Living Trusts

Common “Pot” Trusts: Why You Shouldn’t Treat Your Children Equally

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If you have minor children, you most likely would want them to be provided for in case something terrible happens to you and your spouse.  How would you split your assets between them? At first glance, your natural tendency is probably to respond, “equally, of course”.  For the most part, we love our children equally,…

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5 Unconventional Estate Planning Tips (and Why They are Right)

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I hesitated to write this post for fear that many would be distracted over this weekend.  However, now that it is after 6 P.M. on May 21, 2011, and we seem to have avoided and survived the rapture, I can help return your focus to arguably more mundane concerns.  Read more...

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Would You Like That “Per Stirpes” or “Per Capita”?

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There are many scenarios in estate planning where a deceased person receives a gift of property.  Someone’s will may not have been amended in time.  A trust drafted many years ago leaves an asset to several siblings, one of whom has passed away since the document was created.  State intestacy laws designate assets to classes…

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Will Contests: 10 Ways to Protect Against Estate Plan Challenges

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Getting your will drafted is a daunting enough process without worrying about whether or not to disinherit family.  If you anticipate that anyone will try to challenge your will, then your estate planning documents should provide as much protection as possible against a “will contest”.  Read more...

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The Repercussions of Drafting Estate Planning Documents Imprecisely

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You’ve probably heard the notion that one incorrectly drafted phrase or sentence can have great detrimental effects on your will or trust.  Later in this post, we will provide two examples of this consequence. But first, we provide essential background to help further underscore the main point that preparing a will takes precision, careful attention…

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1600 Words about a 100-Word Addition to Virginia Trust Law (Part III)

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In the first two parts of this topic, we covered the attempt to unify trust law throughout the United States and Virginia’s brief new amendment to its version of the Uniform Trust Code.  Now, to close the loop, we conclude by giving further detail to two important types of marital deduction trusts briefly mentioned in…

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Revocable Living Trusts: Should Couples Use Joint or Separate Trusts? (Part II)

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In Part I of this topic, we discussed that the decision to use joint or separate trusts is mainly based on the answers to these three questions:  Read more... Under federal and/or state law, are you married to your partner – Yes or No? Do you live in a Community Property or Separate Property State?…

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Living Trusts: Should Couples Use Joint or Separate Trusts? (Part I)

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We have previously discussed the choice between wills and living trusts as your primary estate planning document.  However, if you opt for the living trust route, there is another important choice to make if you are married or have a significant other you wish to plan with.  Read more...

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A Funny Thing Happened at the Deli…

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A young couple sits down at the local deli with their baby asleep in the stroller.  It is an unseasonably warm day outside with birds chirping, a light wind blowing and barely a cloud in the sky.  However, the beauty surrounding them escapes the couple because they cannot decide what to do about their finances.…

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10 Reasons Young Adults Should Consider Estate Planning

10 Reasons Young Adults Should Consider Estate Planning

According to the law of averages, approximately 1 in 500 people in the United States who are aged 25-44 will die this year.  In other words, 499 out of every 500 in this group will be around in 2012. So why on earth do estate planning attorneys, financial planners, insurance salesmen, etc. recommend that anyone…

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