Featured 2013

Common Pitfalls When Planning Estates for Families with Special Needs Children

I recently had the privilege to attend a bar mitzvah in which the young man also has a sibling with a profound disability. His sibling is non-verbal and cannot perform a number of activities of daily living, such as dressing and bathing, without assistance. When the young man spoke to the congregation, he noted that [...]

Planning for the Protection of the Elderly or Disabled

A few months ago, I received a telephone call from an obviously distressed gentleman, who I will call Sam.* Sam’s elderly father, Frank, was in the final stages of an illness and has problems with confusion. Through a friend, Frank learned about a woman, Cruella, who might be willing to care for him as a [...]

Estate Planning for Blended Families – Let Me Count The Ways

As we are all aware, divorce is common in the modern U.S. One frequently cited statistic is that about 50% of all marriages will end in divorce. Many divorces involve couples who have children. Many of these divorced parents subsequently remarry or enter other long-term relationships, which results in “blended” families. Blended families are ones [...]

Importance of Proper Asset Ownership and Beneficiary Designations

This installment of the Passionate Estate Planner is a reminder that a well done estate plan includes not only properly prepared legal documents, but also the need to properly own your assets and have proper beneficiary designations. It is of key importance that assets are owned and beneficiary designations are handled properly now and periodically [...]

Corporate Fiduciaries for Estates & Trusts: Reliability, Prudence, Reasonableness, Protection and Peace of Mind

Choosing the fiduciaries to carry out your estate plan can be the most important decisions you make in structuring your estate plan.   Why is this issue so important?   We start with the premise that most clients will want to maximize flexibility and minimize costs and hassles unless a reason exists to be more restrictive.  With [...]

Ethical Wills Revisited: What you really want to communicate to your loved ones

Wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and advance directives for health care are all legal documents which deal with your assets and your health. These are important estate planning documents, and you should work with an experienced and competent estate planning attorney to create them. However, there is another type of important estate planning document which [...]

Long-Term Trust-Based Planning Makes Focusing on Intent More Important

What is your true estate planning intent? Let this question sink in for a moment, then think about it again: What is your true estate planning intent? How do you want your loved ones to benefit from the assets you leave behind? Would you like to provide a safety net or a source of support? [...]

Possibly the Best Way to Pass Assets to Your Children or Other Loved Ones: GST Planning – Part One

Eventually, we all pass on. At that point, assuming we didn’t die broke, we will usually leave some form of inheritance to people who survive us. Some of us also may also want to make gifts to our loved ones before we die. Proper estate planning allows you to control who will receive a gift or inheritance from you, and to decide how the recipients will benefit from the assets. Proper estate planning... read more

Possibly The Best Way to Pass Assets On To Your Children or Other Loved Ones: GST Planning – Part Two

In our last newsletter, we introduced the concept of “GST planning,” which is, in essence, estate planning using the generation-skipping transfer (“GST”) tax exemption in conjunction with long-term trusts to provide great benefits for the intended beneficiaries of a gift or inheritance. Last month’s newsletter article discussed the GST planning option, along with its incredible potential benefits and flexibility. We focused on trying to explain what GST planning is and what it can offer. In this issue we’ve focused on things you should keep in mind and consider when you decide to include GST planning in your own estate plan. read more...

Fiduciary Selection: A Critical Part of Any Well-Prepared Estate Plan

by Richard M. Morgan & Loraine M. DiSalvo In the estate planning context, a “fiduciary” is someone who will serve in a role of authority with regard to you, your assets, or your minor children. Fiduciary roles which may be part of an estate plan can include an Executor, a Trustee, a Guardian and/or Conservator, [...]

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