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

Owning property as Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship is easy, common, and often disastrous.  Sadly, children – both minor and adult – are often disinherited. While there are several forms of joint ownership, the one most people use (and the one considered in this discussion) is called “Joint Ownership with Right of Survivorship.” When one owner dies, the jointly owned asset automatically, by operation of law, transfers to the surviving owner. Joint ownership is a very common way for married people to own their assets. Joint ownership is also commonly used by aging parents and their adult children. Joint [...]

What Estate Planning Awareness Means For You

The third week of October is National Estate Planning Awareness Week (Oct. 15-21, 2018). Estate planning is important for everyone regardless of wealth or family status because if you become incapacity or pass away without an estate plan, you are leaving the distribution of your assets subject to state law – and the results may not be what you want or expect. Estate Planning Explained Estate planning includes the growth, protection, and transfer of a person’s wealth through the creation and maintenance of an estate plan. The concept of estate planning is important and twofold: (1) to have a strategy [...]

By |2021-01-27T11:55:09+00:00October 15th, 2018|Categories: Design, Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Did You Include Your Grandkids in Your Will?

Did you include your grandkids in your will?  5 Tips to Avoid Common Problems As we build wealth, we naturally desire to pass that financial stability to our offspring. With the grandkids, especially, we often share a special bond that makes us want to provide well for their future. However, that bond can actually turn into a weakness if proper precautions aren’t set in place. If you’re planning to include the grandchildren in your will, here are five potential dangers to watch for, and ways you can avoid them. 1. Including no age stipulation. We have no idea how old [...]

By |2021-09-21T20:16:36+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

Why a Spendthrift Trust Can Be a Great Solution for Your Heirs

There are many tools that can be used when putting together your estate plan.  One such tool is a trust. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement, established by a grantor or trustmaker, which gives a third party (known as a trustee) the authority to manage assets on behalf of one or more persons (known as a beneficiaries).  Since every situation is different, there are different types of trusts to ensure the best outcome for each beneficiary.  One type of trust, known as a spendthrift trust, is commonly used to protect a beneficiary’s interest from creditors, a soon-to-be ex-spouse, or his [...]

Planning for the Future Without a Crystal Ball

Planning for the Future (Without a Crystal Ball) Creating a will, trust, or any type of estate plan has always involved dealing with an uncertain future.  Consider that just 20 years ago in 1997, the estate tax had an astonishing 55% rate with only a $600,000 exemption.  Back then, tax-driven estate planning was a mathematical necessity for a large segment of the population. Fast forward to 2017.  Not only do we now have a generous $5.49 million exemption and a lower 40% rate, we also have renewed emphasis and action from the President and Congress on repealing the estate tax, [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:14:31+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

If You Die Without a Will, Does Your Spouse Inherit Your Entire Estate?

If You Die Without a Will, Does Your Spouse Inherit Your Entire Estate? If you are married and you die without a Last Will and Testament, you may mistakenly believe that your spouse will still inherit your entire estate. Not so fast. Who will inherit your estate depends on several different factors: 1. How is your property titled? Is your property titled in your name alone, in joint names with your spouse, in joint names with a child or other relative, or does it have a beneficiary designated? Knowing how all of your property is titled is the real key to understanding [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:16:23+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

5 Things Every New Mother Needs to Know About Wills

5 Things Every New Mother Needs to Know About Wills As a new mother, you naturally want to ensure your new baby’s future in every way. For many new mothers, infancy is a time for celebrating new life, and making a will is the last thing on their minds. For others, the process of bringing new life into the world sparks intense feelings of wanting control and needing organization. Regardless of where you fall on that spectrum, you might be struggling to figure out what steps you need to take to protect your children’s future should the unthinkable happen. Here [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:16:39+00:00July 16th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , |0 Comments

If I Don’t Have an Estate, Do I Really Need an Estate Plan?

You don’t need to have a summer house in the Hamptons or a private art collection big enough to rival MOMA to consider yourself the owner of an estate. In fact, virtually anyone who owns anything has an “estate” in the eyes of the law. Although the term may conjure images of expansive country properties, expensive cars, or other symbols of high wealth, for the purposes of estate planning law, the term “estate” covers a whole lot more. What constitutes as an estate Ordinary possessions like homes, jewelry collections, bank accounts, cars, furniture — basically anything you can own — [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:19:08+00:00June 8th, 2018|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Estate Planning for Military Families

Although Memorial Day just passed, it is important to honor those that have served our country. This time is also a good opportunity for members of the military and their loved ones to consider setting up an – or revising an existing – estate plan. Military families need to consider special estate-planning issues that others do not. This is particularly true when one or more family members are deployed overseas. Beyond this, members of the military have access to special benefits and resources. This can become complicated and, for this reason, it is important that you seek special help if you [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:25:49+00:00May 30th, 2017|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

The Perils of Promises… Marlon Brando’s Story

Legendary Oscar-winning actor Marlon Brando left the bulk of his estate (worth approximately $26 million) to his producer and other associates. Brando created a valid last will and testament. However, he did not include his longtime housekeeper Angela Borlaza – who later sued alleging that Brando promised that she would inherit a home from him when he died. A Promise Is A Promise… While a promise is a promise, not all promises are legally equal.  In the courtroom, an oral promise is usually not treated the same as a written promise. In this case, Brando either never promised Borlaza anything or promised [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:31:54+00:00June 30th, 2016|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Year End Estate Planning Tip #2 – Check Your Beneficiary Designations

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time to fine tune your estate plan before you get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season.  One area of planning that many people overlook is their beneficiary designations. Have You Checked Your Beneficiary Designations Lately? Do you own any life insurance policies?  If so, have you named both primary and secondary beneficiaries for your policies? How about retirement accounts – are any of your assets held in an IRA, 401(k), 403(b) or annuity?  Or how about a payable on death (“POD”) or a transfer on death [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:47:21+00:00October 9th, 2014|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , , , , , , |0 Comments

Does Your Revocable Living Trust Reduce Your Estate Tax Bill?

Many people believe that once they set up and fund a revocable living trust, property held in the trust will avoid estate taxes after they die.  In reality, this may or may not be true depending on your choice of beneficiaries and the terms written into your trust agreement. Single Trustmakers and Estate Taxes If you’re single and you create and fund a revocable living trust, all of your assets held in the trust will be subject to estate taxes after you die if your beneficiaries are individuals.  In other words, if your beneficiaries are your children, your brothers and [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:47:45+00:00September 15th, 2014|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Will Your Revocable Living Trust Avoid Probate? It Depends.

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 key to probate avoidance is proper asset ownership, including the full funding of your Revocable Living Trust. What are Probate Assets? What assets require probate? Accounts and real estate titled in your sole, individual name [without a payable on death (POD) or transfer on death (TOD) designation] Accounts and real estate you own as [...]

By |2021-09-21T19:48:15+00:00July 1st, 2014|Categories: Estate Planning|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments
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