Is it Time to Update Your Trusts?

Years ago, Blake added a special needs trust, a revocable living trust, and a qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trust to his estate plan. He knew he should review his estate planning and his trusts every so often, but just never seemed to have the time. When Blake passed away recently, his family was left with a messy probate situation. Assets had been bought and sold, some heirs had predeceased Blake, Read More

3 Reasons to Sign a Living Will

Most estate plans include a Will, maybe a trust, a durable power of attorney, and an advance directive. Your advance directive may or may not include a Living Will. It’s totally your choice. However, there are significant reasons to sign a Living Will. In this article, we will consider those reasons and what may happen if you decide not to add a Living Will to your estate plan. #1 – So your loved ones won’t have to Read More

The Connection Between Estate Planning and Retirement Planning

Retirement planning is about money. People need to plan ahead in order to have enough money for retirement. Estate planning is about more than money. However, a major part of estate planning does involve taking care of your money and other assets. When thinking of the connection between estate planning and retirement, trusts may be the first place to start. Estate Planning and Retirement Planning Provide Income for Read More

Durable Power of Attorney: Can Your Agent Make Medical Decisions for You?

Author Mark Twain famously said, “The difference between the almost right word and the right word is really a large matter – ‘tis the difference between the lightning-bug and the lightning.” He was referring to words, but the concept works in other situations. Sometimes two things are similarly named but are actually very different. In estate planning, you have the durable power of attorney and the health care power Read More

New Year, New Estate Plan

We’re well into the New Year. How are your New Year’s resolutions going? If you’re like most people, you made resolutions related to health, fitness, family, or financial well-being. Estate planning may not have entered your mind as the New Year was rung in, but that doesn’t mean it is not as important as your goal to start painting or lose 20 pounds. In fact, because estate planning affects you and your family, Read More

What You Can Learn from Celebrity Trusts

Between the paparazzi and social media, we often know more about celebrities than we care to. In fact, they are so far removed from your life, you may feel that there is nothing to be learned from their trials and triumphs. However, sometimes we can learn what not to do especially in terms of their estate planning. In this article, we will explore what you can learn from celebrity trusts. Establish Trusts as Read More

Can You Split Your Trust?

A trust is a legal entity created to hold assets for the benefit of one or more beneficiaries. If you contemplate adding a trust to your estate plan, you may wonder if there are any situations where you can split your trust if necessary. Under what conditions would a split, if allowed, help achieve your estate planning goals? In this article, we will look at several ways to split a trust. Split Your Trust with a Read More

Key Differences Between Tenancy in Common and Joint Tenancy with Right of Survivorship

How property is owned affects the property on several levels. There are advantages and disadvantages to the different types of property ownership. For example, Pat and Jeff planned to purchase some property in Palm City. They felt it was important to learn the differences between tenancy in common and joint tenancy with right of survivorship. It was important to compare the two types of property ownership in several Read More

Directed Trusts 101

While trusts are a common form of estate planning, there are variations in how trusts are formed. For example, Alex T. was considering forming a trust then transferring his family business to the trust. However, he was concerned about appointing a trustee. Alex had built his company from the ground up and was reluctant to hand authority and control to someone who did not possess his personal interest in the company. Read More

In This Season of Giving

It’s likely that you will have finished the rush, stress, and joy of the holiday season by the time you read this blog. Despite this season of giving, there’s a gift you may have missed: your estate plan. However, estate planning is all about giving. It is not too late to consider using the following strategies. Give Back to the Community Through Charitable Trusts By establishing a Charitable Remainder Trust, you Read More