Can I Create A Trust for my Husband as His Attorney-in-Fact?

October 13, 2015

A general durable power of attorney is an important estate planning and elder law planning tool.   A power of attorney allows the attorney-in-fact, also referred to as the agent, to manage the legal and financial affairs of the principal (the person making the power of attorney designation).  The agent’s authority comes from state law […]

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Consider the Obligations and Burdens With Care before Accepting Appointment as Executor

October 4, 2015

Being designated by a friend or a loved one as the Executor of his or her estate is an honor, but with that designation comes many responsibilities and legal risks. The Executor’s work begins after the death of the testator (the person who made the Will).  The Executor is responsible for “settling” the estate which means that the […]

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I’m Overwhelmed – I Need Help With My Banking Affairs!

June 5, 2015

For many seniors, taking care of their affairs, particularly paying bills, banking, and other financial matters, becomes more and more difficult as the years go by.  When this happens, many people opt to have a close relative or other highly trusted person assist them with these matters.  The following discussion explores two very common options. […]

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Testamentary Trusts – Controlling Your Assets After Your Gone!

May 5, 2015

Preparing your Last Will and Testament (the Will) is critical for helping insure that your wishes are respected after you’re gone.  Married couples with children may have special concerns regarding how money bequeathed to the surviving partner is handled after the survivor passes away.  The following example demonstrates how this type of issue may be […]

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Step-Parents and Stepchildren – Keeping the Peace After You’re Gone

April 23, 2015

A family feud between Robin Williams’s widow and his children from prior marriages has received a lot of press.  A major issue in this feud involves Mr. Williams’s tangible personal  property, personal items he collected over the years.  Mrs. Williams and her stepchildren differ on which items were bequeathed to them. This story is a […]

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My Husband Just Died And Debt Collectors Are Calling!

January 13, 2015

Susan went through a very hard time when her husband, Steven, died.  Not only was she grieving the loss of her husband, but she had to deal with so many other things – making funeral arrangements, contacting Steven’s employer, the life insurance company, their lawyer, the bank.  And on and on it went.  And then, in […]

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Congress Passes Tax-Favored Savings Accounts for Special Needs Individuals!

January 6, 2015

Alex, a 30-year old man with Down syndrome, has cause to celebrate today.  As a Special Needs individual, Alex receives Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  However, these federally funded benefits have been attached to some very restrictive rules.  Specifically, up until now, Alex has been prohibited from having more than $2,000 in savings.  If […]

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Inheriting an IRA – Rules for Averting Huge Taxes!

December 9, 2014

When his 75-year-old father died, forty-year-old John inherited his father’s $1 million traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA).  John wasn’t sure what to do with all that money.  So, he contacted the financial institution managing his father’s IRA and asked them to send him a check for the full amount.  He figured that once he got the […]

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Your Father Died Without A Will. What Happens Next?

November 4, 2014

In our last post, we discussed problems that may arise if a person dies intestate (without leaving a Will).  In this post, we discuss the process for administering and distributing the assets of someone who dies intestate: What you should know: 1. The Surrogate’s Court (in the county where the deceased resided) has judicial oversight […]

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When There’s No Will, Problems May Arise

October 21, 2014

A critical part of estate planning involves preparing your Will.  Doing so helps ensure that your estate will be distributed to your heirs according to your wishes. Unfortunately, many people neglect to prepare a Will.  The reasons are many.  But the bottom line is that once you’re gone, and there’s no Will, things get more […]

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