Market volatility can help ease estate planning

Posted on August 26th, 2011 No Comments

Market volatility, exceedingly low interest rates, and an increase in the federal gift-tax exemption could benefit wealthy families who hope to shelter assets from taxes.

Individuals involved in estate planning can take advantage of these events through discounts, GRATs, and loans.

For those who have a large amount of stock in privately held companies, the current stock market allows them to give away the stock at a greater discount. A grantor-retained annuity trust, or GRAT, works best when interest rates are low and should be considered if a person has stock in a publicly traded company or a family business. The low interest rates and stock prices of today also make funding an investment by an intrafamily loan a good idea.

If you want to get your estate in order in this volatile market, contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C. by calling 281-362-2865 today.

James Brown Estate Battle Continues

Posted on August 10th, 2011 No Comments

The battle over the estate of James Brown continues.

According to court documents, the trustee of the late soul singer’s estate, Adele Pope, has asked the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office to get involved in the estate battle. Pope wants the Attorney General’s office to verify the value of the singer’s estate.

The original trustees claimed the estate is worth more than $85 million. Current trustees claim the “Godfather of Soul’s” estate was worth only $5 million dollars when he died. Pope questions that assertion. In a complaint filed last week in Newberry County, she asked the court for the final version and all drafts of a document called the James Brown Legacy Trust, which she says should be public record.

Brown’s surviving family members have filed a lawsuit against Pope and her fellow trustees seeking restitution. The family previously objected to Pope’s selection of several irreplaceable family heirlooms to auction to pay estate expenses, including a Grammy Award.

If you need assistance preparing your estate, please contact the Houston estate planning lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2965.

Columbus Family Involved in Estate Battle

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 No Comments

The children of a wealthy Columbus banker are involved in a battle over their late father’s estate.

According to Muscogee County Probate Court documents, Frank G. Lumpkin III has redoubled his efforts to remove his sister, Julia W. Lumpkin, as personal representative of their parents’ multimillion-dollar estates. Frank Lumpkin sued his sister last year for millions of dollars in damages, claiming she breached her fiduciary duties by stubbornly delaying the administration of the estates. Julia Lumpkin has denied wrongdoing and filed a countersuit against her brother.

Frank Lumpkin filed an amended version of his lawsuit, which accuses his sister of violating the Georgia Code of Judicial Conduct and state law by serving as a judge and co-executrix of estates pending in her own court.

“Her actions not only constitute grounds for removal as Co-executor but should also be referred to the Georgia Judicial Qualifications Commission for investigation,” the lawsuit claims.

Julia Lumpkin recused herself from her parents’ estates last August after her brother filed the lawsuit. Frank Lumpkin’s lawsuit cites a Georgia statute that states: “The judge of a probate court cannot, during his term of office, be executor, administrator, or guardian, or other agent of a fiduciary nature required to account to his court.”

If you need assistance with probate litigation, please contact the Houston probate litigation lawyers of Garg & Associates, P.C., by calling 281-362-2865.

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Garg & Associates, PC | 21 Waterway Avenue, Suite 300 | The Woodlands, Texas 77380 Please call 281-362-2865 | Fax: 866-743-4506
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