Financial Planning (From A Lawyer’s Perspective)

Financial advisors are not estate planners. They gather documents but cannot do the same tasks with them in the way an estate planning attorney can. For instance, financial advisors can’t review them and offer legal estate planning advice. Financial advisors often tell you that they don’t need to see your legal documents or have them on file to review them when something happens because they simply aren’t attorneys. Read More

The Best Beneficiary Designation 

  What is the best form of beneficiary designation? We hear this from many of our clients—or prospective clients. This happens when we prepare someone’s estate plan. We’ve gone through the steps of their wishes, and they’ve signed the document. We’ve explained how to title their home in the name of their trust and sign and record the deed. We’ve even given them paperwork about retitling their bank accounts, and then Read More

Why Bother With Estate Planning?

  When we meet with clients, we get asked whether it makes a difference whether they have an estate plan. Before we walk them through the process, we ask what estate planning means to them. Because of how frequently estate planning myths are perpetuated, people responded that they don’t need a plan due to how few assets they own. Or they say that the assets they do have aren’t valuable enough to warrant a proper Read More

A Massive Misconception Surrounding Joint Ownership

What are the words written on the side view mirrors on your car? It says something along the lines of, “Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” This warning is because the mirror is convex and curved outward. The convex shape allows drivers to see more of the area behind and to the side of the vehicle, essentially providing a wider field of view and reducing blind spots. The reasoning behind bringing this up Read More

Roller Coasters, Estate Planning, & Special Needs Planning Month

One of the true joys in life is discovering a passion. The focus may range from driving the country to viewing covered bridges to riding roller coasters. Though we are about to discuss the latter, it doesn’t matter what people are passionate about; finding something you value and appreciate is genuinely important. The American Coaster Enthusiasts (ACE) have an annual marque event called Coaster Con. Members meet at Read More

How Does Hollywood Affect Estate Planning 

Many people fall for a basic trap or misconception that they have a sufficient estate plan because they have one document: a will. It’s the document that most people are familiar with. This concept is embedded in our culture and entertainment. Hamlet, for instance, is worried about his father’s will because it disinherited him in favor of his uncle Claudius. Knives Out, released in 2019, depicts the famous Read More

What To Do Before We’re Gone

Before we go on trips, we take the time to plan. We find someone to watch our pets, and we have packing lists. If something gets forgotten, there’s usually a way to replace it when we get to where we are going. However, what happens when we die? What sort of preparation did we do? This is precisely why estate planning exists. It answers what will happen to my assets when I pass away. There are things we can do that Read More

The Question Everyone Needs To Ask

After more than three decades of practicing law, we have encountered people in various stages of life, all of which are navigating challenges. Everyone struggles and feels degrees of pain, but we have found that there is one thing that everyone has in common: We are all going to pass away. There is a spiritual element to this, and people seek different ways to process their mortality to be ready for that stage. This Read More

Challenges, Medicaid IRMAA, & False Shortcuts

It isn’t a hurricane, tropical storm, or an old name that is making a resurgence. IRMAA is an abbreviation for Income-Related Monthly Adjustment Amount. It may land as a significant surprise for anyone who is in retirement. Think about the person who is retiring and is getting Social Security. But what happens if you are fortunate enough to have a lot of retirement income? The issue is that you have more money to Read More

What Happens If I Pass Away First: A Conversation About Special Needs Planning

When the issue of special needs planning arises, most people imagine parents protecting their children. Special needs children and adults may rely heavily on government funding and support. Parents with these precious children want to ensure they are provided for and protected when they can no longer do so themselves. This is why special needs planning is fundamental. Those who neglect estate planning have no say in Read More