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Some of these articles have been written by our law firm and other articles are written by the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys and compliments of our law firm. Any feedback or questions about the articles can be addressed by contacting our office.

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Why Everyone Needs an Estate Plan

People tend to think of estate planning as something that only the wealthy or the elderly need to do. In truth, regardless of your age, your situation in life, or your level of wealth, estate planning accomplishes a few universal goals.

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How Low Interest Rates Can Influence Your Estate Plan

You might not realize the advantages a low interest rate environment can offer for estate tax planning. Let's take a look at just a few.

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Why Your Trust Shouldn't be Short and Sweet

The draft of your new Trust makes you wonder if your estate planning attorney gets paid by the word. Is all this verbiage really necessary? In fact, a good plan has many points to cover.

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Insurance: The Missing Link in Your Estate Plan?

Insurance has a number of uses as an estate planning tool. It helps protect and preserve your estate, giving you more to pass on to your loved ones. It also has special characteristics that allow you to position your estate for sophisticated estate planning. Learn about the basic categories of insurance and how they strengthen your estate plan.

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Trusts and Income Tax: Who Pays?

As Trusts gain popularity, a question comes up more and more often: who pays the income tax on a Trust? It seems like a simple inquiry, but the answer can be hard to pin down. So, who does pay income tax on a Trust? Here is the answer, in a nutshell.

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Tax Breaks for the Sandwich Generation

It can be a surprise to find yourself caring for elderly parents at the same time that you’re raising your own children. The emotional demands of these multiple roles are often coupled with financial challenges as well. That’s why it’s important to know when you can claim your aging or ill parent as a dependent for income tax purposes.

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What Does It Mean To Be a Trustee?

If you’ve been chosen to serve as a Trustee, what responsibilities can you expect? Learn about the basic duties that come with this important and sometimes daunting job, and find out where you can go for guidance.

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A Quick Guide for Basis

You might have heard the word basis used in reference to taxes. Learn the definition of basis and how it can make a big difference in your estate plan.

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Moving? Don’t Forget to Review Your Estate Plan

Although your Will or Trust might be the last thing on your mind as you prepare to move, this is actually an ideal time to review and update your estate plan. Find out why.

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Avoid These Four Asset Protection Pitfalls

The estate planning process presents a number of opportunities for using asset protection strategies to protect yourself and your loved ones. Learn about asset protection, and avoid these four common pitfalls.

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The Accidental Spouse

Could you be married and not even realize it? If you live in a state that recognizes common law marriage, you could be married even without a marriage license or an official ceremony. Find out how common law marriage affects your estate plan and what you can do about it.

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Expecting the Unexpected

Life is full of surprises. None of us have a crystal ball, and this means it is unreasonable to create an estate plan without flexibility regarding your long-term wishes for your loved ones. When you build flexibility into your estate plan with a power of appointment, you can empower your spouse or children to stand in your place and make decisions based on your family’s changed circumstances.

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Why a Trust Makes Sense - Even If Your Child Is Not a Child

If your children have reached adulthood, you might assume it's best to leave them their inheritances outright, with no restrictions. However, you want to make sure your children enjoy flexibility in accessing and using their inheritances while minimizing the impact of taxes, divorce, lawsuits, and other threats. Therefore, it might be better to leave their inheritances in a Trust.

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I Have an Estate Plan: Do I Still Need My Attorney?

Your estate plan is prepared. Your Living Trust is in place and properly funded, you have a Pour-Over Will just in case, and your incapacity plan is ready and waiting in the event you need it. Is it time to part ways with your attorney? Not at all! In fact, your relationship with your estate planning attorney has just started.

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The Impact of Dying Without an Estate Plan

Most of us expect that we'll be around to see another day. However, many people die unexpectedly from accidents, heart attacks, and other misfortunes. However, another big tragedy is dying without an estate plan due to procrastination. The time to plan is when we're alive and well, before illness or incapacity can strike an unexpected blow. This article looks at what would happen if you passed away with no plan in place to outline your wishes both during any period of incapacity and after your death.

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Tax Saving Benefits of a Life Insurance Trust

Most people have heard of a Living Trust, but not many have heard of an "ILIT" or Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust. This type of specialized trust is structured to hold life insurance policies on your life. This article discusses how an ILIT works and the estate tax planning advantages it offers. Learn more about the benefits of this type of trust and whether an ILIT is right for you.

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Dos and Don'ts of Managing an Inheritance

An inheritance is a bittersweet thing. Your loved one valued your relationship enough to leave you something to make your life better, you want to honor their memory and use the inheritance wisely. This article lists important "Dos" and "Dont's" to follow regarding the use of your inheritance. Also mentioned in this article are tips to consider if your inheritance is in an IRA. All too often inheritances are squandered on meaningless items, take some time to consider your options and make a difference with your inheritance.

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When a Loved One Passes

A death in the family can be especially traumatic and it is easy to overlook important items. It is often helpful to have a checklist with the various steps that need to be completed, so that in the panic and grief of the moment, nothing is forgotten. In this article you will find a short list of important action items and tips to help guide you when there has been a loss in the family. Keep this list handy so that you will not forget any major items. Don't go through this alone, a qualified estate planning attorney can help guide you through the often-difficult process after the death of someone close to you.

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Don't Trust Your Legacy to Just Anyone

When we plan our estates, we must take into account the potential life changes that may arise for our surviving family members and ensure that we provide inheritance protection from the many real world dangers that may come up in today's times. However, not all estate plans are created equal. The knowledge and experience of the attorney you retain could make a significant difference in the lives of your surviving family members. Learn what to look for in the attorney you work with and the importance of including divorce, remarriage and lawsuit protection in your estate plan.

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