Steven L. Friedman

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Last week, Aretha Franklin passed away at 76 due to advanced pancreatic cancer. This week, reports have been coming in claiming that the Queen of Soul had died without a Will or Trust. According to her long-standing attorney, Don Wilson, he had requested that she establish a trust numerous times, but she never got around to creating one. Unfortunately, Aretha Franklin is far from the first notable individual to pass without establishing a Will
What would you do if you won the lottery? That is the big question we ask ourselves as the anticipation builds for the $1.5 billion Powerball drawing. After all, there’s nothing wrong with imagining what we would do if we held a winning lottery ticket or hit the jackpot in a casino. But for the winners, there are some real concerns. Most importantly is how to protect your asset – the winning ticket. The jackpot…
That well-worn adage may seem trite and arcane, but strict adherence to technical requirements is critical in Medicaid planning.  Since federal and state budget deficits are now the rule, rather than the exception, it is not surprising to see Courts stretch to find technicalities that can be used to deny eligibility for Medicaid benefits.  A prime example occurred this past summer, when the Massachusetts Court of Appeals disqualified a widow for Medicaid benefits because of…
We’re just a few days away from witnessing something that was never supposed to be.  I have always cautioned client against expecting tax law to be logical.  In many areas of the law, the correct answer is the one that makes the most sense.  But tax law is driven by politics, not by common sense.   Even so, in more than 30 years of practicing law, I have never seen anything as absurd as what…
If Benjamin Franklin were still alive, his oft-quoted statement would likely have been: “In this world nothing is certain but death, taxes, and politics.”  The estate tax changes in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 stand as a testament to the absurd results made possible when politicians are permitted to write tax law.  Tax law that are dictated by political agenda hurt everyone. Although the 2001 changes altered the structure of…