When DIY Estate Planning Goes Wrong

Bigstock-Elder-Couple-With-Bills-3557267People have many options today for creating their own estate planning documents. Forms can be purchased quickly from websites and books. However, trying to create your own estate plan can actually be more expensive than hiring an attorney. (more…)

Getting Access to Digital Data

Irish-handsWhen a loved one passes away it is extremely difficult to get access to any digital data they may have, including what might be stored on their cell phones. This is the case even when getting access to the data might help explain how the loved one passed away as is problem for one family in Minnesota. (more…)

Revoking an Irrevocable Trust

IStock_000018620635LargeBy the basic meaning of its title, it would seem that an irrevocable trust cannot be revoked. However, in Louisiana, a battle is waging over whether or not that is always true. (more…)

Answers to Questions about Medicare and Medicaid

MP900442402One adult son talks about his mother-in-law’s well-being: She is elderly, lives alone, experiences symptoms of dementia, and doesn’t accept help easily. She refuses to have strangers in the house. She has lost all effort to cook, but she will not have someone come in to help her with cooking. We tried a couple of house cleaners, but they don’t clean the way she does. She refuses to even look at any of these assisted living places. If she knows my wife is taking her there, she refuses to get in the car. She’s stubborn. What do you do, call the cops? (more…)

Rare Books in an Estate: What to Do?

Bigstock-Couple-running-bookshop-13904324One of the most difficult tasks facing someone taking care of a loved one’s estate is figuring out which items are valuable. We all know that inherited fine art can be very valuable and should be evaluated by a professional and there are endless blogs, magazines, and TV shows that discuss what to do with inherited antiques and furniture. There’s a whole book about selling inherited collectible coins. But search for “inheriting rare books” and you’ll find almost no information. Yet many people inherit libraries containing hundreds of books and have no idea if any of them are valuable or special. As a result, libraries often get little attention when they are inherited as part of an estate. (more…)

Money Tips for Families

Bigstock-Extended-Family-Outside-Modern-13915094Between life insurance, wills and other financial tools, many parents of more meager means can also take steps to make sure their kids will be okay financially after they’re gone. And as much as families despise talking about money, the measures don’t always require a lot of work. (more…)

Cutting the Massachusetts Estate Tax

Bigstock-Senior-Couple-8161132When thinking about estate taxes, most people consider the federal estate tax. However, state estate taxes play an equal role in many estate plans. For that reason, it is important to make note when a state is considering changing its estate tax. (more…)

Dog to Receive Fortune

20140512_131300Many people wish to leave things behind for their pets to make sure that they are taken care of after the owners pass away. However, one woman in Queens is taking that to the extreme. (more…)

Obama to Target Capital Gains Loophole

MP900382633 In the State of the Union address President Obama was once again expected to announce proposals to increase taxes on wealthy Americans. While he is not targeting the estate tax, the proposal could have major implications for some estate plans. (more…)

Grave Digger Pleads Guilty

4997A515DBYou are not allowed to dig up someone’s grave without the permission of a court as one man in New Hampshire recently learned. The interesting thing is what was being looked for in the grave. (more…)