For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

Can I change my estate plan while my divorce is still ongoing?

Q: Can I change my estate plan while my divorce is still ongoing? -Speculative spouse A: Dear Speculative: Updating your estate plan for divorce is essential, but once the divorce is filed with the court, your ability to amend your plan is limited by state law. This is why you should update your plan as […]

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Are non-biological parents in same-gender marriage granted parental rights?

Q: Are non-biological parents in a same-gender marriage automatically granted legal parental rights? -Pondering Parent A: Dear Pondering: While same-gender marriage is now legal nationwide, the Supreme Court has yet to rule on the parental rights of a non-biological spouse/parent in a same-gender marriage. This means your parental rights are still governed by state laws, […]

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We are expecting. What should be our top priority in terms of estate planning?

Q: My husband and I are expecting our first child in 7 months. What should be our top priority in terms of estate planning? -Prudent parent A: Dear Prudent: When it comes to estate planning, the single-most important planning task for parents is to select and legally document guardians to care for your minor children […]

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Could my family benefit from a dynasty trust?

Q: Could my family benefit from a dynasty trust? -Frugal Father A: Dear Frugal: A dynasty trust is a special type of trust that passes wealth for multiple generations in the most tax-efficient manner possible. By creating a dynasty trust, your assets will be available to your children, grandchildren, and other heirs, with minimal tax […]

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Can a spendthrift trust protect my child’s inheritance?

Q: Can a spendthrift trust protect my child’s inheritance? -Concerned Dad A: Dear Concerned: Yes, a so-called spendthrift trust can be quite effective at protecting your child’s inheritance. But the term “spendthrift trust” is a bit of a misnomer. A spendthrift trust isn’t a specific type of trust; it’s simply any trust that contains a […]

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Can I disinherit my husband to ensure my adult children will inherit all of my assets?

Q: Can I disinherit my husband with estate planning to ensure my adult children will inherit all of my assets when I die? -Wondering Woman A: Dear Wondering: It’s fairly simple to disinherit family members like siblings, parents, and even adult children using estate planning. However, many states prevent you from completely disinheriting your spouse, […]

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What is a charitable remainder trust?

Q: What is a charitable remainder trust? -Curious Dear Curious: A charitable remainder trust (CRT) is a unique estate planning tool that allows you to avoid taxes when you sell highly appreciated assets like stock and real estate. Moreover, a CRT can create a valuable income stream for yourself or your family AND support your […]

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My father wants to quitclaim deed his house to me. Is this a good idea?

Q: My father wants to quitclaim deed his house to me before he dies, rather than include it in his will. Is this a good idea? -Interested Inheritor A: Dear Interested: While transferring ownership of real estate through a quitclaim deed is simple, the tax burden you’ll likely face makes it a potentially terrible idea. […]

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My uncle died, and I think he had a will, but I’m not sure. How can I find out?

Q: My uncle died, and I think he had a will, but I’m not sure. How can I find out? -Will Wondering A: Dear Wondering: When someone dies, it’s fairly easy to find out if he or she left a will. Upon death, most states require the person in possession of the deceased’s will to file […]

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Should I purchase an accidental death and dismemberment policy?

Q: I’m looking to buy insurance to protect my family. Should I purchase an accidental death and dismemberment policy? -Looking for coverage A: Dear Looking: When it comes to protecting your family, you might think the more insurance you have the better. But accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance is rarely worth the investment. AD&D only […]

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Can I be paid for my duties as Financial Power of Attorney for my Mother?

Q: I have financial power of attorney for my mother. Can I be paid for managing her finances? -Billing Mom A: Dear Billing: Serving as an agent under financial power of attorney (POA) can involve considerable work, so you’re typically permitted to be reimbursed for your expenses—and sometimes, even entitled to additional compensation. However, all such […]

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