Estate Planning That Expresses Who You Are: 5 Things to Talk About with Your Family

You intend to pass along your wealth through your estate plan, but what about your wisdom?

Most families lead far-flung and busy lives, meaning the only time they see one another face-to-face is around the dinner table during a handful of major holidays. The estate planning process is a perfect opportunity to bring everyone together outside of those scheduled occasions. Read More

The Perils of Joint Property

People often set up bank accounts or real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate. However, joint ownership can also cause unintended consequences and complications. Read More

Not Just Death and Taxes: 5 Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning

Good estate planning includes a plan in place to manage your affairs if you become incapacitated during your life and can no longer make decisions for yourself. Without a comprehensive incapacity plan in place, your family will have to go to court to get a judge to appoint a guardian or conservator to take control of your assets and health care decisions. Read More

3 Reasons You Want to Avoid Probate

When you pass away, your family may need to visit a probate court in order to claim their inheritance. This can happen if you own property (like a house, car, bank account, investment account, or other asset) in only your name. Although having a will is a good basic form of planning, a will does not avoid probate. Instead, a will simply lets you inform the probate court of your wishes – your family still has to go through the probate process to make those wishes legal.

Here are 3 key reasons why you want to avoid probate. Read More

Do your parents have an estate plan?

If you find yourself in the “sandwich generation” (someone who is caring for both your children as well as your parents simultaneously), you need to know whether or not your parents have put together an estate plan. While it is still your parent’s choice to make estate planning decisions, having a plan — no matter how late in life it is created — is an absolute must.

The thought of speaking with your parents about their finances and estate planning probably makes you want to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Nonetheless, having this conversation is the key to helping make sure your parents are able to live their golden years without financial worries and that their wishes are carried out after their death. Read More

Wills vs. Trusts: A Quick & Simple Reference Guide

Confused about the differences between wills and trusts?  If so, you’re not alone. While it’s always wise to contact experts like us, it’s also important to understand the basics. Here’s a quick and simple reference guide to give you the basics on (1) What Revocable Living Trusts Can Do – That Wills Can’t; (2) What Wills Can Do – That Revocable Living Trusts Can’t; and (3) What Both Wills & Trusts Can Do. Read More