Latest Blog Posts

Digital Afterlife: An Estate Plan For Your Social Media Accounts

Posted on: March 22nd, 2019
While the internet has made our lives easier by allowing us to access our information with the simple push of a button, it may be difficult for our loved ones to do the same once we are gone....

5 Steps for Coordinating Plans Across Generations

Posted on: March 19th, 2019
Intergenerational estate planning is important. This type of planning is about more than just helping one generation build as much wealth as possible. These plans help prepare heirs to both manage and preserve those assets into the future for long-lasting enjoyment....

What to Do with Your Beloved Collection

Posted on: March 15th, 2019
Whether your beloved collection consists of artwork, books, cars, music, or other significant items, you should not forget about this valuable asset when estate planning. You have likely spent quite some time -- whether years or your entire life -- building your collection; you should not leave its fate to the whims of the court....

Estate Planning: Why Me, Why Now, and Is a Will Enough?

Posted on: March 13th, 2019
Upon your passing, your Will has to go through probate – a process whereby a court reviews your Will and determines its validity. It is a lengthy and often costly process in many states to begin with and can become even lengthier if a Will is contested (e.g., on the grounds that someone coerced or cajoled their way into an inheritance). The delay in disposition of your assets and the accompanying legal costs may put your family members in financial straits...

Joint Tenancy Pitfalls: The ‘Simple’ Fix that Can Leave Your Family Broke

Posted on: March 1st, 2019
There are many ways to own your assets. When you die, it is only natural that you want your family to share in the bounty of your hard work....

Do you really need a will?

Posted on: February 26th, 2019
Do you really need a will? The short answer to this question is “yes.” In fact, everyone who owns anything - no matter how little value it may seem to have - should have a will....

Why Your Estate Planner Needs to Know If You've Lent Money to Family

Posted on: February 25th, 2019
We have all heard stories of families torn apart because of disagreements over money. So, what can you do to make sure your intra-family loans help — rather than hurt — your family?...

The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages & Estate Planning

Posted on: February 19th, 2019
You have likely seen several advertisements for reverse mortgages if you have spent any time watching television or surfing on the internet. The concept and sell is a simple one: as long as you own and live in your home, you can supplement your retirement...

Are Your Documents Following the Same Script? Basics of Beneficiary Forms and Estate Planning

Posted on: February 8th, 2019
In the event of your untimely death, the manner in which your beneficiaries -- or those people who receive your assets from your estate -- are determined is highly dependent on how your property is titled....

Debt After Death: Why You Should Think About It When Estate Planning

Posted on: February 4th, 2019
A little bit of planning can go a long way in ensuring your family and loved ones are protected in the event of a tragedy....

Digital Assets - Now a Part of Estate Planning

Posted on: January 31st, 2019
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. ...

Organizing for Tax (and Estate Planning) Season

Posted on: January 25th, 2019
The flurry of tax prep activity is the perfect opportunity to get your estate plan in order, too, and kill two birds with the proverbial stone....

How to Align Insurance with Your Estate Plan

Posted on: January 25th, 2019
Trying to coordinate your own insurances and manage risks yourself is a daunting task....

5 Reasons to Embrace the Emotional Nature of Estate Planning

Posted on: January 23rd, 2019
When you hear the phrase “estate plan,” you might first think about paperwork. Or your mind might land on some of the uncomfortable topics that estate planning confronts head-on: end-of-life decisions, incapacity, and your family’s legacy from generation to generation. Those subjects hit home for everyone....

Steps For Starting the End-of-Life Conversation

Posted on: January 22nd, 2019
As an important part of estate planning, healthcare decisions need to be talked about. This helps preserve your legacy and provide peace of mind for your loved ones. ...

How to Avoid High Octane Stress and Organize Information for Your Family

Posted on: January 11th, 2019
What would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do?...

Financial Planning. Tax Planning. Legacy Planning. Estate Planning - How many plans do I need?!

Posted on: January 8th, 2019
Most folks have at least heard of an estate plan. But fewer realize that a simple will is not enough to prepare for your future....

How to Fix 5 Common Estate Planning Problems

Posted on: December 19th, 2018
With life changes, the level of protection you need may have also changed. Relying on an old strategy may leave you and your loved ones vulnerable....

Gift Giving the Tax-Free Way

Posted on: December 17th, 2018
Although it’s the season of giving, no one wants to share with the IRS. Luckily, the law provides you many opportunities to give gifts to family, friends, and charities tax-free. ...

