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November 2013 Archives

James Bond rights now owned by sister companies

A recent copyright dispute involving the rights and interests to James Bond movies was recently resolved, apparently amicably, between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. and Danjaq LLC and Kevin McClory. The latter was reportedly involved in the script for the Bond move “Thunderball,” along with Ian Fleming, while the former two are the franchiser and producer of Bond films. McClory had sued Fleming in 1961 for ownership rights after Fleming wrote a novel based on the Bond script, and the parties settled, allowing McClory to produce the film.

Life insurance trusts in estate planning

Life insurance is a potentially useful tool in estate planning, and can be used for a variety of purposes such as ensuring an estate has enough liquidity to manage its debts and funding trusts. One specific way to use life insurance is to establish an irrevocable life insurance trust. In using life insurance trusts, though, there are a number of pitfalls to avoid and things to keep in mind.

Poor man's will not without potentially serious problems

The mistakes that can be made in estate planning are many, though there are some common ones that tend to pop up more often than others. Some of the obvious ones are: not doing any estate planning; failing to periodically update an estate plan; failing to engage in adequate tax planning; and failing to keep beneficiary designations updated.

Working gifting into your estate plan

Gifting can be an important part of an overall estate plan, but it is important for people to realize that there are certain rules surrounding gifting, if one wishes to avoid unnecessary taxation. One of the most important rules is that gifts can count against one’s overall estate tax exclusion amount. Granted, that amount is high (5.25 million in 2013 and set to rise to 5.34 million in 2014), but for those with a significant amount of wealth, it can be used up quickly.

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