Latest Blog Posts

Caution: Your Traditional Asset Protection Plan is Set Up to Fail

Posted on: May 11th, 2018
Asset protection planning takes many forms; in general, asset protection is action taken to preserve and protect your property in advance of a claim, or the threat of a claim....

What is a Living Will?

Posted on: May 10th, 2018
What happens if you're seriously injured, become incapacitated and end up on life support? Does your family know your wishes? ...

What To Do After a Loved One Dies

Posted on: May 9th, 2018
If you've been appointed an executor of a loved one's estate or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your grief – not to mention your to-do list, including tasks ranging from planning the funeral, coordinating relatives coming in from out of town and (eventually) meeting with a trust administration or probate lawyer – can be quite overwhelming....

Is a Payable on Death Account Right for You and Your Family?

Posted on: May 2nd, 2018
A POD account is a type of bank account authorized by state law which allows the account owner to designate one or more beneficiaries to receive the funds left in the account when the owner dies....

How Does an IRA Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: April 10th, 2018
Individual retirement accounts (IRAs) are often one of the biggest financial accounts you invest in over the course of your lifetime....

Does Your Revocable Living Trust Reduce Your Estate Tax Bill?

Posted on: April 4th, 2018
Many people believe that once they set up and fund a revocable living trust, property held in the trust will avoid estate taxes after they die. ...

Five Tips to Remove Financial Hassle from Your Life

Posted on: April 2nd, 2018
Simplifying your financial life may take some time and concentrated effort....

Does Your Revocable Living Trust Reduce Your Estate Tax Bill?

Posted on: March 28th, 2018
Many people believe that once they set up and fund a revocable living trust, property held in the trust will avoid estate taxes after they die. ...

The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Posted on: March 28th, 2018
Your Trust allows your assets to avoid probate, minimizing the time, stress, and cost of settling your final affairs. ...

How Does an IRA Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: March 27th, 2018
When you think of IRAs, you probably think of retirement. But what happens to your IRA money after you’re gone? ...

Wealth Protection: Avoiding Losses

Posted on: March 26th, 2018
Any time you can prevent or reduce a loss, you preserve wealth....

The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning

Posted on: March 23rd, 2018
What can you do that will ethically and legally protect your hard-earned assets from creditors, predators, and lawsuits?...

Standalone Retirement Trusts

Posted on: March 16th, 2018
If you have retirement accounts you value and would like to pass along to your loved ones, an SRT might be a good fit for you...

Should I Write My Own Will?

Posted on: March 14th, 2018
Legally, you have the right to draft your own documents; however, that doesn't mean you have the right to have them actually work. ...

Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment

Posted on: March 13th, 2018
No matter your age or family history, cognitive impairment can affect anyone....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 2: Using Trusts in Estate Planning

Posted on: March 12th, 2018
Trusts can hold investments, property and insurance policies, with benefits of reducing various taxes and protecting your wealth from lawsuits and creditors. ...

The Limited Liability Company as an Estate Planning Tool

Posted on: February 23rd, 2018
The limited liability company (LLC) is a popular entity in the estate planning and business worlds. ...

The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Posted on: February 21st, 2018
Many people believe once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the Trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits. This is absolutely not true. ...

The Value of Having a “Life Plan” in Estate Planning

Posted on: February 20th, 2018
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction; just sign here, here, and here on a document: will, a living trust, and powers of attorney - then be off. But the best planning happens when an estate planning attorney can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams, and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a lifelong process instead of a transaction....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1: Insurance

Posted on: January 29th, 2018
Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. ...

Why Does Probate Take So Long?

Posted on: January 24th, 2018
Probate can be easily avoided, but most estates are dragged through the process. ...

How to Align Insurance with Your Estate Plan

Posted on: January 23rd, 2018
If you’re like most folks, you use a variety of insurance products to manage risk and protect you, your family, and your assets from losses caused by property damage, businesses, property, accidents, disability, retirement, and death....

Organizing for Tax (and Estate Planning) Season

Posted on: January 22nd, 2018
It’s the start of a new year, which means tax season—and this year’s April 17th IRS filing deadline—is just around the corner. Soon you’ll be receiving tax forms such as your W-2 or 1099's, and you’ll start thinking about the life events that could affect your taxes in various ways....

Asset Protection Planning

Posted on: January 19th, 2018
We all have a lawsuit bulls-eye on our backs. Unfortunately, lawsuits, including frivolous lawsuits, are filed daily against good people like you....

Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.

Posted on: January 17th, 2018
If you've set up a Revocable Living Trust, congratulations! You're definitely on the right track. But...you're only half way there. ...

