Latest Blog Entries

Feud Between Brothers Demonstrates the Need to Plan for Long-Term Care

Although you may never be fully prepared for a family emergency, it is possible to take preventative steps to ensure that your loved ones will be taken care of when faced with the unexpected. A recent New Jersey appeals court case demonstrates how important it is for families to establish a long-term care plan before […]

Probate vs. Non-probate: What Is the Difference?

When planning your estate it is important to understand the difference between probate and non-probate assets. Probate is the process through which a court oversees the executor in the management of your estate. Some assets are probate assets and some assets bypass the court process and go directly to your beneficiaries (non-probate assets). The probate […]

Four Steps to Take Right After a Dementia Diagnosis

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with dementia, it is important to start planning immediately. There are several essential documents you need to have in place TODAY.   If you do not already have these in place, you need to act quickly; especially after a diagnosis of dementia. Having dementia does not mean […]

3 basic types of financial powers of attorney

A power of attorney allows a person you appoint — your “attorney-in-fact” or agent — to act in your place for financial purposes.  It is a very important estate planning tool, but in fact there are several different types of powers of attorney that can be used for different purposes. Before executing this crucial document, […]

True story of how making changes yourself to your will is a bad idea

Just as making a will without the help of a qualified attorney can be dangerous, trying to change an existing will on your own can fail as well.  A recent court decision in Minnesota serves as a cautionary reminder to anyone thinking of altering their estate plan on their own. Esther Sullivan executed a will in […]

9 potential problems with your trust

All trusts should be reviewed every few years to make sure that they are up-to-date with the law and meet your goals today. Following is a checklist of trust features you can review yourself. But be aware that these only refer to revocable “living” trusts, not to irrevocable trusts. Do you have the right successor […]

Don’t forget to check retirement plan beneficiary designations

Many people periodically update their wills or other estate plans, but do not remember to update who will receive distributions from their retirement plans (such as IRAs and 401(k)s) upon their deaths. Every year you should review your entire estate plan, and the review should include retirement plan “beneficiary designations” to make sure they are […]

How to ensure an inheritance will be spent well

Many parents or grandparents with sizable amounts of money to pass on to their heirs are apprehensive about the effect it may have on their children or grandchildren. In some instances, they fear that the recipients will misspend the funds on drugs, fancy cars or failing businesses. In other cases, the fear is simply that […]

Senate Passes Special Needs Trust Fairness Act – in the hands of the House

The Senate has unanimously approved the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act, a bill that would allow people with disabilities to create their own first-party special needs trusts without having to rely on others. Now that the legislation has cleared the Senate, action moves to the House, where a companion bill has been tied up in the Energy and […]

5 steps to minimize the risk that your Will is challenged

Emotions can run high at the death of a family member. If a family member is unhappy with the amount they received (or didn’t receive) under a will, he or she may contest the will. Will contests can drag out for years, keeping all the heirs from getting what they are entitled to. It may […]


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