An Important New Year’s Resolution

         We all make New Year’s resolutions.  The start of the New Year is a natural time to reflect about all that is important to us and our plans for the future.  One area worth reflection is whether your affairs are in order as we come into 2014.  Let us consider some […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Beneficiaries with Addictions

            Should a beneficiary with an addiction to drugs, alcohol and/or gambling receive an outright inheritance?  In most cases the answer is clearly, “no”.  Doing so would likely enable the self destructive addiction.  Instead, holding the inheritance in further trust, managed by a responsible trustee, may prove more beneficial.    For discussion purposes, let’s consider some […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Term Life Insurance Issues Involving the Married or Divorced Insured.

Is a sole beneficiary named on a term insurance policy that was purchased by the insured while married entitled to receive all the insurance proceeds?   Not necessarily.  If the deceased insured was either divorced or married then the surviving ex-spouse and/or the surviving spouse may be entitled to a portion of the proceeds even though […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Harmonizing the entire Estate Plan

            Having one’s affairs in order is like having good health.  All related parts have to work together as a whole.  That is, each separate estate planning instrument – be it the living trust, the power of attorney, or the designation of death beneficiary form – needs to function, where relevant, harmoniously with one another.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Timeshares

         While timeshares may help the time share owner to enjoy a certain amount of leisure each year, they are a headache for estate planning purposes.  Even though a deeded timeshare is an interest in real property, it is really more of a recurring luxury expense than it is an asset.    Let us consider some […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Resulting Trusts.

          Sometimes people ask a family member who has good credit to participate on a loan to purchase a home.  The family member’s name is added to title (ownership) even though they may pay little or nothing towards either the home’s original purchase price or its on-going mortgage, tax and maintenance payments of the residence.  […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Why Avoiding Probate Protects Assets.

In terms of a decedent’s own creditors, does it matter whether assets are distributed to decedent’s beneficiaries through a probate estate or by non-probate transfers?  Yes, it does, especially regarding persons other than the decedent’s surviving spouse who are not personally liable for the decedent’s debts.    Assets that are part of a decedent’s probate […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Incompetency of a Settlor Affects Trustee Duties to Death Beneficiaries.

          A competent settlor(s)’s power to revoke a living trust and return the assets into his or her name(s) is equal to ownership of the trust assets.  So long as the settlor is competent, the trustee owes his primary duty to the settlor and can follow the written instructions of the settlor.  What changes when […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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Gun Trusts

          People with large gun collections or a family tradition of guns may wish to consider a so-called “gun trust”.  Let us examine the various reasons for the gun trust.           First, the most often stated reason for a gun trust is to comply with federal National Fire Arm (“NFA”) and state law requirements regarding […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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When Third Parties Refuse to Honor a Power of Attorney.

            The objectives of agents acting under a power of attorney can be frustrated when banks, brokerages, or title companies refuse to accept the authority granted to the agent under a duly executed power of attorney.  This can happen even though the power of attorney appears to be valid.  Let us first discuss when and […]

posted on: January 26, 2015

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