Test Your Knowledge: An Estate Planning Quiz

How much do you know about estate plans?  And how do you know when you need one? Many people have a vague feeling that they should execute some kind of estate plan eventually, but think (hope) that they really don’t need one right now. On our blog we spend a lot of time telling people […]

The Overlooked Document that Packs a Punch

Most people are surprised at just how many documents there are in an estate plan.  An estate plan is not merely a trust, it incorporates a number of other documents to help protect your finances, your children, your health, and especially your right to make your own decisions. Depending on the size of your estate, […]

In This Season of Thanksgiving…

The days are getting shorter, the weather cooler, and the skeletal arms of trees reach for the skies as their colorful apparel rests on the ground.  All of these signs point to just one thing… No, not the estate tax repeal (although that does loom close); I’m referring, of course, to the upcoming holiday season—a […]

As Time Goes By… Part 3

Our previous installments on how to review your estate plan discussed how and why to review the more financial portions of your estate plan; for this final installment we will cover how to review the documents that may be closer to your heart: your health care documents and documents pertaining to minor children (such as […]

As Time Goes By… Part 2

In our recent blog post we listed 6 essential components of your Estate Plan that should be reviewed on a regular basis and why it’s so important to keep them updated.  Today we’ll go into more detail about the first of these components; what they are, and how to review them. Fiduciaries- Make a list […]

As Time Goes By… Part 1

For many people the holiday season brings more than just celebration.  Seeing family and friends you may not have seen since this time last year means seeing children who have shot up like weeds, siblings and cousins with noticeably more gray in their hair, and even sometimes seeing an empty place at the dinner table […]

Is All This Really Necessary? . . . Yes, It Turns Out It Really Is

Jane Hodges of the Wall Street Journal recently jumped in where few would fear to tread—and lived to write about it.  Where most people would prefer not to think about taxes and estate planning at all if they could help it, Hodges went through the process of creating an estate plan not only once, but […]

More than Just “The Death Lawyer”

Everyone knows that the estate tax is also sometimes known as “the death tax”; similarly, estate planning attorneys are also sometimes known as “those death lawyers.”  This is something most of us have learned to good-naturedly roll our eyes at; but eye-rolling aside, the worst thing about the “death lawyer” assumption is the disservice it […]

Don’t Take That IRA Withdrawal Yet! New Options for Seniors in 2009

If you are a senior 70 ½ or older who owns an IRA we have good news for you.  Last year Congress approved legislation that waives the minimum withdrawal requirement for seniors in 2009. This leaves seniors with more options than usual regarding their IRAs.  You can still choose to take the withdrawal, of course; […]

Executors Have Options When It Comes to Final Medical Expenses

Most people die in a hospital; sometimes after a long and slow decline, sometimes after a quick and unexpected tragedy.  If you are an executor of the deceased’s estate this is significant because it means that there are usually final medical bills to be paid. What most executors do not know is that these final […]