Last month we looked at guardianship, the first of two issues that affect planning for minor children. This month we will look at some ideas for leaving money to minor children. We start with the idea that minors cannot really own investments outright. As such, dealing with gifts of sizeable amounts of money, investments, and…

As a parent, planning and caring for the well-being of our children takes priority over most things in life. Without question, we want to be sure should anything happen to us, our minor children will be well looked after and that money or property we leave for them will be used wisely for their care….

We often are asked for advice regarding choice of trustees. Of course every situation is different, but here are some points to consider. You can select an individual as a Trustee, such as a close friend or family member; or a professional can be selected, such as an attorney or CPA; or you may choose…

It is quite often the personal property that causes the most heartache and disruption in families after a death. Money doesn’t usually have any sentimental attachment, but personal property can have a perceived value far beyond its actual monetary worth. For example, there may be souvenirs from family vacations, various collectibles, or other items of…

Your family cabin, cottage, or vacation home may be one of your most significant financial assets. It is also likely to be the one with the most enduring memories and emotional ties. The property may have been in your family for decades with your children and grandchildren experiencing special family gatherings and having spent their…

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…

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…

For decades a debate raged in legal circles about which documents were better – wills or trusts. Members of the public didn’t really know the difference, but there was a perception that trusts were more complicated and expensive – and were primarily for wealthy people. Those who favored trusts told the story of Ellen. When…

In the midst of the trauma of divorce, few couples are thinking first (or at all) about their estate planning. But it is very important that your planning be reviewed by your team of advisors, possibly including your attorney, your financial advisor, your insurance professional, and your CPA. All aspects of your financial situation will…

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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