TRUSTS –WHAT CAN THEY PROTECT?

Is your estate plan structured to provide you or your loved ones long-term protection against court interference, creditors, bankruptcy, divorcing spouses, financial mismanagement and dissipation of all of your assets as a result of a long-term care scenario?  If it’s not doing this, and you have some of these concerns either regarding yourself or your children or grandchildren, then you … Read More

CAN A BROKEN TRUST BE FIXED?

There are many reasons you may have set up an irrevocable trust.  But what if it no longer serves its purpose?  Can it be changed or “fixed?” Now, why would a trust “break?” Circumstances may have changed.  If your family circumstances have changed, for example, you divorce, or your children grow up to be financially very well off, or you … Read More

Understanding Powers of Attorney

You may have signed a Financial Power of Attorney as part of your estate plan, but do you really understand what it is and what power you have given your agent? A financial power of attorney authorizes another person, your “agent,” to make decisions for you concerning your property.  Your “property” means any of your bank accounts, investment accounts, insurance, … Read More

A FEW LONG TERM CARE PLANNING TIPS

As we all know, long term care is not cheap, whether it is hiring a home health care attendant or paying for a nursing home stay. So finding the right solution to pay for this care is critical. While many people believe Medicare will cover long term care expenses, this is really a quite limited situation. Medicare covers only up … Read More

WHY DO WE FAIL TO PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE

Most of us do not know the facts surrounding our potential need for long-term care and what the cost of that care will be. This was reconfirmed recently by a telephone survey of 1,735 Americans over the age of 40, which survey was conducted by the Associated Press, NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The survey points out the many … Read More

HAVE YOU PLANNED FOR YOUR DIGITAL ASSETS?

Do you own digital assets?   If you have online bank and brokerage accounts or keep your music and photos stored on your home computer or “the cloud,” then yes, you do own digital assets. And if you do, you should account for those in your estate plan. If you haven’t, your executor, trustee or beneficiaries may not be able to … Read More

I’m the Executor of an Estate – and I have no idea what I need to do!

Mom just passed away and the entire family is mourning. However, in addition to being a daughter, you have also been named executor of Mom’s estate. You know there is much to be done, but honestly you don’t know exactly what the job entails. Very simply, you are responsible for collecting Mom’s assets, paying creditors and distributing the remaining assets … Read More

MY FAMILY WILL NEVER CONTEST MY WILL….OR WILL THEY?

We’ve all heard stories about will contests and how final wishes are not carried out as planned, not to mention family members never speaking again. It’s a scene that makes us sad and which we certainly want to avoid in our own family. So to begin with, what is a will or trust contest? It is a type of lawsuit … Read More

The IRA Charitable Rollover

The IRA Charitable Rollover was first enacted in 2006 and expired on December 31, 2009. This allowed individuals aged 70 ½ and older to donate up to $100,000 from their IRA’s to public charities without having to count the distributions as taxable income. On December 16, 2010, Congress passed the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of … Read More

Six Biggest IRA Beneficiary Form Mistakes

If you have a retirement plan, you have made a series of very wise decisions. Now you must do what is necessary to protect and preserve what you have worked so hard for. The most important thing to remember is that your will does not control who gets your IRA. The beneficiary designation form trumps your will. So filling out … Read More