Five Estate Planning Lessons from Frozen

Over the weekend my family and I watched Frozen at Movies in the Park. Frozen is Disney’s reinterpretation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Ice Queen fairy tale.  As I watched the movie for the umpteenth time (my daughter is 5, after all), I realized that the movie contains some really good estate planning lessons.  [SPOILER ALERT: This article assumes […]

NAMI Offer Help In Difficult Area Of Special Needs Estate Planning

In the Oscar-winning 1979 documentary “Best Boy,” director Ira Wohl spent three years filming the life and times of his middle-aged cousin, a New York City man with a developmental disability everyone called Philly, although his name was Philip. Over the course of the film, it becomes clear that Philly’s aging parents, more than Philly […]

Proper Estate Planning Can Ease Everyone’s Mind

While death is just as inevitable as taxes, dying without being properly prepared is not. Proper estate planning, one that delves into as many contingencies as possible, can provide great comfort to not only the person reaching the end of the line but also to friends, family and loved ones of all kinds. “Dying is […]

Planning For Death, Like Estate Planning, Is A Last Gift To Loved Ones

Proper estate planning is like a gift people give to their loved ones and possibly to organizations they wish to include in the disbursement of their holdings. Another gift, one that is much more emotionally charged but equally important, is careful planning for death. It’s not a topic many people want to address, but then […]

Celebrity Estate Planning Foul-Ups Provide Lessons To Learn From

An article in Forbes magazine a while back points out that there are lessons to be learned in estate planning from some celebrities. For the most part that lesson is: Don’t do what these people did. “Like many Americans, you may feel a guilty pleasure watching celebrities make silly mistakes on national television,” the article […]

Estate Advisors Are Urged To Influence Clients Toward Charity, And That’s Because It’s Not Only Good For Others But Also The Giver

Doing good works is not only good for the soul. “The idea that doing good for others is beneficial to the giver as well as the receiver is well established by science,” stated a recent article on by Richard Newman and David Foster. “There’s an abundance of scientific research that’s been conducted on the […]

Elderly Self-Neglect Up To Others To Notice

The question is not “if?” but “when?” It is inevitable that as people get older, at some point they will no longer be able to take care of themselves. By then, however, the individual is in no position to be the judge of needing help, and the difficult decision of stepping in must fall to […]

Dementia Screening Now Covered, But Does It Help?

On the one hand, the law now requires Medicare to cover screening for cognitive impairment during an annual checkup. On the other hand, a recent story in The Washington Post noted, “an influential group said there wasn’t enough evidence to recommend dementia screening on a routine basis for people older than 65.” “In its review, […]

Supreme Court Finds Inherited IRAs Not Protected In Bankruptcy

In case you missed it, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that inherited IRAs are not protected in bankruptcy. Forbes has a great summary, which you can read here. The gist is that inherited IRAs are not “retirement” accounts of the person who inherits them, and, the Court concluded,  are not protected in bankruptcy. The Court […]

Cost-Saving Ends Little-Known Program At SSA

After seven decades of what The Baltimore Sun called a “curious side business,” the Social Security Administration will no longer help people connect with long-lost relatives. “Since the end of World War II, the Social Security Administration has offered a letter-forwarding service to genealogists, investigators and people who lost track of family members as addresses […]