Latest Blog Posts

Choosing a Corporate Trustee

Posted on: December 31st, 2020
The role of a trustee is complex and involves a wide variety of skills and mindsets. Trustees must operate in the best interests of the beneficiaries. ...

What to Do When a Loved One Dies Abroad

Posted on: December 29th, 2020
The death of a loved one can be one of the most disorienting life events. But if the loved one dies while traveling in a foreign country, the emotional and bureaucratic burdens can multiply exponentially....

What to Do When a Child Dies

Posted on: December 23rd, 2020
No one can ever prepare for the cascade of challenges that come with the death of a minor child. Not only are there legal and financial challenges that you must deal with, but all of these challenges come at a time of deep emotional crisis....

Can an Estate Plan Include a Right of First Refusal on Certain Property?

Posted on: December 21st, 2020
A ROFR is a useful legal tool to ensure that certain types of property end up in the hands of those who value them most while balancing a family’s desire to fairly distribute accounts and property among other loved ones. ...

A Tale of Two Celebrities: Chadwick Boseman and Eddie Van Halen

Posted on: December 15th, 2020
With a celebrity’s passing, we realize that death is an equalizer. It also reminds us of the importance of estate planning to protect a person's money and property. ...

Buyer Beware: How to Avoid Estate Planning Scams

Posted on: December 15th, 2020
Imagine spending thousands of dollars on an estate plan to protect loved ones, only to find that no true protection exists. ...

All in the Family: Making Sense of Per Stirpes, By Representation, and Per Capita Distributions

Posted on: December 10th, 2020
The notion of fairness often pervades family dynamics and may continue even beyond death when decisions about dividing accounts and property arise. ...

How Refinancing a Property Can Affect Your Estate Plan

Posted on: December 7th, 2020
One often overlooked consideration is the impact that refinancing your home could have on your estate plan....

Deeper Dive into Advance Healthcare Directives

Posted on: October 23rd, 2020
When it comes to your healthcare, especially during these uncertain times, you need to ensure that two estate planning documents in particular are up to date. ...

Estate Planning After Personal Injury Settlements

Posted on: October 5th, 2020
A sudden and large infusion of cash can be overwhelming to an individual and the individual’s family, and without sound legal planning, can be lost or mishandled....

Conservation Easements: Preserving a Heritage With Tax Benefits

Posted on: October 1st, 2020
In general, a conservation easement is a tool used to protect natural resources....

What Happens If My Beneficiary Dies Before Me?

Posted on: September 28th, 2020
Sometimes a beneficiary of an estate or trust dies before the person leaving the inheritance. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering what is next. How does this event impact your original plans?...

Disaster Preparedness Month: How to Prepare for Whatever May Come Your Way

Posted on: September 18th, 2020
Because September is National Disaster Preparedness Month, we want you to be prepared for whatever life throws at you. ...

Why Your Heirs or Beneficiaries May Receive a Smaller Inheritance Than You Thought

Posted on: September 10th, 2020
The effort that you put into planning your estate today can have a significant impact on how much of your money and property end up in the hands of your heirs or beneficiaries. ...

Seven Ways to Avoid Family Fights over Your Property

Posted on: August 31st, 2020
Far too many families end up fighting, or at least experiencing tension, over a family inheritance. But it does not have to be that way....

How Do I Donate My Organs When I Die?

Posted on: August 12th, 2020
Organ donation is one of the most regulated aspects of the healthcare industry, and the legalities have very unique considerations. ...

Avoiding Financial Grief: How to Protect Your Significant Other from Frozen Accounts

Posted on: August 5th, 2020
The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult times in a person’s life. Nothing can truly prepare a person for such a loss. However, dealing with the financial stress of frozen bank accounts can exacerbate the stress....

Help! I’ve Been Named as a Guardian. What Do I Do?

Posted on: July 24th, 2020
Being a guardian is an important responsibility. If a family member or friend wishes to name you as a guardian for a child, it is important to seriously consider whether you have the time, patience, and ability to take on this role. ...

Sandwich Generation Month: Considerations When Caring for Both Children and Parents

Posted on: July 17th, 2020
If you have the documents necessary to know and carry out your parents’ or child’s wishes for their care, regardless of the situation, you can rest assured that they will receive the care they desire. ...

Summer Vacation Plans? Precautions and Preparations to Consider

Posted on: July 13th, 2020
After months of near confinement in our homes, many of us are stir-crazy and eager to travel to a vacation destination. Although more states are opening up, there are several precautions to consider and preparations to make as you plan your summer travels....

Why Your Marital Agreement Should Be Shown to Your Estate Planner

Posted on: July 6th, 2020
If you and your spouse have a marital agreement, it is crucial for you to provide a copy of it to your estate planning attorney to avoid conflicts between provisions in your estate planning and the marital agreement....

Kids Going Away To College? Why You Should Include Estate Planning in the Preparation

Posted on: June 30th, 2020
How can you make sure your kid is going to be safe at school, so far away from home? There is something, probably not yet on your to-do list, that absolutely can make all the difference. Bring your child to a local estate planning attorney. ...

Legal Requirements to Consider When Selecting an Executor

Posted on: June 29th, 2020
The person you choose to be your executor (sometimes called a personal representative) will play an extremely important role, as that person will be responsible for gathering, securing, managing, and ultimately distributing your money and property when you pass away....

