Gary Coleman’s Messy Estate Provides Lessons for Others

Gary Coleman, the star of the 1970s TV show Diff’rent Strokes passed away suddenly in 2010 and left behind an estate planning mess. He passed away at only 42 years old. He married aspiring actress, Shannon Price, in 2007 and ultimately got divorced from her later.  The couple continued to live together following their divorce,… Read More »

Is Now a Good Time to Incorporate Paying Off Your Home Loan as Part of Your Estate and Financial Planning Strategy?

Estate planning and financial planning strategies often shift based on major changes in your life, such as a marriage, divorce, birth of a new child, or other significant circumstances. The passage of the new federal laws surrounding estate taxes and gifting may lead you to go back to the drawing board about your home equity… Read More »

Is Probate Always a Negative?

Many people incorporate the estate planning process early on to avoid probate. That is because matters that are processed through probate, such as anything inside your estate outside of annuities, retirement accounts, life insurance, jointly owned property and anything you place inside a trust or another similar vehicle, is viewable via the public record. The… Read More »

How Important Is It to Have an Advanced Health Care Directive and An Estate Plan?

The life of someone who is diagnosed with a terminal illness such as cancer can be significantly disrupted upon learning of their condition. The life of someone in this situation can be turned inside out completely. A healthcare directive can be critical. Jobs can be jeopardized, priorities shift immediately and savings can be depleted. Financial… Read More »

Three Steps That Doctors Need to Take in The Estate Planning Process

Anyone who is a busy professional understands the importance of the small details and following through. However, doctors are often averse to thinking about their estate plan because of their view that it may be complicated, their lack of time or their concerns that they don’t need it directly. Doctors and other professionals can significantly… Read More »

Should I Give Greater Gifts to Kids?

When you are thinking about passing on your assets to your future generations, it’s natural to want to give as much as possible. In fact, many parents and grandparents confronting estate planning for the first time are thinking about the strategies they can take to enhance the value of their estate as much as possible… Read More »

Five Reasons Business Planning Matters for Succession Purposes

Looking ahead into the future is important for individual estate planning purposes but you can also benefit from planning ahead for your business. Your personal estate should certainly be documented in strategies and in documents aligned with your individual needs. But your business also needs a plan too. Estate planning benefits businesses in five distinct… Read More »

How Long Should I Keep This Document? Part 3

  Going through the spring cleaning process makes it seem easy to toss or shred everything, but that could be a big mistake if you eliminate some of these documents that you should hold on to indefinitely. These details include: -Income tax returns. -Personally identifying documents like social security cards, birth certificates, and outdated and… Read More »

How Long Should I Keep This Document? Part 2

Looking to go through your closets and storage in your home or elsewhere and get rid of things you no longer need? Far too many people hold on to paperwork that doesn’t need to be kept forever. They are only certain documents that need to be kept beyond a seven-year period. In our previous blog… Read More »

Understanding the Difference Between Trusts and Wills

Many people who are approaching estate planning for the first time will have critical questions about the right documents to be used in the process. Many people may be under the impression that a trust is better than a will and may be curious about whether or not they can serve as the trustee of… Read More »