cause” not to file your return.
With celebrity marriages getting shorter and shorter, especially with the news that Kim Kardashian and Kris Humphries were calling it quits after only 72 days of wedded bliss, clients often ask whether their “short” marriage can be annulled.
The news is full of talk about President Obama wanting to repeal “The Bush Tax Cuts” for the wealthy. Also, the compromise tax law that passed at the end of 2010 is scheduled to expire or “sunset” on December 31 of this year – sort of automatically repealing the tax cuts for everyone. But what are the tax cuts? How will the changes look basically? That is the key.