What to Expect from Estate Planning in 2018

Posted on: January 15th, 2018
As we all look ahead to 2018, let’s consider a few things to watch regarding estate planning, so you and your family can be completely protected....

Domestic Asset Protection Trust

Posted on: January 12th, 2018
While you can use an RLT to provide asset protection for loved ones, you can’t use it to create asset protection for yourself....

Budgeting, Part 3: Instilling Money Values in Children and Grandchildren

Posted on: January 8th, 2018
Having regular family discussions about household finances, shared money goals and general money concepts will, over time, communicate your values to your children and help them learn to be financially responsible adults. ...

What are contract assets?

Posted on: December 19th, 2017
What are contract assets?...

Budgeting, Part 2: A Fulfilling Method for Setting Spending Priorities

Posted on: December 18th, 2017
Determine what is most important to you. Envision how you would like to see yourself living life. ...

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners

Posted on: December 15th, 2017
When you’re in a romantic partnership - as opposed to a marriage - you need to create the legal protections and benefits automatically afforded to those who are married. ...

Why You Should Name a Stand-Alone Retirement Trust as Beneficiary

Posted on: December 12th, 2017
Naming the right beneficiary for tax-deferred retirement accounts is critical. Most people want to continue the tax-deferred growth for as long as possible, pay the least amount in income taxes and get the maximum stretch-out...

Budgeting, Part 1: Budgeting as a Friend and not a Foe

Posted on: December 11th, 2017
Budgets allocate resources to the areas of highest impact or interest. When a budget is structured based on priorities and values, much of the controlling element is removed....

Why would my loved ones need asset protection?

Posted on: December 8th, 2017
Lawsuits are filed every few seconds all year long....

Trust Planning - Probate Avoidance

Posted on: December 7th, 2017
Trusts commonly provide asset protection for beneficiaries, but not many trusts protect assets owned by the person who created the trust. ...

What is an LLC?

Posted on: December 1st, 2017
What is an LLC?...

Medicare Planning

Posted on: November 30th, 2017
On January 1, 2011, the first of the 78 million baby boomers turned 65 and about 10,000 people a day will reach that age between now and the year 2030. When you turn 65, you become eligible for Medicare and you must act right away because delaying your enrollment can result in penalties. ...

Probate Avoidance

Posted on: November 16th, 2017
Probate can be easily avoided, but most estates are dragged through the process because many people fail to create an estate plan. ...

Surprise! You Can’t Easily Disinherit Your Spouse in the U.S.

Posted on: November 15th, 2017
In the majority of states and the District of Columbia, you can't intentionally disinherit your spouse unless your spouse actually agrees to receive nothing from your estate in a Prenuptial or Postnuptial Agreement. ...

How to Stop Worrying About Running Out of Money in Retirement

Posted on: November 15th, 2017
Many retirees today worry about having enough money for their retirement. Of special concern is if there will be enough money to provide for the surviving spouse. ...

Do I need asset protection?

Posted on: November 14th, 2017
Everybody needs asset protection....

Budgeting as a Friend and not a Foe

Posted on: November 13th, 2017
Creating and staying on budget can empower you and help you feel in control of your earnings, your spending and your future...

What is asset protection?

Posted on: November 10th, 2017
Asset protection prevents your assets from being seized by creditors....

Mediation in lieu of Trial

Posted on: November 9th, 2017
Mediation offers a more cost-effective and efficient option to litigation and has proven effective in reducing court dockets and trials. ...

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

Posted on: November 7th, 2017
Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it's needed....

How to Make a Family Meeting a Successful Part of the Estate Planning Process

Posted on: November 6th, 2017
You've finished your estate planning. But have you, really? Have you explained your planning to your family? ...

Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?

Posted on: November 3rd, 2017
For some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate planning goals or may even be detrimental to achieving those goals....

Estate Planning and Asset Protection

Posted on: November 2nd, 2017
Asset protection planning is not about avoiding taxes, keeping secrets, hiding assets, or defrauding creditors.....

Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment

Posted on: November 1st, 2017
The reality is that an individual’s chances of experiencing some form of cognitive impairment rise with age. While it’s never certain whether cognitive impairment will occur, smart estate planning means factoring it in as a very real possibility....

Baltimore Register of Wills Can’t Find Her Father’s Original Last Will, Will Your Family Be Able to Find Yours?

Posted on: October 31st, 2017
While your family members certainly don't need to know what your will says, they do need to know where your original will is being stored....

Providing for Your Parents in Your Estate Plan

Posted on: October 30th, 2017
What would happen to your parents if they rely on you for physical and/or financial support, and something happens to you?...

