When you think of estate planning you probably think of your home, cars, investments, real estate, personal possessions, bank accounts, and so on. For the most part, tangible items you can touch and hold. But what about your digital assets? Digital assets include: Online accounts Images, videos, photos, text Email accounts Investment accounts with online…

Many of our clients are business owners. Although these businesses tend to be successful, we have found that many of the owners do not have clearly defined succession plans. This month, we will look at one of the best ways to outline a succession plan, especially when partners or family members are involved in a…

Ernest Becker, the Pulitzer Prize-winning psychologist and author of The Denial of Death wrote, “…what man really fears is not so much extinction, but extinction with insignificance.” For some business owners, survival of the business beyond their lifetime is viewed as the owner’s legacy. For others, it includes the business…and much more. Legacy Planning is…

Life is never easy for the spouse and family of an entrepreneur. And that was certainly true of Tim’s family. Over the years, they had to learn to cope with a certain level of insecurity and fear of the unknown, to live through periods of excitement and depression, through days of exuberance and days of…

This story is based on a real case involving a man who created a solid plan for his estate that, unfortunately, went completely wrong. Here is what happened. In 2005, Joe Bartlett, owner of Optimum Manufacturing, created a will leaving everything except his business to his second wife, Cathy Carter. Joe left instructions in his…

Just reading those words is enough to make you break out in a sweat. Even if it’s your business, and not you personally, or even if it’s someone in your family, notice of a lawsuit is among the most stressful events you’ll ever experience. You’ll no doubt go through the normal emotions – surprise, indignation,…

For many business owners, the family business represents the largest asset of the estate. And when next-generation family members are involved in the business, estate planning and business succession planning are intricately related. John Jenkins owned two successful businesses. The first was a beer distributorship operating in five states. The second was a group of…

When it comes to estate planning, you will often hear the phrase “title = result.” The phrase means that the ultimate results of an estate plan will depend on how each asset in the estate is titled. If something is titled incorrectly, it will remain outside the control of the estate plan, and will likely…

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