When Should Your Estate Planning Documents Be Reviewed By An Attorney?

Although a comprehensive estate plan should not require frequent extensive review, we recommend that a periodic review of your estate plan is made to ensure that your plan is still in compliance with the law, and that your personal or financial situation has not changed. The rule of thumb in the industry is that you review your estate plan every year and that an estate planning attorney reviews your estate plan every 3 years. There are several events that may trigger the necessity to make changes to your estate plan:  Marriage or divorce; Birth or adoption of a child; Death...Read More

Planning In Second Marriages

We all know someone who is in a second marriage and many of us are in a second marriage.  Second marriages can be exciting and fulfilling while at the same time present special planning challenges. A second marriage may include his children, her children, and sometimes our children.  How will the new spouse be provided for in the estate plan?  Can the assets of each spouse be protected for their respective children while still providing for the new spouse? The competing interests are between the children of the first spouse to pass away and the surviving spouse. Estate planning challenges...Read More

Can I Prevent My Children From Fighting Over My Personal Assets After I Die?

Chances are, you own items of personal property that have monetary and sentimental value, such as jewelry, antiques, art, heirlooms, furniture, and sporting goods that you want a certain child, grandchild, relative, friend, charity, or other organization to receive after your death. Perhaps you are not concerned about the distribution of certain items, but would like harmony in the way distributions are made and want to provide for some orderly way for your belongings to be divided after you are gone to avoid the horror stories that you have heard.  Frequently, experience in your own family about heirs fighting over...Read More

Special Needs Trust – What Can I Do For My Child?

Several clients ask what they can do for a child who qualifies for means-based government assistance due to a disability.  The simple answer is a Special Needs Trust, sometimes referred to as a Supplemental Needs Trust.  The primary purpose of a Special Needs Trust is to shelter assets that will sustain an improved quality of life for the beneficiary, with provisions that maintain the beneficiary’s eligibility for governmental benefits. There are two main types of special needs trusts, a Self-Settled Special Needs Trust and a Third Party Special Needs Trust.  There are several rules that apply to Self-Settled Special Needs...Read More

Corporate Trustee Considerations – Revocable Trust

When creating a trust, there are two basic choices for a trustee: (1) an individual; or (2) a corporate entity.  In our last article, we addressed the individual trustee and factors to consider when choosing an individual trustee.  In this article, we review factors to consider when choosing a corporate trustee. There are three basic types of corporate trustees: (1) Bank Trust Departments.  The bank trust department is the traditional full service corporate trustee with fee schedules for their services as trustee. (2) Brokerage Firm Trust Departments. Most major national brokerage firms have in-house trust departments that combine the continued...Read More
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