Guardian Planning

Posted on: October 26th, 2017
Importance of naming guardians in your last will and testament. Failure to name a guardian or have a last will can be detrimental to your family if something happens to you....

Should You Disinherit a Child?

Posted on: October 20th, 2017
How we choose to include our children in our estate plans says a good deal about our values and faith. Not disinheriting a child who has caused grief and heartache can convey a message of love and forgiveness, while disinheriting a child, even for what seems to be good cause, can convey a lack of love, anger and resentment....

Digital Assets - Now a Part of Estate Planning

Posted on: October 18th, 2017
Unless we include our digital assets and social media in our estate planning, our family or administrator may not be able to find critical documents. ...

‘Till Death Do Us Part, Too: Estate Planning Tips for Commitment Without Marriage

Posted on: October 18th, 2017
If you and your significant other love each other but don’t want to tie the knot, you need an estate plan that takes into account your specific situation while protecting you both, along with any other family members or loved ones you wish to include....

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?

Posted on: October 16th, 2017
If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again. ...

Year End Estate Planning Tip

Posted on: October 16th, 2017
With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time to fine tune your estate plan before you get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season....

Four Steps to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person

Posted on: October 13th, 2017
One of the first things you should do as a newly appointed executor of a deceased person's probate estate is ask the post office to forward the deceased person's mail to your address....

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

Posted on: October 11th, 2017
For many, passing along religious beliefs and values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate planning creates many opportunities to do this....

Caution: Writing Your Own Deed to Avoid Probate Can Lead to Unintended Consequences

Posted on: August 28th, 2017
One common way to avoid probate of real estate after the owner dies is to hold the title to the property in joint names with rights of survivorship with children or other beneficiaries. ...

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: August 25th, 2017
Asset protection trusts come in many different forms and can be used to protect property for your use and benefit as well as for the use and benefit of your family. ...

Young Adults Need Estate Planning, Too

Posted on: August 23rd, 2017
Once a child turns 18, parents lose the legal ability to make decisions for their child or even to find out basic information....

Standalone Retirement Trusts

Posted on: August 21st, 2017
What are the benefits of a Standalone Retirement Trust?...

An Estate Planning Checklist to Facilitate Wealth Transfer

Posted on: August 18th, 2017
You need to educate and update your heirs about your wealth transfer goals and the plan you have put in place to achieve these goals. ...

Three Asset Protection Tips You Need

Posted on: August 16th, 2017
A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to put together an asset protection plan. But in reality, anyone can be sued....

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: August 14th, 2017
While none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible....

Is a Financial Plan Enough? Why Experts Say You Need an Estate Plan, too

Posted on: August 11th, 2017
If you want to leave a robust financial legacy for your family, a financial plan alone is like trying to guide a boat with just one oar. It’s only part of the big picture for your overall monetary health. ...

What if I end up using up my retirement account during my lifetime??

Posted on: July 17th, 2017
Even after you set up a standalone retirement trust, you’ll have full control and the right to enjoy your retirement funds for years....

How to Minimize Legal Fees After Death

Posted on: July 14th, 2017
Careful planning can minimize the legal fees your loved ones will pay after you die. ...

The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Posted on: July 12th, 2017
Many people believe once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the Trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits. This is absolutely not true....

Life Insurance: How Much and What Kind?

Posted on: July 10th, 2017
Life insurance can be an affordable way to provide for our children, spouse, a sibling, aging parents and others if we should die while they are depending on us. ...

What if I end up using up my retirement account during my lifetime?

Posted on: June 28th, 2017
What if I end up using up my retirement account during my lifetime?...

Does Your Revocable Living Trust Reduce Your Estate Tax Bill?

Posted on: June 26th, 2017
What if you name both individuals and charities as beneficiaries of your trust after you die? The portion of the trust property passing to the individual beneficiaries will be subject to estate taxes and the portion passing to the charities will be distributed free from estate taxes....

Taking Care of a Valuable Asset (You)

Posted on: June 23rd, 2017
Too often, we let ourselves slip to the bottom of the priority list. But when you start to think of yourself as your most valuable asset and begin to nourish and protect this asset, you will perform at your best and increase your value....

While estate planning is important for everyone, women especially need to understand estate planning and have a plan of their own in place.

Posted on: June 21st, 2017
Because women, on average, live longer than men, there is an increased need to plan for physical and/or mental incapacity that can occur in later years. ...

What is an SRT?

Posted on: May 17th, 2017
What is an SRT?...

The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Posted on: May 15th, 2017
While Trusts commonly provide asset protection for beneficiaries - few Trusts protect assets owned by the person who created the Trust. ...

Estate planning encompasses at least the legal and financial elements, but it may include more, as estate planning often points out the need to plan in other areas.

