Planning

Life Insurance Beneficiaries Must Be Designated, Not Assumed

In July 2012, Michael G. Fox got married, and looked forward to many happy years with his new wife, Evanisa.  Unfortunately, Michael died tragically in a work-related car accident just four months later.  Evanisa assumed that she was entitled to the death benefit from his life insurance policy. In attempting to file her claim, Evanisa […]

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Planning for the Smooth Transition of a Decedent’s Home

In the early years of Saturday Night Live, there was a skit called “The Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”  It dealt with John Belushi playing a dinner guest that refused to leave his hosts’ home.  A very funny sketch, but one that is often re-enacted without the humor in real life by children who reside with […]

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Rewriting a Will After Death

Dave and Molly have been married for many years.  They have an estate worth $1.5 million which includes their home, bank and brokerage accounts and life insurance.  They have three adult children: Manny, Moe and Jack.  Manny and Moe are successful businessmen who are financially secure.  Jack, though, was born with Down’s Syndrome and is […]

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Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part III

Choosing the Right Fiduciary Arguably, the single most important task for parents who are planning for the care of a child with special needs after their passing is to ensure that they pick the right trustee to manage the trust established on behalf of such child.  The temptation is to make a sentimental choice of […]

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Estate Planning for Children with Special Needs Part II

For the Children Parents who have a child with special needs often undertake estate planning to insure that any inheritance left for that child will be preserved for his or her benefit.  Proper planning will preserve eligibility for needs based government programs such as SSI and Medicaid while allowing the child’s inheritance to flow into […]

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The Perils of Joint Accounts

Joint Tenancy With a Right of Survivorship (JTWROS) is a manner by which many of us hold bank and other financial accounts with others.  It is a traditional method of account ownership that has many benefits.  It commonly reflects the unity between spouses.  It avoids probate when one party dies.  It can be used for […]

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Fiduciaries Must Account, or Else…

When someone serves as an executor, trustee, guardian or agent under a Power of Attorney, they are known as a fiduciary.  By law, all fiduciaries must account for their actions.  Over the years, this duty has often been ignored.  However, there is an increasing trend in litigation to sue fiduciaries for alleged financial abuse.  Many […]

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Estate Planning for Your Business: The Buy/Sell Agreement

A Buy/Sell Agreement is the legal cornerstone for the successful transition of a closely held business.  A formal Buy/Sell Agreement creates a market for each owner’s interest in a business in the event of his death, disability or retirement.  In the absence of such an agreement the deceased business owner’s heirs may become unwelcome or […]

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Trusting Your Estate Plan to Software?

Trusting Your Estate Plan to Software?

Over the past ten years, many individuals have looked for alternative means by which to plan their estate.  Allegedly seeking to forego the expense of an attorney, many people try to use “fill in the blank” documents from stationary stores and will kits.  As the usage of computers, and the internet in particular, has increased, […]

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Beware: Estate Planning Scams Are Knocking at Your Door

Beware: Estate Planning Scams Are Knocking at Your Door

Over the years, people have been increasingly concerned about the cost of legal services.  Without question, there are a number of lawyers and law firms who have abused the public’s trust by overcharging for wills and other estate planning services.  This abuse of trust, coupled with an uncertain economy, has compelled people to hope to […]

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