Most people immediately think of taking legal steps to ensure the right people inherit their stuff when they die. Although that thought is not wrong, it also highlights the importance of planning for life. Planning that’s focused solely on who gets what when you die is ignoring that death isn’t the only thing you must prepare for. Consider that at some point before your eventual death, you could be incapacitated, which can drag out over many years, leaving you and your family in agonizing limbo.
While both wills and trusts are the most commonly used estate planning vehicles to pass on wealth and other assets to your loved ones, putting your home in a trust has several distinct benefits compared to using a will. However, each family's circumstances are different. This is why your Personal Family Lawyer® will not create any documents until we know what you need and what will be the most affordable solution for you and your family—now and in the future—based on your family's conditions.
With the booming aging population, more and more seniors will require long-term healthcare services, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. However, such long-term care can be expensive, especially when needed for extended periods, and that's why long-term care insurance was created to address this gap in healthcare coverage. We'll answer some of the most FAQs about these policies to help you determine whether you could include this as part of your estate plan.
Estate planning is not a one-and-done type of deal. Even if you put a totally solid estate plan in place, it can turn out to be worthless for the people you love if it's not regularly updated. No matter who you are, your life will inevitably change, and your plan should continuously evolve along with your life circumstances and other changing conditions. In the absence of any major life events, we recommend reviewing your estate plan annually to ensure its terms are up to date.
If you have children from a previous marriage, and you become incapacitated or die, leaving everything to your new spouse or partner, there is almost certain to be some conflict (whether spoken or not) between your children and new spouse. You can avoid all of this (and even use the estate planning process to build stronger bonds with those you love) by having clear planning in place that has been discussed with your children and your new spouse or partner.
With the new proposed legislation that is still under consideration and far from being finalized, if your family stands to be impacted by any of the new proposed bills, it's vital for you to take action as soon as possible to ensure that whatever changes to your planning that need to be made can be planned and executed before the year's end. If you've been following the news about the coming changes, you know that none of us know what will ultimately happen or even when we will know the outcome.
On September 13, 2021, Democrats in the House of Representatives released a new $3.5 trillion proposed spending plan that includes a wide array of changes to federal tax laws. While the proposed legislation is still under consideration and far from being finalized, given the broad-reaching impact of these changes, we encourage you to take action now if you would be affected by the proposed legislation to ensure that whatever actions required can be planned and executed before the end of the year
Bob Ross's philosophy in both painting and life was that there "were no mistakes in life… just happy little accidents." Sadly, as detailed in the recent Netflix documentary Bob Ross: Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed, Bob's failure to coordinate his business agreements with his estate plan was anything but happy, leaving his only son unable to benefit from his father's fame and fortune. His planning failures have led to an ugly court battle between his former business partners and his family.
If you are a single parent, life for you right now probably couldn't get any busier. You are likely being pulled between work, school activities, and home - and the inevitable emergencies that fill the lives of single parents everywhere. It's a huge responsibility, even if you do share time with a parenting partner, and especially so if you don't. Regardless, as a single parent, your children's lives are now largely in your hands, and the best way to protect them is through estate planning.
Giving donations to a charitable cause is a noble act of kindness. And you are also likely well aware that as with donating to charity during your lifetime, dedicating a portion of your estate to a charitable cause can reduce the taxable value of your estate. But it doesn’t end here. You may be surprised to learn about the numerous benefits available when you incorporate charitable giving into your estate plan. Learn more here!