Why a Spendthrift Trust Can Be a Great Solution for Your Heirs

Posted on: December 3rd, 2018
A spendthrift trust are created for the benefit of individuals who are not good with money, might easily fall into debt, may be easily defrauded or deceived, or have an addiction that may result in squandering of funds....

How to Build Freedom From Court Interference Into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: November 21st, 2018
If you feel that the matters of your estate should be kept private and that your assets should be distributed to your loved ones rather than eroded by court fees, you’re not alone....

Roth IRA Conversions After Tax Reform...Still a good idea? What are the implications for your family if you don’t spend all the money?

Posted on: November 19th, 2018
Twenty years ago, the Roth IRA first became available to investors as a financial tool for their estate planning needs. These accounts have maintained their popularity because unlike their traditional IRA counterpart, a Roth IRA provides account owners tax-free income during retirement....

Educational Trusts

Posted on: November 16th, 2018
As the name implies, an educational trust is a trust created to pay for loved ones’ education. Often parents, grandparents - or even aunts or uncles and friends - desire to create or continue an education legacy....

How to Share Family History and Heirlooms with Your Estate Plan

Posted on: November 16th, 2018
While you can always pull aside children and grandchildren for a chat about family history, did you know you may also be able to use a personal property memorandum in your estate plan to pass along special memories and stories about specific items that are meaningful to you and connect your family with the past?...

Avoid Living Probate: How to Keep Guardians and Conservators Out of Your Estate

Posted on: November 14th, 2018
There are many ways in which comprehensive estate planning can have a positive impact on your life while you are still around to reap the benefits....

There’s Never A Better Time Than Now To Get Your Affairs in Order

Posted on: November 12th, 2018
The end of the year is a good time to reflect upon the year that has passed and focus on your aspirations for the future....

Grandchildren's Trust

Posted on: November 9th, 2018
UTMA and UGMA are not a great way to fund an education, get assets out of your estate, or lower income taxes. Instead, we encourage you to consider grandchildren’s trusts (or children’s trusts), which continue to be used quite successfully....

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

Posted on: November 7th, 2018
Here are two of the most common ways court proceedings can make their way into the management and distribution of your assets, along with the estate planning measures you can take to avoid them....

Financial Planning. Tax Planning. Legacy Planning. Estate Planning - How many plans do I need?!

Posted on: November 6th, 2018
Most folks have at least heard of an estate plan. But fewer realize that a simple will is not enough to prepare for your future. In fact, a combination of plans - financial, tax, legacy, and estate - are vital to your financial well-being and protection of your assets and family. All of these plans are closely linked, affecting one another but also serving different purposes. ...

Four Reasons Why Estate Planning Isn’t Just for the Top 1 Percent

Posted on: November 5th, 2018
There is a common misconception that estate plans are only for the ultra-rich - the top 1 percent, 10%, 20%, or some other arbitrary determination of “enough” money. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. ...

The Limited Liability Company as an Estate Planning Tool

Posted on: November 2nd, 2018
Look around and you’ll likely notice LLC after LLC in your community. Why? Because the limited liability company (LLC) is a popular entity in the estate planning and business worlds. ...

Why a Trust is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

Posted on: October 31st, 2018
There are many “tools of the trade” that a qualified attorney can use to keep your assets out of probate. Setting up a revocable living trust is quite often the best, most comprehensive option for avoiding probate. Let’s discuss why this is true....

Estate Planning When Not All of Your Kids are in the Family Business

Posted on: October 30th, 2018
Owning your own business can be a great endeavor that takes a lot of passion and drive. Many small business owners focus on the day-to-day management and growth of the business, rather than thinking about a time when he or she may not be in the business. This is a far too common mistake....

Estate Planning Isn’t Spooky! But not planning can be downright terrifying.

Posted on: October 29th, 2018
The idea of implementing an estate plan might be one of the scariest things you have to confront as an adult. But estate planning does not have to make chills run down your spine....

Asset Protection Planning

Posted on: October 26th, 2018
Asset protection planning, which is an important part of estate planning, can protect you, your family, and your assets....

If I Don't Have an Estate, Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

Posted on: October 22nd, 2018
You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons or a private art collection big enough to rival MOMA to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law....

The Pros and Cons of Probate

Posted on: October 17th, 2018
The probate system was ultimately established to protect the property of the deceased and his/her heirs, and in a few cases, it may even work to an advantage. Let’s look briefly at the pros and cons of going through probate....

