PHILANTHROPY AND SCAMS

The massive fires in California, the most recent hurricane season, funerals for the latest victims of gun violence, a neighbor seemingly put under unexpected financial strain by health or other events out of their control. The internet and social media have made it so easy to be aware of and contribute to help those in need. With the plethora of …

Estate Planning…Khloe Kardashian is a Terrific Example for an Estate Planner…

On a recent episode of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians,” the show centered around Khloe’s determination for who would be the godparent/guardian for her new baby. To quote Khloe: “You have to think who has the best values of what you want your kids to be around and see and experience…” To that end, she watched how her two sisters …

The Queen of Soul Did Not Have An Estate Plan

“Deeply private in life, Aretha Franklin’s estate will be laid bare for all to see, as according to court documents, she died without having a will or trust in place.” Aretha Franklin’s net worth is estimated at $80M and the State of Michigan will decide how it’s distributed and anyone who wants to can read about EVERYTHING!  Who owns her …

ESTATE PLANNING: A NEW VOCABULARY

I’m generally not a popular person at parties when I answer the question “What do you do?” Immediately people give me the “Oh” and take a step back…like I’m the Grim Reaper. Estate planning documents and the people who draft them tend to make people immediately think of dire circumstances, death, catastrophe – things you don’t want to think about. …

ESTATE PLANNING – MORE FROM THE ESTATE OF PRINCE

It’s Ultimately About Properly Documenting Our Wishes & Instructions People have done the total opposite of what Prince would have wanted For an artist who craved absolute authority, he left no will An estate valued between $100M and $300M is being managed by people not of his choosing He alone determined what he shared and what he kept to himself, …

ESTATE PLANNING – KEEP IT IN THE FAMILY

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” so says the song. While it certainly can be, it is also the time of the year when family tensions, squabbles or outright fights can surface and intensify. A completely unrelated matter may open a real or perceived family wound and before you know it it’s like a scene from “Four Christmases.” …

ESTATE PLANNING – CHANNELING OUR INNER AURORA GREENWAY

In the movie “Terms of Endearment” Shirley MacLaine plays Aurora Greenway. Her daughter is diagnosed with terminal cancer and Aurora stays by her side and VIGOROULY advocates for her care, including pain management. If you’ve seen the movie the scene where she politely (initially) tells the nurse it’s time for her daughter’s pain shot is funny, poignant, and perhaps all …

ESTATE PLANNING – IT’S NOT ABOUT THE MONEY

In a recent survey conducted by Wealth Counsel LLC, 49% of those surveyed said they didn’t believe they had sufficient assets to warrant getting an estate plan. Fact check – FALSE There is no “required minimum” for creating an estate plan. Money is just ONE asset that can be managed within an estate plan…it need not be the reason for …

Estate Planning: What Comes After Pomp & Circumstance?

Lately, I’ve seen quite a few Facebook photo postings from proud parents with their high school seniors. It is a big moment…your child is done with high school and the next step is – gulp – college! Graduating from high school is a significant milestone for both parents and the graduate. There is actually another really important milestone that happens …

Estate Planning – Digital Assets

The phrase “digital assets” makes me uncomfortable because it sounds like a description for a discrete pile of “stuff,” that is dealt with on a ‘one and done’ basis. Digital assets are actually more and more our entire, daily world! Digital assets include bank accounts, photos on a cloud, e-books, credit card accounts, insurance policies (homeowner’s, car, life), utility bills, …