The SECURE Act – What Does It Mean For My Personal or Family Contingency Plan?

Surprise…Congress did something major at the very end of last year that impacts retirement accounts – investment options, required distributions for certain classes of beneficiaries. You may have heard that the federal appropriations bill enacted into law by Congress and the President in the final weeks of 2019 includes changes to the federal tax code that may affect your qualified …

There Is No GANTT Chart For Grieving

“Push through,” “be strong,” “put it behind you,” “move on.” These are some of the phrases we’ve heard (and perhaps said) when someone is sick, injured, down/depressed and even grieving. We go to work when we are sick, we minimize injuries and “power through.” We’re even asked “when will you start dating again” after a death or divorce. Culturally, we …

A New Vocabulary for “Estate” Planning

Those of my clients and peers who’ve heard me expound on this, bear with me…words matter!  They can incentivize or disincentivize our behaviors.  Case in point “everyone needs an estate plan.” Well, chances are I’ve just turned at least 45% of you off and you’ve moved onto the next post.  My goal is to get us thinking about the “plan” …

A Personal & Family Contingency Plan (a/k/a Estate Plan) > A Will

Famed film director, John Singleton, allegedly had a stroke a week ago and is in a CA hospital unable to carry on his film business. Mr. Singleton “had not signed any health care directive or power of attorney that would let someone make medical or financial decisions for him,” and as a result, his mother is petitioning the court to …

ESTATE PLANNING: “This Isn’t What My Stepfather Would Have Wanted”

With the growth of blended families, having an estate plan in place becomes even more important. On February 7, 2019, The Boston Globe published an article entitled “A patriarch leaves no will and the home he meant for his Cambridge family may be lost,” which illustrates in heartbreaking detail what happens when we don’t have the right plan in place. …

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, …