Category Archives: Estate Planning

What are estate taxes?

Estate taxes tax your right to transfer property at the time of death.  These taxes exist on both the federal and state level.  Fortunately for most taxpayers, federal estate taxes only apply to estates with a total value of more … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Do I need to update my will if I move?

Thanks to the Full Faith and Credit Act of the U.S. Constitution, a valid will executed in one state will be recognized in another.  However, to avoid increased probate costs, real estate issues, and new state and local tax issues, … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What are advance care directives?

It is an unfortunate fact of life that health is fragile.  Advance care directives let you express your wishes in advance for health care decisions in the event of an accident or unforeseen illness.  Life-sustaining treatment decisions can be divisive … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Why should I hire an estate planning attorney?

Your estate plan determines your legacy, and your legacy should be in safe hands.  An estate planning attorney can explain what options are available to you and how best to use them to accomplish your goals. An experienced estate planning … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

When should I start estate planning or update my estate plan?

Your estate plan should be updated after any major life event, but especially after getting married, getting divorced, or having children.  You should also update your estate plan when you experience a major change in wealth or your overall asset … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What is probate and why should I avoid it?

Probate is the court-supervised process used to prove the validity of your will and distribute your property either under the terms of the will, if you have one, or in accordance with state law, if you don’t.  Probate proceedings often take … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

How does my small business or franchise affect my estate planning?

When you own a small business or franchise, passing on your assets takes more than simply listing a beneficiary in your will or trust.  Almost all franchise agreements include restrictions on the transfer of ownership in the franchise, and require … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What are powers of attorney?

Powers of attorney are documents that authorize a person to act on your behalf.  The kinds we focus on estate planning are called “durable” powers of attorney and are put in place in case you become incapacitated because of an … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

What are the benefits of a trust?

Trusts provide a number of benefits including greater control of your assets, efficient management, dynasty planning, and privacy.  A trust allows you to designate someone – the “trustee” – to manage property for the benefit of whomever you choose, whether … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Are wills and trusts both necessary?

Wills and trusts are both key tools for passing on your assets and paying expenses at the time of your death.  However, wills and trusts operate differently and both are often necessary to properly handle your estate.  For individuals with … Continue reading

Posted in Estate Planning | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment