Estate Planning

Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the... more +
Estate Planning is a process where individuals prepare or plan for the settlement of their personal affairs in the event of incapacitation or death. Estate plans typically include provisions relating to the disposition of assets, guardianship of minor children, and appointment of representatives to make medical and financial decisions. Effective estate planning can decrease tax liability and facilitate the probate process.  less -
News & Analysis as of

Estate Planning Pitfall - You haven’t planned for incapacity

Most estate plans focus on what happens after death — but a plan is incomplete if arrangements haven’t been made in the event of mental incapacity. If the plan doesn’t specify how these decisions will be made, and by whom, a...more

Will your estate plan benefit from a trust protector?

Even though one may appoint a trustee to oversee distribution of a trust’s assets, it’s possible to go a step further by appointing a trust protector. This person will serve as an overseer of the trustee’s actions. Taking...more

Saving for college is also good for your estate plan

A 529 plan is one of the most powerful and flexible tools available for college savings, but it also provides some unique estate planning benefits. This article explains how 529 plans work for savings purposes, but also notes...more

Wealth Transfer Newsletter

Although the estate and tax planning landscape has undergone substantial change in recent years, we can rest assured that even more change is ahead. We hope that you find this newsletter informative and useful for your...more

Taking Time to Give Thanks and Review Your Estate Plan

As you take time to give thanks this holiday season, it may be time for you to consider how you will show your family your appreciation. Keeping your estate planning documents and beneficiary designations up-to-date is one of...more

Helping Your Elderly Parents Plan Their Estate

As the Baby Boomer generation continues to age, millions of Americans are finding themselves in an awkward, critical position: their elderly parents are need assistance with their estate planning, but they are hesitant to ask...more

International Estate Planning and the Question of Domicile

Home is where the heart is, right? Unfortunately, the matter is not quite that simple when it comes to international estate planning. Establishing where you home – referred to officially as your domicile by attorneys and the...more

Have You Reviewed Your Estate Plan Recently?

Estate planning has received some recent media coverage with the deaths of celebrities such as Robin Williams, James Gandolfini, and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In the case of James Gandolfini, the coverage focused on his failure...more

International Estate Planning: Establishing Your Domicile

In one of our recent blog posts, we discussed the legal term “domicile” and outlined exactly why it is so important to establish the correct domicile during the estate planning process. If you are part of an international...more

Four Great Reasons for International Estate Planning

Estate planning is extremely important for anyone who cares for their family and wants to protect what they have earned over their lifetime. But if you are part of an international family, if you are married to a non-citizen,...more

Who Can Benefit From International Estate Planning?

There are a number of common misconceptions regarding international estate planning and international tax law – and each year these misconceptions lead to families finding themselves facing tax problems, financial losses,...more

Arizona Court of Appeals Recognizes Right of Publicity While Protecting Free Speech in Precedent Setting Case

For the first time ever, an Arizona state court has recognized that individuals enjoy a right of publicity that protects them from the unauthorized use of their name or likeness for commercial or trade purposes. In its April...more

The Government Is Going to Take My Money (and Other Medicaid Myths)

Due to ever-increasing nursing home costs, many clients have contacted us about Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid is a government program designed (in part) to pay the cost of nursing home care for those who need long-term care...more

Estate Planning for Women: Six Essential Tips

While estate planning is vital to anyone who wishes to pass their wealth on to their loved ones, it can be especially important to women. Why? One big reason is that women live significantly longer than men. This means that...more

Estate Planning for a Vacation Home

If you are lucky enough to own a vacation home, then you need to figure out what will happen to it after you are gone. Many parents hope to keep vacation homes in the family, but guaranteeing that can be tricky....more

Recent Changes to the use of Power of Attorney (POA)

Using a Power of Attorney (“POA”) could soon be a lot more complicated. New legislation was passed in Pennsylvania in an effort to minimize the opportunities for abuse perpetrated using a POA and to provide clearer guidance...more

2015 Estate And Gift Tax Update

On October 30, 2014, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2014-61, which announced inflation adjustments to the applicable exclusion amount beginning in 2015. For an estate of any decedent dying during calendar year 2015, the...more

Don’t Sign Your Spouse’s Arbitration Agreement, And Other Lessons From Non-Signatories

In three cases in recent months, courts have found that plaintiffs who did not sign an arbitration agreement (non-signatories) are not obligated to arbitrate. In all three cases, a key issue was that the plaintiff’s claims...more

T&E Litigation Newsletter - 10/2014

With the Supreme Judicial Court’s issuance of its decisions in O’Connell v. Houser, Jr. et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 841 (SJC-11698) (Oct. 28, 2014) and Bank of America, N.A. v. Babcock et al., 2014 Mass. LEXIS 840 (SJC-11651)...more

Should You Transfer Unused Gift and Estate Tax Exemptions to a Surviving Spouse? (Part I)

The word "portability" in an estate tax context refers to the ability to transfer a deceased spouse's unused gift and estate tax "exemption" (technically known as the "basic exclusion amount" or the "BEA") to the surviving...more

California Guardianship Law: The Difference Between Guardians & Trustees

Who will care for your minor children in case something happens to you and your partner? Who will helped them through their day, make sure they are safe and fed, and teach them to be good people and good citizens? Who will...more

New Law Effective in 2015 is an Important Win for Cottage Owners

On October 9, 2014, PA 310 of 2014 (HB 5552) was signed into law by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder. As stated in our previous blog, "Cottage Transfers of Ownership without Uncapping Property Tax Broadened Under Michigan House...more

5 Guardianship Clauses You Need in Your California Will

Writing a will is one of the most important things that you can do for your children: you are ensuring that they will be taken care of after you are gone – both financially and emotionally. However, the time and effort that...more

Now’s the time for a charitable lead trust

Affluent families who wish to give to charity while minimizing gift and estate taxes should consider a charitable lead trust (CLT). These trusts are most effective in a low-interest-rate environment, so conditions for taking...more

Special Needs Trusts: Countable & Non-Countable Resources

One of the reasons you may fund a special needs trust for your child is so that they can have your financial support while also receiving needed government benefits, including Medicaid, Medi-Cal, and Supplemental Security...more

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