Estate Planning

2605, 2024

What Is a Contingent Beneficiary?

Creating an estate plan involves selecting people to receive your money, property, or other items if you pass away. When making a will, you’ll work with an estate planner to designate those who will inherit from [...]

1605, 2024

7 Things to Know About Living Wills

Confusing many people with its name, a living will does not pass assets and property to your heirs like a standard will and testament. Instead, it advises your doctors and family about the type of [...]

905, 2024

Probate Process: A General Timeline

Probate is the legal process of formally recognizing a will after a person dies, naming or validating an executor to administer the estate, and distributing assets to intended beneficiaries. It also requires paying the decedent’s outstanding debts [...]

305, 2024

What to Do With an Inherited IRA

Inheriting an IRA may seem like a good thing, but there can be tax consequences if you aren't careful. If you inherit an IRA, you should check with an attorney or financial advisor as soon [...]

2904, 2024

Seven Ways to Distribute Your Personal Property Fairly

Unlike money, personal belongings usually can't be divided equally after their owner passes away.  For this reason, distributing possessions like furniture, jewelry, dishes, silverware, artwork, photographs, or clothing is often the most difficult challenge in [...]

804, 2024

Claiming the Guardianship of an Elderly Parent

Often an aging parent will lose their ability to think clearly or make informed decisions about their life. This may occur because of dementia, mental illness, stroke, brain injury, or other severe health or disability [...]

104, 2024

Securely Storing Your Legal Documents

Among your key estate planning documents are your will, living wills, powers of attorney, and medical directives. Securing these somewhere your survivors can easily access them is crucial. Consider storing other information, like birth certificates, [...]

2602, 2024

Who Does a Probate Attorney Represent: Executor or Heirs?

In estate planning, the executor, or personal representative, is responsible for managing the administration of the estate after an individual passes away. An executor may be a person or an institution. Their duties include applying for probate [...]

1602, 2024

Navigating Disputes in Probate Court

When someone passes away, the probate process ensures that the deceased’s estate fulfills its debts and that the heirs receive their assets. The deceased’s will dictates how to settle and distribute their assets and debts. (If [...]

502, 2024

How a Letter of Instruction May Benefit You

While it is important to have an updated estate plan, there is a great deal of information that your heirs should know that does not necessarily fit into a will, trust, or other documents. The [...]

202, 2024

40% of People Say They Don’t Have Enough to Make a Will

Four in 10 people believe they do not have enough assets to make a will, according to Caring.com’s 2024 Wills and Estate Planning Study, which surveyed more than 2,400 individuals. This statistic reflects a common misconception [...]

2901, 2024

What Is MAID (Medical Aid-in-Dying)?

Many people seek to avoid situations in which life is unnecessarily prolonged. Subsisting on expensive life-support long beyond when treatment might improve one's quality of life can be cruel. With advance directives, including living wills [...]

2201, 2024

Avoiding Property Tax Foreclosures for Older Adults

If you are a homeowner who is falling behind on your real estate taxes, you may end up facing foreclosure on your property. Because your property taxes hinge on the value of your property, you [...]

1901, 2024

A Useless Power of Attorney: Avoid Free Legal Documents

A power of attorney designates a trusted individual to make decisions or conduct transactions on your behalf. They could be related to personal finances, business operations, or medical needs and used for a single immediate [...]

1501, 2024

A Seniors Guide to Estate Planning

Most older adults acknowledge that estate planning is essential. Yet, nearly half of Americans age 55 or older do not have a will, and even fewer have designated powers of attorney, a living will, or health [...]

801, 2024

Medicaid Planning Protects Your Home

Your most valuable property may be your home, which is true for many people. You likely want your children to inherit that value when you pass away. However, you may also have concerns about planning for the future, especially if your health [...]

501, 2024

Who Gets Copies of the Will After a Person Dies?

Many movies and television shows feature a scene where family members gather after a relative has died to listen to the reading of the will. While this makes for a dramatic scene, it is one [...]

2112, 2023

Estate Planning: Should I Divide My Assets Equally?

Your heirs may not see eye to eye on family circumstances, particularly regarding inheriting your estate. Relationships can change and intensify when you die. Underlying issues can bubble to the surface, creating tensions over your [...]

1812, 2023

Revoking a Power of Attorney

With a power of attorney, you can appoint another person to act on your behalf. However, in some cases, a particular arrangement might no longer serve your interests. As long as you have the mental [...]

1512, 2023

New Year’s Resolution: Get That Estate Plan Done

Visiting an attorney to get your estate plan done is one New Year's resolution that you should definitely keep. None of us knows whether or when we may find ourselves seriously injured or sick. But [...]

812, 2023

Report: The Current and Future State of Estate Planning

Over the next two decades, experts foresee Baby Boomer households transferring more than $84 trillion in generational wealth. Amid challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to protect your assets for yourself and your loved [...]

112, 2023

5 Rights That a Trust Beneficiary Has

As a trust beneficiary, you may feel you're at the mercy of the trustee. However, depending on the type of trust, beneficiaries may have rights to ensure the trust is properly managed. Trustee vs. Beneficiary [...]

2711, 2023

14 Essential Questions to Ask Aging Parents This Holiday

Thanksgiving is a time when many families come together. About 45 percent of adults surveyed said they planned to travel for the holiday, per The Vacationer. With multiple generations gathering around the table, the annual meal [...]

1711, 2023

2024 Annual Gift and Estate Tax Exemption Adjustments

With the arrival of the new year, revisions to the annual gift tax and estate tax exclusions will be going into effect, as recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Gift Tax Exemption for 2024 Every [...]

1311, 2023

What Is a Power of Attorney?

A power of attorney allows you to appoint an attorney-in-fact or agent, which can be an individual or an institution. Your agent acts in your place for financial or medical purposes if you ever become incapacitated or can't act [...]

1011, 2023

Should My End-of-Life Care Plan Include a Death Doula?

Death doulas are available for people who are approaching the end of their lives, whether it is because of advanced age or illness. The service these professionals provide can help families and individuals who need [...]

611, 2023

What Is Cost Basis and How Do You Prove It?

Knowing the cost basis of your property is important for tax purposes, but proving cost basis can be difficult. Cost basis adjusts at death, so it is always a good idea to appraise your property [...]

