Reasons To Have An Estate Plan | Estate Plan Pros
The Real Cost of Estate Planning

The Real Cost of Estate Planning

Have you ever come across a deal that you really wanted to jump on, and for whatever reason, didn’t or felt like you couldn’t at the time?  And later, you looked back, and realized that you should have made the leap?Bill Gates, at age 23, offered a majority share for his fledgling tech company, Microsoft, to Ross Perot, the President of Electronic Data Systems, for between $50 to $60 million...

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Three Reasons Not To Put Your Child on Your Bank Account

Three Reasons Not To Put Your Child on Your Bank Account

If you’re like most people, adding your child to your bank account seems like the easiest thing to do, rather than relying on legal documents like a power of attorney.  There are at least three reasons why this estate planning “shortcut” is a bad idea. Your child may have to pay gift taxes if they do the “right thing” for their siblingsWhen you add your child to a bank account, they become a...

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A Tale of Caution Involving a Holographic Will

My dad always said that wisdom is learning from other people’s mistakes – it’s cheaper than learning from your own mistakes.  Here is a classic example to learn from: the estate of Estelle Elsa Manwell, from El Dorado County.  Ms. Manwell was well to do – according to court documents she owned real estate in Contra Costa and El Dorado County worth $1,238,848. Ms. Manwell must have known...

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Buried in Paperwork?  Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Dysfunction Causes Chaos

Buried in Paperwork? Suffolk County Probate & Family Court Dysfunction Causes Chaos

Missing files.  Unprocessed checks totaling several hundred thousand dollars in filing fees.  A procedural and paperwork mess that saw pleadings as far back as 2015 not docketed or scanned.  The legal system is complicated enough, but when clerks behind the counter can’t handle the paperwork, the system doesn’t function.  And unfortunately, that is exactly what happened in the...

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Naming A Minor Child as a Beneficiary?  Not so Fast.

Naming A Minor Child as a Beneficiary? Not so Fast.

Planning for worst case scenarios is the reason why we get life insurance in the first place.  But could some simple wording changes on your life insurance beneficiary form make a big difference?  It could make the difference between the court sitting on the money until the child turns 18 instead of the person you trust being able to immediately use those funds for your child’s benefit....

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Breaking The Taboo Surrounding The End Of Life Conversation

Breaking The Taboo Surrounding The End Of Life Conversation

I remember that awkward moment as a kid when my parents decided I was old enough to have “that” talk.  Now, as an adult, there’s the “other” conversation that looms – all the decisions around end-of-life care.Debbie Reslock recalls when the doctors asked her if her mom would prefer to be in the hospital or at home for the end, “I remember how angry I was, unprepared to make this decision and...

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Avoid sinking your spouse in a swamp of legal and financial mess by being prepared ahead of time

Avoid Sinking Your Spouse In A Swamp Of Legal And Financial Mess By Being Prepared Ahead Of Time

Because estate planning has so many shiny tools, it’s easy to get distracted with the details – which tool is better?  Which one do I need?  Here is the bottom line to focus on: will my surviving spouse or children be ok, or will they be sunk in a sea of legal processes, paperwork, and costs that could have been avoided?  Taking the time to prepare your family for the future will...

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Trusts are the "swiss army knife" tool of the estate planning world

Who Needs a Living Trust

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked ‘which is better, a will or a trust’ I could buy a lot of coffee.  Trusts have become popular in the last 50 years or so, while wills have been around for a long, long time.  For people who love history like me, check out “Wills of our Founding Fathers”Which is better, a will or a trust?  That’s like asking which is better, a hammer...

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Presidential Tycoons, Estate Planning and You

Presidential Tycoons, Estate Planning and You

What does the election of Donald J. Trump have to do with your estate plan?  According to a recent national survey conducted by Wealth Counsel, Inc.,in fact, nearly half of all respondents believed that estate planning is only for the super-rich and most people don’t need it.  This misperception causes families to:·         Not have a named...

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Five Hidden Dangers Your Family Faces Without An Estate Plan

Five Hidden Dangers Your Family Faces Without An Estate Plan

“I won’t care when I’m gone.”  I hear that frequently in my estate planning practice and its true.  But some things might be happening to the people you care about that you might not appreciate.  Here are five critical dangers you and your family face by not having a plan in place. 1. The Judge is In Charge if You Become IncapacitatedThe rule is pretty simple, someone has to be in...

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