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.
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.
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 law (increase in personal and capital gains tax rates, etc.). Yet, the proposed law is still under consideration and far from being finalized. If your business or personal finances stand to be impacted by any of these changes, you must act quickly to ensure that whatever actions need to be taken can be planned and executed before the end of the year.
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
Building a business from scratch can involve years of working long hours for little to no financial reward. In fact, whether your company can generate a profit or not, starting your own business can consume your life like few other activities. However, buying an existing business isn't without its own challenges. It'll also require hard work and sacrifice, and no matter how successful the company was under its former owner, there's no guarantee you will experience the same prosperity.
Don't let what happened to Bob Ross's family happen to yours. If you own a business, it's crucial to put in place an effective estate plan and should be properly coordinated with your business agreements to ensure that all of your wealth and assets will be passed on to your loved ones in the event of your death or incapacity. Failure to do this could lead them in the same situation as Bob's son, Steve, who's left with nothing, while the business built by his father continues to earn every 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.