Wharton Firefighter Death Causes Fight Over Assets

Posted on July 26th, 2010 No Comments

Nikki Araguz’s husband, Thomas Araguz, was a Wharton firefighter. She was a man. According to My Fox Houston, Araguz died “just months after his family said he learned his wife was actually born a man.” Upon this revelation, Mr. Araguz wanted a divorce.

His mother has already filed to have her son’s marriage declared null and void.

His family continues the fight over his death benefits. Nikki Araguz claims the money is hers. Mr. Araguz’s sons from his first marriage claim it is theirs. Currently, Nikki Araguz has possession of the money, but a judge recently ordered the money turned over to the court until the matter is sorted out.

Death is hard enough on a family, but sometimes that is only the beginning. If you or someone you know is dealing with a contested will, contact your experienced Houston Contested Wills Attorneys at Garg & Associates, PC, by dialing 281-362-2865.

Estate Tax Back on Senate's Radar

Posted on July 20th, 2010 No Comments

According to the Associated Press, “The federal estate tax would be revived, but at a reduced rate, under a plan being pushed by two senators, a Democrat and a Republican.” The senators, Arkansas Democrat Blanche Lincoln and Arizona Republican Jon Kyl, want to reinstate the estate tax, but at a lower rate than the one in 2009.

Their proposed rate is 35 percent, with an exemption for up to $5 million. 2009’s rate was significantly higher with a tax on 45 percent, and an exemption of only $3.5 million.

This rate would not only be a significant break from last year’s but a huge savings from the proposed rate for 2011. Congress was unable to agree on the estate tax, so it expired in 2010. It is set to come back in 2011 at a rate of 55 percent.

The two senators plan to attach their changes to a small business lending bill. The Senate is expected to look at this bill next week.

Estate planning is not to be taken lightly, especially when it affects the livelihoods of your loved ones. If you need help planning your estate, contact an experienced Houston estate planning attorney at Garg & Associates, P.C., by dialing 281-362-2865.

A Money-Saving Time of Death for Steinbrenner's Family

Posted on July 15th, 2010 No Comments

The New York Post reports that, if there were a perfect time for the death, this year was it for George Steinbrenner. The year of 2010 is a fluke in that Congress failed to address estate tax issues, so there is no estate tax for the entire year. This makes it the year for America’s wealthiest to die, in order for their family to receive the most inheritance.

According to The Post, Steinbrenner’s net worth is estimated around $1 billion. With next year’s 55 percent estate tax, the family would have had to sell around $500 million, probably requiring them to give up the Yankees.

Another well-timed death was executed by a Houston man. According to The NY Post, “Houston tycoon Dan Duncan, a self-made mogul…died at 77 after building one of the country’s largest energy-service companies.” His net worth was around $8 billion, meaning his 2010 death saved his family around $4 billion.

If you or someone you know need help planning an estate, contact the trustworthy Houston estate planning lawyers at Garg & Associates by dialing 281-362-2865.

2010: The Year to Inherit

Posted on July 8th, 2010 No Comments

According to the New Jersey Newsroom, there is no federal estate tax this year. In an incredibly clever allusion, the Newsroom writes, “Agatha Christie should be living at this hour. The creator of Hercule Poirot could concoct a terrific detective story about a bunch of greedy Americans who did in their old, wealthy relatives in order to inherit stuff from them.”

The bad news is the tax returns next year. But, there is an exemption for up to $1 million. The Newsroom suggests that you divide your money with your spouse. Hopefully, each of your amounts will be $1 million or less, and then you will be safe from the hefty taxes. The New Jersey Newsroom reports, “The new tax rate will be 55% for estates above $3 million and 60% for estates above $10 million.”

The moral of the story is to make your will today. Contact an expert Houston wills lawyer at Garg & Associates, PC, by dialing 281-362-2865.

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