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Michigan Veteran’s Benefit Law Update: Agent Orange

April 29, 2010

Filed under: Michigan Veterans Benefits — Christopher J. Berry @ 9:55 pm

Did you know that the Veterans Administration has now updated its Agent Orange Claims process? This is exciting, because it is one of the first times that the Veteran Affairs Department has attempted to automate its process.

As a Michigan Veterans Benefits lawyer, we see that the VA claims process is suffering from a bit of backlog, any type of automation in the process can only help to speed up the claims process for our Michigan veterans.

You can read the full story at the FederalTimes.com.

Estate Tax Jackpot

April 19, 2010

Filed under: Estate Planning,Federal Estate Tax — Christopher J. Berry @ 9:56 pm

The death of the 74th richest person in the world occurred on March 28th. Dan Duncan’s estate has been valued at $9 billion. Had Mr. Duncan passed away in 2009, theoretically, his estate could have generated $4 billion in estate taxes for the IRS. However, with the way the law works, in 2010, there is no estate tax.

Mr. Duncan is the first billionaire to pass away in this year without an estate tax. The Trust Advisor Blog has a great article on the topic. The bottom line is that a revenue strapped Congress may follow through on their 2009 threats of passing a retroactive tax bill that would reinstate the estate tax (which comes back in full force in 2011).

You can read the Trust Advisor Blog at: Billionaire’s Heirs First to Win 2010 Estate Tax Jackpot.

A Great Way to Disinherit Your Children is By Utilizing “Do-It-Yourself” Estate Planning

April 15, 2010

Filed under: Do It Yourself Estate Planning Gone Wrong — Christopher J. Berry @ 9:58 pm

Texas Wills and Trusts Lawyer Rania Combs has a great blog post entitled “Do-It-Yourself Estate Planning Mistake Disinherits Child.“  This post is just another example of one of the risks of “Do-It-Yourself” estate planning gone wrong.  The post came at an interesting time, as it seems our law office has more estate planning situations with children from previous marriages right now then before.  Do yourself a favor and take a moment to read Rania’s blog.


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