Latest Blog Posts

Money Isn’t Everything in Estate Planning

Posted on: June 22nd, 2017
Money may be the most talked about wealth contained within a person’s estate, but the riches of their experience and wisdom can mean even more to family members down the line. Reinforcement of family traditions can be built into your estate plan alongside your wishes regarding your money, property, and belongings. After all, what really makes a family a family is its values and traditions — not the way its finances read on paper....

3 Ways Your Trust Can Help a Loved One With Mental Illness

Posted on: June 8th, 2017
When a loved one suffers from a mental illness, one small comfort can be knowing that your trust can take care of them through thick and thin. There are some ways this can happen, ranging from the funding of various types of treatment to providing structure and support during his or her times of greatest need....

Tools You Can Use to Leave Words of Wisdom to the Next Generation

Posted on: May 25th, 2017
You come into the world a blank slate, and as you grow, you gain wisdom. You've planned your estate to leave physical assets to beneficiaries, so now think about leaving them something that’s just as important but less tangible: the hard-won wisdom you’ve accumulated over your life. Let your family and friends learn from your mistakes, and profit from your successes....

The Difference between Lifetime and Deathtime Planning… and Why a Comprehensive Plan Must Include Both

Posted on: May 11th, 2017
According to a March 2017 survey by Caring.com, six out of ten Americans have no will or any other kind of estate planning. Many said they’d get around to it, eventually. When they’re old. (The survey did find that the elderly are much more likely to have some plan in place.) It’s all too clear that most of us think “estate planning” is a euphemism for “deathtime” planning. Indeed, in the Caring.com survey, one-third said that they didn’t need an estate plan because they didn’t have any assets to give someone when they’d died....

Which life events require an immediate estate plan update?

Posted on: April 27th, 2017
Estate planning is the process of developing a strategy for the care and management of your estate if you become incapacitated or upon your death. One commonly known purpose of estate planning is to minimize taxes and costs, including taxes imposed on gifts, estates, generation skipping transfer, and probate court costs. However, your plan must also name someone who will make medical and financial decisions for you if you cannot make decisions for yourself. You also need to consider how to leave your property and assets while considering your family’s circumstances and needs....

Safeguarding Your Estate Plan Against Three Worst-Case Scenarios

Posted on: April 13th, 2017
Even with an estate plan, things can always happen that may cause confusion for the estate–or threaten the plan altogether. Below are three examples of worst-case scenarios and ways to demonstrate how a carefully crafted plan can address issues, from the predictable to the total surprise....

5 Reasons to Embrace the Emotional Nature of Estate Planning

Posted on: March 30th, 2017
When you hear the phrase “estate plan,” you might first think about paperwork. Or, your mind might land on some of the uncomfortable topics that estate planning confronts head-on: end-of-life decisions, incapacity, and your family’s legacy from generation to generation. Those subjects hit home for everyone....

Do It Now: Name a Guardian for Your Minor Child(ren)

Posted on: March 16th, 2017
We know it’s hard. Thinking about someone else raising your children stops us all in our tracks. It feels crushing and too horrific to consider. But, you must. If you don’t, a stranger will determine who raises your children if something happens to you, which means your child’s guardian could be a relative you despise or even a stranger you’ve never met....

The Top 2 Ways the Court Gets Involved in Your Estate, and How to Avoid Them

Posted on: March 2nd, 2017
No one wants unnecessary court involvement in their life. But without careful and proactive estate planning, chances are that some aspect of your estate will end up being decided there. Here are two of the most common ways court proceedings can make their way into the management and distribution of your assets, along with the estate planning measures you can take to avoid them....

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Posted on: February 23rd, 2017
If you’re reading this, you need an estate plan. "Why?" you might ask. The short answer is “Everyone, age 18 and older needs an estate plan.” It doesn’t matter your age; if you've built up considerable wealth or if you are just entering adulthood, you need a written plan to keep you in control and to protect yourself and your loved ones....

How to Pick a Trustee, Executor, Personal Representative, or Agent under a Power of Attorney

Posted on: February 16th, 2017
While the term fiduciary is a legal term with a long history, it very generally means someone who is legally obligated to act in another person’s best interests. Trustees, executors, personal representatives, and agents are all examples of fiduciaries. When you pick trustees, executors, personal representatives, and agents in your estate plan, you’re picking one or more people to make decisions in your and your beneficiaries’ best interests and in accordance with the instructions you leave. Luckily, understanding the basics of what each of these terms means and what to consider when making your choices can make your estate plan work far better....

A Powerful Exercise to Surface the Values You Want to Pass on to the Next Generation

Posted on: February 9th, 2017
Successful estate planning is about far more than simply passing your wealth to the next generation— it’s also about passing on your values. No matter which financial or legal structures you choose to contain and manage your assets, these instruments only preserve your wealth until it reaches the hands of your beneficiaries. What happens then? Your values enabled you to accumulate wealth and persevere in spite of obstacles and long odds. If your children and grandchildren don’t share and cherish those values, they could lose their inheritance as quickly as they received it....

Better to Play it Safe: Proactive Estate Planning and Cognitive Impairment

Posted on: February 2nd, 2017
Most financially savvy individuals begin planning their estate when they’re in peak mental shape. The idea that this might change at some point in the distant future is an unpleasant one, and they would rather go about their estate planning as if they’ll be as sharp as a tack late into their golden years. Unfortunately, this common approach of ignoring a potential problem and hoping it simply won’t happen can leave a giant hole in your estate plan. Read on to find out that this common hole can be more easily filled than you might think....

Even Vampires Need Estate Planning

Posted on: October 14th, 2015
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Heard this from your client? "I need to find a nursing home for my mom."

Posted on: October 12th, 2015
Here is your helpful answer. ...

CAUTION: The Trust Protection Myth -- Your Revocable Trust Protects Against Lawsuits

Posted on: August 9th, 2015
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Can My Dog Sue Me?

Posted on: August 4th, 2015
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A True And Sad Story

Posted on: July 8th, 2015
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Three Liability Planning Tips for Physicians That Anyone Can Use!

Posted on: June 30th, 2015
You will be shocked to see what attorney Ben E. Connor recommends as the first line of defense to liabilities!...

Where Is The Best Place To Store Original Estate Planning Documents?

Posted on: June 24th, 2015
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Free Lunch -- Meet Your New Estate Planning Attorney.

Posted on: June 18th, 2015
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Four Steps to Stop Mail Addressed to a Deceased Person

Posted on: June 13th, 2015
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Did Last Year’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision Put Your IRA At Risk? What’s The Solution?

Posted on: June 10th, 2015
This decision has sent shock waves through the estate planning and financial advisory worlds....

Is A Revocable Living Trust Estate Plan Right For You Or Your Client?

Posted on: June 9th, 2015
A Revocable Living Trust is a powerhouse document that allows you to control your assets while you are living and after you die....

When A Loved One Dies What Documents Do I Need?

Posted on: June 5th, 2015
Hopefully, the below list will help you during these difficult times....

The Shocking Truth About Asset Protection Planning

Posted on: June 3rd, 2015
Defendants are faced with ever-expanding theories of liability, being sued just because they appear to have “deep pockets,” and judgments entered against them based on desired outcomes instead of the law. ...

Protect those you love!

Posted on: May 29th, 2015
If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again....

Power of a Living Trust

Posted on: May 28th, 2015
Revocable Living Trusts have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate planning goals or may even be detrimental to achieving those goals....