News & Resources

Monthly Archives: November 2018

Tue, Nov 6, 2018| | Articles

Protecting your family’s legacy: It’s not just the rich and famous that have to worry

Sometimes there are lessons to be learned from constant media coverage of the lives of famous people.  The recent loss of two cherished musicians offer cautionary tales about the dangers of failing to plan for our families to thrive after we are gone. First, there is the tragic case of the American musician, record producer and filmmaker, Prince Rogers Nelson – better known as Prince.  Prince died unexpectedly on April 21, 2016, at the age of 57, with no surviving spouse, children or grandchildren.  Prince also had no will, trust, or other estate planning documents to provide for the disposition of his vast estate, comprised of millions of dollars in real estate, stock, cars, and intellectual property (including unreleased recordings.) Prince’s legacy included a multi-million estate. Prince died in 2016. (Photo: USA TODAY files)  Prince’s sister and his five half-siblings are the likely beneficiaries of Prince’s estate.  Because Prince failed to prepare any Estate Planning documents, the administration of his estate through the courts may take several years and result in substantial attorneys’ fees, taxes, and other costs which could have been largely avoided.  One recent article estimates fees of over $5 million paid to date, even though no funds have been distributed to the estate beneficiaries.  Additionally, Prince’s legacy may be left in the hands of unintended individuals who cannot agree about the best way to preserve and respect the entertainer so many adored. Similarly, the passing of the civil rights activist and music legend, Aretha Franklin, the undisputed “Queen […]

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Mon, Nov 5, 2018| | Blog

How to Avoid IRS Scrutiny of Family Run Foundations – Melbourne, FL, Vero Beach, FL

It makes sense to have family members at the helm of charitable family foundations. After all, who knows better what the family members intended? The IRS doesn’t see it that way. To avoid IRS scrutiny, here are some common pitfalls to keep in mind. Ensuring that the goals of the family foundation are met is one of the reasons that family members are often put in charge of the family foundation. Children or siblings of the deceased are usually appointed to run these foundations, with the hopes that they know better than anyone unrelated to the family how to achieve and maintain the values and goals of the foundation. This “keep-it-in-the-family” approach may not be the best in every family. The New York Times, in “When Family Members Run Foundations, Scrutiny Never Ends,” identifies some of the potential pitfalls awaiting unwary family members when running a family foundation. A few of the potential problems detailed in the article are: Compensation – Family members who are paid to work for the foundation must be paid a salary that would be ordinary and reasonable for non-family members working in the same positions in similar organizations. Travel Expenses – Family members who travel on foundation business can be compensated for their expenses. However, they cannot bring other people with them and charge the foundation for their expenses too. For example, the children cannot be taken along and their expenses may not be charged to the foundation. Self-Dealing – One of the biggest ways […]

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