Ruling from the Grave

I just read a recent Wall Street Journal article titled, “Trying to Control Your Heir’s Behavior from the Grave Often Backfires.” It was a short read, but it raised a number of issues for me. Here are some of my thoughts: Powder keg of emotions I think the article misses a major point. Most of… Read More »

Grantor-Retained Annuity Trust Works Well With Stocks

This article is Part of a series exploring the various types of trusts that may benefit you. Today’s topic is Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT). Do you own stock, especially stock in a start-up company? If so, a Grantor-Retained Annuity Trust might be right for you. The GRAT is an irrevocable trust that transfers wealth without… Read More »

Helping You Avoid a Big Life Insurance Mistake

We’re focusing this article on one of the most common and chronic mistakes that estate planning attorneys are asked to fix after someone passes away. To avoid this mistake, we encourage insurance agents and advisors not to allow a client to name the probate estate as the primary beneficiary of a life insurance policy. We… Read More »

Irrevocable Trusts Protect Loved Ones Assets

This article is part of a series exploring the various types of trusts that may benefit you. Today’s topic is irrevocable trusts. Signing away ownership of assets can feel antithetical to you when you start to think about creating an estate plan that gives you control of what happens to your accumulated assets and meets… Read More »

Holiday Gatherings Are a Great Time to Discuss Estate Plans

The Winter Holidays offer great opportunities to get loved ones together for laughter, fellowship and conversation. These family gatherings might give you the best opportunity to have a conversation with everyone in one spot, about your estate plan. With relatives often living in different cities or states, it can be difficult to get everyone under… Read More »

How the New TCJA Tax Law Affects Life Settlements

Everyone involved in estate planning needs to think about the implications for life settlement options. Two pieces of the new tax law, the Tax Cuts and Job Act of 2017 (TCJA), have a significant impact on life settlements: the increased estate tax exemption and the clarification of the income tax treatment for life settlements. TCJA… Read More »

Deaths of Bourdain, Spade Offer Cautionary Tales

When fashion designer Kate Spade and chef/author/storyteller Anthony Bourdain each committed suicide in early June, they left behind grieving family and fans from around the world. They also left behind complicated estates. Both Spade and Bourdain were separated from their spouses, and at least in Bourdain’s case it was a permanent separation, according to a… Read More »