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…

You may be surprised by the title’s assertion that nothing has changed in the last 30 years in estate planning. After all, during that period we have seen the rise in popularity of living trust-based planning, and the development of many sophisticated and elaborate planning tools for affluent families. But one thing that hasn’t changed…

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…

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