Estate Planning Archives

  1. Digital Estate Planning

    I often counsel clients on the importance of making sure that the documents they spend money to create are of little use if nobody can find them. The same is true with your digital information. If the person whom you designate as your attorney-in-fact (which is the name for someone exercising powers under a power of attorney) is unable to access your online accounts, the power of attorney might not be very helpful.

  2. Federal Estate Tax Update

    I am glad to finally hear rumors that the federal estate tax will be dealt with this year by Congress.  Back in 2001, Congress passed a law that increased the federal estate tax exemption from $1 million per person up to $3.5 million per person by 2009 and then ended the estate tax for 2010. …

  3. Importance of Planning

    Planning for the possibility of incapacity and the certainty of passing away is an uncomfortable topic for most people. However, failure to plan for these events can sometimes lead to unintended financial outcomes, family tension and many other negative and sometimes heartbreaking consequences. While the strategies may vary, estate planning is important for everyone no matter the size or complexity of the estate.

  4. Banks and Powers of Attorney

    You cannot just look to the law for limitations on powers of attorney. A power of attorney only works if the third party to whom it is presented is willing to accept it.

  5. Valuation Discounts

    A recent Washington case supported a taxpayer’s use of valuation discounts for LLC units as well as a redirection of excess gifts to a charity.

  6. Money Issues of Surviving Spouses

    A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlights the importance of planning for the death of a spouse. No matter how uncomfortable it might be, planning ahead is more than worth the cost.

  7. Estate Planning Money Lessons

    While slightly outdated, this is a very good article that summarizes the need for estate planning and how to approach it.  The key point here is that everyone should have an estate plan as a necessary part of any financial plan or strategy.  Too many people do not have wills or have outdated documents (the…