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Articles written by Kenneth Kirk

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 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    January 1, 2023 

Taxes, Heisenberg and the Uncertainty Principle

Many years ago, a physicist named Werner Heisenberg formulated a rule called the “Heisenberg uncertainty principle.” No, it has nothing to do with cooking meth. It is a useful principle in...

 

Over the river and through the woods

This issue of the Senior Voice will be coming out at the beginning of the holiday season. For many of us, that means enjoying time with grandchildren. I don’t know who first said that...

 

The wild life and death of Anne Heche

Here we go again: another celebrity estate mess. You have probably heard of Anne Heche. Even I knew who she was, and I don’t follow celebrity gossip or go to the movies that often. But even I have s...

 

Storming the inheritance Bastille

I was watching a Korean comedy series recently online, called “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”. It is about a brilliant but significantly autistic woman who becomes a lawyer. If you don’t mind...

 

DIY, outdated estate plans and what you don't know

I meet a lot of people who try to “do it themselves,” putting together their own wills, trusts or other estate planning documents from some website or kit, or just by copying something a friend...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    August 1, 2022

Dickens, codicils and the Underwood

In a corner of my office is an old Underwood typewriter. It was built sometime around the 1920s, it weighs a ton, and there is no electricity involved in its operation. The keys still work, but if I...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    July 1, 2022

People don't read instructions

A long time ago, in a land far, far away (well, Juneau is pretty far away) there was a group of legislators who tried to do the right thing. They wanted to update and improve the laws about what...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    June 1, 2022

Actions, including financial, always have consequences

Here’s a very common question I am asked: “How much can I give my kids while I’m alive?” The correct answer is “How much ya got? You can give it all away to them”. It's true. This is...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    May 1, 2022

Taxes complicate everything

Benjamin Franklin famously said that “nothing is certain but death and taxes”. Actually, he wrote it in French, but that’s not my point. As an estate planner, I deal with death all the time. I...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    April 1, 2022

Exploding the biggest myth about wills

People believe a lot of things that aren’t actually true. Butter doesn’t help a burn. Your hair and fingernails don’t continue to grow after you die. Sarah Palin didn’t say she could see...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    March 1, 2022

It ain't a Personal Flotation Device

When I was a kid, I lived for a while in a town near Brazil. Not the big country down in South America, but the small town of Brazil, Indiana. What was strange about the place was that they...

 

Nothing to lose but your estate plan

Today I want to talk about Marx. No, not the guy who wrote the Communist Manifesto. Not the comic with the big eyebrows either. Not even the ‘80’s rocker. I want to talk about a Marx you probably...

 

Honey, I think we need a prenup

If you ain’t no punk Holler “we want prenup! We want prenup!” It’s something that you need to have ‘Cause when she leave your *** She gonna leave with half. - Kanye West This month’s...

 

Who's gonna drive you home?

Many of our Senior Voice readers will remember Ric Ocasek. He was the lead singer of a band called The Cars which had quite a few hits in the late 70s and early 80s. And if you were paying attention...

 

Putting into place the irrevocable

Lots of people get living trusts. For many folks, they’re a better way to avoid costs, disputes and delays when they shuffle off this mortal coil, as opposed to just having a will (or nothing at...

 

Advance directive: Gotta do it, like it or not

I used to do a lot of litigation – trial lawyer work – and I still read the decisions the Alaska Supreme Court sends out each week. There was one this spring which had me shaking my head in...

 

Delayed certificates: Ask not for whom the bell tolls

A few months back, the State of Alaska got hacked pretty badly. Some evildoers broke into their system, and the State had to shut down all their systems for a while, and then bring them back up...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    August 1, 2021

Oops, she did it again - Britney and conservatorship

I usually start thinking about my next column at least a month ahead of time. But then sometimes events derail my plans, and I have to write about something else. The 2018 earthquake, the recent...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    July 1, 2021

Giving away the estate requires strategy, planning

One strategy you can use in estate planning is “lifetime gifts”. In other words, you sign things over to your heirs while you’re still alive, instead of making them wait until you’re gone....

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    June 1, 2021

What a mess Medicaid has become

In 33 years as a lawyer, I’ve had to deal with all kinds of government agencies. It comes with the territory. At various times I’ve wrestled with the IRS, child support enforcement, Social...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    May 1, 2021

Just what is an LLC and what does it do?

I’m an estate planning attorney, not a business attorney. Sure, some of my clients own businesses, but my focus is on how they transfer that business smoothly to their heirs on death, not about...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    April 1, 2021

'Do I really need a will?' Yes you do

Sometimes when you spend all day, every day dealing with the complications of a particular area of law, the simplest question can surprise you. People ask me, on a fairly regular basis, whether they...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    March 1, 2021

When estate planning gets Fast and Furious

If you like movies with car chases, then you know who Paul Walker was. During the past 20 years, the Fast & Furious movies — I think there were nine in all — were your visual feast for car races,...

 

Death, taxes and stepping up to the plate

Deadlines are a funny thing. Two months ago, I needed to get my Senior Voice column in, shortly after the election. So on the morning after election day, I took a quick look at the results, and it app...

 

The power that springs into action

I try to avoid using Latin, since so few people understand it and I’m not in the business of confusing people. But as we lean toward the tape in this marathon run that 2020 has been, the words...

 

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