How Can You Plan for Dementia?

A recent report from the Alzheimer’s Association states that one in nine Americans age 65 or older currently have Alzheimer’s, and 1 in 3 seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or other dementia. Since 2000, deaths from Alzheimer’s disease have increased by 89%. When planning your retirement and estate, it is essential to plan for your incapacity. Estate Planning Consequences A person … Read More

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate

What is probate? Probate is the court-authorized process for proving a will or distributing an intestate estate. When a person dies, they usually leave assets behind that are officially titled in their name. The most common examples of this are real estate, financial accounts, and vehicles. For example, if you own a house when you die and your spouse or … Read More

What Happens If I Die Without a Will?

Most people don’t really think about making a will until they reach retirement age, and even then, many put it off until it’s too late. But if you were to die without a will, have you ever thought about what would happen to your assets? Who would take care of your minor children? How necessary is a will, anyway? If … Read More

The Five Smartest Ways to Use IRAs In Estate Planning

One – Streeeeeeeeetch it Out The benefit of putting your retirement savings into a traditional IRA (as opposed to an ordinary savings or brokerage account) is that you can contribute your earnings pre-tax. Yes, you will have to pay income taxes on the money eventually. But the longer the money is invested in the account, the longer you put off … Read More

Gun Trusts

My dad recently sent out a family-wide email wanting to know which of his five boys had an interest in his guns when his time on this earth ended. My immediate reaction was not, “I want the bazooka,” but rather “Is dad about to die?” You see my dad is the type of guy that could be terminally ill and … Read More

Estate Planning Independence

Fifth-grade girls basketball is more intense than most of my courtroom battles. In a recent game my daughter, the point guard for her team, got into foul trouble. One more foul and she would be gone. Her team’s seemingly insurmountable lead of seven had dwindled to two points with about three minutes left in the game. My daughter tried to … Read More

Fairness and equality in estate planning

When meeting with me to establish or update their estate plans, my clients often ask me for advice on how to treat their children “fairly” or “equally.” The meaning of these terms depends on a client’s value system, financial condition, family circumstances, and a variety of other factors. For some parents, it is “fair” to disinherit a son from their … Read More

Personal Representatives, Family Feuds

“It’s time to play the Feud!” If that phrase does not conjure up some type of emotional reaction out of you, then you probably have not turned a TV on in many years (or you’re dead inside). The game show Family Feud has been gracing the television air waves since 1976. It is mildly surprising that a show which pits … Read More

Taking control of your legacy

There I was with my mother-in-law’s recently purchased refrigerator ready to return it to the retailer where it was purchased. A friend and I had successfully transported it back to the store. My marching orders were clear: I needed to be prepared to press hard for a return because my mother in-law had already plugged in the refrigerator, an occurrence … Read More