How Does an IRA Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: October 16th, 2018
When you think of IRAs, you probably think of retirement. But what happens to your IRA money after you’re gone? ...

3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

Posted on: October 10th, 2018
Having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate....

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

Posted on: October 9th, 2018
Factoring the potential for cognitive impairment into your estate plan doesn’t have to be a headache....

4 Estate Planning Steps You Must Take After the Death of a Spouse

Posted on: October 8th, 2018
When a spouse passes away, thinking about “the estate” might be the last thing on your mind. And while it’s necessary to give yourself ample time to process the loss of your partner, it’s also imperative you talk with your estate planning attorney sooner rather than later — or you might be facing some pretty unpleasant consequences....

Domestic Asset Protection Trust

Posted on: October 5th, 2018
One benefit of a Revocable Living Trust is the ability to pass assets to loved ones in asset protection trusts; these are trusts that can’t be seized in the event of a lawsuit, divorce, bankruptcy, medical crisis, business failure, and the like....

Why avoid probate?

Posted on: October 3rd, 2018
Many folks don’t realize that probate can take years to meander through the courts....

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

Posted on: October 2nd, 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....

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

Posted on: September 28th, 2018
Financial planners take stock of an individual’s fiscal landscape and come up with approaches to maximize his or her overall financial well-being. ...

Will Basics

Posted on: September 26th, 2018
If you don’t take action and execute a valid will, the court will step in and decide who has access to your private family and financial matters and who raises your children. ...

Why Factoring Long-Term Care Into Your Estate Plan Pays Off

Posted on: September 25th, 2018
While only about 19 percent of current U.S. residents will need to reside under long-term care for a period of over three years, that number sharply increases when factoring in nursing home stays of a shorter duration — which will still have a substantial impact on your estate....

Estate Planning: Why Me, Why Now, and Is a Will Enough?

Posted on: September 24th, 2018
You may feel that you are not wealthy enough or not old enough to bother or care. Or you may already have a Will and feel that you are all set on that front. Whatever your current position, consider these common misconceptions about estate planning....

Why would my loved ones need asset protection?

Posted on: September 21st, 2018
Why would my loved ones need asset protection?...

The Perils of Joint Property

Posted on: September 17th, 2018
Joint ownership can cause unintended consequences and complications. And it's worth considering some of these, before deciding that joint ownership is the best way to pass on assets to your heirs....

What is an executor?

Posted on: September 12th, 2018
What is an executor?...

You’ll Be Surprised: When Is The Best Time To Plan Your Estate?

Posted on: September 11th, 2018
The second best time to plan your estate is right now....

Isn’t There Already A Law That Leaves Everything To My Spouse And Kids?

Posted on: September 10th, 2018
When it comes to asset division, in most cases, state intestacy law presumes that a family consists of a husband, wife, and their natural-born children. But, that’s not necessarily the way many families are structured, and things can become legally complicated quickly. ...

What is an FLP?

Posted on: September 7th, 2018
What is an FLP?...

Should I put my children's name on my bank account?

Posted on: September 5th, 2018
Should I put my children's name on my bank account?...

How Long Should You Keep Important Documents?

Posted on: September 4th, 2018
In a society dominated by paperwork, the question of how long to hold on to important documents has been baffling for most people. ...

Do You Own Rental Property? How Proactive, Comprehensive Estate Planning Can Help

Posted on: August 31st, 2018
A comprehensive estate plan should address all of your assets. For most people, an estate plan must include three common categories: (1) your home; (2) financial accounts, like your checking and savings account; and (3) personal property. Other types of assets - such as life insurance, retirement funds, and annuities - should also be considered as part of your estate plan....

What is a living Probate?

Posted on: August 29th, 2018
What is a living Probate?...

Do you really need a trust?

Posted on: August 28th, 2018
One of the primary advantages of having a trust is that it provides the ability to bypass the publicity, time, and expense of probate. ...

Do You Really Need A Will

Posted on: August 27th, 2018
Without a will or other estate plan - referred to as intestacy - you have no control and your state’s rules determine who gets what after your death....

Can You Bequeath Your Frequent Flyer Miles?

Posted on: August 24th, 2018
If you’re a frequent airline traveler, one of your estate planning concerns may be what will happen to your accumulated miles once you’re gone. ...

Intestate

Posted on: August 23rd, 2018
Folks who die “intestate” are those who die without having created their own estate plan. As a result, state intestacy laws rule, determining who gets what....

Why should I avoid probate?