311, 2023

Using a QTIP Trust in Estate Planning

Estate planning is crucial when managing valuable assets and ensuring the smooth transfer of wealth to future generations. There are various types of estate planning tools available, some of which may be more useful depending [...]

2710, 2023

What to Know About Creating a Living Will

Creating a living will ensures your future health care decisions and plans are respected. A living will, or advance directive, is a legal document outlining medical treatment preferences and end-of-life care if you can’t communicate [...]

1610, 2023

Should a POLST Be Part of Your Care Plan?

The American Hospital Association estimates that half of Americans suffer from chronic conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Following a diagnosis, many experience concerns about the kind of care they will receive. They may worry about [...]

910, 2023

Is an Independent Living Facility Right for Me?

Housing options and the associated costs are among the top priorities for many seniors. Today, the housing market is unpredictable, while many seniors currently living independently may also have concerns about continuing their lifestyles. Moving [...]

510, 2023

6 Ways the Sandwich Generation Can Plan for The Future

Anyone experiencing the struggle of simultaneously caring for children and aging parents is part of the sandwich generation. Although “generation” is part of the phrase, it doesn’t refer to people born at a specific time. [...]

2909, 2023

What Does Incapacitated Mean in Elder Law & Estate Planning?

When working with an attorney to prepare for your future and address the challenges associated with aging, you will likely come across the term “incapacitated.” Incapacitated Definition Someone who is incapacitated cannot make personal decisions [...]

2509, 2023

Is Your Financial Information in Order?

Preparing and organizing your financial information for when you are no longer capable will bring peace of mind to you today. At the same time, it may relieve your loved ones’ burden in the future. [...]

2409, 2023

Why Parents Need a Power of Attorney When Children Turn 18

Every parent knows that momentous feeling when their child turns 18. It's a major milestone, symbolizing the transition from adolescence to adulthood. While it's a moment of pride and reflection, it also comes with certain [...]

2209, 2023

Can Alzheimer’s Disease Be Prevented?

While new knowledge becomes available each year about promising potential treatments for Alzheimer’s disease, recent research is also focusing on the prevention of the disease or mitigation of its symptoms. Newly developing treatment techniques and [...]

1809, 2023

Reducing the Risk of a Family Fight in Probate Court

Many family circumstances can increase the risk of probate litigation. High-risk factors that often bring about probate litigation can include sibling rivalry, second marriages without a prenuptial agreement, and dysfunctional family dynamics. Also, a non-standard [...]

1109, 2023

Estate Planning for Surviving Spouses

After losing a spouse or longtime partner, it’s difficult to look past your grief. However, it’s crucial to understand the important and timely decisions you must make regarding your finances and personal estate plan. Estate [...]

409, 2023

Why Do I Need Estate Planning If I’m Not Rich?

Estate planning might conjure images of sprawling mansions, exotic cars, and extensive bank accounts. This misconception leads many to believe that only the wealthy need to concern themselves with it. However, regardless of your financial [...]

109, 2023

What to Know About Probate: Estate Planning Basics

Most estate planning attorneys can help you craft an estate plan that minimizes or avoids probate altogether. Probate proceedings are part of the public record and can be very time-consuming and expensive. However, in nearly [...]

1108, 2023

How to Handle Probate in New Jersey

Probate is the legal process through which the assets of a deceased person are distributed to their heirs or beneficiaries. In New Jersey, the probate process is overseen by the county surrogate's court. While probate [...]

1008, 2023

What to Do If You Suspect Neglect or Abuse in a Nursing Home

Every individual deserves to be treated with respect, dignity, and proper care, especially those residing in long-term care settings like nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, neglect and abuse sadly occur in such settings, [...]

1008, 2023

Using Wyoming LLC to Own Real Estate in New Jersey

For savvy real estate investors looking for innovative ways to protect their investments, forming a Wyoming Limited Liability Company (LLC) to hold real estate in New Jersey can be an effective strategy. This article provides [...]

408, 2023

Harnessing the Power of FLPs and LLCs in Estate Planning

Estate planning is an essential process for preserving your wealth, preparing for the unexpected, and ensuring a smooth transition of assets to your loved ones. Today, we explore two powerful tools at the disposal of [...]

408, 2023

What You Should Know About Required Minimum Distributions

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) are the minimum amounts a retirement plan account owner must take out each year. Legislation known as the SECURE 2.0 Act, passed in late 2022, has changed prior rules related to RMDs. Effective [...]

308, 2023

The Pitfalls of Corporate Ownership of Real Estate

Owning real estate through a corporation, be it a C corporation or an S corporation, might seem like a prudent business strategy at first glance. However, this method of holding property can introduce a range [...]

3107, 2023

Inherited Retirement Accounts: Minimizing Tax Consequences

The Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which went into effect in 2020, changed how beneficiaries of inherited retirement accounts must withdraw these funds. The Act’s passage made it more difficult for [...]

1707, 2023

What Is a Medicare Flex Card?

Some Medicare Advantage beneficiaries receive Medicare flex cards, pre-paid debit cards for qualifying expenses, as part of their benefits. The U.S. government does not issue Medicare flex cards. This benefit is only available on select [...]

1407, 2023

What Are the Drawbacks of Naming Beneficiaries?

Although in many situations the advantages outweigh the disadvantages when selecting beneficiaries, there are always exceptions. What Is a Beneficiary? Beneficiaries are individuals who you select to receive money, various other assets, or specific bequests (such [...]

1007, 2023

Lady Bird Deeds: A Different Kind of Life Estate

Life estates are ways for you to transfer property to another party while retaining the right to live there until you pass away, or some other event occurs. As the grantor of the life estate [...]

1007, 2023

What to Do If You Lose Your Medicaid Coverage

During the COVID-19 pandemic, states could not take away Medicaid coverage from any residents enrolled in this program. In recent months, however, this has been changing. If you are on Medicaid, be sure to take [...]

707, 2023

Do You Need a Spendthrift Trust?

The aging population is expected to transfer $30 trillion in the coming years, per Forbes. According to the Survey of Consumer Finances, the median inheritance is $69,000; the median for trust fund wealth transfers is $285,000. Many individuals [...]

3006, 2023

Can I Have Both Employer Insurance and Medicare?

When signing up for Medicare, some people have other insurance, such as coverage from a current employer, or retiree’s or military insurance. Beneficiaries of Original Medicare or Medicare Advantage may keep their additional coverage, as [...]

