Kids Going Away To College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

Kids Going Away To College?  Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

Will your children be preparing for their first year of college later this year? You're probably prouder than you can say, but you're a little afraid, too. How can you make sure your child is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? A new Bed Bath and Beyond matching sheet set for the dorm sounds great, but it just doesn't seem like quite enough, does it? So what else can you do?

Read More

3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now

A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to have an asset protection plan. But in reality, anyone can be sued. A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances. 

Read More

Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences

Discretionary Trusts – How to Protect Your Beneficiaries from Bad Decisions and Outside Influences

Although leaving your hard-earned assets outright to your children, grandchildren, or other beneficiaries after you die may seem like the easiest and most desired form of distribution, this scheme will make their inheritance easy prey for creditors, predators, and divorcing spouses.  Instead, consider using discretionary trusts for the benefit of each of your beneficiaries.

Read More

Estate Planning for Rental Property Owners

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.

Read More

An Easy Three-Step Review for Your Estate Plan “Helpers”

An Easy Three-Step Review for Your Estate Plan “Helpers”

While putting together an estate plan is important for you and your loved ones, it is equally important for you to understand the role of the trusted individuals who will be carrying out your wishes when you are unable to. When it comes to estate planning, these helpers are key. They generally include a trustee, guardian, executor, agent under a power of attorney, and healthcare proxy, among others.

Read More

4 Tips for Avoiding a Will or Trust Contest

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…

Read More

How Estate Planning Can Help You Dream About Your Future  

How Estate Planning Can Help You Dream About Your Future   

A dream without a plan is simply a wish. Estate planning is not just about death and taxes -- it puts you in the driver’s seat of your financial life, allowing you to set achievable goals. It is a great opportunity to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind for loved ones, help you avoid the expense and delay of probate, as well as help you save on taxes. 

Read More

The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages & Estate Planning 

The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages & Estate Planning 

You have likely seen several advertisements for reverse mortgages if you have spent any time watching television or surfing on the internet. The concept and sell is a simple one: as long as you own and live in your home, you can supplement your retirement income with a loan that you do not need to pay off. The trade-off when it comes to a reverse mortgage is that you are using your home’s equity to receive that extra retirement income. Even if a reverse mortgage is right for your circumstances, entering into a reverse mortgage is something that should be understood fully before signing any paperwork.

Read More

5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!

5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!

Estate plans are almost magical: They allow you to maintain control of your assets, yet protect you should you become incapacitated. They take care of your family and pets. And, if carefully crafted, they reduce fees, taxes, stress, and time delays. Estate plans can even keep your family and financial affairs private. But one thing estate plans can’t do is update themselves.

Read More

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

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

Substance addiction is by no means rare, impacting as many as one in seven Americans. Because of its prevalence, navigating a loved one’s addiction is actually a relatively common topic in everyday life. But you should also consider it when working on your estate planning. 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.

Read More

How to Manage Your Basis “Step Up”

How to Manage Your Basis “Step Up”

If you or someone you know has received an inheritance, it is important for you to understand how to manage your basis “step up.” A “step up” in basis is the adjustment of the value of an appreciated asset - for tax purposes - upon inheritance.  

Read More

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

No one wants unnecessary court involvement in their life. But without careful and proactive estate planning, chances are that some aspect of your estate will end up being decided there. Here are two of the most common ways court proceedings can make their way into the management and distribution of your assets, along with the estate planning measures you can take to avoid them. 

Read More

Three Legal Things to Do After a Scary Health Diagnosis  

Three Legal Things to Do After a Scary Health Diagnosis   

A scary health diagnosis can be emotionally and logistically challenging for many reasons. For instance, how can you take care of your family if you’re physically incapacitated? In addition to working closely with your medical providers, consider these three legal tips: 

Read More

Estate Planning Tips for Someone Who Is About to Go in for Major Surgery

Estate Planning Tips for Someone Who Is About to Go in for Major Surgery

Getting the news that you have to undergo major surgery is never easy. Preparing for absences from work, planning for childcare and household responsibilities, and reviewing your estate plan will be among the things you may be worrying about. But, what if you only have a few weeks—or even days—to react? Who should you call? How can you concentrate enough to get this work done?

Make the best use of your time by considering the following tips.

Read More

What to Do When Your Doctor Says to “Get Your Affairs in Order”

What to Do When Your Doctor Says to “Get Your Affairs in Order”

Five words no one ever wants to hear from their doctor: “Get your affairs in order.” Unfortunately, 58 percent of Americans do not have a will or trust, and it often requires a chronic disease or terminal illness diagnosis, or other life-changing event to prompt the estate planning process. Talk to your attorney about completing the documents below and follow these tips to protect your future and make the circumstances easier for your loved ones. 

Read More

Is now the time to revisit your old trust?

Is now the time to revisit your old trust?

There are several reasons why you should update your existing trust or perhaps your entire estate plan. While estate planning documents do not necessarily have a shelf life, they may not fulfill your goals when your circumstances change. Of course, having estate planning documents that are up-to-date is critical, but how do you know when you should make changes? 

 Reasons to Make Changes…

Read More