You're ready to face the task of documenting how you will pass along your assets to your family and friends. But you're stuck: Should you use a trust or a will? Here are four considerations. Trusts avoid probate; wills don't. Probate is the legal process estates generally have to go through. It typically involves lawyers, paperwork and fees. A trust avoids probate because assets are owned … [Read more...] about Trusts: Why a Will May Not Be Enough
As we retire and get ready for the next stage of our lives, many of us have a plan in place outlining what we wish to leave to our sons, daughters, grandchildren, or other loved ones, or perhaps to charity. It’s imperative to review your estate plan periodically, especially if you or your spouse are getting on in years, or if your health is failing, to ensure that it continues to meet your … [Read more...] about There’s No Time Like the Present to Review Your Plan
The first step to long-distance care-giving is to understand your loved one's situation and needs. Schedule a visit with your relative or friend spanning several days to observe how they make decisions, solve problems and complete daily tasks, as well as the roles of any other caregivers. Get a long-term picture, so you don't have to rely solely on reports from others. Speaking with other … [Read more...] about Taking Care of the Elderly Long-Distance
In recent weeks our country, state, county, and cities have all experienced the unimaginable. We entered 2020 with a great deal of optimism and the renewed sense of energy that a new year brings. Within a few short months, a deadly virus has claimed the lives of over 100,000 Americans. As an estate planning, elder law and estate administration law firm, we are having conversations daily … [Read more...] about Continuing Business through a Pandemic
As estate planning attorneys we often get asked the following question, “Does my agent or trustee need to be well versed on how to do all aspects of their role?” Our answer isn’t a simple one or one standard answer that works for all our clients. However, we feel that it is important to discuss with our client that the agent they name in their documents should know that they’ve been named, the … [Read more...] about Should You Train Your Agent or Other Fiduciary Under Your Estate Planning Documents?
I have been considering getting an estate plan prepared but I do not know where to start. I do not know who to name as my trustee or executor. I am unsure of who I want to make health care decisions on my behalf. I do not know how I want my assets distributed upon my death. There is no way I can get started without this information, so I will continue to put it off. If this sounds familiar, … [Read more...] about Roadblocks in Estate Planning
If you have married someone and your spouse has children from a different relationship, those are your step-children. Even if you have helped raise the child from a very young age, unless you have adopted the child, they would not be considered your child for inheritance purposes. The implication of this can be significant. Here’s an example: When Harry met Sally, Sally had a newborn child, … [Read more...] about Planning for Step-Children
An Aging Life Care Professional is often referred to as a geriatric care manager and is a health and human services specialist who acts as a guide and advocate for families who are caring for older loved ones or disabled adults. The goal of an Aging Life Care Specialist is to guide families to decisions and actions that ensure quality care and optimal life for those they love and to reduce the … [Read more...] about What is an Aging Life Care Professional?
Oftentimes in my consultations, I hear the refrain, “I am uncertain as to what is going to happen, so I do not know what I should do.” This comment is usually in reference to either the client’s own personal situation, such as a move or a family conflict, but it may be in response to legal or geopolitical uncertainty. The question is then, how do we prepare an estate plan in times of … [Read more...] about Estate Planning During Uncertain Times
March 23rd, 2020 UPDATE: Our physical office is closed following Governor Hogan's order that all non-essential businesses close. We will remain closed until directed otherwise. During this time, our staff is working remotely and all appointments (with the exception of document signings) can be conducted via video chat or phone consultation. Our staff is working diligently to contact all … [Read more...] about Our Promise to You During COVID-19