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Latest Blog Posts

Estate Planning for Second Marriages

Posted on: May 20th, 2015
But second marriages (after divorce or death of the first spouse) are different. There may be his children, her children and sometimes their children. Each spouse probably has assets they brought into this marriage, and they will want those to go to their own children after they die. At the same time, they will probably want to make sure the surviving spouse will have enough to live on....

Does Your Estate Plan Protect Your Adult Beneficiaries?

Posted on: April 7th, 2015
In this day and age of frivolous lawsuits and high divorce rates, inheritance trusts need to be considered for all of your beneficiaries, minors and adults alike....

Where Did They All Go?

Posted on: October 15th, 2012
The whole point of estate planning is to leave your children and spouse in as strong a position as possible in case you die. But that doesn't mean that those without a spouse or children need not bother. On the contrary, settling all of your personal matters will prove to be quite burdensome for whatever friend or relative takes on the task. You may be around another 50 years, or you may be gone tomorrow, so you may as well set up a plan right now. As the Beatles once sang "Tomorrow Never Knows."...

Remove All Doubt

Posted on: September 26th, 2012
Doubt is a trouble-maker for those who are left behind by your passing. You are encouraged to reduce or eliminate the room for doubt. I found the below article to be loaded with helpful suggestions for making things clear. ...

Estate Planning Tips That Prevent Family Feuds

Posted on: September 5th, 2012
“Family Feud” is a television show, but they often happen in real life after the passing of a loved one....

Contemplating Your Own Mortality or Incapacity

Posted on: August 17th, 2012
Contemplating your own mortality or incapacity, as estate planning requires you to do, is off-putting under the best of circumstances. And estate planning is often put off to avoid the reality that life is not endless. ...

The Dilemma Of Disinheritance

Posted on: July 31st, 2012
The motives for cutting a relative out of an estate range from the most primal — hate, abandonment, regret — to the most rational....

Good Preparation Creates a Graceful Exit

Posted on: July 12th, 2012
The wealth of many boomers is tied up in businesses they own. And that can be a problem when it comes time to retire...

Tax Court Rules for Taxpayer in Transfer of Closely-Held Business Interests

Posted on: June 21st, 2012
The Tax Court has just passed a new technique that closely-held businesses owners —and wealthy families — can use to pass assets to heirs with a minimal amount of taxes and complications. The ruling in the case, Wandry v. Commissioner, is stirring up excitement among experts. ...

Separation of Church . . . and Estate

Posted on: May 25th, 2012
For many people, estate planning isn't just about financial assets and other practical concerns. It's also about honoring their religious beliefs and passing those values on to family members. That can be very tricky ground. My legal colleague, Lizette Sundvick, has offered the below commentary in reference to a good Wall Street Journal article on this topic....

Estate Planning For Women (And The Men Who Love Them) Question #7 Should You Give Away Your Assets Now To Save Taxes?

Posted on: April 30th, 2012
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book, “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer. ...

Six Things To Do Before Your Spouse Dies

Posted on: April 17th, 2012
While important to both sexes, estate planning often affects women more profoundly. Women live longer on average and tend to marry older spouses, making them three times as likely as men to be widowed at 65. It’s a staggering reality, and here is some pertinent information for coping with this reality. Barbara Stanny recently contributed this article to Forbes. The article gets right to the point in a practical and personal way. ...

Estate Planning For Women (And The Men Who Love Them) Question #6 What's A Tax Dowry?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2012
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book, “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her recent Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer....

The Odds Are Worse For Finding A Nursing Home For Dad

Posted on: February 28th, 2012
Liz Sundvick is a member of WealthCounsel who practices law in the state of Nevada. I found her commentary about gender differences in nursing home availability to be valuable. ...

Estate Planning for Women (And The Men Who Love Them) Question #5 What's The Difference Between A Will And A Living Trust?

Posted on: February 7th, 2012
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book, “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer. ...

Five Documents Most Needed

Posted on: January 24th, 2012
"Estate planning" is far more than a set of documents. It includes the plan behind the documents and the goals that the documents are intended to advance. That being said, there are certain documents that just about everybody should have in place. Not having these documents will virtually guarantee that your wishes will not be carried out if you are incapacitated or if you die....

Estate Planning for Women (And The Men Who Love Them) Question #4 Who Would Raise Your Children

Posted on: January 7th, 2012
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book, “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her recent Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer. ...

Government Cuts Affect Nursing Homes

Posted on: December 7th, 2011
The last few months have been a wild ride on multiple levels, to include concerns over Medicare and the “debt crisis.” While many more challenges lie ahead in terms of budget cuts, some cuts already have been made under the radar screen. Several you should know about actually go into effect this fall, as reported in a recent SmartMoney article....

Estate Planning For Women (And the Men Who Love Them) Question #3 Whom Can You Trust

Posted on: November 14th, 2011
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book,“Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her recent Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer....