Posted on: May 12th, 2017
Estate planning is not simply the documents prepared by an attorney, nor is it the insurance and financial plan recommended by a financial advisor. Properly done, estate planning encompasses at least the legal and financial elements, but it may include more, as estate planning often points out the need to plan in other areas. ...

Steps you can and should take now to protect your assets

Posted on: May 11th, 2017
The best time to do asset protection planning is before a claim arises....

What are contract assets?

Posted on: May 1st, 2017
Contract assests, are not controlled by your will or trust, they’re controlled by the contract itself....

Should I Write My Own Will?

Posted on: April 24th, 2017
Legally, you have the right to draft your own documents; however, that doesn't mean you have the right to have them actually work....

Understanding Property Losses.

Posted on: April 17th, 2017
Property insurance provides protection against most risks to property, such as fire, theft and some weather damage. However, if property has appreciated and there isn't sufficient insurance for replacement value, any losses must be paid out of pocket. ...

Four common mistakes in estate planning

Posted on: April 14th, 2017
An experienced attorney can guide and assist you in making smart decisions about your estate planning, including who should be the guardian of minor children; how to provide for a child or elderly parent with special needs; how to provide for children fairly (which may not be equally); and how to protect an inheritance from creditors and irresponsible spending....

What is a beneficiary designation?

Posted on: April 12th, 2017
What is a beneficiary designation?...

Why does probate take so long?

Posted on: April 10th, 2017
Many people fail to create an estate plan, so probate is required. Frustratingly, probate can drag on for months - or even years. ...

Some strategies that can restore a person's self-confidence and avoid financial failures in the future.

Posted on: April 7th, 2017
Most of us will admit to having made some financial mistakes we regret--running up credit card debt, impulse buying, or making a bad investment or business decision. While there can be significant devastation, the key is to move beyond regret into productive action. ...

What assets require probate?

Posted on: March 17th, 2017
Many believe because they took the time to create a Trust, their estate will automatically avoid probate. Unfortunately, this is a false sense of security....

Do I have to name my spouse as the beneficiary of my retirement account?

Posted on: February 21st, 2017
You can name someone else or a trust as the beneficiary....

Posted on: February 16th, 2017
...

The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning

Posted on: February 16th, 2017
The first step in protecting your assets is to understand that planning to preserve and secure your property in advance of a claim, or the threat of a claim, is a legitimate form of wealth planning. ...

Taking Care of a Valuable Asset (You)

Posted on: February 15th, 2017
Too often, we let ourselves slip to the bottom of the priority list. But when you start to think of yourself as your most valuable asset and begin to nourish and protect this asset, you will perform at your best and increase your value. ...

Why You Need To Review Your Estate Plan

Posted on: February 9th, 2017
Every state has laws for distributing the property of someone who dies without an estate plan—but not very many people would be pleased with the results....

How to Stop Worrying About Running Out of Money in Retirement

Posted on: January 27th, 2017
Many retirees today worry about having enough money for their retirement. Of special concern is if there will be enough money to provide for the surviving spouse. ...

What Is A Living Will

Posted on: January 27th, 2017
What is a living will? Does your family know your wishes if anything should happen to you?...

Living Probate

Posted on: January 26th, 2017
With people living longer due to advances in medicine and changes in lifestyle, odds are that most of us will become disabled for some time before we die and may need long-term care....

Areas in which we may pay more than necessary

Posted on: January 24th, 2017
Sharing good financial practices with your children and/or grandchildren can be part of your legacy, as you help them prepare to be prudent and responsible beneficiaries...

Why You Should Name a Stand-Alone Retirement Trust as Beneficiary

Posted on: January 20th, 2017
Naming the right beneficiary for tax-deferred retirement accounts is critical. Most people want to continue the tax-deferred growth for as long as possible, pay the least amount in income taxes and get the maximum stretch-out. Required distributions after the owner dies will be based on the new beneficiary’s age and life expectancy, so the younger the beneficiary (like a child or grandchild), the longer the stretch out....

Life Insurance and your estate plan

Posted on: January 18th, 2017
The main reasons most people have life insurance are to pay final expenses (medical, funeral, burial, etc.), replace an income stream and/or create wealth for our dependents after we die. Life insurance can also play an important role in business, estate planning and charitable giving....

Where People Waste Money...And Actions to Consider

Posted on: January 17th, 2017
In many ways, it is the routine purchases that occur without planning that subsequently accumulate to large amounts....

Why You Need An Estate Plan

Posted on: January 13th, 2017
Estate planning ensures a secure future for your loved ones and protects both your personal and business assets....
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