Preparing Your Estate Plan | Estate Plan Pros

Planning for Special Needs Children

Parents of disabled children face a lot of struggles. Often providing ongoing care for a disabled child is overwhelming, involving various doctors and other care providers, not to mention working with teachers and therapists, and IEP meetings and more. And somewhere back in the parents mind is the thought – who will do what I’m doing when I’m gone? Wonder no more when you create a Special Needs...

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Two Totally Tricky Trusts To Save On Taxes

Happy your taxes are done? Me too. I’ll let you in on a little tax secret that not many trust attorneys or financial advisors know about: the same property can be taxed differently for estate tax purposes than for income tax purposes. Now, that may seem either a little too obvious or way too complicated depending on your perspective. But that difference has been used for years by experienced...

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7 Estate Planning Mistakes That Are Easy To Make and Expensive

Estate planning is sort of like chemistry – a small mistake could have dramatic results, costing your family a lot in terms of time, money, and frustration.  These seven mistakes are easy to avoid, but also easy to make. 1.              Procrastinate I know I have my favorite excuses for putting off the unpleasant, and I doubt I’m alone in that.  When it comes to estate planning, there is no...

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Five Cool Things Your Trust Can Do That You Might Not Know About But Probably Should

Trusts are like violins – in the right hands they can do amazing things. Your trust can set goals for your beneficiaries and provide protection from themselves and others. You can take care of your pets. And you can plan long term to keep your estate in the family. Set Goals Parents want to see their children become productive and contributing members of society. They don’t want their hard earned...

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Are You Sidelining Your Family In Favor Of A Judge?

If you had a stroke tomorrow, will the judge suddenly be in charge?  If you haven’t properly planned your family may find themselves appealing to a judge to make important medical and financial decisions when you can’t. Picture Kevin – he is approaching retirement when he has his stroke.  Besides the medical decisions his family now faces, he has some important retirement decisions to make –...

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Strategies For Preventing The Silver Spoon Syndrome

While few of us have the kind of wealth that say Sting or Warren Buffett have to manage, many parents have a legitimate concern about their children’s ability to manage the money they plan on leaving to them.  Parents want to see their children become productive members of society, and not a lazy consumer waiting for trust fund payments to come in.  So what options do parents have when they...

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Parents, Are You Making This Mistake With Your Life Insurance?

Did you know that you could be leaving your life insurance funds stranded in court limbo? If you have minor children, you picture the insurance funds as being the key to ensuring their comfort and future education. But there is a crucial step that your insurance agent can’t really help you with – and that is who to name as your beneficiary on that policy. Fortunately, that is what this post is...

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Is Your Living Trust Vaccinated Against Creditors, Lawsuits, And Divorcing Spouses?

Most living trusts are designed to avoid probate.  But modern trusts are coming with a new feature – protecting your beneficiaries against creditors, lawsuits and divorcing spouses. If you haven’t heard, there has been a recent outbreak of measles cases here in the United States, apparently originating in Disneyland.  This outbreak has triggered a lot of discussion about vaccinations...

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Why Direct Distribution May Be a Disaster

Basic plans typically distribute a child’s inheritance when he or she reaches a particular age, say at age 25.  Sometimes the distribution is divided in half or thirds, and spread out over a period of years – for example one half at age 25 and the balance at age 30.  Before the child reaches that age, the trustee is in charge of using the funds for the child’s benefit, ensuring that...

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What Is an Estate Plan?

Having a tank doesn’t mean you have a battle plan.  Having a trust doesn’t mean you have an estate plan.  A trust is only one of the tools we use in creating a comprehensive estate plan. What an Estate Plan Does: An estate plan is more than its individual components, the pieces work together to accomplish four purposes. It Avoids Probate Probate is a time consuming and expensive...

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