1906, 2023

3 Common Probate Questions: Estate Planning Basics

When people pass away, they leave behind assets, property, and possessions that can have sentimental and real value for surviving family members and loved ones. Everything that an individual owns upon their death is known [...]

1606, 2023

Do You Need a HIPAA Release?

If you are in the hospital, you may want your loved ones to be able to access information about your prognosis. However, if you have not authorized them to receive specifics regarding your medical condition, [...]

206, 2023

Do You Need a Trust?: Estate Planning Q&A

According to the 2023 Wills and Estate Planning Survey by Caring.com, only 34 percent of Americans have an estate plan. The primary reasons respondents gave for not participating in estate planning are: Procrastination Believing they need more [...]

1905, 2023

Why You Should Designate Beneficiaries

According to WealthCounsel, over a third of Americans have experienced or witnessed familial conflict when someone dies without an estate plan. While most people believe having an estate plan is important, only a third have a [...]

1505, 2023

Affordable Housing Options for Low-Income Older Adults

Safe housing that meets older adults’ needs is essential to healthy aging in communities. Many seniors with low, fixed incomes struggle to balance housing expenses with the costs of health care, transportation, and groceries. Finding [...]

505, 2023

Avoid Foreclosure With Repayment Plan for Reverse Mortgages

Using reverse mortgages, adults 62 and older may draw upon home equity to support their needs and remain in their homes. Many older adults with reverse mortgages have a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). The Federal Housing Administration [...]

2404, 2023

When Does Someone Need Financial Guardianship?

When individuals cannot manage their finances, courts can appoint guardians. Financial guardianship is for those who need help handling money. Depending on the jurisdiction, financial guardianship may also be called guardianship of the estate or [...]

1704, 2023

Where Medical Research May Fit Into Advance Planning

Medical research helps professionals understand and improve disease treatment, diagnosis, and prevention. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, there are more than 139,000 registered clinical studies in the United States as of 2023. Thinking [...]

704, 2023

Why Hire an Elder Law Attorney?

Elder law attorneys may specialize in estate planning, incapacity planning, and end-of-life care for seniors. These practitioners are essential because they work to protect a vulnerable population. To plan for their future and their care, [...]

304, 2023

Are Wills Public Record?: Estate Planning Q&A

Wills contain important information about who receives money, possessions, and property upon a person’s death. Who can view this information, and is it a public record? Once your will goes through probate, it becomes a [...]

3103, 2023

What to Know About Being a Health Care Proxy

When you assume the role of the health care proxy of a loved one, you make crucial medical decisions on their behalf. If your loved one becomes incapacitated and cannot communicate with health care providers, [...]

2703, 2023

Estate Planning: An At-a-Glance Overview

Estate planning, or legacy planning, entails preparing your affairs for the future, including death and other life events. While older adults might give more thought to estate planning, it is an essential tool at any [...]

2403, 2023

Estate Planning for Your Digital Legacy

One aspect of your estate plan that you may not yet have taken into consideration is your digital legacy. Arranging what happens to your digital assets and information when you pass away has become an [...]

2003, 2023

What Is a Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)?

A qualified personal residence trust (QPRT) is an irrevocable trust used to achieve estate and gift tax savings. The basic idea behind a QPRT is to transfer the equity in a qualified residence out of a [...]

1703, 2023

Limited Power of Attorney in Estate Planning

A power of attorney (POA) is a document that authorizes one or more parties (known as the “agent” or “attorney-in-fact”) to act on behalf of a person (referred to as the “principal”). Most powers of [...]

303, 2023

The Ins and Outs of Estate Sales

Following the death of a family member, you may find yourself needing to sort through many possessions accumulated over the deceased’s lifetime. An estate sale is one way to distribute those items that you do [...]

203, 2023

What Does the Term “Decedent” Mean?

“Decedent” is a legal term that refers to a person who has died with unsatisfied legal obligations. At the end of their life, a decedent has some legal duties that must be fulfilled through a [...]

2802, 2023

Support a Charity – and Your Loved Ones – With a CLAT

A charitable lead annuity trust (CLAT) is an estate planning tool whereby a person (grantor) creates a trust that initially benefits a charitable organization, foundation, or other qualifying entity for a defined period. After this [...]

2702, 2023

Estate Planning Basics: What Is a Beneficiary to a Will?

People create wills to establish what happens to their money and assets when they pass away. In these estate planning documents, they can name beneficiaries – individuals who will receive money, other assets, or specific [...]

702, 2023

Who Can Override a Power of Attorney (POA)?

A power of attorney (POA) is a legal agreement that gives a person (agent) the ability to act on behalf of another person (principal). A common question asked about POAs is under what circumstances a person can [...]

302, 2023

Does Power of Attorney End at Death?

A power of attorney is a powerful planning document that enables you (the principal) to give another person (the agent or attorney-in-fact) the power to act for you while you are alive. Because it is often [...]

3101, 2023

IRS Raising Annual Gift Tax and Estate Tax Exclusions in 2023

Although inflation is generally nothing to be pleased about, the IRS recently announced inflation-adjusted changes to the annual gift tax and estate tax exclusions for 2023. If you are considering wealth transfer tax planning, these [...]

2501, 2023

Start 2023 Prepared: Reassess What Matters Most

If we have learned anything these past few years, it’s that life is fleeting. Amid such uncertain times, many of us have realized what – and who – truly means the most to us. Estate [...]

2001, 2023

5 Smart Estate Planning Strategies for High-Net-Worth Families

If you are a high-net-worth individual, it’s essential to have a comprehensive estate plan in place. However, every family’s circumstances are unique, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution for estate planning. Below are five estate [...]

3011, 2022

What Does It Mean to Be Estranged?

Estrangement refers to a breakdown in a relationship, such as a relationship with a spouse or family member, where there is no longer any communication, or communication has become hostile, and the individuals lead separate [...]

1711, 2022

Seniors and the Benefits of Downsizing

You spend a large portion of your life and your hard-earned money on the concept of the American dream, buying and living in your forever home. Your home is a special place, filled with memories, [...]

206, 2022

Is a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust Right For You?

High-net-worth individuals and couples can use GRATs to freeze the value of their estates and transfer any increase in the value of their assets to their heirs, with minimal tax consequences. What is a GRAT? [...]

1511, 2021

The 6 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes

If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions regarding how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, without proper planning, your best [...]

511, 2021

Who Makes Health Care Decisions When You Can’t?

