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

Posted on: June 15th, 2017
However, comprehensive estate planning isn’t just death time planning. It’s lifetime planning, too. It’s about ensuring that your medical and financial decisions can be made by someone that you trust....

How Your Trust Can Help a Loved One Who Struggles with Addiction

Posted on: June 1st, 2017
Whether the addiction is alcoholism, drug abuse, or behavioral like gambling, we all want our loved ones to be safe and experience a successful recovery. A properly created estate plan can help....

Which life events that require an immediate estate plan update?

Posted on: May 15th, 2017
You also need to consider how to leave your property and assets while considering your family’s circumstances and needs....

3 Decidedly Dumb Ways to Leave an Inheritance for Your Children

Posted on: May 1st, 2017
The following ill-advised estate planning strategies can cause confusion, or even cost your children some or all of their inheritance....

Safeguarding Your Estate Plan Against Three Worst-Case Scenarios

Posted on: April 15th, 2017
The following tips can protect your estate plan against several worst-case scenarios....

Does a Dynasty Trust Make Sense for Your Family?

Posted on: April 1st, 2017
A dynasty trust can keep your wealth in the family for generations and preserve your legacy....

Life Insurance and Estate Planning: Protecting Your Beneficiaries’ Interests

Posted on: March 15th, 2017
Without certain protections in place, naming beneficiaries to your life insurance policy may not be enough to protect the funds....

How You Can Build an Estate Plan that Includes Asset Protection

Posted on: March 1st, 2017
The best way to take full advantage of asset protection estate planning is to prepare proactively long before potential hardships like bankruptcy, divorce, or judgment ever come to pass....

How to Build Freedom From Court Interference Into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: February 15th, 2017
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....

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

Posted on: February 1st, 2017
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....

5 Reasons to Embrace the Emotional Nature of Estate Planning

Posted on: January 15th, 2017
The emotional nature of estate planning can bring up aversion in people, but here are five reasons why the degree of emotion involved is actually a reason to embrace the process with enthusiasm....

Impacts of the Trump Presidency on Estate Planning: Your Quick Guide

Posted on: January 1st, 2017
Here's what you need to know about planning your estate under the incoming Trump administration and Republican-controlled Congress....

Why a Trust is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

Posted on: December 1st, 2016
As Ambrose Bierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.”...

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

Posted on: November 15th, 2016
Some people start thinking of getting a will in place when children arrive on the scene so guardians are named. Most people start thinking about planning their estates when they reach retirement age. However, you might be surprised, even shocked, to know that the best time to plan your estate is at age 18. The second best time to plan your estate is right now....

Estate Plan Maintenance

Posted on: November 1st, 2016
Your estate plan is a snapshot of you, your goals, your family, your assets, tax laws, and other laws in effect at the time it was created. All of these variables change over time, and so should your plan. It is unreasonable to expect the simple will written when you were a newlywed to be effective now that you have a growing family, or now that you are divorced from your spouse, or now that you are retired and have an ever increasing swarm of grandchildren....

3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

Posted on: October 15th, 2016
Here are 3 key reasons why you want to avoid probate if at all possible....

Estate Tax Planning

Posted on: October 1st, 2016
Unless you have a comprehensive estate plan, taxes may slip in when you’re least expecting it....

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: September 15th, 2016
We know how you feel - the last thing you want to think about is paperwork and making decisions about guardians, death, and money. But, estate planning is likely the most important paperwork you’ll ever do....

Estate Planning

Posted on: September 1st, 2016
Because estate planning is about taking care of yourself and those you love, it doesn’t matter how much money you have. The qualifications are simple and twofold....

Trust and Estate Administration Services

Posted on: August 15th, 2016
Rest assured, we are here for your loved ones if you become incapacitated and when you die. We hold their hands (sometimes, literally), guiding them through administration while following the instructions you’ve outlined in your estate plan....

HIPAA Release

Posted on: August 1st, 2016
Your healthcare files and all communications with medical professionals or their offices is private and has been since the Health Ins...

