How to Choose a Guardian for Yourself

Every day we make hundreds of decisions from what to eat for breakfast to where we go on vacation.  With each passing day, there are more choices to be made.  But, what will happen if you can’t make decisions for yourself?  Before that time comes, there is one important decision you need to make.  Who do you want to serve as your guardian? For those of you who have had your estate planning recently done or reviewed, you probably discussed and executed a Financial Power of Attorney.  For those of you on the fence about having your estate planning completed, [...]

Do It Now: Name a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)

We know it’s hard.  Thinking about someone else raising your children can stop you in your tracks.  It feels crushing and too horrific to consider.  But you must.  If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you – your children’s guardian could be a relative you despise or even a stranger you’ve never met. No one will ever be you or parent exactly like you, but more than likely, there is someone you know that could do a decent job providing for your children’s general welfare, education, and medical needs if you are [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:45:29+00:00April 5th, 2019|Categories: Estate Planning, Guardianship|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Cryptocurrency and Estate Planning: What You Need to Know

Cryptocurrencies have been making headlines as of late, with more and more investors wanting in on this digital currency.  Cryptocurrencies are attractive because they are unregulated, decentralized, and anonymous.  While secrecy is useful in some areas of life, when it comes to estate planning it can lead to disaster.  Indeed, your entire cryptocurrency investment can essentially disappear into thin air the moment you pass away or become incapacitated.  If you have not taken the proper steps to plan and protect these assets, your loved ones left behind have no way of accessing or recovering them. Cryptocurrencies Explained Cryptocurrency is a [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:48:14+00:00March 7th, 2019|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Rewarding Your Employees by Giving Them the Business

Retiring from your business can a tough decision.  To ensure that what you have built continues on, there needs to be a plan for succession.  For some people, they have spent years grooming a child or other family member to take over, wanting the business to stay in the family.  Others look to sell to a third party for a quick way out that will also give them a nest egg for their next phase of life.  However, there is a third option–transferring the business to your employees.  If you like the idea of transferring your business to long-time faithful [...]

Should Your Child’s Guardian and Trustee be the Same Person?

If you have overheard any discussion about estate planning, you have likely heard the words “guardian” or “trustee” tossed around in the conversation.  When it comes to estate planning, who will be ultimately in charge of your minor child is an important decision that requires consideration of many factors.  Although there is no substitute for you as a parent, a guardian is essentially someone who steps in as a parent, assuming the parental role and raising the child through adulthood.  A trustee, on the other hand, is in charge of managing the financial legacy that has been left behind for [...]

How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, and Agent Under a Power of Attorney

While the term fiduciary is a legal term with a rich history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests.  Trustees, executors, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries.  When you pick trustees, executors, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to make decisions in your and your beneficiaries’ best interests and in accordance with the instructions you leave.  Luckily, understanding the basics of what each of these terms means and what to consider when making your choices can make your estate plan work far better. Trustee [...]

Five Considerations When Selecting a Guardian for Your Children

There is no question that having children changes everything — and estate planning is no exception.  If you and your spouse pass away or become legally incapacitated, and arrangements were never made in the event of such an emergency, your minor child or children will have to be placed with a new family.  Not surprisingly, such a drastic change can be a disruptive process for minor children — even if they are placed with members of your family.  If you choose a guardian for your child in your will or other estate plan documents this difficult time can go much [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:58:28+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning, Guardianship|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Why Not Just Go on Nolo® or LegalZoom or Other Form Provider and Create Your Own Estate Planning Documents Cheaply?

There are many software programs, as well as websites, that sell do-it-yourself estate planning documents.  These websites and form tools seem to offer a convenient and cost-effective alternative to consulting with an estate planning attorney.  But do they really meet your needs and protect your family?  Is online, do-it-yourself estate planning worth the perceived upfront savings? Penny Wise and Pound Foolish In all but the simplest scenarios, do-it-yourself estate planning is risky and can become a costly substitute for comprehensive in-person planning with a professional legal advisor.  Typically, these online programs and services have significant limitations when it comes to [...]

By |2021-09-21T17:57:17+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , , |0 Comments

How to Leave Your Life Insurance and Retirement Plan to Your Minor Children

Your children are your pride and joy.  It is no surprise that at some point or another, every parent likely becomes concerned about who will care for a minor child or children if one or both parents die or are incapacitated.  From a financial perspective, many parents turn to life insurance in an effort to take care of their family in the event of death.  While it is true that life insurance is a particularly helpful financial tool to protect your loved ones, it is just as important to consider how to leave the proceeds to your minor children.  Beyond [...]

What to Do with Your Beloved Collection

Whether your beloved collection consists of artwork, books, cars, music, or other significant items, you should not forget about this valuable asset when estate planning.  You have likely spent quite some time — whether years or your entire life — building your collection; you should not leave its fate to the whims of the court.  Estate planning is a great way to share the value and meaning of these much-loved items with those you leave behind.  Through your estate plan, you can explain to your loved ones why you collected these items in the first place as well as the [...]

