Estate Planning

  • As explained in last month's Blog, a well drafted and properly executed Will is an essential part of a good estate plan.  Trusts also play a key role but these useful tools are often misunderstood.  It is common for people to assume that trusts are only for the mega-wealthy or that trusts are much too complex to manage.  However, adding a Trust to your plan is simple and can allow you to accomplish many goals, such as:

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    Avoiding Family Disputes After Your Death

     

     As we all know, disagreements among family members are a part of life. Even the closest of families experience dustups every now and again, but most of us don’t like to think of them happening as a result of our deaths. In fact, avoiding family disputes is often one of the primary reasons to have a carefully drafted estate plan. It can be very helpful to identify (while you are alive and well) some situations that often lead to disputes so that you can try to prevent them. Here are some common reasons why disputes arise following a family member’s death, and some tips on how to avoid them from happening.

  • May is National Pet Month


    Happy National Pet Month! It might be fun to celebrate with our beloved pets by taking an extra walk, adding an additional day at doggie daycare, or buying a new toy. These are all great ideas, but there’s something even better (and often overlooked) that we can do to show our pets love and appreciation. We can plan ahead for our pets’ care during a time that we’re no longer able to take care of them due to prolonged illness or death. There are a few ways to ensure long-term or permanent care for pets which will be discussed below.

  • Physicians Are Now Paid to Discuss End-Of-Life Care With Patients

    Talking about your own death is not easy or enjoyable for most people.  Chances are, you know you should have this conversation but have put it off.  There is no time like the present!

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    Retirement Plans and Estate Plans: How You Can Make Them Work Together

     

     

    The estate planning process is a great opportunity to take a fresh look at retirement plans and determine if any changes or updates should be made. Since retirement accounts are often the most valuable assets for many individuals, it is important to review them on a regular basis. When planning to leave retirement accounts to chosen beneficiaries, there are many things to consider.

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    The Importance of Family Caregiving

     

    Family caregiving has always played an integral role in American society; and the need for this essential service will only continue to grow as our population ages. The following statistics highlight the importance of family caregivers in the United States:

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    There are many milestones on the way to adulthood; high school graduation and turning 18 are big ones.  With the age of majority come additional privileges and responsibilities.  Newly minted adults are expected to make more decisions for themselves, as their parents adjust to changes in their roles. 

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    As adults, we don’t like to think about ever being in a position where we cannot make decisions or speak for ourselves. Unfortunately, sometimes situations arise where we need to rely on others to look out for our best interests. One such situation is when a person becomes incapacitated due to illness, trauma, or a disease such as dementia or Alzheimer’s. Because there is no way to predict if any of these circumstances will arise, either very suddenly or over time, it is important to have a legal document in place that names a specific individual to make decisions for us if we cannot do so ourselves. 

  • Let’s start with some planning basics – how to ensure your assets are transferred according to your wishes after death. A properly drafted and executed Will is a tool that should be a part of every adult’s estate and legacy plan, regardless of level of wealth.