The Tragic Loss of Star Trek’s Anton Yelchin: Lessons for Estate and Legacy Planning

Posted on: July 15th, 2016
Anton Yelchin’s tragic situation highlights the fact that we are all – young and healthy, old and infirm alike – vulnerable to events outside our control. Establishing even a rudimentary plan is better than having nothing....

Updating Your Revocable Trust: How Many “Tweaks” Are Too Many?

Posted on: July 1st, 2016
If your life or the law has changed since you signed your trust, it needs to be updated. Let's chat about the difference between restatements and amendments and which is best for you....

Wondering Whether You Need to Update Your Estate Plan?

Posted on: June 15th, 2016
Wondering whether you need to update your estate plan? Yes, you do. It’s unrealistic to think that a piece of paper you draft, reflecting your life at a certain time, will work when your life has completely changed some years later....

Prince’s Sad and Incredibly Expensive Mistake! (Are You Making It, Too?)

Posted on: June 1st, 2016
The news of the unexpected death of music legend Prince, age 57, shocked the world. Prince left a profound, indelible mark as an artist, but tragically, for all his talent, he made a simple error that is creating huge complications for his family....

Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Posted on: May 15th, 2016
Confused about the differences between wills and trusts? If so, you’re not alone. While it’s always wise to contact experts like us, it’s also important to understand the basics. Here’s a quick and simple reference guide....

Revocable Trust vs. Irrevocable Trust: Which Is Best for You?

Posted on: May 1st, 2016
While there are many types of trusts, the major distinction between trusts is whether they are revocable or irrevocable. Let’s take a look at both so you’ll have the information you need:...

Escape From a Bad Trust: 5 Strong Reasons to Decant Your Trust

Posted on: April 15th, 2016
When a bottle of wine is decanted, it’s poured from one container into another. When a trust is decanted, trust assets are poured from an old trust into a new trust with more favorable terms....

10 Types of Trusts: A Quick Look

Posted on: April 1st, 2016
Considering the myriad of trusts available, creating an estate plan that works can seem daunting. However, that’s what we, as estate planning attorneys, do every day....

3 Simple Ways to Avoid Probate Costs

Posted on: March 15th, 2016
The bad news: probated estates are subject to a variety of costs from attorneys, executors, appraisers, accountants, courts, and state law. The good news: probate costs can be reduced by avoiding probate. It’s really that simple....

Wills, Trusts & Dying Intestate: How They Differ

Posted on: March 1st, 2016
Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is, as Martha Stewart would say, a “good thing.” Many of us don’t take the steps to get an estate plan in place because we don’t understand the nuances of estate planning....

Don’t Leave Your Trust Unguarded: 6 Key Ways a Trust Protector Can Help You

Posted on: February 15th, 2016
Can You Benefit from a Trust Protector? Generally speaking, the answer is yes. Trust protectors provide flexibility and an extra layer of protection for trust maker intent as well as trust assets and beneficiaries....

Michael Jackson’s Estate Pulled into Seemingly Endless Probate Court Battles

Posted on: February 1st, 2016
Michael Jackson, the “King of Pop,” had always been a controversial superstar. While Jackson created a trust to care for his children and other family and friends, he never actually funded it. The result? A plan that didn't actually work for him....

Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

Posted on: January 15th, 2016
While many wines get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts. Wine connoisseurs may ask: Is there any way to fix an irrevocable trust that has turned from a fine wine into vinegar?...

What the Recently Released 2016 IRS Inflation Adjustments Mean for You

Posted on: January 1st, 2016
The Internal Revenue Service has released the official inflation adjustments that will affect 2016 federal reporting for estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, and estate and trust income taxes....

Listen Up: These States Will Usher in Changes to Their Death Taxes in 2016

Posted on: December 15th, 2015
In 2015, there are still 20 U.S. jurisdictions that collect a death tax at the state level....