Being able to make health care decisions for ourselves is so important to us, but what happens if you become incapacitated and are unable to voice your opinion?  If you don’t have a health care [...]

1308, 2021

New Tax Proposals Mean You Should Review Your Estate Plan

As we have written previously, number of tax proposals being considered in Congress that could significantly affect gifting and estate plans. There are planning strategies to help protect your estate from future tax changes, so now [...]

408, 2021

Medicaid-Compliant Annuities in Medicaid Planning

Medicaid-compliant annuities (MCAs) are financial products that convert an individual's assets into income streams, thereby helping individuals qualify for Medicaid benefits by reducing their countable resources. But what exactly is a Medicaid-compliant annuity and how [...]

2307, 2021

Be Careful Not to Name Minors as Your Beneficiaries

Most people want to pass their assets to their children or grandchildren, but naming a minor as a beneficiary can have unintended consequences. It is important to make a plan that doesn’t involve leaving assets [...]

507, 2021

Why Everyone Should Have an Estate Plan

Do you have a will? A durable power of attorney? A health care proxy? If so, no reason to read on. If not, why not? Failure to create an estate plan risks causing discord in [...]

207, 2021

The Need for Medicaid Planning

One of the greatest fears of older Americans is that they may end up in a nursing home. This not only means a great loss of personal autonomy, but also a tremendous financial price. Careful [...]

2106, 2021

What Is a Directed Trust and What Are Its Benefits?

Directed trusts can be a useful estate planning tool, allowing you to place your family’s assets in a trust but benefit from the expertise of an advisor who knows more about the handling of certain [...]

504, 2021

9 (Potential) Problems with Your Trust

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your current goals. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself. But [...]

2903, 2021

Why an Irrevocable Trust May Be Superior to Gifting

Parents and other family members who want to pass on assets during their lifetimes may be tempted to gift the assets. Although setting up an irrevocable trust lacks the simplicity of giving a gift, it [...]

2203, 2021

How the $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 Relief Bill Aids Seniors

The latest COVID-19 relief bill, in addition to authorizing stimulus checks, funding vaccine distribution, and extending unemployment benefits, also provides assistance to seniors in a number of ways.  The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act [...]

1203, 2021

Medicaid’s Coverage of Nursing Home Care

For better or for worse, Medicaid is the primary method of paying for nursing home care in the United States. But navigating the Medicaid system is complicated and confusing. Here are the basics.  Medicaid (sometimes [...]

503, 2021

How Your Estate Is Taxed, or Not

Congress sets the amount that an individual can transfer tax-free either during life or at death. The current estate tax exemption is so high that very few estates will have to pay an estate tax.  [...]

2602, 2021

When Should You Update Your Estate Plan?

Once you've created an estate plan, it is important to keep it up to date. You will need to revisit your plan after certain key life events, including marriage, the birth of children, divorce or [...]

2202, 2021

What You Can’t Do With a Will

While a will is one of the most important estate planning documents you can have, there are things that a will won’t cover. A will is just one part of a comprehensive estate plan. A will is [...]

2801, 2021

Five Reasons to Have a Will

Your will is a legally-binding statement directing who will receive your property at your death. It also appoints a legal representative to carry out your wishes. However, the will covers only probate property. (Probate is [...]

2501, 2021

Married Couples Need an Estate Plan

Don’t assume your estate will automatically go to your spouse when you die. If you don’t have an estate plan, your spouse may have to share your estate with other family members. If you die [...]

2812, 2020

Using Life Insurance as Part of Your Estate Plan

Life insurance can play a few key roles in an estate plan, depending on your age and situation in life. There are two main types of life insurance: term and permanent. Term life insurance is the [...]

1412, 2020

What Is Required of an Executor?

Being the executor of an estate is not a task to take lightly. An executor is a person responsible for managing the administration of a deceased individual's estate. Although the time and effort involved will [...]

1911, 2020

Paying Taxes When Selling an Inherited Vacation House

While it may seem great to inherit a vacation house, in actuality it may not be practical to keep the property, especially for tax reasons. There are many factors to consider when inheriting property, including taxes, [...]

2610, 2020

The Hazards of Do-it-Yourself Estate Planning

Many websites offer customized, do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning documents, but although these products are convenient, using them could cause serious and expensive legal problems for heirs. These digital services appear to offer a [...]

2009, 2020

Will Electronic Wills Be the New Normal?

More and more transactions are done digitally, but estate planning has lagged behind technology. That may be changing, though. Even before the coronavirus pandemic made social distancing necessary, electronic wills were gaining legitimacy. An electronic [...]

709, 2020

What Happens If You Die Without a Will?

We all know we are supposed to do estate planning, but not all of us get around to it. So what happens if you don't have a will when you die? Your estate will be [...]

3108, 2020

Probate Versus Trusts: Why All the Fuss?

I have recently been bombarded by newspaper, magazine and radio ads extolling the virtues of a living trust. According to these ads, a living trust is the solution to everyone's estate planning needs. Although it [...]

1708, 2020

Estate Planning for a Single Person

If you are single, you may not think you need to plan your estate, but single people are in as much need of a plan as anyone else. Estate planning not only involves determining where [...]

308, 2020

Estate Planning When You Have a Stepfamily

Ideally, when a second marriage joins two families together, it should be a joyous occasion that creates one bigger family unit. Unfortunately, it too often also creates inheritance fights between stepparents and children. A good [...]

2907, 2020

8 Tips for Having ‘The Talk’ with Elderly Parents

Talking about estate planning is a difficult, emotional topic but it’s essential for every family. Unless you’re certain your parents have an up-to-date will and a wider plan for what should happen in the event [...]

604, 2020

How to Assist Aging Parents During the Pandemic

If your parents are getting on in years, you may be helping them with their finances and other matters, such as medical visits and shopping. You may live close by and be able to visit [...]

2802, 2020

How to Include Cryptocurrency in an Estate Plan

The growing popularity of cryptocurrency means it is increasingly something that must be considered when planning an estate. If you own cryptocurrency, providing instructions in your will is a must. Cryptocurrency is virtual money that [...]

702, 2020

Estate Planning Is Essential for Unmarried Couples

While estate planning is important for married couples, it is arguably even more necessary for couples that live together without getting married. Without an estate plan, unmarried couples won’t be able to make end-of-life decisions [...]

