Recent Articles

Estate Planning for Minors: Life Insurance

This week’s post on Life Insurance is the third in our back-to-school series, focusing on estate planning for minor children. To read week one’s post on Guardianship, please click here. For week two’s post on Asset Management, please click here. Life insurance is one of those things that many of us consider but never get past the, I-should-look-into-it stage. When you have minor children who depend upon your income for their health, welfare, and well-being, planning with life insurance may be a critical … [Read More...]

Estate Planning for Minors: Asset Management

This week’s post on asset management is the second in our back-to-school series, focusing on estate planning for minor children. To read week one’s post on Guardianship, please click here. Here is the cold, hard truth: If YOU don’t appoint a guardian for your minor children, and if YOU do not legally document how your assets should be managed for them in case of an emergency, then the COURT will step in and a JUDGE will decide these factors for your family. Without planning, your minor children will be at the … [Read More...]

Estate Planning for Minors: Guardianship

This week’s post is the first in our back-to-school series, focusing on estate planning for minor children. If you have a school-age child, by now you are already fully immersed in all things back to school. Along with all of the shopping for backpacks and school supplies, back to school is also a great time to start planning for protecting your minor children should anything happen to their most important resource -- YOU. One question that weighs heavy on the minds of most parents is about guardianship. If the … [Read More...]

What Happens Now to Whitney Houston’s Estate?

Following the unfortunate death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of the late Whitney Houston, questions regarding the future of Houston’s $20 million dollar estate have surfaced. At the time of her death, Bobbi Kristina had received only the first payment from Houston’s estate, which had a staged distribution plan which paid Bobbi Kristina certain amounts at certain ages. Houston’s estate plan stated that if Bobbi Kristina were to die unwed, without children, and without a will of her own, that … [Read More...]

Alzheimer’s Disease: Encouraging News & Why Planning is Crucial

Earlier this month, beloved actor Omar Sharif, whose career included star turns in "Lawrence of Arabia" and "Doctor Zhivago," died at the age of 83, just months after his son confirmed he had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. Alzheimer’s disease does not discriminate. The progressive brain disorder is the sixth leading cause of death in America and affects nearly five million Americans, a number is expected to triple by 2050. However, thanks to continuous study and medical innovation in the field the … [Read More...]

Top Seven Estate Planning Tips for Blended Families

Blended families are becoming the norm in the United States. Contrary to popular belief, blended families aren’t just about divorced parents; thanks to modern medicine, many of us are outliving our spouses and ending up remarrying. As with any union, there are special estate planning considerations when becoming a blended family. Here are the top seven estate planning tips for you and your blended family to consider: BE GOAL ORIENTED: You and your spouse should take time to figure out your estate planning … [Read More...]

How to Fund Your Trust to Avoid Probate

A common estate planning mistake many people make – including celebrities like Michael Jackson – is not ensuring the trust you have created holds all your assets. Unfortunately, most lawyers simply do not make sure this is properly handled for their clients, so if you’ve worked with any law office other than ours, you need to double check this critical issue. If you do not transfer your assets into your trust, it is an empty shell and does nothing to accomplish the objectives you had in mind when you established … [Read More...]

Debunking Gift Taxes Myths

Many people are confused about the subject of gift taxes. While only two states -- Connecticut and Minnesota -- have a state gift tax, there is a federal gift tax you may need to be concerned about. Here are some common myths and the actual truths about gift taxes: Myth: The recipient must pay taxes on gifts. Reality: While the gift giver may face taxes on certain gifts, the recipient usually doesn’t. There are some circumstances, however, when that will not be the case. For example, if you receive a … [Read More...]

How Seniors Can Avoid Being Taken Advantage Of

A 2010 study conducted by the Investor Protection Trust found that more than seven million older Americans -- 20 percent of those over the age of 65 -- had already been a victim of financial abuse. Here are some tips on how you can ensure your parents (or you in the future) can avoid becoming a victim of financial abuse: 1. Establish an estate plan with the help of a Personal Family Lawyer® while you are still of sound mind and body. This is perhaps the most meaningful way to protect your assets because when … [Read More...]

A Touching Memorial from One of March Madness’ Greatest

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of March Madness, the annual college basketball tournament, but rarely does that passion overlap with my estate planning practice. Not so this year as Dean Smith, the legendary North Carolina University basketball coach, used his estate plan to leave a legacy as admirable as his on-court success. Smith, a who passed away last month at age 83, had prepared his estate using a will and living trust. Through his trust Smith directed that $200 be given to each of his former … [Read More...]