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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Planning for a Pet


Animals shelters often see beloved pets suddenly homeless because of the death of their owners and failure to plan properly. And while there may be more people willing to rescue a dog, but what about a horse or a lizard?

One way of planning properly for the care of a pet is to leave some designated money for the benefit of a shelter, to be used specifically in the care of your pet. This way, if anyone adopts the pet, the shelter can use the money to reimburse the new owner for the pet’s care. Of course, you should carefully research the shelter and ensure that they agree to this type of a plan.

Another way of doing it is to set up a Trust in your Will, designating both a caregiver and some money to a pet.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Imagine your family at peace: How to Have Crucial Conversations with Your Loved Ones about End-of-Life issues


Talking about end of life issues with a loved one who is already sick is difficult. Your loved one may not be thinking clearly, may be in pain, and everyone is likely to be very emotional. That’s why it’s important to have this conversation early, while everyone is thinking clearly. A plan is likely to be empowering for all involved.

A parent may be resistant to receiving care and having crucial conversations with you because she is afraid of losing her way of life, losing privacy, getting old, not having sufficient financial assets, being a burden, having her money taken away from her, being thrown into a nursing home and dying.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

You have a Trust? When DO beneficiaries find out about money left to them ?


Clients often establish Trusts for the purpose of deferring distributions to beneficiaries. These Trusts are usually established to protect assets from risks such as mismanagement, imprudent spending, creditors and divorce.

But when do Trust beneficiaries have to receive information about the Trust and the assets? This question is different from the one about when the beneficiaries should start receiving trust distributions. A grandfather may establish a Trust with $1 million for the benefit of his two young grandchildren, name his accountant as the Trustee, and provide that grandchildren will receive the money outright once they turn 30. Do the grandchildren have a right to know about this money before they turn 30? 

A parent may not want the child to find out about the money for many different reasons.


Read more . . .


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Most Americans Still Avoid Estate Planning


Based on the most recent survey, 52% of Americans do not have a Will. Usually, not having a Will also means not having a Power of Attorney or a Health Care Proxy.

When I lecture about this issue, I can talk for at least an hour about the need for a Power of Attorney and what happens when people do not have one. Main reasons to get your planning done:

  1. If you do not have a Power of Attorney, in the event of your incapacity, your family is likely to spend over $10,000 on guardianship costs and related legal fees. I’m talking about a $10,000 fee in a GOOD scenario, where everyone in the family is in agreement.
    Read more . . .


Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Will Anyone Respect Your Wishes?

An incredible book that I read in the past year was “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Dr. Atul Gawande. The book is a discussion of the state of American medicine as it relates to end-of-life care. Mr. Gawande argues that doctors often cause more suffering to patients by prescribing completely unnecessary procedures at the end of a person’s life.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Update your estate documents – or face unpleasant surprises!

In a recent case that I saw, a woman lived together with a man for approximately 10 years. She loved him very much and wrote a Will, leaving all of her assets to him. They never married.

Eventually, the couple separated. After a couple of years, the woman began dating another man.


Read more . . .


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Don't live an isolated life (and help seniors in your life to connect)


It's a New Year. People are trying to fulfill their new resolutions about money,  weight loss and projects.

I would suggest a resolution about friends.

It is well known that seniors who are isolated are more likely to be sick and depressed. We all need companions, if only to complain to about our health and current politics.


Read more . . .


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