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

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

Join Me Today for National Healthcare Decisions Day

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the importance of advance healthcare planning–indeed, it’s the one piece of the estate planning puzzle that practically every adult can benefit from. Today is National Healthcare Decisions Day, a day for preparing plans to allow others to make medical decisions for you if ever you are unable … Read more

National Healthcare Decisions Day 2015 is Coming

This year, National Health Care Decisions Day–a day to encourage people to do advance healthcare planning–is set for Thursday, April 16, 2015. I’ve written about NHDD the past couple of years, and I’m doing it again this year to encourage people to take control over their healthcare decisions. Although NHDD is still a few weeks … Read more

Estate Planning for Singles

When we talk about estate planning, I spend a lot of time talking about spouses and children. What about the single people?┬áIf anything, estate planning may actually be more important for single people, not less! Handling incapacity For married people, selecting someone to handle their financial affairs and medical decisions is usually pretty easy: generally … Read more

How to Be a Good Agent Under a Power of Attorney

We’ve discussed the planning side of a power of attorney before, but what if someone (we’ll call this someone the “principal”) appoints you to serve as their attorney-in-fact in a power of attorney? First of all, congratulations! I’m not kidding! Someone has enough trust in you to appoint you to handle their affairs. I think … Read more

The Power of Attorney in Planning for Incapacity

When people think about estate planning, they usually think about planning for what happens after they die. However, planning for death isn’t the only function of an estate plan. Another important part of estate planning is planning for incapacity–the possibility that we may be alive, but unable to understand our situations, communicate our decisions, and … Read more

Basic Estate Planning for Young People

If you’re a young adult, you are probably not giving a lot of thought to planning for incapacity or death. After all, that’s for down the road–hopefully way down the road. However, as NBC News points out, even young adults can benefit from some basic estate planning. That’s because once you reach 18 in Missouri, … Read more

National Healthcare Decisions Day: A Day to Consider Advance Care Planning

The 6th Annual National Healthcare Decisions Day is coming up soon–April 16, 2013, to be precise–and it’s a great opportunity to consider planning for health care decisions if you’re ever unable to make those decisions for yourself. This is one of the issues I talk about with my estate planning clients, and while it can … Read more