Why a Trust Is the Best Option for Avoiding Probate

As Ambrose Pierce once darkly observed, “Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate.” Obviously, ideally, when someone passes away, the paperwork and material concerns associated with the estate are so flawlessly handled (thanks to excellent preparation) that they fade into the background, allowing the family to grieve and remember in…

Did You Name a Guardian for Your Minor Children?

We know it’s hard. Thinking about someone else raising your children stops us all in our tracks. It feels crushing and too horrific to consider. But you must. If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you – your child’s guardian could be a relative you despise or…

How To Be Successful At Business Succession

Entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Only a certain type of person has the particular set of skills, and is willing to take calculated risks and work tirelessly to build a successful business from scratch. One risk you should never take is leaving the future of your business to chance. As you grow your company, consider…

Warning: Don’t Let Creditors Inherit from You

Shocking to most people, the retirement account you leave for your spouse can be seized in a divorce, lawsuit, or bankruptcy. 3 Options Available To Surviving Spouses When your surviving spouse inherits your IRA, he or she generally has three options: Cash out the inherited IRA and pay the associated income tax. WARNING: the cashed-out…

Estate Planning: Why Me, Why Now, and Is a Will Enough?

You have worked hard for years, have family members and friends you care about, and have approached a time in your life when “estate planning” sounds like something you should do, but you are not exactly sure why. You may feel that you are not wealthy enough or not old enough to bother or care….

The Perils of Joint Property

People often set up bank accounts or real estate so that they own it jointly with a spouse or other family member. The appeal of joint tenancy is that when one owner dies, the other will automatically inherit the property without it having to go through probate. Joint property is all perceived to be easy…

Isn’t There Already A Law That Leaves Everything To My Spouse And Kids?

Many people think that if they die while they are married, everything they own automatically goes to their spouse or children. They’re actually thinking of state rules that apply if someone dies without leaving a will. In legal jargon, this is referred to as “intestate.” In that case, the specifics will vary depending on each…

10 Types of Trusts: A Quick Look

Considering the myriad of trusts available, creating an estate plan that works can seem daunting.  However, that’s what we, as estate planning attorneys, do every day. We know the laws and will design a plan which addresses your specific situation. Here’s a look at the basics of ten common trusts to provide a general understanding….

Your Cyber Legacy: 3 Tips for Your Digital Assets

There’s an entire category of commonly-overlooked legacy to consider – digital assets. Don’t worry if you didn’t consider these assets when made your will or trust – it’s surprisingly common and, luckily, easy to correct. What are digital assets? They include: your photos (yes, all those selfies are a digital asset), files stored in the…

Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians Anyone Can Use

Whether you are a physician or not, you probably know that the practice of medicine is a profession fraught with liability.  It’s not just medical malpractice claims either – employment related issues, careless business partners and employees, contractual obligations, and personal liabilities add to the risk assumed by a physician in private practice.  Unfortunately, in…