5 Tips for Successfully Receiving an Inheritance

If you recently received an inheritance or are expecting to receive one in the near future, it has likely triggered mixed emotions in you. You have lost a loved one and also experienced monetary gain. Studies show that a third of Americans who received an inheritance completely spent it within two years of receipt. Below are five practical steps for you to follow to maximize and protect your inheritance. Take your time. Allow yourself to be emotionally ready. Making decisions on what to do with your inheritance while you are experiencing challenging emotions is not optimal. Be sure to commit [...]

By |2022-01-17T19:25:29+00:00January 17th, 2022|Categories: Estate Planning, Inheritance|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Estate Planning Is More Than Just Death Planning

Many believe that estate planning is simply instructions on how to distribute your assets when you pass away, but the reality is that proper estate planning can do much more. While one major benefit of estate planning is to provide for your family and friends when you are gone, there are many benefits for you as well. Additional Benefits of Estate Planning Life can give us surprises, both good and bad. Estate planning can help you be prepared for some unfortunate surprises in life. This is because proper estate planning includes planning for you and your care in the event [...]

By |2022-01-10T20:44:01+00:00January 4th, 2022|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

5 Steps for Coordinating Plans Across Generations

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. Below are five steps that can facilitate successful intergenerational estate planning. Get the family together: While family dynamics can change, this should not prevent you from taking some time to map out an estate plan strategy for your family. Ideal goals across generations should be discussed in a group setting, on a preset date and location. Key concerns to [...]

By |2021-11-15T21:39:10+00:00November 15th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning|0 Comments

5 Reasons to Embrace the Emotional Side of Estate Planning

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. But while that could feel like a reason to avoid estate planning, the emotional nature of these decisions is a reason to embrace the process with enthusiasm. Here are a few ways in which emotion in estate planning is a good thing: Estate planning creates stability in times of loss If you end up [...]

By |2021-11-15T21:38:42+00:00October 11th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning|0 Comments

4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

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. If you are concerned about challenges to your estate plan, consider the following: Do not attempt “do it yourself” solutions. If you are concerned about an heir contesting your estate plan, the last thing you want to do is attempt to write or update your will or trust on your own.  Only an experienced estate planning attorney can help you put together and [...]

By |2021-09-13T20:01:23+00:00March 10th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning, POA, Trusts, Wills, wwPROBATE|0 Comments

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians Anyone Can Use

Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability.  It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners and employees, contractual obligations, and personal liabilities add to the risk assumed by a physician in private practice.  Unfortunately, in our litigious society, these liability risks are not unique to physicians.  Business owners, board members, real estate investors, and retirees need to protect themselves from a variety of liabilities too. Below are three liability planning tips anyone – physicians and non-physicians alike – can use [...]

Estate Planning for Rental Property Owners

In all parts of the country, services such as Airbnb have grown in popularity over the past few years. Indeed, these alternatives to hotel stays are popular among homeowners and vacationers alike. If you have a home or other rental property that is generating income, you should understand the following asset protection and estate planning considerations. Protecting Owners from Liability Just like any rental relationship, there is risk for the property owner. If anyone is hurt on the premises during their stay – no matter how short – a property owner could be held legally and financially liable for injuries [...]

Organizing for Tax (and Estate Planning) Season

It’s the start of a new year, which means tax season — and this year’s April 15th IRS filing deadline — is just around the corner.  Soon you’ll be receiving tax forms such as your W-2 or 1099s, and you’ll start thinking about the life events that could affect your taxes in various ways. This 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. Why?  Because as you run down your list of “tax prep” questions, you will find that your answers could also [...]

By |2021-09-21T21:46:56+00:00February 11th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning, Home/Property Ownership, Retirement|Tags: |0 Comments

Financial Firms Roll Out Form Aimed at Stopping Financial Elder Abuse

With cases of financial exploitation of the elderly on the rise, advisors who work with older clients are looking for ways to head off the abuse before it happens.  Enter the “Emergency Contact Authorization Form,” a document in which clients can list a trusted person who should be contacted if an advisor suspects a client is starting to lose their mental capacity or, worse yet, being financially abused or scammed. How Does an Emergency Contact Authorization Form Work? The Emergency Contact Authorization Form is a document which allows you to identify someone your financial advisor can contact if your advisor [...]

By |2021-02-05T20:35:58+00:00February 4th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning, POA, Retirement|0 Comments

Stress Test Your Estate Plan

So you have done the hard work of establishing an estate plan. Good for you! However, you still have serious work to do to ensure that the strategy you have selected will maximize your peace of mind and protect your legacy. Estate plans should be like living, breathing creations that reflect the changes in your life. Your life can and will change due to new births, children getting older, and other shifts in the family; changes to your investment portfolio, career and business; and changes to your health, where you live, and your core values. Likewise, external events, such as [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:14:29+00:00January 14th, 2021|Categories: Design, Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills|0 Comments

Four Types of Gifts Under A Will

Many people believe making a will is something that can be done with ease, and although most estate plans do not need to be complicated, most situations will call for something more than just a simple will. We have set out the legal requirements for making a will in one of our previous blog, which you can read up on here: "Anatomy of a Will". "Simple Wills" refer to a document where someone leaves all their assets to their spouse, that's it, nothing else, nothing fancy. It's like a "here you go" transaction. If however, this is not what you [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:15:55+00:00January 11th, 2021|Categories: Design, Estate Planning|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 |2021-09-21T17:13:21+00:00January 7th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning, Wills, wwPROBATE|0 Comments

Loan, Gift, or Advancement: Why the Classification Matters

While we all want to provide financial help to our loved ones—whether they are family or close friends—it is important to understand that how the money is classified will directly affect your estate planning. Accordingly, the intent behind the transfer of the money is key when determining if it will be considered a loan, gift, or advancement. Understanding the Differences Loan If there is a mutual understanding that the money you gave to a loved one is to be paid back, this is considered a loan—whether the so-called loan was documented or not. If the money lent is not paid [...]

By |2021-01-22T13:17:09+00:00January 4th, 2021|Categories: Estate Planning|0 Comments

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 |2021-09-21T17:14:08+00:00December 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 |2021-09-21T17:15:40+00:00December 18th, 2020|Categories: Design, Estate Planning, Trusts, Wills, wwPROBATE|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 |2021-09-21T17:15:48+00:00December 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 |2021-09-21T17:14:39+00:00December 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 |2021-09-21T17:13:37+00:00November 27th, 2020|Categories: Design, Estate Planning, Trusts|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 |2021-09-28T14:30:15+00:00November 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 |2021-09-21T17:15:33+00:00November 5th, 2020|Categories: Estate Planning, Wills|0 Comments
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