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What Does Estate Planning Cost?

March 24, 2016

Estate planning is as an investment in the future of you and your family. It is not a commodity that should be judged by price alone. By way of comparison, your local police department probably doesn’t shop for the cheapest bulletproof vests it can find for its officers. The emphasis rather is on quality and… Read more »

Do I Really Have to Disclose Everything I Own to My Attorney and/or Financial Planner?

March 22, 2016

In our experience, some clients are reluctant to reveal everything they own to any single advisor. They may have investment assets with more than one investment advisor or insurance policies with more than one insurance professional. However, when preparing for estate planning it is very important that the attorney (and any other professional advisors on… Read more »

How Can I Prepare For Estate Planning?

March 18, 2016

In most instances, your estate-planning attorney will provide a questionnaire to help organize the data and provide the specific information needed for planning. The questionnaire will ask not only about your assets, but also about your citizenship, your family composition, your children and other beneficiaries, your wishes during a disability, a list of the people… Read more »

Should I Do My Own Estate Planning?

March 16, 2016

Today there are limitless software programs and books that promote doing your own estate plan. Websites and self-help companies will sell forms claiming to help you create your own estate plan almost for free! Although it may be tempting to do so, you should think very carefully before undertaking the do-it-yourself approach. Researching information on… Read more »

What Are The Goals Of Estate Planning?

March 14, 2016

Estate planning goals will, of course, vary from family to family, and depend on the things you find important. Generally speaking, estate planning is designed to allow you to give what you own to whom you want, when you want, and the way you want. In doing so, you are able to care for your… Read more »

Why Do People Fail To Do Estate Planning?

March 10, 2016

People invariably fail to plan due to misconceptions about the process. As mentioned above, some people view estate planning as “death planning;” an event about which few people want to think. It’s hard for most of us to face our mortality and the brevity of life. Others believe that planning is complex and expensive. They… Read more »

Do I Need A Plan If I Have Titled My Assets Correctly?

March 08, 2016

If all my property is in joint name with my spouse, is that sufficient? First, the question seems to assume that planning is only about assets. As discussed above, plans are used for many other purposes beyond passing money and personal items to the next generation. Nevertheless, since assets are also involved, this is a… Read more »

Who Needs Estate Planning?

March 04, 2016

There are a lot of misconceptions about estate planning. And part of the blame lies with professional advisors who speak a unique planning dialect. We talk about wills, so you may associate estate planning with death planning and distributing assets after you’re gone. And since death usually happens when we’re advanced in age, you may… Read more »

Why Should I Care About Planning?

March 02, 2016

Many people consider estate planning to be an act of stewardship. They spend their life maximizing the use of their “time, talents, treasure, and trust.” They want to ensure that the benefits of this stewardship will continue even after the ability to control has ended. The control and benefit of everything we “own” will eventually… Read more »

Why is it Better to Pay Gift Taxes Rather Than Estate Taxes?

October 23, 2015

You may hear an advisor refer to gift and estate taxes as being  “tax exclusive” or “tax inclusive,” respectively. This terminology is sometimes confusing, and may be better understood by saying that a gift is tax exclusive, because the taxes due are not subtracted from the gifted amount going to the heirs, but are paid… Read more »