2801, 2020

Make Sure Your Plan Beneficiary Choices Are Up to Date

Many people periodically update their wills or other estate plans, but don't update who will receive distributions from their retirement plans (such as IRAs and 401(k)s) upon their deaths. Every year you should review your [...]

1701, 2020

Do You Have the Right Fiduciary?

A fiduciary is a fancy legal term for the person who will take care of your property for you if you are unable to do it yourself, such as the executor of an estate, the [...]

1001, 2020

The Durable Power of Attorney

For most people, the durable power of attorney is the most important estate planning instrument available -- even more useful than a will. A power of attorney allows a person you appoint -- your "attorney-in-fact" [...]

1001, 2020

Understanding Revocable Trusts

Revocable trusts are an effective way to avoid probate and provide for asset management in the event of incapacity. In addition, revocable trusts--sometimes called “living” trusts--are incredibly flexible and can achieve many other goals, including tax, [...]

201, 2020

New Law Makes Big Changes to Retirement Plans

President Trump has signed a spending bill that makes major changes to retirement plans. The new law is designed to provide more incentives to save for retirement, but it may require workers to rethink some of their [...]

2212, 2019

The Most Important Estate Planning Documents

Making sure you have the right estate planning documents is one of the simplest ways to have a positive impact on your family's future. Proper planning ensures that your wishes will be followed and that [...]

2910, 2019

Five Estate Planning Myths

There are lots of misconceptions about estate planning, and any one of them can result in costly mistakes. Understanding who needs an estate plan and what it should cover is key to creating a plan [...]

2210, 2019

Understanding the Differences Between a Will and a Trust

Everyone has heard the terms "will" and "trust," but not everyone knows the differences between the two. Both are useful estate planning devices that serve different purposes, and both can work together to create a [...]

3009, 2019

Most Are Taking Social Security at the Wrong Time

A new report finds that almost no retirees are making financially optimal decisions about when to take Social Security and are losing out on more than $100,000 per household in the process. The average Social [...]

2609, 2019

Why Plan Your Estate?

The knowledge that we will eventually die is one of the things that seems to distinguish humans from other living beings. At the same time, no one likes to dwell on the prospect of his [...]

1009, 2019

Medicaid’s Asset Transfer Rules

In order to be eligible for Medicaid, you cannot have recently transferred assets. Congress does not want you to move into a nursing home on Monday, give all your money to your children (or whomever) [...]

309, 2019

What Makes a Will Valid?

Movies, television, and books like to present wills in dramatic ways--handwritten notes, videos, deathbed utterances--but what actually makes a will valid? The law varies depending on what state you live in, but there are some [...]

2108, 2019

Reports Find Hospice Deficiencies Go Unaddressed

Hospice care is supposed to help terminally ill patients maintain their quality of life at the end of their life, but two new government reports find that serious problems in some hospices may be actually [...]

3007, 2019

Should You Sell Your Life Insurance Policy?

Older Americans with a life insurance policy that they no longer need have the option to sell the policy to investors. These transactions, called "life settlements," can bring in needed cash, but are they a [...]

907, 2019

Steps to Take in Advance of Death or Disability

No one wants to face the fact that our loved ones will not be with us forever. Facing our own mortality is frightening as well. Although none of us wants to contemplate a time when [...]

2105, 2019

Maximizing Social Security Survivor’s Benefits

Social Security survivor's benefits provide a safety net to widows and widowers. But to get the most out of the benefit, you need to know the right time to claim. While you can claim survivor's [...]

1905, 2019

Estate Planning for a Vacation Home

If you are lucky enough to own a vacation home, then you need to figure out what will happen to it after you are gone. Many parents hope to keep vacation homes in the family, [...]

1505, 2019

How to Fight a Nursing Home Discharge

Once a resident is settled in a nursing home, being told to leave can be very traumatic. Nursing homes are required to follow certain procedures before discharging a resident, but family members often accept the [...]

203, 2019

Can My Irrevocable Trust Be Changed?

Irrevocable. Permanent. Forever. When it comes to decision-making, these words are anything but comforting. So, when you sit down with your estate planning attorney and they suggest creating an irrevocable trust, it’s natural to be [...]

701, 2019

Ancient Wisdom for Modern Estate Planning

In one of the ancient world’s most revered literary works, Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, a tragic hero, Oedipus, returns to the city of his birth for the first time. When he arrives, he finds the city [...]

2712, 2018

Combatting Loneliness Through Estate Planning

For many people, the holidays are a particularly lonely period. But the fact is, loneliness is an all too common issue for a large number of our friends and neighbors, particularly seniors: one-third of Americans [...]

1112, 2018

College Students Need Estate Plans Too

College is an exciting time for young adults, offering them an amazing opportunity to learn, grow, and gradually experience a new level of independence in a safe environment. Legally speaking, however, they’ve already transitioned into [...]

412, 2018

Estate Planning for Young Families

Given how much parents of young children have on their plates, it’s understandable that estate planning isn’t typically at the top their to-do lists. But the truth is, once you have children, estate planning becomes [...]

2611, 2018

Learning from Terri Schiavo Case

If you’re of a certain age, you probably remember the Terri Schiavo case: in 1990, Mrs. Schiavo suddenly lost consciousness and slipped into a persistent vegetative state. She was only 26 years old and, like [...]

1911, 2018

Avoiding a Nightmare of Adult Guardianship

“A ruthless determination to take elders from their homes and make them conform to a one-size-fits-all process by which their belongings can be sold, and their family and friends shut out — until eventually they [...]

2910, 2018

Living Wills and Dignity-Based Dementia Planning

Advanced healthcare directives, or living wills, are a critical component of a comprehensive estate plan, providing guidance to family and caregivers regarding end-of-life medical decisions. But what happens if someone is suffering from a long-term, [...]

309, 2018

Redo Your Estate Plan When You Remarry

If you are getting remarried, you obviously want to celebrate, but it is also important to focus on less exciting matters like redoing your estate plan. You may have created an estate plan during your [...]

2808, 2018

Inheritance Shouldn’t Be a Secret

Family wealth and inheritance can have a significant impact on the younger generation’s options and standard of living. But, contrary to popular belief, that impact isn’t always positive. In one 25-year study of thousands of [...]

2607, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Appointing Co-Trustees

Choosing a trustee is a critical aspect of trust creation. If the trustee is unqualified or unreliable, the impact on beneficiaries could be significant. Potential problems range from sloppy record-keeping that leaves beneficiaries uncertain and [...]

