In a recent article in Bloomberg, “Rich Americans Seize Historic Chance to Pass on Wealth Tax-Free,” author Ben Steverman applauds rich Americans who are taking advantage of an unprecedented opportunity made possible by the coronavirus pandemic to transfer money to their children and grandchildren tax-free. We recommend rephrasing it to say smart Americans rather than…

Your estate plan, like your home, periodically needs a thorough polishing. Your life circumstances are constantly changing, and an estate plan that perfectly met your needs a couple of years ago may now be cluttered with outdated provisions or documents. With spring upon us, now is the time to dust off your estate plan to…

Coronavirus has been all over the news—and with good reason. For some people, it can turn into a serious illness if contracted. Thankfully, for the great majority of people who have contracted the disease, the symptoms appear to be relatively mild. Nevertheless, it is crucial for everyone, particularly those who are in good health, to…

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act), which became effective on January 1, 2020. The Act is the most impactful legislation affecting retirement accounts in decades. It will have a positive impact for many older Americans, but could have negative tax consequences for many…

After the 2018 passing of the legendary singer Aretha Franklin, her family and lawyer initially thought she had died without a will. But earlier this year, three handwritten wills—two from 2010 that were locked in a cabinet and one from 2014 that was hidden under a couch cushion—were found in Franklin’s home in Detroit. Franklin’s…

The average American family has changed a great deal over the last few decades. The assumption that a couple will share finances, tax obligations, and a last name is one that does not necessarily apply in the 21st century. There are more options than ever before to keep your finances, identity, and future plans separate….

It is a common misconception that financial management and estate planning are reserved for the wealthy. Regardless of how much you have in the bank, you and your family can benefit from planning ahead for the future. If you fail to do so, you could leave your family scrambling if you’re suddenly incapacitated. When you…

Most families are happy families. They get together for the holidays, share laughs, and tell stories. Everyone gets along and enjoys each other’s company. Then, the matriarch or patriarch dies. Suddenly, years of pent-up resentment and hurt feelings bubble to the surface, and the once-happy family is now embroiled in litigation over the decedent’s estate….

Yes, you do, and here’s why… 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 you life has completely changed some years later. We’ll use the (fictional) Kendrick family as an example: Meet the Kendricks… Meet Bill…

There are several reasons why you should update your existing trust or perhaps your entire estate plan. While estate planning documents do not necessarily have a shelf life, they may not fulfill your goals when your circumstances change. Of course, having estate planning documents that are up-to-date is critical, but how do you know when…