For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

Do Your Homework to Ensure Your Kids Are Properly Cared For No Matter What

It’s back-to-school time again, and when it comes to estate planning you may have homework to do. As a parent, your most critical—and often overlooked—task is to select and legally document guardians for your minor children. Guardians are people legally named to care for your children in the event of your death or incapacity. If […]

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Who should I name as executor of my will?

Q: Who should I name as executor of my will? -Pondering probate A: Dear Pondering: Selecting the right executor for your will is just as—if not more—important as deciding who gets your assets. Your executor will be legally required to take on a number of major responsibilities. They must ensure your will’s terms are carried […]

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The Ins and Outs of Collecting Life Insurance Policy Proceeds

Unlike many estate assets, if you’re looking to collect the proceeds of a life insurance policy, the process is fairly simple if you’re named as the beneficiary. That said, following a loved one’s death, the whole world can feel like it’s falling apart, and it’s helpful to know exactly what steps need to be taken […]

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Trustees Should Carefully Consider the Role’s Duties and Obligations—Part 2

Last week, we shared the first part of this series explaining the powers and duties that come with serving as trustee. Here in part two, we discuss the rest of a trustee’s core responsibilities. Being asked to serve as trustee can be a huge honor—but it’s also a major responsibility. Indeed, the job entails a […]

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Trustees Should Carefully Consider the Role’s Duties and Obligations—Part 1

If a friend or family member has asked you to serve as trustee for their trust upon their death, you should feel honored—this means they consider you among the most honest, reliable, and responsible people they know. However, being a trustee is not only a great honor, it’s also a major responsibility. The job can […]

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Donate to a Charitable Remainder Trust For Tax and Income Benefits

If you have highly appreciated assets like stock and real estate you want to sell, it may make sense to use a charitable remainder trust (CRT) to avoid income and estate taxes—all while creating a lifetime income stream for yourself or your family AND supporting your favorite charity.   A CRT is a “split-interest” trust, […]

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How can I best provide for my pet using estate planning?

Q: How can I best provide for my pet using estate planning? -Dog Lover A: Dear Lover: A beloved pet can be just like family, so it makes sense you’d worry about how they’ll be taken care of when you die or if you become incapacitated. Fortunately, with proper estate planning, you can rest easy […]

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Appoint a Guardian to Keep Your Kids In Safe Hands At All Times

Probably every parent who has watched the news lately has felt the heartbreak  over what’s happening to immigrant families at the border due to the Trump administration’s immigration regulations. As you likely know, the administration’s new “zero-tolerance” policy has led to the separation of more than 2,300 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border […]

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A Special Needs Trust Can Protect the Future of Your Child with Special Needs

It always surprises me to hear parents who have a child with special needs tell me that they were not aware of what they needed to do to ensure the future well-being and care of their child is properly handled. Or sometimes, they tell me they didn’t know they needed to do anything at all. […]

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Thicke’s Estate Shows Importance of Properly Drafted and Updated Estate Plans

In the 1980s, the late actor Alan Thicke played the wise-but-hip father figure and psychiatrist Dr. Jason Seaver in the sitcom Growing Pains. Following Alan’s sudden death in December 2016, with his children and widow battling over his estate, one can only wonder what sage advice Dr. Seaver would have had for Thicke’s heirs. Alan […]

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Guardianship Questions—In Case A Parent or Loved One Becomes Incapacitated

Whether through illness, injury, or other means, anyone can require a guardian to become appointed if they become mentally incapacitated. In such cases, if there is no estate planning in place (or insufficient planning) to keep family or other loved ones out of court, a guardianship, or conservatorship as it is sometimes called, must be […]

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