By |2021-09-21T21:52:19+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Biggest Threats to Successful Estate Planning

Poor estate planning is a recipe for disaster.  Look no further than Dickens’ Bleak House — or a telenovela — to witness the tragedy and melodrama inadequate estate planning can cause.  While having your estate planning documents prepared is the first hurdle to overcoming these types of disasters, there are several threats that lurk around the corner that might derail your wishes. Family Conflict According to a TF Wealth survey of over 100 estate planning professionals, family conflict is the number one risk to a peaceful inheritance.  If children are treated differently under the estate plan, there is often an [...]

Steps for Starting the End-of-Life Conversation

No one wants to discuss death and dying.  And yet, it’s a critical time in everyone’s life and one for which we know we need to prepare.  While many people have the desire to share their wishes, something is preventing people from openly communicating with their families. As an important part of estate planning, healthcare decisions need to be talked about.  This helps preserve your legacy and provide peace of mind for your loved ones.  You can rest easy knowing that if they need to act, they are carrying out your end-of-life wishes as you would want. If you’ve been [...]

By |2021-09-21T18:22:22+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning, POA|Tags: |0 Comments

Finding the Right Fit: Questions for Prospective Wills and Trusts Attorneys

It goes without saying that estate planning is incredibly important and is more than just having a will or a trust.  Estate planning offers a sense of security for you and your loved ones that your wishes will be carried out.  With such an important and personal endeavor, selecting the right Wills and Trusts Attorney is crucial. Doing your homework, familiarizing yourself with the options and asking questions will be critical to getting someone who’s actively looking out for your interests. There are several key factors you should consider when interviewing potential attorneys and ultimately deciding which one to hire. [...]

By |2021-09-21T18:22:27+00:00August 23rd, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning, Trusts, wwPROBATE|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

How to Get Organized to Meet with Your Estate Planning Attorney

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?  You can do one of two things: (1) Simply wait for the meeting date to arrive, or (2) Get yourself organized and prepared for the first meeting. Before You Meet With Your Attorney:  3 Things Taking the time to sort through your important papers and get your thoughts in order will go a long way to making the meeting productive [...]

By |2021-09-21T18:22:35+00:00July 18th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

Declare Your Independence from Court Interference!

While the rest of the nation celebrates its independence on July 4th, you can rest assured that you too can declare independence for your family — from court interference.  Life can be unpredictable.  Whether it is a financial issue, the birth or adoption of a child, sickness or incapacity, it is important to be prepared with proper estate planning.  In fact, failure to put together a comprehensive estate plan can leave you and your loved ones at the mercy of the court when it comes to distributing assets or caring for a minor or sick family member. Estate Planning Basics [...]

Irrevocable Trust Decanting in 4 Steps

We all need a “do over” from time to time. Life changes, the law changes, and professionals learn to do things in better ways. Change is a fact of life – and the law. Unfortunately, many folks think they’re stuck with an irrevocable trust. After all, if the trust can be revoked, why call it “irrevocable”? Good question. Fortunately, irrevocable trusts can be changed and one way to make that change is to decant the original trust. Decanting is a “do over.” Funds from an existing trust (with less favorable terms) are distributed to a new trust (with more favorable [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:42:02+00:00March 5th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Not Just Death and Taxes: 5 Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning

Comprehensive estate planning is more than your legacy after death, avoiding probate, and saving on taxes. Good estate planning includes a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated during your life and can no longer make decisions for yourself. What happens without an incapacity plan? Without a comprehensive incapacity plan in place, your family will have to go to court to get a judge to appoint a guardian or conservator to take control of your assets and health care decisions. This guardian or conservator will make all personal and medical decisions on your behalf as part [...]

How Long Should You Keep Important Documents?

In a society dominated by paperwork, the question of how long to hold on to important documents has been baffling for most people. We especially worry about documents of a financial or personally identifying nature.People who worry about losing something important sometimes hoard everything; others who worry about things like identity theft are too quick to shred documents. Most of us, however, lie somewhere between these two extremes: Simply and utterly confused about what to keep and how long to keep it. You do need to save certain documents longer than others, and— for financial and estate planning purposes—these documents [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:24:06+00:00October 2nd, 2017|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: |0 Comments

Tips for Working with a Law Firm Get the Most Out of Your Work with Your Lawyer

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.  Here are some tips to have the most useful and value-oriented law firm experience. Get to know the lawyer and the law firm You’ll be working with the entire team, so it’s a good idea to know who to reach out to at the office. Paralegals and office assistants are employed by the lawyer to help you. For hourly cases (like [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:27:13+00:00July 3rd, 2017|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: |0 Comments

One Last Thing: Don’t Miss These 2015 Hot Estate Planning Topics

In case you missed any of them, here is a rundown of six hot estate planning topics we covered this year: 5 Things You Need to Know About the ABLE Act: On December 19, 2014, President Obama signed the Achieving a Better Life Experience Act (ABLE Act) into law.  The 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.  This blog covers five important things you need to know about the Act: what an ABLE account is, who can set one up, contribution [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:32:10+00:00December 21st, 2015|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: |0 Comments
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