Don't fall prey to the 2011

Posted on: November 7th, 2011
The IRS has identified the "Dirty Dozen" tax scams of 2011. Participating in or falling victim to them can result in real harm to your pocketbook and your freedom. ...

Estate Planning for Women (And The Men Who Love Them) Question #2 Is There Money In The Bank

Posted on: October 19th, 2011
A fellow attorney (and award-winning journalist) Deborah Jacobs authored the book, “Estate Planning Smarts: A Practical, User-Friendly, Action-Oriented Guide”. In her recent Forbes article titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)” she indicated the below question is a question every financially savvy woman should be able to answer. ...

Potential Portability Problems

Posted on: October 7th, 2011
Wealthy individuals in the U.S. will find it easier to cut their estate-tax bill as a result of a provision for using their deceased spouses’ exemption credit. Much ado has been made about this new power in estate planning known as “portability,” and for good reason. Nevertheless, it’s also prudent never to put all your eggs in one basket. So it is with the matter of estate tax exemption portability....

Estate Planning For Women (And The Men That Love Them) Question #1 What key deadlines apply when a spouse dies?

Posted on: September 16th, 2011
Deborah Jacobs recently authored an article in Forbes titled “Estate Planning for Women (And the Men who Love Them)”. Since [women] usually survive their spouses, women more often have the last word about how much wealth goes to family, charity or the taxman While important to both sexes, estate planning often affects women more profoundly. Women live longer on average and tend to marry older spouses, making them three times as likely as men to be widowed at 65. So for women, estate planning is a crucial part of retirement planning. ....

Amy Winehouse got her will right

Posted on: September 8th, 2011
The late Amy Winehouse was many things to many folks -- fabulous talent, an inspiration to Lady Gaga, an addict who couldn't quite shed her demons all come to mind. Add to that list: wise estate planner....

Planning for your children's education

Posted on: June 28th, 2011
One thing that caught my attention was a section dealing with the children of the sailors. In particular, it discussed how Eugene "Red" O'Brien, a wheelsman, encouraged his son to attend college and get an education by establishing a trust for his education....

It doesn't have to have monetary value to be important to your estate

Posted on: June 7th, 2011
Fundamentals of a “well-thought-out estate plan,” – whether prince or pauper....

Hiring a caregiver is trickier than you think

Posted on: May 25th, 2011
If you are hiring a caregiver for yourself or another loved one, you may be tempted to try to make the process as simple as possible by treating the caregiver as a "private contractor." ...

FINAL INSTRUCTIONS

Posted on: May 10th, 2011
Your “instruction manual” for your children or survivors should begin with the basics. First, do you have a Trust and Will? If so, have you written instructions for your kids (survivors) to follow at your death or disability? ...

Three Classic Estate Planning Blunders

Posted on: April 20th, 2011
Too often, estate plans fail. Here are the three most common reasons....

Financial Parenting Tips

Posted on: March 29th, 2011
Here are a few parental tips to help set the tone for your children and their approach to handling the money you provide....

Compensating Caregivers

Posted on: February 15th, 2011
Almost one in seven Americans looks after a disabled person age 50 or older. Many compensated and many not compensated, but it is a rapidly growing number (the number has jumped 28% since 2004). It’s an emerging situation that needs the compensation element to be formalized for many....

Filing for Bankruptcy: What Can You Protect?

Posted on: January 24th, 2011
With 1.6 million Americans expected to file for Bankruptcy this year, we know that at least these 1.6 million and very likely many more researching the bankruptcy option have been asking the same basic questions. “What can I protect?” “What will be left?”...

Taking Care of Parents - Pooled Trusts

Posted on: January 6th, 2011
The New York Times recently ran an outstanding article, detailing the basics of Pooled Trusts a means of caring for aging family members, while intelligently keeping the wolf away from the door.....

Congress Finally Acts -- Now What?

Posted on: December 20th, 2010
Congress finally passed and on December 17, 2010 President Obama signed into law the "Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010"...

The Tax "Deal" - the Forecast is Dark Clouds on the Horizon

Posted on: December 9th, 2010
There really are dark clouds on the horizon even if the "deal" is passed by Congress before the end of the month. The increase in the exemption is going to add billions of dollars to the federal deficit. ...

The Federal Estate Tax Lapsed for 2010

Posted on: December 7th, 2010
The federal estate tax lapsed for 2010, and barring no action by Congress it was scheduled to return on Jan. 1 with an exemption of $1 million per person and a maximum rate of 55 percent. I have good news to share with you....

NEWS FLASH: Yankees Beat the Miami Dolphins!

Posted on: November 29th, 2010
Yes I know, that's impossible. But the heirs of George Steinbrenner, who died recently at the age of 80, certainly came out ahead of the heirs of Joe Robbie, the former owner of the Miami Dolphins who died in 1990....

