Do You Know the Difference Between a Domicile and a Residence?

Nuances can be important. Two things can be similar but have subtle yet meaningful differences. For example, many people find it hard to understand the difference between a domicile and a residence. After all, both terms deal with where someone lives. However, choosing your domicile may impact your life significantly. Understanding the Terms Residence is a place you live for a time. It could be a summer hideaway, a Read More

Coordinate Estate Plans and Wealth Management Strategies

Some things work together separately but are enhanced when merged. Take music and lyrics. You might enjoy listening to just the music of a piece. You could also read the lyrics like a poem. Separately, they work. But together?  Beautiful music! Estate planning and wealth management are similar. They serve separate purposes. However, if coordinated, estate planning and wealth management may bring about a better Read More

When Are Staged Withdrawal Rights a Bad Idea?

Mary wanted her children to benefit from the comfortable net worth she had built. Fortunately for them, she consulted with an estate planning attorney. She considered setting up trust funds for her children but was unsure how to handle the payouts:  outright or through staged withdrawal rights? First, What Does ‘Staged Withdrawal Rights’ Mean? Trust assets are disbursed to beneficiaries at some point. When a trust Read More

Understanding Where You Stand: Florida’s Elective Share Statute

Roslyn and Martin’s marriage was troubled. They never divorced or even separated, but Martin’s anger got the best of him at one point. He decided to remove Roslyn as a beneficiary on all his retirement accounts, checking accounts, and savings accounts. He quietly retitled some business property to prevent her from receiving any benefit from it after his death. After his death, Roslyn was shocked to learn that her Read More

Pet Trusts: Providing for Man’s Best Friend (and Cats, Too)

Ella C. lived a long life, blessed by her family and her beloved pets. At the time of her death, two pets lived with her: Lucy, her 10-year-old Labrador Retriever, and Thor, a 2-year old Russian Blue cat. Her children knew their mother loved and pampered the animals, but they had no idea what to do with the pets after she was gone. Her estate planning made no mention of the animals, so the family did the best they Read More

Intellectual Property: Transferring Rights Through Your Estate Plan

Jackie earns a good living from the popular novels she has written. She sometimes worries what will happen to her books when she passes away. After all, her copyrights were worth something, right? Jackie talked to her attorney, who suggested she include her intellectual property rights in her estate planning. The Ownership of Ideas Intellectual property (or IP) typically takes the form of patents, copyrights, Read More

Celebrity Estate Planning Mistakes: Sonny Bono

Sonny Bono was probably most famous for the song he sang with Cher, his second wife – I Got You Babe. However, he also found success as a songwriter, television star, restauranteur, and politician. Mr. Bono also committed a serious celebrity estate planning mistake. His Life Born in Detroit, Michigan, Salvatore “Sonny” Bono and his family moved to California when Sonny was a young child. Mr. Bono became a Read More

Qualities to Look for in a Trustee

Edward N. faced a dilemma while preparing his estate plan. He needed to name someone to serve as trustee of his family trust. Fortunately, he had several close friends and family members who might be suitable. However, he had trouble choosing one over another. Edward wondered what qualities his trustee should possess. The first thing Edward learned is that a trustee’s duties vary. The trust document used to Read More

Competency: How to Know When Someone Is Capable of Signing a Will

Grandpa Joe’s family knew he needed to make a Will. He had even asked his granddaughter, Abigail, to take him to an estate planning lawyer. But he had also wandered out of the house in his pajamas and called Abigail by his late wife’s name several times. They were concerned about his competency. How could they know whether he was capable of signing his Will? Due in part to our rapidly aging Baby Boomer generation, Read More

What You Need to Know About Community Property Trusts

Janet and Bobby G. were living in Texas when they started their life together as man and wife. After 20 years, they moved to Florida. As a married couple living in Texas, most of their assets were considered community property, but Florida is not a community property state. As new Florida residents, they needed to explore the potential benefits of a community property trust. First, Some Definitions Most assets Read More