Does Your Retirement Plan Include Relocating?

Does Your Retirement Plan Include Relocating?

The answer will definitely surprise you: Sioux Falls, South Dakota. According to a new study conducted and reported on by Bankrate.com, “These are the best and worst states for retirement,” that is the number one best state to retire, with Utah, Idaho, New Hampshire and Florida coming up next on the list. New York makes life hardest […]

Could Aging in Place Work for You?

Could Aging in Place Work for You?

The ultimate goal of aging in place is avoiding a move to an assisted living facility or a nursing home. For some people, it may mean staying in their current home or perhaps moving from a home with more than one level to a ranch-style home with one level, or to an apartment building with […]

What’s Your Plan for Retirement?

Whats Your Plan for Retirement?

It’s only when their birthday cake is covered with 50 candles that most people start thinking retirement has moved from an idea to a reality, says The New York Times in the article, “Countdown to Retirement: A Five-Year Plan.” Suddenly those ads about annuities and Medicare Part B are a lot more interesting. Even the AARP mailings, are deemed […]

Aretha Franklin’s death affirms the importance of Estate Planning

Aretha Franklins death affirms the importance of Estate Planning

Aretha Franklin’s passing last week was a devastating loss for admirers of the Queen of Soul. Both a music icon and civil rights activist, the legendary Detroit singer blazed a trail with her distinctive vocal style that earned her the number one spot in Rolling Stone magazine’s list for “The Greatest Singers of All Time.” Leaving […]

Grantor Trust Triggers

Grantor Trust Triggers

One of the more important issues in trust law is whether any particular trust is considered to be a grantor or non-grantor trust for tax purposes. The differences between the two are set forth in the Internal Revenue Code and can be rather complicated. A grantor trust is a trust in which the individual who […]

What to Gift

What to Gift

The recently passed tax reform law doubled the lifetime gift tax exemption from previous levels. However, the exemption is scheduled to revert back to the prior level in a few years. If you want to take advantage of the increased limit, then you need to act quickly. It is not always a good idea to […]

The Positive Death Movement

The Positive Death Movement

Death has typically been a taboo subject in our culture. We all know that it will eventually happen to us, but we generally do not like to think or talk about it. Even those people who have strong religious beliefs that they will go to a much better place after they pass away do not […]

Where to Start with Your Will

Where to Start with Your Will

People often hesitate to create their will because it can seem like an overwhelming task to decide where you want your property to go after you pass away. There are many things to think about, and people sometimes put off these decisions because they are just not certain about everything. For this reason, it is […]

Disinheriting a Child

Disinheriting a Child

Sometimes parents think they have no other choice but to disinherit one of their children. This decision  can be for many different reasons, such as the child’s criminal behavior, drug use or due to a complete breakdown in the parent-child relationship. Typically, disinheriting a child is not something people undertake lightly. To make sure they […]

Cremation: What Happens to the Metals in Your Body?

Cremation: What Happens to the Metals in Your Body?

Before our death we can notify our loved ones of our preference for either burial or cremation. Cremation is the process that converts human remains to ashes and mineral fragments through combustion and oxidation. The furnace used to disintegrate the corpse should reach temperatures up to 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. Some of us have metals in […]

How You Can Take Charge of Your Estate Plan

How You Can Take Charge of Your Estate Plan

You may be working with an attorney to draft your estate plan, but the process is not entirely in their hands. In fact, much of what the attorney does depends on you. The attorney assists you by committing to paper the goals for your estate and how it is divided among your beneficiaries. Therefore, the […]

What to Do and Not to Do Immediately After Someone Dies

What to Do and Not to Do Immediately After Someone Dies

We assist clients in their role as personal representative during the probate process, or in their role as successor trustee during the administration of a trust (or both). Probate and trust administration are legal processes that occur after a friend or loved one has passed away. Potential clients approach us days, weeks, months, or even years after […]

Going out with a Bang: Unforgettable Last Wishes

Going out with a Bang: Unforgettable Last Wishes

As you give thought to who you might want to give assets to on your passing, or where you would like to choose as your final resting place, here are a few fun examples to get you thinking: Becoming one with your work Sometimes passion for one’s work can become consuming. For Mark Gruenwald, that […]

Wills for Kids and Other Legal Formalities

Wills for Kids and Other Legal Formalities

You may have seen the humorous Scarfolk blog that discusses the “Junior Last Will & Testament”, an easy to read pre-mortem legal document for children. As quoted from the Scarfolk humour blog: “While it familiarised children with the inevitability of their demises in a fun way, it also introduced them to their civic obligations. For example, […]

Oregon Gives You Control Over Transfer of Digital Assets and Accounts

Oregon Gives You Control Over Transfer of Digital Assets and Accounts

So much of our business and personal lives is transacted online.  Our clients have serious concerns around how digital assets and accounts are managed after death.  You may be surprised that online service providers were not required to follow your directives after death or during your incapacity.  Who is in control: you or the online […]

Is it Time to Update My Estate Plan?

Is it Time to Update My Estate Plan?

There are many reasons to review and update your will and other estate planning documents. Below is a partial checklist of events that may prompt you to do so. Birth or Death. If a beneficiary, trustee, or personal representative named in your estate plan has died, your plan should be updated to remove the name. Otherwise […]

Preserving Family Harmony After a Death

Preserving Family Harmony After a Death

After eighteen years of helping families through probate and post death administration, I have seen many family feuds. These emotional and costly fights are rarely about big assets like retirement funds, investment accounts or real estate. Families fight about “stuff” – sentimental items, family heirlooms, jewelry, furniture, and art. Most of these items have little […]

Analysis of Ron Swanson’s Last Will and Testament

Analysis of Ron Swansons Last Will and Testament

In Episode 5 of Season 6 of the TV show Parks and Recreation, Ron Swanson (played by actor Nick Offerman) showed his Last Will and Testament to Ben Wyatt (played by actor Adam Scott). Ben asked Ron if he would be a witness to his Will and Ron responded by showing him his own Will […]

Watch Out for the Capital Gains Tax

Watch Out for the Capital Gains Tax

It is assumed by most people that since the federal estate tax exemption was doubled in the tax bill passed late last year, many wealthy families would end up paying a lot less in taxes. However, it is not that simple. In fact, people who already created estate plans centered around the old estate tax […]

Are Your Heirs Ready?

Are Your Heirs Ready?

Everyone is aware that it is not a good idea to let minor children inherit a lot of wealth and leave them to manage it on their own. The money would likely be wasted, the children are at risk of exploitation, and the children might then lack any motivation to go to school and find […]