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, …

Estate Planning – Procrastination Then & Now

As Depeche Mode says in their iconic song, “people are people.” There is still an enormous emotional barrier to getting even basic estate planning in place (e.g. will). The reasons for procrastination have not changed much over the decades. One of the major reasons for putting it off relates to family dynamics. Conversely, “not leaving a will can actually escalate …

Estate Planning – The Out of Office Memo

Finally taking that long weekend, that week, or crazy as it sounds those TWO weeks off from work. OK, I’ve got X going on for Client 1, Y in process for Client 2 and Client 3 might need Z, or ZZ. Well then, I think I’ll just leave everything on my desk and take off…good luck clients and colleagues! No? …

Estate Planning – Do I Really Need a Will?

Let’s start by answering the question “What is a Last Will and Testament?” According to Black’s Law Dictionary a will is “(1) a wish, desire, choice; (2) A document by which a person directs his or her estate to be distributed upon death.1 ” A testament is defined as “A will disposing of personal property.2 ” Both definitions are quite …

Estate Planning – Prince v. David Bowie

As many of you may have read by now, it is believed Prince died without leaving a Will. His “estate” including his music catalog is believed to be valued at around $150 million. Without having planned, his tax burden alone may exceed $50 million (in Federal estate taxes). Prince comes from a large blended family and under Minnesota intestate laws, …

Estate Planning – Homestead Declaration No Covered Wagon Required

Homestead WHAT? It’s 2016, who has a “homestead?” Well if you own a house, condominium, manufactured home, etc. then you have a homestead! In Massachusetts, a homeowner receives automatic protection on their principal residence in the amount of $125,000. That amount is protected against the reach of an unsecured creditor. The most common example of an unsecured creditor is a …

Charitable Giving – It’s Important To Be Specific

“I love X and want to help X financially.”  Many of us have strong feelings about a certain cause and want to contribute to that cause either during our lives or after we pass away as part of our legacy.  The feeling and desire is admirable but can result in a quagmire of problems if not done specifically. In the article …