GP Schoemakers Blog

GP Schoemakers Blog2021-01-21T14:59:17+00:00

James Brown’s “Vague” Estate Plan Forced Family into Years of Litigation

James Brown, the legendary singer, songwriter, record producer, dancer, and bandleader was known to many as the “Godfather of Soul.” Although he intended his estimated $100 million estate to provide for all of his children and grandchildren, his intentions were somewhat vague.  This forced his family into years of litigation which ended up in the South Carolina Supreme Court. Everything Seemed In Order… Brown signed his last will and testament in front of Strom Thurmond, Jr. in 2000. Along with the will that bequeathed personal assets such as clothing, cars, and jewelry, Brown created a separate, irrevocable trust which bequeathed [...]

By |December 26th, 2020|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING, wwPROBATE|0 Comments

Just Like You Need a Medical Checkup, Your Estate Plan Needs a Checkup!

Whether or not you currently have estate planning documents, one important item to add to your calendar is getting an estate plan checkup. Don’t Have an Estate Plan?   If you don’t already have an estate plan, then getting one in place should be at the top of your to-do list. Why?  Because without an estate plan, you and your property may end up in a court-supervised guardianship if you become incapacitated, and your property and your loved ones may end up in a time-consuming and expensive probate proceedings after you die. Worse yet, if you don’t take the time to [...]

By |December 18th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Seeing an Estate Planner? Three Key Questions to Ask

Hiring an estate planner is an important decision as you are seeking advice on how to protect your loved ones once you are gone. For this reason, it is critical to hire an attorney with good knowledge of estate planning and how to use the tools available to create the best plan for your particular needs. Be sure to ask questions of the lawyer before deciding whether or not you will hire him or her. Here are three key questions to ask when looking to hire an estate planner. How does the attorney’s estate planning process achieve your goals? Just [...]

By |December 11th, 2020|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Four Common Myths about Estate Planning

1) Myth: My spouse can make all of my healthcare and financial decisions because he/she is my spouse. Reality: This is not always the case. To make sure your spouse can indeed make important medical decisions on your behalf, you should sign a durable power of attorney and a medical advance directive. 2) Myth: I’ve told my family how I want my affairs handled after I die. They’ll divide everything the way I want it divided. Reality: Informal discussions about your affairs have no legal enforceability. Even if your immediate family does carry out your wishes, if there is a [...]

By |December 4th, 2020|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING|0 Comments

Integrating Community Property Trust Into Your Estate Planning

A well-crafted estate plan is comprised of many individual parts, and careful, trust-based estate planning is the best way to ensure the highest possible quality of life for you and your loved ones. One way couples can make get the most mileage out of their estate plans is through community property trusts. This is a special type of trust that combines a couple’s jointly acquired assets as community property and can save a significant amount of taxes. Why community property trusts are a great idea The essential benefit of a CPT is that the basis of community-owned property is stepped [...]

By |November 27th, 2020|Categories: Design, ESTATE PLANNING, Trusts|0 Comments

The Harmonious Family that Won’t Fight?  The Outcome May Surprise You

Most families are happy families. They get together for the holidays, share laughs, and tell stories. Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company. Then, the matriarch or patriarch dies. Suddenly, years of pent-up resentment and hurt feelings bubble to the surface, and the once-happy family is now embroiled in litigation over the decedent’s estate. When everyone is alive and happy, it is easy to think that nothing will break a family apart. Many people think that since everyone is getting along, estate planning is not needed because everyone will look out for one another and do what is fair. [...]

By |November 20th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, Wills, wwPROBATE|0 Comments

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

Trusts  allow you to avoid probate, minimize taxes, provide organization, maintain control, and provide for yourself and your heirs. In its most simple terms, a trust is a book of instructions wherein you tell your people what to do, when. 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: Revocable Trusts. Revocable trusts are also known as “living trusts” because they benefit you during your lifetime and you can alter, change, modify, or revoke them if your [...]

By |November 13th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, Trusts|0 Comments

Are Handwritten Intentions Enforceable? Princess Diana Thought So…

Princess Diana of Wales was one of the world’s most loved celebrities – and one of the richest.  Her tragic death in 1997 was world news. The majority of her estate, reportedly worth $40 million at the time of her death, was divided between Prince William and Prince Harry in her estate plan.  However, she also wrote a “letter of wishes” that directed her executors to give a number of personal effects to her godchildren. Those executors, her mother and her sister, went to court and had it ruled unenforceable.  Holographic Wills – Sometimes Enforceable, Sometimes Not Princess Diana’s letter [...]

By |November 5th, 2020|Categories: ESTATE PLANNING, Wills|0 Comments
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