Do you have any travel plans coming up? You may have decided what you and your travel companions want to see and do, how much you are willing to pay, and the time you plan to travel. While your travel arrangements may be set, you need to consider calling in a special planning team Continue reading
Why a Trust Is the Best Option to Avoid Probate
A big goal in estate planning is to make things easier for our loved ones. A comprehensive estate plan can allow your money, property, and legacies be transferred to your intended beneficiaries in a harmonious, stress-free, and fair process so that your loved ones to grieve and deal Continue reading
Three Tips for Overwhelmed Executors
It isn’t necessarily an honor to be named in a person’s will as the personal representative or executor. While you can take some satisfaction that your loved one thought enough of you to trust that you could act in that position, the duty you have been given can often be a sobering Continue reading
The Pros and Cons of Probate
For many of our clients, probate is an unnecessary process that we try to avoid. But the probate system is there for those who need it, in some cases because of lack of proper planning and in others because of the benefits and protections that probate may offer. The probate system Continue reading
Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax
Most of us are familiar with the federal income tax. If you earn a paycheck, you can’t help but notice the deductions each pay period. Perhaps less familiar are federal taxes such as the capital gains tax, estate tax, and gift tax. Even less familiar for most is the generation-skipping Continue reading
What to Do if Your Trustee is Unresponsive
If you are a beneficiary of a trust and your trustee is unresponsive to your requests for information regarding the trust, what should you do? A trustee has a duty under the law to communicate with beneficiaries and keep them reasonably informed as to the progress of the trust administration. Continue reading
Choosing An Estate Planning Attorney
Why did they pick estate planning Continue reading
Right of Occupancy Trust
Estate planning is all about protecting you and your loved ones. If you have a loved one that you want to provide a home for after you pass away, while having ultimate ownership pass to someone else after that loved one’s death, a right of occupancy trust can provide a solution.
What Continue reading
Protect Your Artistic Legacy
If you are an artist, it is important to include your artwork in your estate planning. Who can control your artwork if you become incapacitated, including matters such as selling, loaning, or licensing your pieces.
What do you want to happen to your artwork after you pass away? Options Continue reading
Powerful Provisions in Your Financial Power of Attorney
In a financial power of attorney, you designate a trusted decision maker (called an attorney-in-fact or agent) to act on your behalf if you become disabled or unable to manage your financial affairs. You may choose to give your agent, among other things, the power to buy and sell Continue reading
What Happens to My Spouse’s Debts at Their Death?
A spouse’s death creates a difficult and demanding time for the surviving partner. As much as you might want space and time alone to process your grief, you may have certain responsibilities related to settling your deceased spouse’s affairs, including paying off their debt.
The obligation Continue reading
Important Questions to Ask When Investing in a Vacation Property
Approximately 7.5 million second homes are owned by families according to a study in 2018 by the National Association of Home Builders. For many families, these second homes are vacation homes that carry years of special family memories. Following are some important estate planning Continue reading
Can a Trust Own My Business After I Die?
If you own a business, it is important to consider what happens to the business after your death. Who will own the business? How will the business be run? Who will benefit from the business? A trust can be a great way to manage these decisions. The details will vary based on the type Continue reading
LGBTQ+ Estate Planning to Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
Everyone needs estate planning. Regardless of your wealth, age, marital status, gender identity, or sexual orientation, it is crucial to have a plan in place to protect your money, assets, and loved ones in the event of an accident, illness, or death.
For LGBTQ+ Americans, estate planning Continue reading
Updating Your Estate Plan: How Many Tweaks Are Too Many
If your life or the law has changed since you signed your Will or Trust, you need to review your plan and perhaps update your plan documents. A trust can be updated by an amendment or restatement. The amendment updates just a specific part of the trust, while a restatement is a complete Continue reading
Summer Camp Checklist
It’s almost time for summer camp again! After two summers of no camp or limited capacity camp, summer camps are expected to be back in full swing this year. A lot of preparation goes into making lasting summer camp memories. There are a number of contingencies that families should Continue reading
It’s Not Just About the Money: The Legacy You Leave Your Family
Words like “estate planning”, “inheritance”, and “bequest” can leave the impression of assets, property, or accounts with significant monetary value. However, you can leave your family a legacy regardless of the size of your bank account.
1. Make a Plan
Often, people who do not have Continue reading
Can a Trust be Kept Secret from its Beneficiaries?
Families who have accumulated a substantial amount of wealth during their lifetime are often reluctant to disclose the full extent of their wealth to their children. Many express concerns about whether the younger generations are ready for the wealth they may receive and the impact Continue reading
Does a Domestic Partner Have the Same Rights as a Spouse When It Comes to Estate Planning?
Domestic partnership is an alternative to marriage, the most common way for a couple to legally commit to each other. For some time, domestic partnerships and civil unions were the only option for same-sex couples wishing to commit to each other while marriage was not legally available. Continue reading
How to Protect Yourself from Claims of Self-Dealing When Serving as a Trustee
What Is Self-Dealing in Trust Administration?
A trustee is usually given quite a bit of discretion in how they manage a trust’s assets. Because a trustee is acting as a fiduciary, a trustee also owes all the beneficiaries of the trust a duty of loyalty. The trustee is to act in the Continue reading
What Is an Electronic Will?
Only a few years ago it would have been hard to imagine how much we now accomplish online. We can form and run businesses, sign commercial contracts, and purchase agreements online. We can even buy our groceries or purchase or sell an automobile online. Continue reading
When a Gift May Not Be a Gift
When is a gift not a gift? The answer will change in light of IRS considerations. In the eyes of the IRS, some gifts trigger what might seem like a penalty – taxes; and some gifts are defined as not a gift at all.
The federal tax code has very specific rules about how much you can Continue reading
Marital Disclaimers and the Clayton Election – Last-Minute Estate Tax Planning
Minimizing or avoiding estate taxes is an important estate planning goal for many married couples. The laws concerning estate taxes are frequently discussed in Congress, and there is much uncertainty as to where future laws will land. The exemptions, estate rates, and acceptable planning Continue reading
Statements of Intent or Purpose in Your Trust
Each person creating a trust has their own special goals for what they wish the trust to accomplish. A clear expression of these goals can have significant legal ramifications. There are two main ways a trustmaker can document their intents and purposes for their trust. Each approach Continue reading
Qualified Personal Residence Trust – What Is It and When Should You Consider One?
For those who have estates large enough to be subject to estate taxes, either currently or when the estate tax exemption falls as scheduled in 2026, various planning options are available to reduce or eliminate the estate tax liability. One strategy is the qualified personal residence Continue reading