estate planning

Have you been named as an executor? How to avoid common pitfalls and possibly getting sued

One of the issues that I spend the most time discussing with my estate planning clients is who to choose as a successor (e.g. back-up) trustee. Most clients go with close friends or family members, although those with more complicated estates or those who have had difficult trustee experiences themselves often see the benefits of working

Supporting the National Estate Planning Awareness Week

This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week In 2008, Congress supported the establishment of the National Estate Planning Awareness Week. What should we be aware of this week? That slightly over half of Americans say they have no estate plan or estate planning documents in place. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils features

Facebook Legacy Contacts: Who Takes Care of Your Facebook Once You’re Gone

Today, I just set up my wife Kristie as my “legacy contact” on Facebook. That means that if I were to pass away, she would have authority to manage my Facebook page. This article from Slate.com describes some of the additional details and considerations. Introducing Facebook Legacy Contacts At first glance, it might seem

After Divorce, Separate Your Estate Plans Too

Divorce agreement In our estate planning practice, we counsel a number of blended families. They face unique issues relating to the couple’s desire to balance caring for their new spouses with protecting their children from previous relationships. The attached Wall Street Journal article from earlier this year discusses a different aspect of the overlap

August 21st, 2015|Tags: , , , , , |

Three Things You Need to Know About Estate Planning

This quick article from the Wall Street Journal hits the three most basic estate tax concepts in a pretty concise and straight-forward way. If you have any questions about the interplay between the annual gift exemption ($14,000), the estate tax exemption (currently $5.43 million per person) or the lifetime gift exemption (it ties in with the

Route to an $8 Million Portfolio Started With Frugal Living

My “Millionaire Next Door” clients and their advisors would probably get a kick out of the story of Ronald Read – a former JC Penny janitor and service station worker who passed away earlier this year with $8 million. Ronald Read passed away with $8M fortune None of his friends and family knew of his wealth,

The New Rules of Estate Planning

Forward-thinking estate planners and certified estate planning specialists are the most likely to be creating and following the new rules of estate planning as outlined in this Wall Street Journal article. One of the most important "new rules" is the enhanced focus on minimizing and avoiding capital gains taxes for higher-net worth families whose level of

February 28th, 2014|Tags: , , , |

A Respectful Deference to Elders Curdles Into a Fight Over Assets

This NY Times article from late November focuses on a film, “Black Heirlooms” that describes a family dispute over a relatively modest amount of money that ended up tearing the filmmaker’s family apart. Besides the strained family relationships, the article mentions that “money goes to lawyers that could have gone to heirs.” That sentence resonated with

February 28th, 2014|Tags: , , , , |