Always Have a Backup: Planning for Contingencies In Your Estate Plan

If you have a backup of your hard drive or a portable generator for emergencies, you know the value of a backup. Most of the time, Plan A works just fine. However, sometimes Plan A fails, and when that happens, a backup is important. In your estate plan, this same thing is true. I recommend … Read more

How Dementia Affects Estate Planning

For many people–myself included–one of the most frightening things about aging is the possibility of developing dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, roughly 5.3 million Americans had Alzheimer’s disease in 2015–a number that is expected to increase to some 7.1 million in the next 10 years. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of dementia, a … Read more

Talking to Your Spouse About Estate Planning

I see a lot of married couples in my practice, and I’ve noticed that usually one of the spouses is more interested in the process than the other. That’s okay–I don’t expect both spouses to be fascinated by estate planning–but I think that the process works best when both spouses participate. If you’re interested in … Read more

Asset Protection Using a Spendthrift Trust or Discretionary Trust

For many people, an important part of estate planning is protecting the assets of the estate for the estate’s beneficiaries. If your beneficiaries have creditors, or if they could wind up with creditors down the road, asset protection should be of some concern. Odds are, you probably know someone who has a lot of debt. The … Read more

The Alternatives to Disinheriting a Child

The decision to disinherit a child must be a painful decision–oftentimes, a relationship has been broken, maybe beyond the point of being salvaged. These decisions are very personal, and I’ve gotten some negative reactions when I’ve asked folks about those decisions (although I promise I wouldn’t ask if it weren’t important). If you’re preparing an … Read more

IRA Charitable Rollovers Become Permanent

On December 18, President Obama signed the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH, because of course every law has to have a cute acronym) Act, which made a variety of tax law changes. Among those changes: making IRA charitable rollovers (also known as “qualified charitable distributions,” which is the more accurate name, so we’re going to … Read more