Wills and Estate Planning

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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

What Your Will Can and Can’t Do for Your Estate Planning

August 1, 2011

A will is one of the most powerful documents you can write. A will can decide what happens to valuable property, even billions of dollars worth. It can decide who becomes the guardian of minor children, who controls a business or other entity, and how much of your wealth goes to the government. The will […]

Estate Planning

Evaluating a Codicil vs. a New Will for your Estate Planning Strategy

November 1, 2010

When an Estate Planning Strategy needs updating, there’s always one key question. Should an entire will be written and executed, or is a simple amendment sufficient? An amendment to a will in lawyer talk is a codicil. It’s an important question, and not one to be taken lightly. The advantage of a codicil is you […]

bulletproof-estate-plan

Bullet Proofing Your Will and Estate Plan from Legal Challenges

April 1, 2008

Few events disrupt an estate plan and family harmony more than a will contest or other challenge to the plan. The specific challenges might not be predictable, because they often are triggered more by emotions than finances. But the risk of a contest almost always is present, and estate owners should know that they can […]

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 […]

November 2020:

Congress Comes for your Retirement Money

A devastating new law has just been enacted, with serious consequences for anyone holding an IRA, pension, or 401(k). Fortunately, there are still steps you can take to sidestep Congress, starting with this ONE SIMPLE MOVE.
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