Listen Up Retirees: There Will Be No Cost of Living Increase For Social Security Benefits in 2016

Posted on: December 1st, 2015
65 million retirees, disabled workers and their families who rely on Social Security benefits for their day-to-day living expenses: For the third time in seven years, Social Security recipients will not see a cost of living increase to their monthly checks....

Financial Smarts Peak at 50, Here’s How to Protect Your Older Self

Posted on: November 15th, 2015
A recent study conducted by Texas Tech University concluded that the ability to make smart financial decisions peaks at age 50. This decline was observed in both men and women, making both sexes equally vulnerable to financial fraud as they age....

Don’t Miss Out on These Year-End Tax Planning Strategies

Posted on: November 1st, 2015
Now is the ideal time to start year-end tax planning. Below you will find a variety of tax-saving strategies you should consider using immediately so that you can get your 2015 tax house in order well in advance of the fast-approaching holiday season....

Early Predictions About 2016 Estate Tax, Gift Tax, GST Tax and Annual Gift Tax Limits

Posted on: October 15th, 2015
Under current law the federal estate tax, gift tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions have become unified and are indexed for inflation on an annual basis....

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

Posted on: October 1st, 2015
Believe it or not, in the U.S. it isn’t easy to disinherit your spouse. But the same is not true for other family members....

The Lifetime QTIP Trust: Or (How to Maintain Control of Your Estate and Keep Spouse No. 2 Happy)

Posted on: September 15th, 2015
In the estate planning world a 'QTIP Trust' is a type of trust that allows a wealthier spouse to transfer an unrestricted amount of assets into trust for the benefit of their less wealthy spouse free from estate and gift taxes....

Decanting: How to Fix a Trust That Isn’t Getting Better With Age

Posted on: September 1st, 2015
While many wines get better with age, the same cannot be said for some irrevocable trusts. Maybe you're the beneficiary of a trust created by your great grandfather seventy years ago that no longer makes sense. Or maybe you created an irrevocable trust twenty years ago that doesn't work as it should. Is there any way to fix an irrevocable trust that has turned from a fine wine into vinegar? You may be surprised to learn that under certain circumstances the answer is yes, by 'decanting' the old broken trust into a brand new one....

What You Need to Know About the Final Estate Tax Portability Rules

Posted on: August 15th, 2015
Recently the IRS issued the final rules governing the 'portability election' as it relates to the federal estate tax exemption. Married couples need to understand how these final rules may affect their existing estate plans, while recent widows and widowers need to understand how these finals rules may affect their deceased spouse's estate....

5 Reasons Why Uncle Bill May Not Make a Good Trustee

Posted on: August 1st, 2015
If you have created a dynasty trust that you intend to last for decades into the future, choosing the right trustee is critical to the trust's longevity and ultimate success....

IRS Announcement: Estate Tax Closing Letters Will Now Only Be Issued Upon Request

Posted on: July 15th, 2015
Due to the increased volume of federal estate tax return filings in order to make the 'portability election,' the IRS has announced that estate tax closing letters will only be issued upon request by the taxpayer. This change in IRS policy started on June 1, 2015....

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

Posted on: July 1st, 2015
Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. 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....

What Documents Do You Need to Find After a Loved One Dies?

Posted on: June 15th, 2015
After a loved one dies, you need to gather the important documents that are necessary to settle their final affairs. While the documents required will vary depending on what your loved one owned and owed, below is a list of common documents you will need to find:...

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

Posted on: June 1st, 2015
If you want your home or other real estate to pass to your children or other beneficiaries without probate, then seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with the probate and real estate laws of the state where your property is located. ...

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians that Anyone Can Use

Posted on: May 15th, 2015
Business entities include partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations. Business owners need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning a business, and real estate investors need to mitigate the risks and liabilities associated with owning real estate, through the use of one or more entities. The right structure for your enterprise should take into consideration asset protection, income taxes, estate planning, retirement funding, and business succession goals....

When is an Estate Subject to State Death Taxes?

Posted on: May 1st, 2015
In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person's estate and who inherits it....

How to Easily Integrate Asset Protection Trusts into Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 15th, 2015
Asset protection has become a common goal of estate planning. 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....

