Articles written by Kenneth Kirk

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 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    March 1, 2024 

An Alaskan tale of lawyers and strip clubs

This month's column features a probate fight over a strip joint. Now that I have your attention, I have to confess that the case, which was reported recently from the Alaska Supreme Court, has little...

 

The dreaded CTA is here

What’s your favorite dystopian fiction? Can you imagine a future like 1984, where the government watches and controls every aspect of your life? Or more like Brave New World, where the government...

 

The big executor question: Who to pick?

When you were a kid, there was a standard protocol for choosing sides in a pickup game. The two best players—and everybody knew who they were—did some little contest to see who would pick first....

 

Getting back to the basics about wills

I enjoy watching the presidential debates every four years. I think the first one I saw was Carter-Ford in 1976, when I wasn’t even old enough to vote. But there is a common mistake that candidates...

 

Oh no! Not Revenue Ruling 2023-2!

The most interesting thing about Twitter is that they changed their name to “X” and yet the ZZ Top song, “I Heard it on the X” has not been trending. But that has nothing to do with my topic...

 

ILITs, A/B trusts and other legal artifacts

I recently spoke to a family who had an unpleasant surprise after the father died. Everything was going smoothly as far as transfers, until they contacted the life insurance company. That was when...

 

The deer in the headlights moment

When people come to see me for the first time, they are usually emotionally prepared to deal with the unpleasant question of what happens to their stuff when they die. I mean, really, nobody...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    August 1, 2023

New reporting guidelines and your LLC

Two months ago in this column, I wrote about the new Corporate Transparency Act. Don’t worry, you don’t need to dig that issue out from the bottom of the birdcage, I’ll summarize it here....

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    July 1, 2023

Trusts and assets: Getting it all in there

Some years ago I had a meeting with a woman who had created a trust, using another lawyer, a few years earlier. She had questions about the trust, which I was able to answer, and it turned out that...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    June 1, 2023

Something big is coming, and soon

I really dislike all of the sensationalism out there. Everywhere you look, it’s teaser, click-bait, outrage-inducing headlines and hotlinks, exaggerating or even outright lying to get you to look....

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    May 1, 2023

Family members who kill, in Hollywood and real life

One of my guilty pleasures is watching the latest celebrity “trial of the month” on Court TV, and I definitely tracked the recent Alex Murdaugh murder trial. If you haven’t been following it, Al...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    April 1, 2023

A hunk, a hunk of burning litigation

A long time ago – around the time I was born, actually – there was a young man from Mississippi who had some success as a singer. He bought a nice house in Memphis, married a beautiful actress,...

 
 By Kenneth Kirk    Columns    March 1, 2023

A neat little trick to avoid taxes

Taxes can really take a bite out of your estate. You worked hard, you saved some of what you made instead of spending it all, and from what’s left, Uncle Sam might just take nearly 40%. Forty percen...

 

An inspiring lesson from South Fork ranch

When I was in college – still a young and callow fellow – the TV show “Dallas” premiered, and I became a fan. A few seasons in, there was a scene that affected my career. If you don’t...

 

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...

 

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