How to Handle Savings Bonds in Estate Planning and at Death

Posted on: June 22nd, 2020
There are several estate planning issues you should keep in mind if you have savings bonds or plan to invest in them....

Assisted Reproductive Technology and the Real Impact on Estate Planning

Posted on: June 19th, 2020
The laws addressing ART vary widely from state to state, so it is important to meet with an experienced estate planning attorney in your state to ensure that your estate plan will achieve your goals. ...

Special Estate Planning Considerations for Art and Other Collections

Posted on: June 16th, 2020
Regardless of its dollar value, if you have a collection, it should be included in your estate plan. You should make arrangements in advance to ensure that the collection is handled in the way you want, and if it is worth a lot of money, that its value is maximized....

Caught in the Undertow: How No Estate Plan (or a Bad One) Could Leave Your Family Overwhelmed

Posted on: June 12th, 2020
There are a number of dangers associated with failing to put a well-thought-out estate plan in place that could make your family members feel as though they are drowning if you were to pass away....

Things to Be Aware of When Administering a Hoarder's Estate

Posted on: June 2nd, 2020
If you have been named as the personal representative of a relative’s estate and discover that the deceased person’s home is packed, floor to ceiling, with collections, clothing, old mail, books, and papers, what should you do?...

Can a Non-U.S. Citizen Create an Estate Plan in the U.S.?

Posted on: May 27th, 2020
U.S. citizens, and non-citizens who meet the IRS’s definition of a “resident” of the United States, are subject to federal gift and estate taxes on all of their money and property, worldwide....

Writing Your Own Obituary as an Addition to Your Estate Plan

Posted on: May 13th, 2020
Because your obituary is all about you, you can emphasize any aspects of your life you wish. There is no correct format, so you are free to tell your story in the way you feel most comfortable, showcasing your personality. ...

Estate Planning Considerations for Restauranteurs

Posted on: May 8th, 2020
Failing to create an estate and business succession plan can lead to big headaches for your family, business associates, and employees—or could even lead to the loss of the restaurant. ...

Unclaimed Property - What is it, Where to find it, and Its Impact on Estate Planning and Administration

Posted on: May 4th, 2020
For most of us, every penny counts, so it is almost inconceivable that we could have lost track of any money or property. Regardless of how careful we are with our finances, it is possible for utility deposits, credit balances, unused gift certificates, banks accounts, and many more types of property or money to accidentally be forgotten or abandoned....

COVID-19: A Reminder of Why Estate Planning Is Important

Posted on: April 29th, 2020
Although most people are not likely to be in serious danger even if they come down with the coronavirus, it is a wake-up call to those who have been putting off creating or updating an estate plan....

Which Distribution Method Is Best? Showing Your Children the Love

Posted on: April 27th, 2020
There are a variety of ways that you can leave money and property to your children, and you can choose the method you think best takes your goals, including their wellbeing, into account....

Reconsidering Your Role in Others’ Estate Plans (How to Say No)

Posted on: April 22nd, 2020
If a family member or friend has asked you to serve as the executor of his or her estate or as trustee of a trust he or she is creating, there are a number of factors you should consider before accepting either of these important roles....

Ancillary Probate: When Is It Used, Where It Occurs, and How to Avoid It

Posted on: April 9th, 2020
In situations in which probate is required, more than one probate proceeding may be necessary if you own property in more than one state....

Spring Cleaning: Time to Clean Up Your Estate Planning

Posted on: April 7th, 2020
Your estate plan, like your home, periodically needs a thorough polishing. Your life circumstances are constantly changing, and an estate plan that perfectly met your needs a couple of years ago may now be cluttered with outdated provisions or documents. ...

How to Protect Your Great Ideas or Works for Your Family

Posted on: March 30th, 2020
You do not have to be a famous author, painter, or inventor to have valuable intellectual property that could provide a stream of income for your family members or loved ones after you pass away. ...

Estate Planning is Like Building a Snowman

Posted on: March 20th, 2020
The foundation of a snowman is the large snowball at the bottom that acts as its base. Likewise, a trust is the foundation of your estate plan. ...

Important Things Your Agent Under a Medical Power of Attorney Needs to Know

Posted on: March 19th, 2020
Even if you are currently the picture of good health, you may suddenly become too ill to make healthcare decisions for yourself or become unconscious after an accident, needing someone to stand in your shoes to make those decisions for you....

Common Mistakes with DIY Estate Plans

Posted on: March 13th, 2020
Even if your DIY will meets all your state’s requirements and is legally valid, the will alone is unlikely to be sufficient to address all of your estate planning needs....

American Heart Month: Who Should Be My Medical Agent?

Posted on: February 21st, 2020
The person you choose will be authorized to make critical health care decisions, including whether to consent to or refuse medical treatment and which health care providers or hospitals to use for your care. ...

Family Bank Trusts

Posted on: January 9th, 2020
Those in high-risk professions such as real estate developers, business owners, and professionals such as doctors and lawyers are often intrigued by the Family Bank Trust....

Effect of Bankruptcy on Estate Planning

Posted on: January 7th, 2020
At the conclusion of the bankruptcy case, any remaining money or property can go through the probate process and be transferred to the beneficiaries of your will....

529 Plans - What You Need to Know

Posted on: January 6th, 2020
There are a variety of factors you should consider in determining whether a 529 plan is the best option for your family, including some that may impact your estate planning. ...
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