Latest Blog Posts

Incorporating Faith and Values in Estate Planning

Posted on: September 8th, 2016
For many, passing along religious beliefs and values to the next generation is just as important as passing along financial wealth and tangible assets. Estate planning creates many opportunities to do this, including:...

How to Overcome the Challenges of Legacy Planning that Plague Blended Families

Posted on: August 31st, 2016
As you’ve probably already noticed, estate planning can be challenging - not only for the “traditional” nuclear family but, also for the millions of “non-traditional” families. The blended family scenarios are virtually endless - a spouse with independent wealth that marries a younger new spouse, children from a previous marriage but no children from this marriage, children from a previous marriage plus children from this new marriage, and more. Sometimes, an estate “plan” of a blended family seems less like a plan and more of a grab bag of joint and solely owned assets with no clear plan about who gets what and why....

Why Naming a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren) is Extremely Important…

Posted on: June 9th, 2016
Why Naming a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren) is Extremely Important… Some might say it is the most important decision to make... Parents with minor children need to name someone to raise them (a guardian) in the event both parents should die before the child becomes an adult. While the likelihood of that actually happening is slim, the consequences of not naming a guardian are great. If no guardian is named in the parent’s will, a judge—a stranger who does not know the parents, the child, or their relatives—will decide who will raise the child without knowing whom the parent would have preferred. Anyone can ask to be considered, and the judge will select the person he/she deems most appropriate. On the other hand, if the parent names a guardian (typically via the parent’s will), the judge will usually go along with the parent’s choice....

Estate Planning: 3 Reasons We Run the Other Way

Posted on: June 7th, 2016
We understand that it feels hard to get around to estate planning; it sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. However, we also understand that we all want to make sure that our loved ones are protected and receive our hard-earned assets – regardless of whether we have $10 million or $10,000. Don’t let these common roadblocks stop you from protecting yourself and your family: ...

Fun Ways To Convince Your Spouse to Get Started with Estate Planning…

Posted on: March 9th, 2016
Fun Ways To Convince Your Spouse to Get Started with Estate Planning… It's extremely important that both partners understand why they need an estate plan and what the important elements of that plan are. Here is a fun and friendly guide to some of the common objections by reluctant spouses, and what you can say to let them know that you hear them, but that you have a lot to lose and that it's time to move forward....

Do-It-Yourselfers Think Twice Before Considering Online Estate Planning…

Posted on: March 1st, 2016
The recent rapid increase in numbers of online estate planning document services has attracted many do-it-yourselfers who are lured in by what appears to be a low-cost solution. However, this focus on price over value could mean your wishes will not be carried out and, unfortunately, nobody will know there is a problem until it is too late and you are no longer around to clean up the mess. Probate, trusts and intestate succession (when someone dies without leaving a will) are governed by a network of laws which vary from state to state, as well as federal laws pertaining to inheritance and tax issues. Each jurisdiction has its own requirements, and failure to adhere to all of them could invalidate your estate planning documents. Many online document services offer standardized legal forms for common estate planning tools including wills, trusts or powers of attorney. However, it is impossible to draft a legal document that covers all variations from one state to another, and using a form or procedure not specifically designed to comply with the laws in your jurisdiction could invalidate the entire process....