1007, 2018

Funding a Living Trust – Avoid These Common Mistakes

A surprising number of people go to the trouble of hiring an attorney, explaining their wishes, designating beneficiaries and a successor trustee, and paying to have a trust created, only to drop the ball on [...]

1806, 2018

Estate Planning Documents to Review Before a Divorce

Many people neglect to update some or all of their estate planning documents when they divorce, while others move quickly to change beneficiaries and make other updates after a divorce. However, some estate planning changes [...]

1905, 2018

Options for Updating Your Will in New Jersey

For most people, writing a will isn’t a one-and-done event. Unless your will is drafted very near the end of your life, chances are good that changes over your lifetime will make it necessary to [...]

1405, 2018

Digital Estate Planning for the 21st Century

The need for digital estate planning is fairly new, but it’s a significant and growing issue. From ownership of digital assets to control of email and social media accounts, the modern estate administrator has a [...]

1005, 2018

Understanding Your Estate Plan

If you’re a bit uncertain about exactly what estate planning entails or how important it is for you, you’re in good company. 74% of respondents to a 2016 WealthCounsel survey said they found estate planning [...]

605, 2018

Estate Planning Under Trump’s New Tax Law

From an estate planning perspective, the highest-profile aspect of the new tax law is that the federal estate tax exemption has been doubled. The jump from $5.5 million to just over $11 million ($22 million [...]

3004, 2018

Will Your Cryptocurrency Die with You?

Cryptocurrency hasn’t exactly gone mainstream, but it’s no longer a rare, fringe holding. A recent survey revealed that nearly 8% of Americans own at least some Bitcoin or other form of cryptocurrency, and another 7.76% [...]

2404, 2018

The Most Challenging Estate Planning Issues May Surprise You

Earlier this year, a survey of estate planning professionals across a range of professions revealed that the biggest obstacle in the estate planning process isn’t taxes, legal requirements, or expense—it’s your family. More specifically, 44% [...]

1604, 2018

Benefits of a Charitable Remainder Trust

Even if you haven’t yet invested in estate planning, you’ve probably heard of Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs). When you visit your favorite non-profit’s website or receive a solicitation letter from your alma mater, you may [...]

1604, 2018

Estate Planning for Older Parents

A combination of advances in medical science, longer life spans, people marrying later, second marriages, and other factors mean that many Americans have children later in life than was the norm just a generation ago. [...]

1004, 2018

5 Reasons to Avoid Probate (even in New Jersey)

When you hear about an alternative estate planning option such as a living trust, one of the key selling points mentioned is often that you can “avoid probate.” However, if you don’t know much about [...]

2503, 2018

Five Estate Issues You Shouldn’t Tackle on Your Own

When you’re planning for your own future and providing for your loved ones, it is always beneficial to have the knowledgeable guidance of an experienced estate lawyer. Though forms and software abound to help you [...]

1402, 2018

Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

When a loved one dies, administrative details are usually the furthest thing from your mind. But, there is a lot to be done, from planning a funeral to making important notifications. Some of these tasks [...]

1102, 2018

Choosing a Personal Representative for Your Estate

When you prepare a will in New Jersey, you’ll choose a personal representative to handle administration of your estate. You will typically also choose a successor, in case the personal representative you chose is unable [...]

2301, 2018

End-of-Life Care Decision Making

Just as we create estate plans for our eventual demise, we also need to plan ahead for the possibility that we will become sick and unable to make our own medical decisions. Medical science has [...]

701, 2018

Estate Planning for Mixed Families

Estate planning for mixed families is a bit more complicated, and requires specific consideration of the treatment of stepchildren and the path assets will follow after the death of one spouse. When one or both [...]

501, 2018

Asset Protection for Beneficiaries and Heirs

Often, people think about asset protection simply as a way to minimize risk during their lifetimes, separating risk management from estate planning. However, asset protection for beneficiaries can play a significant role in estate planning—especially [...]

912, 2017

What is a Pour Over Will?

When you start thinking about protecting your loved ones with an estate plan, the terminology you encounter may be confusing. Maybe you’re thinking about creating a will, but then you see mention of self-proving wills [...]

412, 2017

No New Jersey Estate Tax after December 31, 2017

In 2016, the New Jersey legislature repealed the state’s estate tax, but phased in the change. For those who passed away during calendar year 2017, there was a significant bump in the exemption. Prior to [...]

2111, 2017

Estate Planning for Pet Owners

The widowed, childless millionaire leaving his entire estate to a Pekingese and the wealthy woman disinheriting her children in favor of a Persian cat are largely the stuff of fiction. On the rare occasion that [...]

1511, 2017

Estate Planning for Unmarried Couples

According to Pew Research Center, there are currently about 9 million unmarried couples living together in the United States. That number more than doubled between 1990 and 2010, and continues to grow. About half of [...]

211, 2017

What To Do When a Loved One Passes Away

Whether your spouse has just passed away or you have lost your mom or dad, the emotional trauma of losing a loved one often comes with a bewildering array of financial and legal issues demanding [...]

211, 2017

Use Your Will to Dictate How to Pay Your Debts

The main purpose of a will is to direct where your assets will go after you die, but it can also be used to instruct your heirs how to pay your debts. While generally heirs [...]

1810, 2017

Avoid These 8 Common Estate Planning Mistakes

The most common and most significant estate planning error is failing to plan at all. About half of U.S. adults don’t even have a will, arguably the most basic estate planning document. Unfortunately, many of [...]

1610, 2017

The Role of a Prenuptial Agreement in Estate Planning

You may think of prenuptial agreements as contracts created in anticipation of divorce. While a standard prenup will contain provisions regarding the distribution of assets should the couple divorce, an agreement executed in anticipation of [...]

810, 2017

Estate Planning for Single Parents

Every adult should have a well-considered estate plan, but being prepared is never more important than when you are solely responsible for a minor child. Like anyone creating a comprehensive estate plan, you’ll need a [...]

110, 2017

Millennial Wealth Management and Estate Planning

The popular press has a lot to say about Millennials—a loosely defined classification including those who are currently in their late teens to late thirties—and their money. We read that they’re broke, that they’re living [...]

2909, 2017

DIY Will Pitfalls

You’ve undoubtedly heard that it’s important for all adults to have a will or other legal plan for passing assets and getting debts settled when they pass away. You may also have heard that, despite [...]

