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Most people understand that having some sort of an estate plan is, as Martha Stewart would say, a “good thing.” However, many of us don’t take the steps to get that estate plan in place because we don’t understand the nuances between wills and trusts – and dying without either. Here’s what will generally happen…

When a bottle of wine is decanted, it’s poured from one container into another. When a trust is decanted, trust assets are poured from an old trust into a new trust with more favorable terms. Why Should a Trust Be Decanted? Trusts are decanted to escape from a bad trust and provide beneficiaries with more…

Estate planning offers many ways to leave your wealth to your children, but it’s just as important to know what not to do. Here are some things that are all-too-common, but textbook examples of what not to do or try…. “Oral Wills” If you feel you have a good rapport with your family or don’t…

If you think you only need to create discretionary lifetime trusts for young beneficiaries, problem beneficiaries, or financially inexperienced beneficiaries, then think again.In this day and age of frivolous lawsuits and high divorce rates, discretionary lifetime trusts should be considered for all of your beneficiaries, minors and adults alike. What is a Discretionary Lifetime Trust?…

In estate planning circles, the word “probate” often comes with a starkly negative connotation. Indeed, for many people — especially those with larger estates — financial planners recommend trying to keep property out of probate whenever possible. That being said, the probate system was ultimately established to protect the property of the deceased and his/her…

Please allow us to be frank. It’s unrealistic to think that a piece of paper you draft, reflecting your life at a certain time, will work when your life has completely changed some years later. We’ll use the Kendrick family as an example. Meet the Kendricks Meet Bill and Karen Kendrick. They got their first…

We understand that it feels hard to get around to estate planning; it sounds about as fun as getting a root canal. However, we also understand that we all want to make sure that our loved ones are protected and receive our hard-earned assets – regardless of whether we have $10 million or $10,000. Don’t…

Trust protectors are a fairly new and commonly used protection in the United States. In short, a trust protector is someone who serves as an appointed authority over a trust that will be in effect for a long period of time. Trust protectors ensure that trustees: maintain the integrity of the trust, make solid distribution…

When a loved one suffers from a mental illness, one small comfort can be knowing that your trust can take care of them through thick and thin. There are some ways this can happen, ranging from the funding of various types of treatment to providing structure and support during his or her times of greatest…

While most proactive individuals know the importance of having a well-rounded estate plan, it is typically considered as something that will take effect after they have passed away. But there are in fact many ways in which comprehensive estate planning can have a positive impact on your life while you are still around to reap…

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