For the Love of Your Family

Articles to LIFT Your Family

How can I avoid being placed under a professional guardian?

Q: How can I avoid being placed under the care of a professional guardian? —Senior Planner A: Dear Planner, Should you become incapacitated without any planning in place, your family would have to petition the court in order to be granted guardianship. In most cases, the court would appoint a family member as guardian, but […]

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What estate planning documents should my son, who just turned 18, have in place?

Q: What estate planning documents should my son, who just turned 18 and is planning to attend college in the fall, have in place? -Prudent Papa A: Dear Prudent: At age 18, your son is now an adult in the eyes of the law. This means you no longer have the authority to make decisions […]

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Do I need to create a new will if I move to another state?

Q: Do I need to create a new will if I move to another state? -Curious Mover A: Dear Curious: Most states will accept a will that was executed properly under another state’s laws. However, there could be differences in the new state’s laws that make certain provisions in your will invalid. Here are a […]

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How can I obtain consent for my incapacitated mother to get a vaccination?

Q: How can I obtain consent for my incapacitated mother to get a COVID-19 vaccination? -Concerned Daughter A: Dear Concerned: Your first step in obtaining consent is to determine whether or not you have the authority to do so under the law. Whether you can provide consent will depend upon what legal capacity you have […]

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Can I serve as a trustee if I don’t have any legal experience?

Q: Can I serve as a trustee if I don’t have any legal experience? -Curious Cousin A: Dear Curious: Being a trustee does NOT require you to be an expert in law, finance, taxes, or any other field related to trust administration. In fact, trustees are not only allowed to seek outside support from professionals […]

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What is the best way to bring up estate planning with my family over the holidays?

Q: What is the best way to bring up estate planning with my family over the holidays? -Festive Father A: Dear Festive: First off, assure everyone that the conversation is about providing for the family’s future security and wellbeing, not prying into anyone’s finances, health, or personal relationships. Talking about planning isn’t about finding out […]

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If Democrats sweep the election, what’s likely to happen to the increased gift and estate tax exemption passed under Trump’s tax cuts?

Q: If Democrats sweep the election, what’s likely to happen to the increased gift and estate tax exemption passed under Trump’s tax cuts? -Anxious planner A: Dear Anxious: The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act increased the exemption to $11.58 million for single taxpayers and $23.16 million for couples. This generous exemption will sunset at the […]

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How are decisions made for an incapacitated person without a living will?

Q: How are decisions made for an incapacitated person without a living will? –Concerned family member A: Dear Concerned: Advance directives like living will’s express someone’s wishes and preferences for medical treatment if they are unable to provide consent or refusal (e.g. due to coma or unconsciousness). A living will specifies the life-sustaining measures—such as […]

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What is the Best Way to Save for My Child’s College Education?

Q: What is the Best Way to Save for My Child’s College Education? –Concerned Parent A: Dear Concerned: One of the best ways to save for your child’s college education, assuming the child will definitely go to college, is through a state operated “529” plan. These plans provide tax benefits and are named for Section […]

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What Property Can I Put In My Living Trust?

Q: What Property Can I Put In My Living Trust? – Planning For the Future A: Dear Planning: A living trust is, by definition, changeable while you’re still alive, you have the wiggle room to change your mind about what you want to place in there. That said, keep in mind that usually the point […]

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How Long Does an Executor Have to Distribute Assets From a Will?

Q: How Long Does an Executor Have to Distribute Assets From a Will? – Watching and Waiting A: Dear Waiting: In most states, a will must be executed within three years of a person’s death. The longer answer is, naturally, it depends. An executor first has to file probate and pay fees to the court […]

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