A dream without a plan is simply a wish. Estate planning is not just about death and taxes -- it puts you in the driver’s seat of your financial life, allowing you to set achievable goals. It is a great opportunity to focus on the legacy you want to leave behind for loved ones, help you
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
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.
This NY Times article from late November focuses on a film, “Black Heirlooms” that describes a family dispute over a relatively modest amount of money that ended up tearing the filmmaker’s family apart. Besides the strained family relationships, the article mentions that “money goes to lawyers that could have gone to heirs.” That sentence resonated with
A recent article in the New York Times on the Donald Sterling saga illustrates the uses and effectiveness of incapacity planning as a part of estate planning. Although this case is by no means a model for how any of us would want our incapacity handled, it underscores how incapacity planning may work in the event
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
There’s something about watching celebrities acting like “real people” and making mistakes that seems to appeal to viewers, as proven by the continuing popularity of reality TV shows. A Forbes article on “What We Can Learn From Celebrity Estate Planning Gone Wrong” shows that the estate planning foibles of the rich and famous are no exception
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