Latest Blog Posts

The Living Will Registry

Posted on: May 22nd, 2015
A secure, on-line database called the U.S. Living Will Registry provides a means for you to store you advance directive. This allows your document to be easily accessible to you or by a healthcare provider anywhere at anytime.You can register your advance directive and/or organ donor information by several different methods:...

Estate planning for a young family

Posted on: May 8th, 2015
Many young families put off estate planning because they are young and healthy, or because they don't think they can afford it. But even a healthy, young adult can be taken suddenly by an accident or illness. And while none of us expects to die while our family is young, planning for the possibility is prudent and responsible. Also, estate planning does not have to be expensive; a young family can start with the essential legal documents and term life insurance, then update and upgrade as their financial situation improves. A good estate plan for a young family will include the following:...

Determine replacement values so you will have adequate insurance.

Posted on: May 6th, 2015
Replacement value is the amount it would cost to replace an item or structure at its condition before the loss occurred. When an item is covered by a replacement value policy, the cost of a similar item when purchased today determines the compensation amount for that item, regardless of depreciation....

Charitable Giving Finding Your Passion and Renewing Your Life

Posted on: April 27th, 2015
Americans like helping people and giving back to our communities. You may have already found your passion and are doing what you can to help. But if you are still searching for a way to make a difference, give some thought to what inspires you or what you care about deeply. It could be the arts, reading, the elderly, our military, disadvantaged children, teen mothers, or a clean planet. There are many organizations that need volunteers and financial help to do their good works. And, of course, most churches and religious organizations offer numerous ways to volunteer in your community and around the world. ...

Three Social Security traps to avoid when taking your benefits.

Posted on: April 21st, 2015
What you don't know about Social Security benefits can hurt you and your spouse for the rest of your lives. Here are three traps to avoid when taking your benefits. The Key Takeaways o The longer you can postpone taking your Social Security benefits, the larger the amount you and your spouse will receive over your lifetimes. o Continuing to work after you start receiving benefits early can temporarily reduce the amount of your benefits. o It is important to seek the advice of a retirement specialist who can help you navigate the rules of Social Security to your best benefit. ...

5 Good Reasons to Decant a Trust

Posted on: February 13th, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important that they include trust decanting provisions to address changes in circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws....

Who’s Going to Get It: Do You Really Know the Beneficiaries of Your Dynasty Trust?

Posted on: February 6th, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable dynasty trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important that they clearly define who will be included as trust beneficiaries at each generation....

How Powers of Appointment Can Improve Your Trus

Posted on: January 30th, 2015
Today many estate plans contain trusts that will continue for the benefit of a spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is important for the trust creator to consider including powers of appointment in the trust agreement to allow trust beneficiaries to be added or excluded at each generation....

The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishes

Posted on: January 23rd, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a surviving spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of several generations. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees. ...

Make an Achievable 2015 New Year’s Resolution – Get an Estate Plan Checkup!

Posted on: January 16th, 2015
With 2015 right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your new year's resolutions. It doesn't matter whether you have an estate plan or don't, one important item to add to your list is getting an estate plan checkup....

4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

Posted on: January 9th, 2015
A will or trust contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can help your family avoid a potentially disastrous will or trust contest....

Time is Running Out for Certain Estates to Make the Federal Portability Election

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015
As a result of a 2010 tax law, a surviving spouse can receive his or her deceased spouse's unused estate tax exemption. This is called a 'portability' election. You may have seen it called the 'deceased spousal exclusion amount' or 'DSUE amount.'...
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