Financial Advice for Retirement, Social Security, IRAs and Estate Planning

Wills and Estate Planning

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estate plan

Checklist: Wills and Estate Planning Update

April 3, 2016

If there has been a change in any one or more of the factors listed since the last review of your estate plan, then it is time to get in touch with your estate planner and update the plan. The marital status of you or any of your family members The birth or adoption of […]

Choosing Executors for your Will Carefully

March 5, 2015

I regularly point out that naming the wrong people as executors or trustees can ruin even the best estate plan. Most people put little thought into these decisions, often casually naming their oldest adult child or sibling. They don’t realize the burden of being an executor or trustee, even for relatively simple estates. This article […]

The Disney Estate Plan Fiasco with Trustees and Will Executors

May 22, 2014

One thought I invoke regularly is that the wrong trustees or executor can ruin even the best estate plan. Consider the plan of Walt Disney. His wealth is in a trust for the benefit of his grandchildren. The trust schedules principle distributions to the grandchildren when they reach certain ages. It also contains a standard […]

Reconsidering Living Wills

June 8, 2012

A good estate plan includes a lot more than will. Among the documents to be included are medical care documents. The traditional document is a living will. But I’ve downplayed the importance of living wills for years. A better document is the medical care proxy or power of attorney. There are a number of problems […]

estate planning

Instruction Letters and Ethical Wills

April 1, 2006

The typical estate plan is a collection of legal documents with sterile discussions of trusts and property distributions. It need not be that way. Your estate plan and your legacy can be enhanced by adding to your plan documents that are more personalized and speak directly to your loved ones. Certainly the main focus of […]

the-great-will-shortage

The Great Will Shortage

August 1, 2004

Americans put their wills on the backburner in recent years, and it could cost their estates and heirs plenty. The data is clear. In 2004 only 42% of adults had even a basic will, versus 47% in 2000, according to legal publisher Martindale-Hubbell. Other studies have similar results. LegalZoom.com found that only 75% of adults […]

how-details-destroy-estate-plans

How Bad Trustee and Executor Choices in your Will and Trusts Can Destroy Estate Planning

February 1, 2004

NFL superstar Johnny Unitas passed away in September, 2002, and his estate has been a mess since. Unitas’s families from two marriages are at odds. His son and namesake is fighting to get the company father and son ran back from the estate’s executors. The executors are Unitas’s longtime accountant and attorney. Unitas and John, […]

reviewing-your-will-and-estate-plan

Reviewing Your Will and Estate Planning

July 1, 2003

Your will and estate plan need to be reviewed. Be sure they are ready for coming changes. A key tool in many estate plans especially needs some re-working soon. Otherwise, you might be caught in a trap. The current lifetime estate and gift tax exemption is $1 million per person. It rises in 2004, and […]

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