2609, 2017

How Does an IRA Fit Into Your Estate Plan?

When you think of IRAs, you probably think of retirement. But what happens to your IRA money after you’re gone? The answer depends on how you go about creating your estate plan and selecting beneficiaries, [...]

2109, 2017

Tips for Choosing a Trustee

Trusts can be a powerful tool for protecting assets, passing property to loved ones after your death, or providing for a loved one who is disabled or incapacitated. You can work with your trust attorney [...]

1909, 2017

New Baby? Time to Create Your Estate Plan

Estate planning is often one item that gets pushed back on nearly everyone’s to-do list. The reasons you might be delaying vary: lack of time, not thinking you have enough assets, not knowing how to [...]

1809, 2017

Preparing to Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney

Creating a comprehensive estate plan requires a thorough assessment of your holdings, your family structure and the people you want to provide for. Of course, the average person doesn’t have an in-depth understanding of the [...]

1409, 2017

Single and Childless? You Still Need a Will

Most American adults don’t have wills. Reasons vary, including procrastination, believing they’re too young to need a will, not thinking they have enough property to bother with estate planning and discomfort thinking about end of [...]

1209, 2017

How A Living Trust Helps Your Family

There are several parts to an estate plan, one of them being a living trust. Common factors that prompt someone to create a trust include privacy, tax benefits, avoiding probate, and caring for family members [...]

609, 2017

HUD Makes Reverse Mortgages a Little Less Attractive

The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced changes to the federal reverse mortgage program. Citing the need to put the program on better financial footing, HUD will raise reverse mortgage fees for [...]

509, 2017

Estate Planning For the Newly Married

Now is the perfect time to start working on an estate plan—because, as newlyweds, you may not have a list of your accounts, but you've effectively just done a working inventory of your possessions—as you've [...]

3008, 2017

Good Planning Protects Your Family’s Future

Fully protecting your spouse and children requires protecting yourself in ways that many young adults don’t consider, and preparing for eventualities most will never have to face. These tips on legal and financial planning for [...]

2508, 2017

Who Inherits When There’s No Will?

Many people assume that their spouses or children will automatically be provided for upon their deaths. With that expectation, it’s easy to view a will or living trust as a tool that may make the [...]

1608, 2017

Living Trust Maintenance is Key

Many people opt for a living trust over more traditional means of estate planning because of benefits such as: A smoother, shorter transition after death Lower costs of administration after death Flexibility during the grantor’s [...]

1208, 2017

The Role of Life Insurance in Estate Planning

Many people think of life insurance as nothing more than a means to ensure that dependents are provided for. While that is obviously a key benefit of a good life insurance policy, there are other [...]

908, 2017

Don’t Overlook Liquidity in Estate Planning

The purpose of an estate plan is to protect your family, loved ones, business partners and others who will be impacted by your death. Most people think in terms of the big issues, such as [...]

1907, 2017

Managing Estate Debts for the Good of Your Heirs

Very few of us manage to plan our finances neatly enough that we die with zero debt. Even if you live largely debt-free, timing alone will typically result in a least a few outstanding medical [...]

1807, 2017

Do You Really Need a Will?

You May Not Think You Need a Will, but You Really Do. Most Americans do not have a simple will as part of their estate plan. You might believe that a will is only for [...]

1507, 2017

Transferring Mortgaged Real Property after Death

Mortgage debt can complicate bequests of real property in ways most people haven’t considered. These complications are manageable if you have planned appropriately, but may lead to unpleasant surprises if left to chance. If you [...]

1007, 2017

Estate Planning for Parents of Adult Children

Even the best prepared parents don’t always recognize the need to reassess estate plans and property ownership when a child turns 18. In some ways, of course, your legal concerns are simplified when your child [...]

2006, 2017

Estate Planning That Expresses Who You Are

5 Things to Talk About with Your Family You intend to pass along your wealth through your estate plan, but what about your wisdom? Ensuring you accomplish both calls for a family meeting to have [...]

1306, 2017

Money Isn’t Everything in Estate Planning

How to Pass Your Stories and Values to the Future Generations Money may be the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, but the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even [...]

3005, 2017

Estate Planning for Military Families

Although Memorial Day just passed, it is important to honor those that have served our country. This time is also a good opportunity for members of the military and their loved ones to consider setting [...]

1104, 2017

Does a Dynasty Trust Make Sense for Your Family?

Earlier this year, NBA team owner Gail Miller made headlines when she announced that she was effectively no longer the owner of the Utah Jazz or the Vivint Smart Home Arena. These assets, she said, [...]

1403, 2017

5 Reasons to Embrace the Emotional Side of Estate Planning

When you hear the phrase “estate plan,” you might first think about paperwork. Or your mind might land on some of the uncomfortable topics that estate planning confronts head-on: end-of-life decisions, incapacity, and your family’s [...]

1701, 2017

Got Stuff? George Carlin Says You Need An Estate Plan!

George Carlin would have been a great pitchman for estate planning. You may remember his stand-up routine on "stuff." We all have stuff, and we're pretty particular about our stuff. We move it around with [...]

901, 2017

Joint Accounts & Elder Abuse

At first glance, it may appear that opening a joint account with an elderly loved one is a great way to avoid probate or help that loved one manage his or her affairs. While joint [...]

901, 2017

The Importance of Maintaining Your Estate Plan

Congratulations! You were one of the wise individuals who took the time from your busy schedule to create an estate plan. You carefully devised a strategy for the division of your assets and debts. You [...]

2910, 2016

An Overview of the IRC Section 2704 Proposal

Section 2704 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) pertains to family-controlled corporations and partnerships, specifically dealing with gratuitous transfers between family members in connection with the family owned business. According to IRC, the IRS can [...]

2910, 2016

Understanding the Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust

Life insurance can give great peace of mind to the insured by providing for their loved ones after their death. Life insurance benefits can help pay for your children’s college education or provide for your [...]

2910, 2016

Special Features of Special Needs Trusts

Parents wish to provide for their child with special needs after the parent passes away. However, many parents fear that the inheritance left to their child may disqualify the child from crucial government assistance programs. [...]

2910, 2016

Does My Trust Need a Separate Tax ID Number?

The type of trust that you utilize in your estate planning will affect how the trust’s income will be taxed. This is an important consideration when creating a trust as it will determine who will [...]