Benjamin Franklin does estate Planning

Posted on: November 10th, 2010
Benjamin Franklin was a very successful businessman. Starting with absolutely nothing, he built a substantial fortune. And he capped it off by demonstrating keen skills developing his estate plan....

Can a DIY Will cost you a bundle?

Posted on: October 6th, 2010
It is no surprise to encounter articles like the one in Forbes magazine raising concerns for those who save now on a Do-It-Yourself Will only to leave an expensive nightmare for their heirs....

Do It Yourself Estate Planning

Posted on: September 24th, 2010
Forbes Magazine’s September 7 issue had a thought provoking article on “Do It Yourself Wills”....

Disabled patients and Medicare

Posted on: September 15th, 2010
"More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans."...

"Dragon Tattoo" Estate Drags On

Posted on: September 1st, 2010
Stieg Larsson, the author of the best selling novel "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo", died in 2004 without a will. His heirs are still fighting it out with Larsson's live-in girlfriend of 32 years....

ILL WILL calls for a WILL with special terms

Posted on: August 12th, 2010
Not surprisingly, situations occur that drive a person to disinherit a child or heir....

Bankruptcy can be an estate management tool

Posted on: July 27th, 2010
What do Abraham Lincoln, MC Hammer, Johnny Unitas, and Walt Disney have in common?...

Include your Digital Assets in your Estate Planning

Posted on: July 13th, 2010
Inventory Your Digital Assets. In your digital world, you want to help your successors by creating a "digital inventory"....

Who takes care of your Estate's Digital Assets?

Posted on: June 28th, 2010
Tips for Providing Digital Assistance After the Death of Another It’s also possible that either as a survivor, you might find yourself in a position where you need to handle someone’s digital affairs. I have a few tips....

Resurrection of the Death Tax?

Posted on: June 15th, 2010
The good news is the estate tax is repealed! The bad news is, not for long....

Listening is Key with Aged Adults

Posted on: June 10th, 2010
Listening is a pleasure and it is so important while helping older adults live out the last chapters of their lives. One can learn so much by listening....

A word or two about ethics brings the comfort of confidentiality

Posted on: June 1st, 2010
But when considering the larger decisions in life, opening the books on a lifetime of financial acquisitions, debts, and concerns to a total stranger can lead some people to avoid involving a lawyer when making long term plans....

First String or Second String..They should all be good

Posted on: May 10th, 2010
Typically a client builds a team of advisors to pull all the planning and implementation pieces together. We all know that selecting this first team of advisors is very important. ...

Take your medicine...it's Good For You

Posted on: April 30th, 2010
Americans just do not like to discuss estate planning. Supposedly 7 out of 10 of us have no plan. Of the 3 who do, what are the chances that the plan is up to date?...

Why Legalzoom.com is better than an attorney

Posted on: April 13th, 2010
use are an important part of the complete plan, but are really just a secondary part of my service. Preparing documents using LegalZoom or other web based programs is infinitely better than doing nothing at all, but an estate planning attorney provides well informed advice and delivers far more than just a set of forms....

The children get stuck with the work

Posted on: April 2nd, 2010
My clients often find themselves with "Boomer" burdens. Suddenly, they find themselves having to care for an aging parent who just can't manage anymore....

How to eat an elephant

Posted on: March 24th, 2010
In our legal practice, it is often the best way to describe the challenge of estate planning. It’s not a simple fast foot dish to take on. Instead, estate planning is the proverbial “elephant” and the successful plan will address your estate plan much like the old “how to eat an elephant answer…….you take it one bite at a time.”...

What do you do when Grandma won't leave?

Posted on: February 12th, 2010
Grandma is a feisty, spirited personality who has been living in her same home for that past 40 years. It is what she knows and it is where she raised her kids and where she spent her best years with her now deceased husband. She wants to stay in her own home....

Top Areas of Focus - based on Client Needs

Posted on: February 10th, 2010
Attorneys were asked what areas they were seeing as the highest growth areas for their clients over the next five years. Based on feedback from their clients and the increase in demand, here is a listing of the top areas most estate planning attorneys will most likely be focusing on in the next five years:...

"The envelope please..."

Posted on: February 5th, 2010
More people were focused on updating and getting some plans in place to hold onto more of what they had after many had lost a bundle due to the economic crisis. This was not only good for the attorney's but was very good for their clients to get an update and better plans in place....

Where's the Personality in the Yellow Pages?

Posted on: January 21st, 2010
When the Yellow Pages first came out it was really great an innovative – and really the only place that was easy to go to find something you needed....

Would you choose an Attorney for their CROSSWORD PUZZLES?

Posted on: January 14th, 2010
There is a universal dilemma all attorney’s have in how to best communicate and provide information to their clients and prospective clients. We tend to focus on the “newsletter” and as such have spent countless time and dollars on producing these “works of art.”...