Writing Your Ethical Will

  ETHICAL WILLS: My Experience One of my cherished childhood memories are my experiences with my great-grandmother. As a child I have the fondest memories of her “birthday cake” which she made rain or fall for each of her grandchildren on their birthday. As an adult I treasure my great grandmothers cake recipe and the opportunities I have had to …

What is a Pet Trust?

  DOES YOUR ESTATE PLAN INCLUDE YOUR PETS? A tragic loss inspired this particular post. A few weeks ago, our family lost one of our treasured pugs, named Moe. To say we were devastated is to understate the impact of the loss. Moe’s passing provoked some work related thoughts. As long as we can make decisions, we were certainly going …

Estate Planning Mistakes

COMMON ESTATE PLANNING MISTAKES Document Errors in Your Will or Living Trust One of the most common mistakes is to not keep your will current. Mistakes can include heirs being left out or deceased parties being named as the executor. Your will or living trust should be regularly reviewed at least: On marriage, divorce or separation of anyone named in …

Avoid Probate in Arizona?

How Do I Avoid Probate in Arizona? Most people hear the word probate and get an immediate, likely negative, reaction. Many clients will come in specifically wanting to “avoid probate.”  Below are some probate basics to help you better understand what probate is, how it works and some basic steps you can take to avoid it. What is Probate? Probate …

Why should I create a life insurance trust?

Should the unthinkable happen and a loved one pass away without any advance planning, their family members could find themselves dealing with avoidable costs and expenses. Life Insurance held in an irrevocable trust can be one tool for helping your family avoid estate taxes and have sources of cash on hand to pay taxes or expenses. WHAT IS AN IRRECOVABLE LIFE INSURANCE TRUST (ILIT)? An …

Same Sex Estate Planning After DOMA

ESTATE PLANNING FOR SAME-SEX COUPLES The Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor signaled a new era for same-sex marriages legally performed under state law. The central ruling in Windsor held that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional by depriving same-sex couples of equal protection under the law. Importantly, Windsor did not address whether states are required to recognize same-sex marriages performed …

How To Handle Digital Assets?

As people continue to use the Internet for paying bills and social interaction, many people are starting to wonder what will happen to their digital assets when they die. Digital assets are an important part of estate planning these days and you want to name a reliable person to access your Internet accounts when you no longer can. The online …

INCAPACITY PLANNING FOR YOUR ESTATE?

  One of the most common client questions is why they need to plan at all.  With estate taxes at comfortable limits (For 2013, $5.25M) the reasons for planning may seem murkier.  Incapacity planning is one increasingly important reason to consider. With individuals living longer, with estimates of 84-86 for adults reaching age 65 today, it is increasingly likely that …

Can I name minors as my beneficiaries?

One of the main concerns with naming a minor as a beneficiary is ensuring that any money is used for appropriate purposes, like health or education. Creating a well-designed plan will ensure the money is used in a responsible way. Trusted Adult The first step to naming minors as beneficiaries is to find an adult or person over the age …