Five Changes Proposed in President Obama’s 2016 Budget That Could Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted on: April 1st, 2015
The Obama administration recently released its budget proposal for the 2016 fiscal year. As in past years, this budget proposes changes to the laws governing federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes. Several of these changes would raise revenue by limiting the tax benefits achieved by using certain estate planning techniques, while others would decrease exemptions and increase rates. In addition, the fifth proposal discussed below is a brand new one that has raised some eyebrows:...

It’s Not Just About Death and Taxes: The Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity

Posted on: March 15th, 2015
Comprehensive estate planning is about more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. It must also be about having a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become mentally incapacitated during your life....

How to Choose the Right Agent for Your Incapacity Plan

Posted on: March 1st, 2015
A common misconception is that estate planning equates to death planning. But planning for what happens after you die is only one piece of the estate planning puzzle. It is just as important to make a plan for what happens if you become mentally incapacitated....

Five Things You Need to Know About the Recently Enacted ABLE Act

Posted on: February 15th, 2015
On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) into law. The ABLE Act will allow certain individuals with disabilities to establish tax-free savings accounts that can be used to cover expenses not otherwise covered by government sponsored programs. These accounts can be a great alternative or supplement to special needs or supplemental needs trusts....

3 Powers to Consider Giving to a Trust Protector

Posted on: February 1st, 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 a trust protector who will have the ability to adjust the trust provisions as circumstances, beneficiaries, and governing laws change....

5 Good Reasons to Decant a Trust

Posted on: January 15th, 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....

How Powers of Appointment Can Improve Your Trust

Posted on: January 1st, 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....

2015 Resolution: Estate Plan Checkup!

Posted on: December 15th, 2014
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....

The Wrong Successor Trustee Can Derail Your Final Wishe

Posted on: December 1st, 2014
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....

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

Posted on: November 15th, 2014
Paying insurance premiums to protect against potential losses frees us mentally to enjoy driving a car, leave our house empty while on vacation and receive medical treatment for an injury or illness. In the same way, the use of trusts acts like insurance and can shift anxiety to comfort, turmoil to peace, and complexity to understanding....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1:

Posted on: November 1st, 2014
Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. Insurance plays a big part in managing risk. Most people don't like paying insurance premiums, but when something happens and the insurance pays for a covered expense, they are relieved they had it....

What the 2015 Inflation Adjustments for the Estate Tax Exemption and Trust Income Tax Brackets Mean for You

Posted on: October 15th, 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has released the official inflation adjustments that will affect 2015 federal reporting for estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, and estate and trust income taxes....

4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

Posted on: October 1st, 2014
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....

How to Stop Worrying About Running Out of Money in Retirement

Posted on: September 15th, 2014
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. This is called 'shortfall risk,' and it is a valid concern. People are living longer and health care costs continue rising, especially long-term care which many seniors will need. In addition, the recent recession has given us setbacks in investments and record low interest rates. When combined, these issues can have a serious effect on retirement savings and projected income. But there are some things you can do now to help manage your shortfall risk and protect your assets....

How to Minimize Legal Fees After Death

Posted on: September 1st, 2014
Today, it is impossible to put together even a simple estate plan without the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Why? Because estate planning laws vary greatly from state to state and these laws are extremely convoluted and constantly changing....

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s Will: 3 Critical Mistakes

Posted on: August 15th, 2014
Oscar-winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died from a drug overdose in February 2014. Sadly, he left behind three young children - and a fortune estimated to be worth $35 million. He was only 46....

Should I Write My Own Will?

Posted on: August 1st, 2014
I'm sure you have heard this less than eloquent phrase before - 'Garbage in, garbage out.' The phrase is typically used in computer programming and scientific research. Unfortunately, it also applies to the law, legal documents, and writing your own Will....

Why Does Probate Take So Long?

Posted on: July 15th, 2014
Probate can be easily avoided, but most estates are dragged through the process. Why? Many people fail to create an estate plan, so probate is required. And - others plan with just a Will, so probate is required. As a result, assets end up at the mercy of a probate judge, open to public scrutiny, and delayed passing to beneficiaries....

