A colleague of ours recently assembled a list of the top 10 estate planning issues. This list is a great tool to assure that key items are not overlooked. All of these issues deserve thoughtful consideration. They can also create major problems if not dealt with in advance. Probate: Court supervised administration of your estate…

Mary and Paul had been married for over 50 years. Lately, Paul’s health had begun to fail and he needed Mary’s assistance more and more. Their adult children all lived in different parts of the country, and were unable to help out on a regular basis. Mary was happy to do it. She loved her…

Betty had been a client for over 15 years. Her only daughter and her husband were deceased. Betty had two grandchildren whom she cared for deeply. Betty is a very smart woman and over the years she had come to rely heavily on her estate planning attorney for guidance. So much so, that she would…

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,…

Some of the greatest family memories are built around family vacations. And those memories seem to be magnified when vacations are held at the same location every year, such as a family vacation home. It’s not unusual for families to keep those homes for decades, to be shared and enjoyed by each subsequent generation of…

Contrary to the way many people discuss estate planning, it is not an event. It’s not accurate to say, “I’ve completed my estate plan.” Estate planning is not something you do once and forget. Your plan must change and grow throughout your lifetime, or it is unlikely to work when it is needed most! Most…

Most of us would like to think that our children and grandchildren could handle a sizeable inheritance. The statistics say otherwise. Some studies have shown that most inheritances are totally gone within 18-24 months of receipt – regardless of the age of the recipient – and regardless of the size of the estate! The truth…

Today it is common practice to use a revocable living trust as the foundation of an estate plan. One of the reasons professionals recommend trusts is so that their clients can avoid the time delays, costs, and publicity of probate. Indeed, a trust that is fully funded (i.e. all assets are under trust control) does…

One of the main reasons our clients get involved in estate planning is to provide loved ones with protection from claims of future creditors, and “predators” such as divorcing spouses or lawsuits. If you leave your property to your child as an outright distribution, the property will not be protected from these things, but by…

A Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT – pronounced “Q-Pert”) is a trust that holds a personal residence for a term of years, allowing you, in effect, to give away your residence at a discount and “freeze” its value for federal estate tax purposes – all while continuing to live in it. Each person can set…

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