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.

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3 Tips For Every New Homeowner

3 Tips For Every New Homeowner

Congratulations on the purchase of your new home.  Whether this is your first home or an upgrade/downsize, the purchasing of a home is a big event in your life.  When these major life changes occur, it is important that you are properly prepared. Below are a few things for you to consider now that you finally have the keys to your new home! 

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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.

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Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually, someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. Your successor trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan.

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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.  

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Seeing an Estate Planner? 3 Key Questions to Ask

Seeing an Estate Planner?  3 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. 

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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. 

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3 Liability Planning Tips for Physicians

3 Liability Planning Tips for Physicians

You probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with the risk of liability.  It’s not just medical malpractice claims either (although those are certainly scary enough). It’s the entire scope of risk from being in business, including employment-related issues, careless business partners and employees, and contractual obligations, as well as personal liabilities.  Unfortunately, in our litigious society, these liability risks are not unique to physicians, although physicians are a frequent target. 

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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: 

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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.

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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. 

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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…

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Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Florida Probate

Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Florida Probate

As Ambrose Bierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.”

Obviously, ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in peace.

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5 Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts Now

5 Reasons to Protect Your Retirement Accounts Now

During your lifetime, your retirement account has good asset protection, but as soon as you pass that account to a loved one, that protection evaporates. This means one lawsuit and POOF! Your life long, hard earned savings could be gone. Your heirs could be left penniless.

Fortunately, there is a solution to this problem…

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Four Common Myths about Estate Planning 

Four Common Myths about Estate Planning 

Many people don’t understand what estate planning is and those that do may believe in one of the four myths listed below. Estate planning is simply taking the time to plan ahead for the management or distribution of your assets in the event of either your own incapacity or death. A proper estate plan will nominate guardians on behalf of any minors, potentially cut taxes and more. Here are four popular estate planning myths:

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3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

 When you pass away, your family may need to visit a probate court in order to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in only your name. Although having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, a will simply lets you inform the probate court of your wishes - your family still has to go through the probate process to make those wishes legal. 

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