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Inherited IRAs are Not Protected from Creditors

Posted on: July 1st, 2014
On June 12, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court--in a unanimous decision--ruled that Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) inherited by anyone other than a spouse are not retirement funds and therefore are not protected from the beneficiary's creditors in bankruptcy....

Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.

Posted on: June 15th, 2014
If you've set up a Revocable Living Trust, congratulations! You're definitely on the right track. But...you're only half way there. 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....

The Most Important Love Letters You'll Ever Write

Posted on: June 1st, 2014
Many Americans have the misperception that estate planning is simply preparing for one's death and is only necessary for the affluent. To the contrary, estate planning is as much about passing values to loved ones as it is about passing material possessions....

Paying for College - and Estate Planning

Posted on: May 15th, 2014
With higher education costs outpacing inflation by 5-6% per year, and the average cost of a four-year public school at nearly $20,000 per year (double that for private schools) it's no surprise that many parents and grandparents are deeply concerned about how they will pay for higher education. Many of these clients are similarly concerned about estate planning...

Who needs an Estate Plan?

Posted on: May 1st, 2014
The short answer is 'Everyone, age 18 and older needs an estate plan.' It doesn't matter if you are old or young, if you have built up considerable wealth or if you are just entering adulthood --you need a written plan to keep you in control and to protect yourself and those you love....

How to Get Organized to Meet With Your Estate Planning Attorney

Posted on: April 15th, 2014
OK, great! You've finally decided it's time to meet with an estate planning attorney and get your affairs in order. It's time to make sure your family is protected. Now that you've scheduled the first appointment, what's the next step?...

Newlyweds: How to be Prepared for the Unexpected

Posted on: April 1st, 2014
It's that time of year - the time for beautiful weddings, fun receptions, delicious cakes, special gifts, and romantic honeymoons. While this is a joyous time for everyone, it's also time for you and your new spouse to plan for your future - for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health....

Parental Warning: If You Own Your Property this Way, You May Accidentally Disinherit

Posted on: March 15th, 2014
Owning property as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship is easy, common, and often disastrous. Sadly, children - both minor and adult - are often disinherited....

Are You Wasting Money? Part 3

Posted on: March 1st, 2014
So far in this series on wasting money, we have looked at how people may overpay for housing, interest, transportation, food, clothing and entertainment. In this last part, we will look at a few more areas in which we may pay more than necessary--taxes, insurance, not obtaining bids for services, and not negotiating for large purchases....

Are You Wasting Money? Part 2

Posted on: February 15th, 2014
In Part One of this series on wasting money, we looked at housing, interest and transportation--areas in which you or your loved ones may be wasting larger amounts of money. In Part Two, we will look at how money can be wasted in everyday areas of life--specifically food, clothing and entertainment....

Are You Wasting Money? - Part 1

Posted on: February 1st, 2014
Most of us are guilty of wasting money in one way or another. Often we are so busy that we pay too much for convenience, and we don't comparison shop or look for bargains. Sometimes we waste money because we just stay in the same routines--shopping at the same stores, eating at the same places, using the same services. And sometimes, especially if we don't keep good records of how we spend our money, we may not even realize how much money we are wasting....

The Truth About Personal Risk Management, Part 1: Insurance

Posted on: January 1st, 2014
Personal risk management is being aware of the risks in your home and in your life, and then planning how to handle those risks. Insurance plays a big part in managing risk. Most people don't like paying insurance premiums, but when something happens and the insurance pays for a covered expense, they are relieved they had it....

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

Posted on: December 15th, 2013
Money values can be a guiding light that is a component of your legacy. If communicated frequently and purposefully, these values can be an important reference for your loved ones as they learn to handle money....

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

Posted on: November 15th, 2013
Setting spending priorities will allow you to process your income in a rational way, while giving you the satisfaction that your wealth objectives are on their way to fulfillment....

