By Christine A. Schafer

March 22, 2019

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

No one wants unnecessary court involvement in their life. But without careful and proactive estate planning, chances are that some aspect of your estate will end up being decided there. Here are two of the most common ways court proceedings can make their way into the management and distribution of your assets, along with the estate planning measures you can take to avoid them. 

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statue of angel
March 27, 2019

Seeing an Estate Planner? 3 Key Questions to Ask

Hiring an estate planner is an important decision as you are seeking advice on how to protect your loved ones once you are gone. For this reason, it is critical to hire an attorney with good knowledge of estate planning and how to use the tools available to create the best plan for your particular needs. Be sure to ask questions of the lawyer before deciding whether or not you will hire him or her. 

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March 29, 2019

How to Manage Your Basis “Step Up”

If you or someone you know has received an inheritance, it is important for you to understand how to manage your basis “step up.” A “step up” in basis is the adjustment of the value of an appreciated asset – for tax purposes – upon inheritance.  

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April 1, 2019

Who Should Be Your Successor Trustee?

If you have a revocable living trust, you probably named yourself as trustee so you can continue to manage your own financial affairs, but eventually, someone will need to step in for you when you are no longer able to act due to incapacity or after your death. Your successor trustee plays an important role in the effective execution of your estate plan.

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April 3, 2019

How Your Trust Can Help a Loved One Who Struggles with Addiction

Substance addiction is by no means rare, impacting as many as one in seven Americans. Because of its prevalence, navigating a loved one’s addiction is actually a relatively common topic in everyday life. But you should also consider it when working on your estate planning. Whether the addiction is alcoholism, drug abuse, or behavioral like gambling, we all want our loved ones to be safe and experience a successful recovery.  A properly created estate plan can help.

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April 8, 2019

Just Like You Need a Medical Checkup, Your Estate Plan Needs a Checkup!

Whether or not you currently have estate planning documents, one important item to add to your calendar is getting an estate plan checkup.

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5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!
April 12, 2019

5 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan!

Estate plans are almost magical: They allow you to maintain control of your assets, yet protect you should you become incapacitated. They take care of your family and pets. And, if carefully crafted, they reduce fees, taxes, stress, and time delays. Estate plans can even keep your family and financial affairs private. But one thing estate plans can’t do is update themselves.

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Reverse Mortgages Estate Planning
April 16, 2019

The More You Know: Reverse Mortgages Estate Planning

You have likely seen several advertisements for reverse mortgages if you have spent any time watching television or surfing on the internet. The concept and sell is a simple one: as long as you own and live in your home, you can supplement your retirement income with a loan that you do not need to pay off. The trade-off when it comes to a reverse mortgage is that you are using your home’s equity to receive that extra retirement income. Even if a reverse mortgage is right for your circumstances, entering into a reverse mortgage is something that should be understood fully before signing any paperwork.

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April 24, 2019

The Trust Protection Myth: Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Many people believe once they set up a Revocable Living Trust and transfer assets into the Trust, those assets are protected from lawsuits.  This is absolutely not true.  

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May 3, 2019

How Estate Planning Can Help You Dream About Your Future

A dream without a plan is simply a wish. Estate planning is not just about death and taxes — it puts you in the driver’s seat of your financial life, allowing you to set achievable goals. It is a great opportunity to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind for loved ones, help you avoid the expense and delay of probate, as well as help you save on taxes. 

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