We live in a mobile society, and conservatees are no exception. For example, an elder may have multiple residences, living in an out-of-state vacation home part of the year or moving among family members in various states. Or the child of a conserved parent may move to a new state, taking the parent along. And when there’s conflict, a parent may be taken from California to another state to be conserved beyond the reach of other relatives.read more
The following is a Year End Checklist to help you determine whether it’s time to update your Estate Planning Documents:
1. Have you purchased or sold a home in the last 1-5 years?
2. Have you purchased any rental property?
3. Have you re-financed the mortgage on your home?
4. Have there been any changes in your family since your last review?
5. Has there been a significant change in your health status?
These days, more people are living single than ever before. In 1970, just about one- third of Americans 15 and older were single, according to U.S. census data. Today, that number’s closer to 50 percent.
Whether never married, divorced or widowed, singles need to pay just as much attention to their estate planning as married folks, as highlighted in a recent Wall Street Journal article. Single people face unique estate planning issues that require advanced planning, time and the help of an experienced professional.read more
It’s decision time if you who want to take advantage of the $5.12 million gift tax exemption that expires at the end of this year. While cash is the most direct way to pass wealth to heirs, you might need that money at some point.
If you’ve already given it away, it’s not as easy to get some of it back. An interesting recent article in the New York Times (http://tinyurl.com/9vhpzyx) highlighted the benefits and risks of leaving heirs investment properties.read more
A recent Wall Street Journalarticle (http://tinyurl.com/7jslpke) highlights some of the biggest mistakes business owners make when they’re ready to retire and how to avoid them. Most of my clients spent decades building businesses right alongside raising families. But for as much thought as they put into running successful businesses, many didn’t put any into who’s going to run the place after they are gone.read more
March 31, 2012 marked the seventh anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old who succumbed after her feeding tube was removed as part of a very public legal battle between her husband and parents. As you may recall, Terri Schiavo was in a coma for nearly 15 years after she suffered cardiac arrest and sustained a brain injury. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, alleged that his wife would not want to live in her incapacitated state; she had no written instructions in place.read more
When you walk down the aisle, probably the last thing on your mind is getting a divorce. But when divorce happens, you have to think about more than just the court proceedings to untie yourself from the relationship. You really don’t want your ex-spouse making life and death decisions for you, or benefiting from a revocable living trust, do you?read more
If you own a car, then you know it requires regular servicing in order to perform well and be reliable. More than likely, your car came with a recommended schedule for service, based on how many miles it has been driven; after a certain number of miles, you need to change the oil, replace the brake pads, rotate the tires, and so on.read more
Proposed Laws Could Force Social Networks to Grant Access to a Deceased User’s Account to Grieving Family Members
Many of us have received precious, tangible mementoes from our loved ones who passed on. We treasure photo albums containing pictures of weddings, babies and family vacations. We keep safe shoeboxes filled with love notes between our grandparents when they were young and letters written by a soldier uncle who died in battle. Nobody can argue that these aren’t immeasurably valuable to us emotionally.read more
As advisors, we help clients with financial strategies to protect legacies they worked a lifetime to build. But what should we do when a client announces a plan to leave everything to a pet, to build a gold-plated statue, or to fly their remains into space? The client’s plan sounds ludicrous enough that you want to blurt, “Are you nuts?!” When clients seek to do something eccentric, many advisors freak out. But they really don’t have to.read more