Rosemary D. Durkin

Latest Articles

Benjamin Franklin once famously said that, “In this world nothing can be said to be certain except death and taxes.” President Trump’s recent tax reform proposal is the administration’s attempt to alleviate one of these certainties of life. President Trump’s proposal, which was released on Sept. 27, contained the following changes for individual taxpayers:…
In the wake of Hurricane Harvey and the incredible devastation wrought across the State of Texas, many Americans want to do what they can to help. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous individuals who will seek to personally profit from the generosity of their neighbors. The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that over $20 million was lost to charity scammers after Hurricane Katrina, and this disaster has the potential to cause just as much harm. The…
I was recently contacted by a fraternal organization regarding an estate that I represented. The decedent, who was in his 80’s when he died, had an insurance policy through the organization that had been issued when he was 16! His parents were the named beneficiaries. The estate is able to collect the insurance proceeds since the beneficiaries had predeceased the decedent. But how much easier would everything have been, and possibly more aligned with the…
If someone were to die without having a will in place, a common misconception that is often times mentioned is that the deceased’s assets are turned over to the State. This is completely false. Instead, state law determines who will receive the deceased’s property. Each state has a statute (the intestacy statute) that provides who the people are that are the closest relatives to the deceased, and those relative receive the deceased’s estate.   New…
Under the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA), the federal estate tax was repealed for 2010.  This repeal, however, is only effective through December 31, 2010.  The federal estate tax returns in 2011, at the rates and exemptions in effect in 2001 when EGTRRA was effective.     Although bills were introduced in Congress in 2009 to repeal the repeal, possibly to retain the $3.5 million estate tax exemption and 45% maximum…
Estate planning is important for everyone: most people would prefer to make their own decisions as to who will be in charge if they become disabled, and to make the decision as to who receives their property at death. If a person does not plan ahead, each state has laws that favor persons who will be in charge if that person becomes disabled. And, each state has laws that control who will inherit if a…