On Sunday, January 1, 2012, the British Academy of Fencing announced that Bob Anderson, the man who wielded Darth Vader’s lightsaber in the original “Star Wars” trilogy, passed away at age 89. Anderson competed in the 1952 Olympic Games as part of the British fencing team. Later, Anderson went on to coach future fencing teams and began his side career as a sword-fight trainer to the big screen. Anderson’s expertise coaching includes “Star Wars,” “The Mask of Zorro,” “Highlander,” “The Phantom,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” and several James Bond films. Anderson also doubled for David Prowse as Darth Vader during light saber duels in two “Star Wars” films. Full article.

The estate tax, gift tax and generation – skipping transfer tax exemptions have been indexed for inflation for the 2012 tax year such that each will be increased from $5 million to $5.12 million beginning on January 1, 2012. This means that all under estates under $5.12 million will be exempt. There is also an advantageous “stepped – up basis” in all inherited property. Stepped – up tax basis means that if you inherit property, the new tax basis of the property is its value on the date of death. As a result, if you inherit property and later sell it, you will pay capital gains tax based only on the value of the property as of the date of death.

The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. have worked with a variety of families in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island. For questions regarding estate planning, please contact an attorney at the Leeds Brown Law, P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529 or visit the firm’s website at www.lbestatelaw.com.