Do I have to be a Kardashian to Use a Trust?

You do not have to be a Kardashian to benefit from a trust. Now, you might not want to be a Kardashian, and you probably shouldn’t. That is not the point. The point is that you do not have to be very wealthy to reap actual benefits from a trust.  The type of trust we will focus on is the revocable living trust. There are a myriad of trusts which can address issues that many of us face, but for the sake of brevity, I Read More

What is the Difference Between a Will and a Trust?

There is no such thing as a stupid question (I still don’t know where or what exactly the Netherlands are, so help me out). What is the difference between a will and a trust you ask? That is not a stupid question, and I will tell you here.  Both documents are great and essential estate planning tools, and they can also work together, but there are differences.  The first difference between the two is that while both Read More

4 Things you didn’t know a Will can do

We are all familiar with the basics that a will can accomplish. It can transfer your assets outright to whomever you choose. It can appoint a personal representative to take care of your affairs after your death. A guardian for minor children is appointed under the will. However, these are not the only things a will does or can do. We will walk through 4 things you might not realize a will can accomplish.  First, a Read More

Three Reasons Coronavirus Makes Estate Planning More Important Than Ever

These unprecedented times are scary for us all. Though the numbers are still out, it seems that while coronavirus is mainly life-threatening only for the elderly and immunocompromised, it can also in some cases claim the lives of the young and the healthy. For many, this is a wakeup call. Between accidents and undetected medical issues, the young and seemingly healthy have never been death-proof (though we all Read More

Temporary Incapacity + Protecting Your Children

In a previous blog post we discussed emergency planning and estate planning. What happens if you suddenly die or are incapacitated? We spent a little time laying out some practical steps to take in order to make sure nothing is overlooked in an emergency and that your wishes are carried out promptly. See blog post here (hyperlink). One of the more important subjects is what to do for children. In this post, we will Read More

Emergency Planning for your Estate Plan

An estate plan is an important and necessary protection for your family, but it doesn’t do you much good if it is a dusty binder on your basement bookshelf. You need a plan for how to activate this plan and make it work for you when you need it. The whole point of your estate plan is to care for your family in a disaster, so you want to be able to utilize it when you need it. This concept has been thrown into sharper Read More

What is So Important About a Living Will?

Advanced Directives (also known as living wills or healthcare directives) are an important part of the estate planning process. Put very simply, an advanced directive is your instructions on what happens at the end of your life. With the current pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, many of us are turning our thoughts to our own mortality, in particularly, what happens at the end of our lives. This is where the advanced Read More

Power of Attorney? Do I need one?

Do you need a power of attorney? If so, when would I need a power of attorney? If I get a power of attorney, what can be done with it? When is it effective? What happens to it when I die?  Now that we are living, at least for the time being, in a world that seems to be controlled by the COVID-19 virus, a power of attorney sounds like a critical document to have, whether healthcare or financial. It is, but many people Read More

Tale of Two Brothers

Too often people assume making an estate plan is a one and done deal, and unfortunately, a lot of attorneys do nothing to treat it otherwise.  However, the estate plan you are going to need in your early 30s with 2 children under 5 is definitely not the same estate plan you are going to need in your 50s, when your children are in their early 20s. It is not even the same estate plan you may need just a few years Read More

Case Study – Seller Dies after Property Under Contract

Today I wanted to explore an estate planning case study. What happens if the seller dies during a real estate purchase? Though this is not a common event, I have had clients who have undergone such scenarios, so it does happen.  Here is the scenario:  Jim and Pam were looking to buy their first house (in Scranton, of course). They have both recently been promoted at their jobs as well as welcomed their first child. Read More