Category Archives: Estate Planning

The Dangers Of Using Cookie-Cutter, Downloadable Legal Forms

When people learn that I am an estate planning and elder law attorney, some of them ask what I think about “do it yourself” wills, trusts, and other estate planning forms that can be found online. Of course, when I … Continue reading

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Who Should Get What: Factors To Consider When Leaving Unequal Inheritances To Your Children

When many parents create an estate plan, they simply divide their assets equally among all their children. While there is certainly nothing wrong with this, in some situations it might not be the best, or even the fairest, approach. For … Continue reading

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Lessons In Estate Planning From Deceased Celebrities

Many of us think, “If I was rich and famous, I wouldn’t have a care in the world.” However, as the recent passing of two Hollywood stars shows us, when it comes to estate planning we all grapple with similar … Continue reading

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Why Create a Trust?

Due to changes that limited federal estate tax to only high valued estates, many people believe there is no reason to set up a trust to guard their assets. However, a recent article outlines five reasons that trusts might be … Continue reading

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An Estate Planning Success Story

In an article, Pat Mertz Esswein explains how her mother took all the right steps in laying out her estate plan, so that when she passed nothing was left undone and no one was left to deal with unanswered questions. … Continue reading

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Learn From These 6 Estate Planning Mistakes of NFL Players

In honor of the Big Game, a recent article explains six of the estate planning mistakes that NFL players commonly make. While not everyone will earn as much as an NFL star, the average American can still benefit from avoiding … Continue reading

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Where do tweets go when you die?

When you pass away, you might leave behind online files at a number of different online sites. A recent article provides some advice on how to include these online assets in your comprehensive estate plan. Many companies with online accounts … Continue reading

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Estate Planning For Frequent Flyer Miles

There are lots of things people include in their Will or Trust: who will care for their minor children if they can not, special documents for disabled beneficiaries, even planning for pets. But how about those frequent flyer miles that … Continue reading

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Estate Planning: Don’t Forget The Life Insurance

People put a lot of thought into their Wills and Trusts – particularly the part about who will get what after they die. Specific gifts are carefully drafted, percentages are tweaked, and special needs beneficiaries are addressed using special documents. … Continue reading

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Estate Taxes: How Much and What States?

For many people, the “Fiscal Cliff” deal done in January 2013, resolved potential estate tax issues: the Federal threshold for taxable estates was permanently moved to $5,000,000.00 per person (indexed for inflation, so the actual 2013 amount is $5,250,000.00).  If … Continue reading

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