Posted on: August 22nd, 2018
Why should I avoid probate?...

Young Adults Need Estate Planning, Too

Posted on: August 18th, 2018
Once a child turns 18, parents lose the legal ability to make decisions for their child or even to find out basic information. Learning you cannot see your college student's grades without his/her permission can be mildly frustrating. But a medical emergency can take this frustration to a completely different level. ...

Does My Estate Plan Need to Include My Vacation Property?

Posted on: August 17th, 2018
Having a comprehensive estate plan puts you in control and lets you determine who will receive your property, regardless of where it’s located. ...

Is probate bad?

Posted on: August 15th, 2018
Is probate bad?...

How Does an IRA Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: August 14th, 2018
When you think of IRAs, you probably think of retirement. But what happens to your IRA money after you’re gone?...

Tips for Working with a Law Firm

Posted on: August 13th, 2018
When you hire an attorney for estate planning, help with a loved one’s estate, or any other legal matter you want to make sure that the work gets done as quickly as possible and at the best possible value....

How Does My Annuity Fit Into My Estate Plan?

Posted on: August 10th, 2018
Selecting the right type of annuity for yourself is no small feat. Of course, you’ve put in the research and planned with your financial advisors. But, you might still be wondering what happens to those annuity payments upon your death....

Estate Planning That Expresses Who You Are - 5 Things to Talk About with Your Family

Posted on: August 8th, 2018
You intend to pass along your wealth through your estate plan, but what about your wisdom? Ensuring you accomplish both calls for a family meeting to have a conversation about your money, your legacy, and your core principles. ...

Kids Going Away To College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparations

Posted on: August 3rd, 2018
You've probably focused on the fact that, having graduated from high school, your kid's an adult now—meaning that your child's going to spread her wings. But what is essential to remember: At 18, a college student may still want her mom and dad her side if she gets sick, but legally, decisions for medical care are hers alone....

When Is It Time to "Service" Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: July 31st, 2018
Over the course of your lifetime, your estate plan will need check-ups, maintenance, tweaking, and maybe, even replacing. ​...

The Perils of Joint Property

Posted on: July 27th, 2018
The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate....

How do I avoid probate?

Posted on: July 25th, 2018
How do I avoid probate?...

Money Isn’t Everything in Estate Planning

Posted on: July 23rd, 2018
Money may be the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, but the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even more to family members down the line. ...

The Difference between Lifetime and Deathtime Planning… and Why a Comprehensive Plan Must Include Both

Posted on: July 20th, 2018
It’s all too clear that most of us think “estate planning” is a euphemism for “deathtime” planning. ...

Five Surprisingly Common Planning Mistakes Baby Boomers are Making in Droves

Posted on: July 17th, 2018
As many baby boomers make the financial transition into retirement, many are learning that they have made some of the most typical retirement mistakes....

Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Beneficiaries’ Interests

Posted on: July 13th, 2018
Life insurance is an important estate planning tool, but without certain protections in place, there's no guarantee that your spouse or children will receive the benefit of your purchase of life insurance....

Money Isn’t Everything in Estate Planning

Posted on: July 9th, 2018
Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding your money, property, and belongings. ...

Are probate attorneys and estate planning attorneys the same thing?

Posted on: June 27th, 2018
Are probate attorneys and estate planning attorneys the same thing?...

How to Protect Your Child’s Inheritance from His or Her Untrustworthy Spouse

Posted on: June 25th, 2018
There are many ways to structure your child’s inheritance to help ensure it will remain in the family for future generations....

3 Celebrity Probate Disasters and Lessons to Learn from Them

Posted on: June 20th, 2018
Some of the world’s richest and most famous people have passed away without a will or a trust, while others have made mistakes that tied their fortunes and heirs up for years in court....

What is probate?

Posted on: June 13th, 2018
What is probate?...

Estate Planning for Military Families

Posted on: June 12th, 2018
Members of the military often experience frequent moves, have access to lots of government benefits after service, and can be subject to some unusual tax rules. For these reasons, estate planning for military families is more complicated than most. ...

Learning from Your Mistakes Can Become Your Teaching Moment

Posted on: June 11th, 2018
One part of advancing ourselves is learning from our own mistakes; another part is learning from the mistakes of others. ...

How You Can Build an Estate Plan that Includes Asset Protection

Posted on: May 25th, 2018
It’s entirely possible that you’ll never need asset protection, but it’s much better to be ready for whatever life throws your way....

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. ...
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