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

Posted on: October 15th, 2013
Budgets do control spending behavior. However, budgets also 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. ...

Organize Information for Your Family

Posted on: September 15th, 2013
Think for a few moments about what would happen if you suddenly became incapacitated or died. Would your spouse or family know what to do? Would they know where to find important records, assets and insurance documents? Would they be able to access (or even know about) online accounts or files on your computer? Would they know whom to ask if they need help? Putting the effort in now to establish a formal document inventory can alleviate unnecessary anxiety and turmoil in the future....

Who should be your Successor Trustee?

Posted on: August 15th, 2013
If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. The Successor Trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan....

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners Part One: Planning for After Death

Posted on: July 15th, 2013
Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners--opposite sex or same sex--it is critical. Part One of this two-part article will address some issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning....

The Value of Having a “Plan” in Estate Planning

Posted on: June 15th, 2013
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional 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 process instead of a transaction....

Special Needs Planning

Posted on: May 15th, 2013
In this issue of The Wealth Advisor, we will focus on an area that will likely apply to you or someone close to you: planning for a loved one with special needs. We will look at the increasing need for this planning; the decrease in government benefits; the concerns families have about providing for their loved ones; whether it is worth protecting government benefits; and planning tips to help you provide for and protect your loved one for as long as he or she lives....

Planning for Incapacity and Long-Term Care

Posted on: April 15th, 2013
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. Unfortunately, too few plan for an event that is more likely to be a probability than a possibility--and the consequences of not planning can be disastrous for all involved....

Young Adults need Estate Planning too!

Posted on: March 15th, 2013
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. The parents (or a sibling or another person) will probably have to go to court and ask for permission to obtain information about the student's medical condition, be able to make decisions about treatment, and have access to the student's financial records and accounts....

Estate Planning for Young Families

Posted on: February 15th, 2013
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:...

Estate Planning in 2013 and Beyond under the New Tax Law

Posted on: January 15th, 2013
For those who have been sitting on the sidelines, waiting to see what Congress would do, the wait is over. Now that we have some certainty with "permanent" laws, there is no excuse to postpone planning any longer....

Get Ready for These Five New Taxes on January 1, 2013

Posted on: December 15th, 2012
Now that the health care law has been declared constitutional, several significant provisions will become effective on January 1, 2013....

Blended Families Underscore the Need for Estate Planning

Posted on: November 15th, 2012
Anyone with children or modest assets should seriously consider some minimal estate planning, but the increasing number of blended families underscores the need for proper estate planning....

The Most Important Love Letters You’ll Ever Write

Posted on: October 15th, 2012
Many Americans have the misperception that estate planning is simply preparing for one's death and is only necessary for the affluent. To the contrary, estate planning is as much about passing values to loved ones as it is about passing material possessions....

Paying for College . . . and accomplishing estate planning too

Posted on: September 15th, 2012
With higher education costs outpacing inflation by 5-6% per year, and the average cost of a four-year public school at nearly $20,000 per year (double that for private schools) it’s no surprise that many parents and grandparents are deeply concerned about how they will pay for higher education. Many of these clients are similarly concerned about estate planning....

5 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

Posted on: August 15th, 2012
From time to time, it's good to review why having a complete, up-to-date estate plan is so important. In addition to confirming our own actions, it can provide us with valuable information to pass along to friends and family who, for whatever reasons, have yet to act. So, here are five common estate planning mistakes to avoid....

Understanding the Significance of Trusts

Posted on: July 15th, 2012
This issue of The Wealth Counselor addresses a topic that is important to clients and all wealth planning professionals: Trusts. When used properly, trusts can provide significant advantages to clients and to the advisors who recommend them. Given the numerous types of trusts, this newsletter explores the general advantages of trusts as well as some of the most common types of trusts. ...

Advance Directives Living Wills are a Critical Component of Estate Planning

Posted on: April 15th, 2012
March 31, 2012 marked the seventh anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old who succumbed after her feeding tube was removed as part of a very public legal battle between her husband and parents....