Latest Blog Posts

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. ...

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....
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