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Three Reasons for Having a Living Trust

There are a multitude of reasons to have a living trust. We can’t begin to cover them all, but we will touch on three reasons very briefly here.   Reason #1: Protecting Property for Certain Beneficiaries   When most of us think about estate planning, we think

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Estate Planning and Business Succession

Most people hear the words “Estate Planning” and automatically think about wills, trusts, tax issues, and probate. The reality is that estate planning is about much more than just figuring out how to pass on your hard-earned assets. We’ve written a lot about the ways that estate

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A Hypothetical, But It Does Happen

Today we’re going to discuss a situation that happens all the time. It’s a situation that almost nobody thinks about, unless you’re an estate planning attorney, but it does occur often enough to talk about. Consider the following hypothetical: A woman, let’s call her Elizabeth, has passed

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Beyond the Allocation of Assets

Estate planning is about much more than just deciding who gets what in the event of your death. It’s also about avoiding unnecessary taxes, and in the event that you have minor children, making sure that custody of your children doesn’t go to the state. Yes, you

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Health Care Directives

Most estate planning law firms spend a considerable amount of time writing about wills, trusts, and guardianship documents, but when was the last time you read anything about healthcare directives? That will be the focus of this article, because healthcare directives (also called living wills) are integral

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Five Strategies For Paying For College When Money Is Tight

Everyone knows how important it is to have a college degree… As a parent, you know that providing your children with a college education is one of the best things you can do to ensure their future. Yet, in a recent Gallup poll, 70% of the parents

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Your Estate Planning Checklist

The death of a parent… Medical issues… Birth of a child… A milestone birthday… Any of these events can trigger the urge to put your affairs in order and plan your estate. One of the best things you can for your loved ones is to leave them

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The Ins and Outs of a Qualified Personal Residence Trust

The possibility of facing estate taxes has left many people looking for ways to minimize the tax burden on their heirs. Trusts… Annual gifts… Charitable donations… These are just a few of the estate planning tools available to design your estate in such a way that you

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Two Percent Can Go a Long Way

You may not have noticed it but your paycheck has increased by two percent (2%). The 2010 Tax Relief Act (H.R. 4853) extended some of the current tax rates and it also reduced the Social Security payroll tax by two percent for 2011. As unimpressive as 2%

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What If?

Most people start the process of estate planning to deal with “What If”. What If you died and your children were still too young to care for themselves? What If you were no longer physically able to care for yourself? What If you had very specific instructions

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