When we lose a loved one, we often have memories of special events and occasions, the support they provided us, or specific qualities of that person we will never forget. An epitaph, by definition, is a brief phrase or sentence expressing a sentiment, often inscribed on a tombstone. Epitaph Day is a symbolic event dedicated to the contemplation and creation of our desired epitaphs. It is a gentle and meaningful reminder of the impermanent nature of life and the importance of having a plan for the future.
You have likely heard the term estate planning, but you may not be familiar with which legal tools typically comprise a complete estate plan. We want to teach you about the legal tools that should be included in your plan and what benefits and protections each legal tool can provide.
It is normal for married couples to share almost every aspect of their lives with each other. But when it comes to death, even the closest couples might become tight-lipped about certain topics. According to one study, half of all couples fail to discuss their dying wishes. Here are four things you and your spouse should discuss before death.
9 of the potential conflicts you or your family may face if you don't have an estate plan or your estate plan is flawed.
When creating a trust, it is common to name yourself as the initial trustee who is responsible for all aspects of administering the trust. However, when considering who will take over when you can no longer act (either because of illness or death), it is sometimes helpful to divide the responsibilities between two or more successor trustees. For example, you may decide to have one trustee who manages the accounts and property held by the trust and another trustee who makes decisions about distributions to the trust’s beneficiaries. There are some important reasons why you may want your trust document to bifurcate the trustees’ duties in this way.
When it comes to protecting your hard-earned money and property, it is important that you have the right plan, which can include a number of tools for your unique situation. One tool that might benefit you is a limited liability company (LLC) that owns some of your accounts and property.
Being self-employed is no easy task. You are the owner, and in some cases, the only employee. While you may have more freedom than the average worker, a lot of responsibilities lie on your shoulders. Working together, we can craft a comprehensive estate plan that will help you address three important concerns you may have.
When a person dies, what happens next depends on whether the deceased person had any foundational estate planning documents such as a last will and testament (otherwise known as a will) or trust, who the living relatives are, and their relationship to the person who died. If the deceased person d...
Vacations are a time to relax, unwind, and create beautiful memories with your loved ones. But before you set off on your adventure, it's essential to ensure that your legal affairs are in order so you can fully relax during your travels. Can’t imagine doing one more thing before you take some much-needed time away? Don’t worry, I'm here to guide you through these important tasks, so you can enjoy your vacation worry-free. Plus, these steps only take a little time to complete and can provide you with peace of mind knowing that you have made proper arrangements if the unexpected happens to you or your family while you’re away.
People often come to us curious — or confused — about the role trusts play in saving on taxes. Given how frequently this issue comes up, here we’re going to explain the tax implications associated with different types of trusts in order to clarify this issue.
America is a nation of do-it-yourselfers, but building a deck and creating a legally valid estate plan are two entirely different things — and a less-than-perfect deck won’t devastate your family’s financial future or the relationships among the people you care about most. The prevalence of online legal services has led many people to believe that they can create legal documents cheaply and those documents will be just as effective as if they had visited an estate planning attorney. Let's look at why that is wrong.
A qualified estate planning attorney or Personal Family Lawyer® can help you avoid these 10 common estate planning mistakes.
You could be unintentionally reducing your family's wealth potential if you do not properly designate the beneficiaries of your IRAs. Improper estate planning could mean that your IRA assets could pass to the wrong people or entities, so how you execute your beneficiary designations is critically...
If you are going to take investment and estate planning advice from anyone, Warren Buffett is likely one you want to consider. At this year’s Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting, Buffett shared several pieces of financial advice but also provided insights on the importance of personal growth and estate planning when seeking to grow wealth. While many of us may feel overwhelmed by the thought of estate planning or building our wealth, Buffett's advice reminds us of two key but simple steps we can take to create financial and generational wealth.
If you have a blended family, estate planning is critical if you want your loved ones to avoid court and conflict in the event you die or become incapacitated. But planning for your blended family is also a great opportunity to strengthen your family bond through open conversations about your wishes and goals for your family and the love you have for them. Read more here.
When you think of estate planning, a Will is usually the first thing that comes to mind. In fact, most people who contact me tell me they don’t need anything complicated for their estate- just a Will. But although they are a key part of your estate plan, relying on only a Will leaves huge gaps in your estate and actually guarantees that your family will need to go to court when you die.
Stephen Laurel Boss, also known as “tWitch,” was an American DJ, hip-hop dancer, choreographer, television producer, and actor whose personality lit up the stage on So You Think You Can Dance and as a producer and frequent guest host on The Ellen Degeneres Show. Boss also co-hosted the TV show Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings alongside his wife and fellow dancer, Allison Holkers. Boss died without a Will or Trust in place, meaning his wife, Allison Holker, has the task of petitioning the California court system to release Boss’ share of their assets to her.
Q: Can you explain how the administration of a will works? A: Dear Taking Care: In order for assets in a will to be transferred to a beneficiary, the will must first pass through the court process known as probate.
Vacations can be the perfect opportunity to relax, disconnect from work and responsibilities, and enjoy your spouse, partner, kids’, or friend’s company. But before you head off on your next getaway, there’s something else you should consider doing that might not sound quite as fun—creating an estate plan. While it may not sound like the most thrilling way to spend a day, here are some reasons why you need to think about your estate plans before you travel.
If you’re tempted to use a DIY estate planning service or have already created a plan you aren’t 100% confident in, be sure to read how these three simple mistakes can derail your estate plan and leave your family with an expensive mess.
Hiring a lawyer to help you make wise decisions for life and death can be the most empowering choice you ever make for yourself and your loved ones. The way I explain it to my friends and family is, “estate planning isn't about planning for your death, it’s about planning for your life.” So, with that frame in mind, let’s talk about how to choose an estate planning attorney because we aren’t all cut from the same cloth.
Balancing the needs of a multi-generational blended family with your own wishes can be a complicated task, especially when it comes to estate planning. With a majority of Americans not only marrying once, but twice, three or even four times during their lives, it is a challenge that will come to many. Even when blended family members get along, estate planning can be complicated. The potential for acrimony among family members can be so great that some people choose to avoid addressing the issue of who will inherit what altogether. However, as any estate planning attorney will tell you, having no plan is not a good plan.
As the world and its laws continue to evolve, everyone needs to keep their estate plans up to date.
Making important decisions for aging parents can be a challenging task, but power of attorney (POA) can provide peace of mind and clarity in times of need. POA enables individuals to make crucial decisions on behalf of their parents, such as managing their finances or making medical decisions, when they are unable to do so themselves due to age or illness. While it may be difficult to approach this topic with your parents, having these discussions early on can help ensure that you follow their wishes if their health changes over time. Starting the conversation with empathy and understanding can make all the difference.
Q: Can I leave my 401(k) to my minor children when I die?