2910, 2016

Will My Will be Valid if I Move to Another State?

One common method of estate planning is a will. A will distributes your estate and contains certain instructions for your beneficiaries. Individuals often question whether their will will be valid if they move to another [...]

3009, 2016

Paying for Long-Term Care

As individuals age, they often begin to think about where they would like to live out their days. Most would like to stay in their homes for as long as possible. However, this often requires [...]

3009, 2016

Medicare vs. Medicaid

When most people think of long-term care, they imagine nursing homes or assisted living facilities. However, there are several different options available for long-term care. The most common is nursing home care, where an individual [...]

1809, 2016

Stress Test Your Estate Plan

So you’ve done the hard work of establishing an estate plan. Good on you, as they say across the Pond. However, you still have serious work to do to ensure that the strategy you’ve selected [...]

509, 2016

Estate Planning for Cross-Border Families

Estate planning is always a highly involved process but for cross-border families, estate planning can be rife with difficulties. Those who own assets in foreign countries or are married to a non-citizen spouse have additional [...]

109, 2016

What To Do After a Loved One Dies

If you've been appointed an executor of a loved one's estate, or a successor trustee, and that person dies, your grief – not to mention your to-do list, including tasks ranging from planning the funeral, [...]

2208, 2016

Transferring a Mortgaged Property into a Living Trust

Estimates from online real estate search firm Zillow indicate that nearly one-third of homeowners own their home free and clear. For the unlucky two-thirds who have either one or multiple mortgages on their home and [...]

1908, 2016

Stepped-Up Basis in Inherited Assets

When considering leaving property to beneficiaries, tax considerations factor heavily in estate planning. Since one is hard pressed to find any aspect of our life (and death) that is not subject to some form of [...]

1908, 2016

Why Most Estate Plans Do Not Work

Estate planning can be a tedious and complicated process, which if not conducted properly can result in assets being wasted due to being placed in expensive probate proceedings or unduly subjected to creditor claims and [...]

1908, 2016

Medicaid Crisis vs. Medicaid Planning

A health condition that requires a family member to receive permanent, long-term care often does not occur with a great deal of advanced notice, particularly if the health event occurs suddenly such as in the [...]

1408, 2016

Do You Need to Avoid Probate?

Probate is the legal process of presenting your Will to the Court after your death to authenticate it, and appoint your Executor. Your Executor must be appointed by the Court in order to collect and [...]

1108, 2016

Important Facts About Medicaid Planning

When it comes to dealing with the excruciating cost of long-term care services, there is no room for error and knowledge is power. For that reason, we summarized for our readers the answers dealing with [...]

1108, 2016

Who Needs Estate Planning?

Estate planning isn’t about how much money you have, it's about protecting what you have for you, during your lifetime and for those you love after you’re gone. It ensures what you have gets to [...]

2907, 2016

Estate Planning for LGBT Couples

In 2015 when the Court decided the landmark case, Obergefell v. Hodges, which held that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry and these marriages must be [...]

2607, 2016

IRAs and Estate Planning

In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Clark v. Rameker altered the landscape of estate planning strategies concerning protecting inherited IRAs from creditor claims. In Clark, the court considered whether a person who had [...]

2307, 2016

Medicaid and Estate Recovery in New Jersey

Federal Medicaid regulations require a state to seek reimbursement from an individual’s estate for the cost of long-term nursing facility services. Medicaid liens, as they are commonly referred to, are a lien placed against a [...]

2107, 2016

How Will Brexit Impact Your Financial Planning?

Market volatility is a constant in our modern world. But so-called Black Swan events sometimes take the concept of volatility to the next level. On June 23, voters in the U.K. passed a referendum supporting [...]

1607, 2016

Keeping Control of Your Trust

Every different form of trust contains its unique benefits and drawbacks that depend on an individual’s estate planning needs. One particular example involves the choice between irrevocable and revocable trusts. As the name implies, an [...]

2902, 2016

Estate Planning: 3 Reasons We Run the Other Way

We understand that it feels hard to get around to estate planning; it sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. However, we also understand that we all want to make sure that our [...]

109, 2015

Even Vampires Need Estate Planning

Yes, even the undead need an estate plan. After you stop laughing you need to hear me out. As we’ve learned from the likes of The Vampire Chronicles, the Twilight saga, and HBO’s True Blood, [...]

106, 2015

Dispelling the Top 3 Estate Planning Myths

Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way [...]

106, 2015

The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning

Some view asset protection planning with a skeptical eye. They believe there is a moral obligation to pay one’s debts. They think that asset protection planning is immoral because it prevents a creditor from collecting [...]

104, 2015

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians Anyone Can Use

Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability. It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners [...]

104, 2015

Is a Revocable Living Trust Right for You?

Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve [...]

103, 2015

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?

If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again. In this day and age of frivolous lawsuits and high divorce rates, [...]

103, 2015

When is an Estate Subject to State Death Taxes?

In the United States, certain states collect a death tax based on the value of the deceased person’s estate and who inherits it. Which States Collect a State Death Tax? As of January 1, 2015, [...]

109, 2014

Lifetime QTIP Trusts – The Gift That Keeps Giving

Estate planning for married couples can be tricky when one spouse is significantly wealthier than the other and each spouse wants different beneficiaries to ultimately inherit their estate. One solution to this problem is the [...]

109, 2014

How to Minimize Legal Fees After Death

Death is a costly business. Aside from funeral expenses, legal fees can take a big chunk out of how much is left for your loved ones after you’re gone. But it doesn’t have to be [...]

108, 2014

3 Ways to Minimize Estate Planning Fees

Today, it is impossible to put together even a simple estate plan without the assistance of an experienced estate planning attorney. Why? Because estate planning laws vary greatly from state to state and these laws [...]

106, 2014

AB Trusts – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?

Are you married and is the last time you and your spouse updated your estate plan more than a few years ago? Then chances are your estate plan contains good old “AB Trust” planning (also [...]

105, 2014

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

If you’re reading this, you need an estate plan. Why? The short answer is “Everyone, age 18 and older needs an estate plan.” It doesn’t matter if you are old or young, if you have [...]

105, 2014

The Three-Year Review and The Three-Year Plan

Review your life’s circumstances from three years ago. Think about what you knew and what you didn’t know about managing your wealth. What were the top five lessons you learned? How have your views about [...]