One of the issues that I spend the most time discussing with my estate planning clients is who to choose as a successor (e.g. back-up) trustee. Most clients go with close friends or family members, although those with more complicated estates or those who have had difficult trustee experiences themselves often see the benefits of working
This week is National Estate Planning Awareness Week In 2008, Congress supported the establishment of the National Estate Planning Awareness Week. What should we be aware of this week? That slightly over half of Americans say they have no estate plan or estate planning documents in place. The National Association of Estate Planners and Councils features
Divorce agreement In our estate planning practice, we counsel a number of blended families. They face unique issues relating to the couple’s desire to balance caring for their new spouses with protecting their children from previous relationships. The attached Wall Street Journal article from earlier this year discusses a different aspect of the overlap
Kaiser Law Group has a sub-specialty in working with blended families. Our clients in second marriages who bring children from previous relationships are seeking to strike a delicate balance between taking care of their spouse and making sure that their children are protected. Accomplishing this balance requires a great deal of trust, open communication and flexibility.
An article on Wall Street Journal has this advice to give: “With Estate Planning, Don’t Forget Virtual Assets.” Failing to include provisions for virtual assets in a will could lead to real-world losses if the surviving spouse or beneficiaries are unable to access the deceased’s online accounts. Here are just a few samples of the digital
In a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled, “Clients for Venus”, female financial advisers describe how women tend to take a different approach from men when it comes to financial planning: “Men are extremely competitive about money management. They think, 'how much money can I make and how much more is it than the benchmark or
I frequently counsel families on the benefits of continuing trusts. The old method of giving children outright distributions or staging the distributions at ages 21, 25 and 30 not only increases the likelihood of the beneficiary making a poor decision with the funds, but doesn’t offer any of the protective benefits of trusts. A recent article on
Thomas Kinkade was a self-named “painter of light”, whose mass-produced works of art are estimated to grace one in every twenty American homes. Following his untimely death on April 6, 2012, however, his most famous pieces are turning out to be a couple of holographic wills he left to his girlfriend of 18 months, Amy Pinto-Walsh.
Previous blog posts discussed how the wills left behind by famous figures such as Whitney Houston and Thomas Kinkade will likely go through a lengthy and expensive probate court that could have been avoided if they had updated their estate planning documents after life changing events. A recent Forbes article lists 5 Life Event Changes That
A Forbes article posted on March 15, 2012 discusses how “Whitney Houston's Will Was Far From Perfect.” The article highlights two simple estate planning practices that could have benefitted Bobbi Kristina, Whitney’s only child and sole heir: 1. Consider a living trust instead of a will. A living trust can have the advantage of maintaining privacy