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Estate Planning | Elder Law | Special Needs Planning

Estate Planning

Recent Posts in Estate Planning Category

  • The Importance of Asset Protection Planning

    You have built up a lifetime’s worth of assets, savings, and wealth, and are finally ready to retire. With smart financial decision-making and years of constant saving, you have even accumulated a healthy amount of money to leave as an inheritance to your children and grandchildren. But did you know that it can all disappear in a heartbeat if you should be sued? Whether it be the result of ...
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  • Do All Assets Have to Go Through Probate?

    When a person passes away, their assets are ordinarily distributed according to the terms of their will through probate court. With that being said, not all assets are required to go through this process. Obvious assets which need to go through probate are those that are titled in your name only, such as vehicles, property, investments, and more, as only the probate court can remove your name from ...
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  • 3 Major Benefits of Living Trusts

    Most people believe that naming beneficiaries in their last will and testament is their only option for leaving property and assets to surviving loved ones at the time of their death. While this is indeed an option, perhaps a better option is to use a legal tool known as a living trust . A living trust, also known as an “inter vivos” or “revocable” trust, is a written legal document through which ...
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  • 5 Things You Should Include in Your Will

    While nobody ever wants to entertain the thought of their own death, it is an inevitability that must be planned for ahead of time. One of the most important ways for you to plan your final affairs is to draft a thorough and legally sound last will and testament . This document will provide your surviving loved ones with clear instructions regarding how you want your property and assets to be ...
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  • Handling an Estate If the Decedent Doesn't Leave a Will Behind

    Estate planning is an effective way to tell your loved ones what to do with your property and assets after you pass away. For many people reaching their golden years, wills are the go-to estate planning tool, and for good reason. Wills allow the testator to clearly state what they want to be inherited by whom and why. “My niece gets my car because she is an auto enthusiast,” for example, is easily ...
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  • Living Wills vs. Living Trusts: Which Is Right for Me?

    If you are considering creating an estate plan or are already knee-deep in the estate planning process, you have likely heard of both a “living will” and a “ living trust ” as two essential documents that you should include in your comprehensive plan. Despite their similar names, these two very important legal tools are quite different from one another and serve different purposes. A living will ...
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  • 5 Essential Estate Planning Documents

    Many people believe that having an estate plan means simply having a last will and testament or trust. While these documents are indeed important, they are only a few of the many tools necessary in creating a comprehensive estate plan. If you are looking to create an estate plan or are reviewing your existing plan, it is important you make sure to have the following documents. Last Will and ...
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  • Can an Estate Plan Provide for My Special Needs Child?

    It is never too early to begin thinking about the future and if you have a child with special needs, you must take extra care to plan for their future as well as your own. When planning for the future of a special needs child, there are additional factors to consider on top of traditional estate planning. By utilizing tools such as a special needs trust, you can provide your child with long term ...
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  • Preparing for the Unthinkable: Why Incapacity Planning Is Important

    Many people think incapacity planning is not for them, assuming only those who are approaching retirement age can benefit. The reality is, accidents can occur at any time and leave us mentally incapacitated. A car accident, for example, can leave victims in a coma while medical conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease can slowly take away a person’s mental capacity. By establishing a detailed ...
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  • What Is the Difference Between Estate Planning and Probate?

    Estate planning and probate are both processes which determine how your estate will be distributed among your inheritors upon your passing. Estate planning refers to the preparations and instructions you make for how you would like your assets to be handled. Probate is the process by which your wishes are carried out and your estate is distributed after your death. On the surface this may seem ...
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  • Why it is Important to Start Estate Planning Early

    Estate planning is not just for the well-off or those approaching their golden years. Everyone, regardless of age or the value of their possessions, can benefit from preparing for the future. Each person has an “estate” that is comprised of everything they own and estate planning simply refers to the process of determining how your possessions will be distributed after you pass. By planning early, ...
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  • WHAT QUESTIONS SHOULD I ASK MY ESTATE PLANNING ATTORNEY?

    Estate planning is something that people often put on the back burner, and there are many reasons for this procrastination. One of them is the simple fact that it can be hard to know where to begin. There are various different estate planning documents that can be used, and the matter can be confusing. To demystify things, you could sit down and discuss your estate planning objectives with a ...
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  • ATTEND AN UPCOMING ESTATE PLANNING WORKSHOP

    People often procrastinate when it comes to estate planning. Just about all responsible people know that they should have a plan in place, but it can be complicated, and many individuals simply put the matter on the back burner. To some extent this is understandable, but at the same time, you should educate yourself and take action to protect your loved ones. This can be easier said than done, and ...
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  • ESTATE PLANNING ERROR: DECEASED QUARTERBACK LEFT TANGLED ESTATE

    Estat e planning is essential for adults of all ages. This is especially true for married people who have children. When you hear about tragic circumstances that befall others because of estate planning error you understand why everyone should have a good estate plan. We are all day to day as they say in the sports world. This is simply the human condition, and there is nothing anyone can do about ...
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  • Why not just create your own estate plan using fill-in-the-blanks documents that you can find on the Internet? There are a number of answers to this question, but the thing that we would like to point out here is the need for a custom crafted estate plan.

    You have to be careful that you don’t do more harm than good when you are planning your estate. If you are not aware of all the relevant facts you may provide assets to loved ones in a way that is less than ideal, and they may ultimately pay a significant price. The above principle applies in a number of different situations, but we would like to look at the matter of special needs planning here. ...
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  • THE CUSTOM CRAFTED ESTATE PLAN

    Why not just create your own estate plan using fill-in-the-blanks documents that you can find on the Internet? There are a number of answers to this question, but the thing that we would like to point out here is the need for a custom crafted estate plan. Do you know what legal devices are best for your specific family dynamic, your financial standing, and your intentions? If you assume that you ...
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  • CLARITY REGARDING COMMON ESTATE PLANNING DEVICES

    There are a lot of different legal devices that are used in estate planning. People sometimes harbor misconceptions about them based on assumptions. We would like to shed some light on three common estate planning instruments here. The most common estate planning device is the simple last will. This document is typically used to arrange for future asset transfers and to name a guardian for minor ...
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  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PROBATE

    People sometimes envision a hypothetical scenario. After a funeral family members gather in private and someone very close to the deceased somberly reads the last will. This person will distribute inheritances and everything is settled. The Probate Process In fact the above is a myth. The estate must pass through the process of probate before anyone will receive an inheritance. During this process ...
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  • A LOOK AT DISPUTED ESTATE OF SHERMAN HEMSLEY

    It is important to be completely honest with your attorney and share all relevant details with the possibility of an estate challenge in mind. If you have any reason to believe that someone could step forward to challenge your wishes after you pass away you should definitely let your attorney know about it. There are things that he or she could do to dramatically reduce the likelihood of a ...
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  • $40 MILLION ESTATE SITS UNCLAIMED

    Imagine the good that $40 million could do. If you had this kind of money you would be able to do amazing things for your family. Of course, there are people who don’t have any living family members. However, if someone has ever showed you any kindness, you could repay this person in an absolutely unbelievable manner. You could also do incredible things for charitable organizations or institutions ...
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  • WEALTHY FAMILIES CAN BENEFIT FROM GENERATION SKIPPING TRUST

    With a generation-skipping trust you can keep more of your hard-earned resources in the family for a longer period of time. Why would there be any need to utilize an estate planning device like a generation-skipping trust to preserve your wealth? The answer can be broken down to three words: the estate tax. We have a federal estate tax that is imposed on assets that you are transferring that ...
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  • FUNDING A STUDENT'S COLLEGE EDUCATION

    Some people who are in a position to give life-changing amounts of money to their loved ones may take pause. If you were to give a young person a significant gift or inheritance he or she may see no reason to get an education and make an individual mark on the world. One thing you could do if you felt this way would be to convey assets into a 529 college savings plan for the benefit of a future ...
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  • WHAT'S STOPPING YOU?

    Most Americans do not have Wills. We have discussed the problems with this before on this blog, but it is a subject that is always worth revisiting. If we did not think it was important for people to have estate plans, then we would not do what we do as estate planning attorneys. However, we can only discuss the many reasons why you should have an estate plan so often. If you are reading this, ...
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  • JERRY BUSS' ESTATE

    When a celebrity passes away, it is often interesting to see if there is anything that we can learn from their estate . All too often, we learn the many ways that the celebrity did not plan their estate in an ideal way. However, sometimes, we find out that the celebrity did everything the right way. It is still early in the estate process, but at this point it appears that Lakers owner Jerry Buss ...
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  • BOB MARLEY'S MISTAKE

    Recently, Bob Marley’s widow, Rita Marley, and his half-brother, Richard Booker, settled the legal issues between them. The case is an interesting one and is instructive of a common estate planning pitfall that can lead to arguments and litigation between family members. Generally, Marley’s family has been very protective about how the late singer’s image and likeness can be used. They have even ...
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