Estate Planning & Presidents

How can these two be connected? The easiest answer to that (which you may have missed) is that estate planning is for everyone. Regardless of how many assets you possess or the power that you have, you can still benefit from diligent and deliberate estate planning. If you were to run a basic search right now, you would see a long list of celebrities who have not done any estate planning. This is somewhat surprising, Read More

Let’s Talk About Asset Protection

When we use the phrase “asset protection,” many people dismiss it because they don’t think it applies to them. They falsely assume this is for extremely wealthy individuals who may want to hide their money in off-shore accounts. Although that may be a form of asset protection (a very extreme form), it is not what we are referring to. Asset protection applies to everyone. Why? In our decades of practicing law, we have Read More

Estate Planning Basics: A Revocable Living Trust

There is a significant amount of confusion about what estate planning is, especially when it comes down to what a revocable living trust does (and doesn’t) do for you. Let’s get started right now by going over what it can do. The first thing you should know—and it is undoubtedly the most important—is that a revocable living trust protects your ownership. By having one, you can keep ownership as opposed to giving up Read More

The One Thing That Means Everything

In estate planning, there is one thing that means everything. In elder law, there’s one thing that means everything. Estate planning is about knowing what will happen to your assets (your estate) when you pass away. The reality is that everyone, at one point, will die, and we will do so with assets. Furthermore, most people have wishes regarding what will happen to those assets after their deaths. If you have never Read More

Choosing A Trust Instead Of A Will

Wills are an important estate-planning tool, but it is a mistake to assume you can use them interchangeably with trusts. In other words, if you have drafted a will, there are still significant benefits associated with creating a trust too. Ultimately, both of them allow you to pass your assets to your beneficiaries, but they do so in very different ways.  For example, when you pass away after only having a will, your Read More

Protecting SSI For Your Special Needs Child

We have talked about the unique estate planning considerations for people with special needs. By inheriting your assets, they may become ineligible for the programs and forms of assistance they rely on. Though these parents want to support their children and ensure they are provided for, they may inadvertently harm them by not being thorough in their approach to estate planning.  At J. Kevin Tharpe, P.C., we resolve Read More

Self-Settled & Third-Party Special Needs Trusts

Although we have discussed how and why you need to create a special needs trust, it is essential to distinguish between a self-settled trust and a third-party one. Self-settled trusts can be particularly confusing because they are also referred to as first-party trusts. Despite what you think the name implies, these trusts are not established by those with special needs. They are created by a parent (or grandparent), Read More

Estate Planning & Elder Law: Distinct But Complementary

It is very common. When you discover that an attorney builds estate plans, you may see “elder law” as a separate practice area. Though the skills attorneys develop through crafting estate plans may lay the foundation for a career in elder law, they are still two disciplines. Furthermore, you will discover they are answers to two different questions. Two Questions When you approach an estate planning attorney, you Read More

Prepping For Your First Estate Plan

Even if you have never considered creating an estate plan before and have not yet begun, you still have made the responsible decision to start. To help you along, we will provide some insight about what you can do before you ever meet with an estate planning attorney.  Most of the tips will work in conjunction with the things you will do with a lawyer. The odds are that they will ask you to do some of these steps. By Read More

Competency vs. Capacity

Though you may have heard these two terms being used interchangeably, they have distinct meanings—and they have specific applications. Capacity and competency are separate, but they are also determined by different people and used for unique purposes.  Competency  The terms get misunderstood and switched because “competency” is sometimes referred to as “legal capacity.” To help you understand the term, remember the Read More