Understanding Grantor Trusts

The term “grantor trust” isn’t so much a legal term as it is a tax term. According to the Internal Revenue Code, to be a “grantor” means that as the creator of the trust, the grantor retains power and control over the trust’s assets and/or income. This …


Seven Estate Planning Considerations for Blended Families

Blended families are becoming increasingly common, and with that comes specific considerations. When one of the parents/step-parents pass away, it leaves both step-children and biological children depending on the remaining person to make testamentary …


How to Choose the Right Guardian

If you have minor children, selecting the right person to be the guardian for them in the tragic instance that you die or become incapacitated is one of the most important planning decisions that you have to make. Failing to do so could put the future …


How to Avoid Inheritance Conflicts

“No family is perfect… we argue, we fight. We even stop talking to each other at times. But in the end, family is family…The love will always be there.” – Unknown Many times, the death or illness of a loved one brings family members back into each othe …


Who Can Set Up the ABLE Account?

ABLE accounts, new tax-free saving accounts for people with disabilities, hold great promise for special needs planning. But among the many questions surrounding ABLE plans is who can open accounts?  Only the person with a disability? Parents?  Other r …


Estate Planning Mistake: You Have a Revocable Living Trust … BUT You Have Not Funded It!

A revocable living trust is often used as a substitute for a last will and testament.  Among other things, a living trust is a great way to make sure your family does not have to go through the probate process and get bogged down in the court system af …


Advantages and Disadvantages of Creating a Testamentary Trust

A testamentary trust is established through your last will and testament. Unlike other trusts, a testamentary trust often does not have a separate trust document. The terms and conditions of the trust are generally found directly in the will. However, …


Why Estate Planning is Easy but Legacy Planning is Hard

Death is finite and unavoidable, so to some it is easy. One moment you are alive and the next you are no more. Planning for that inevitable moment for a person is the job of estate planning attorneys and financial advisors, with the appropriate documen …


What Happens If Your Children Are Given Control of Your Estate Before You’re Ready?

You may have set up a trust or another estate planning tool to help provide for your children. However, what happens when your children have access to that trust sooner than you intended? Or what can you do if your children are not using the trust as y …


How to Handle Sibling Disputes Over a Power of Attorney

A power of attorney is one of the most important estate planning documents, but when one sibling is named in a power of attorney, there is the potential for disputes with other siblings. No matter which side you are on, it is important to know your rig …