Living Trusts

Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts: Common Uses

A friend recently asked me about the differences between revocable and irrevocable trusts.  The following will provide a brief answer, including common uses along with advantages and disadvantages, but should not to be looked upon as exhaustive advice regarding either kind of instrument.  Read more...

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Beneficiaries’ Rights: Can I Prevent Michael Vick from Starting?

From 1949 to 1963, the Philadelphia Eagles were owned by about one hundred local businessmen, known as the “100 Brothers”. Each member, one of whom was my great uncle, paid about a $3,000 share to get in, and made a nice profit once they got out. My parents ended up with season tickets for awhile,…

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Estate Planning Fundamentals


So far, we have discussed many different aspects of estate planning in this blog.  However, if this site is supposed to convince you that estate planning is something that you should really get a handle on, then we should probably discuss some basics.  We’ll do so in a Question and Answer format:  Read more...

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Estate Tax Effects on Cross-Owned Life Insurance

Today, Professor Beyer’s blog links to an article regarding the current status of the federal estate tax.  Unfortunately, many are left in a holding pattern while Congress decides whether or not to reinstate the tax before 2011.  If the tax is reinstated, it is unknown  if a decedent’s first $1 million, $3.5 million, $5 million,…

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How Revocable Trusts Are Unlike Haircuts

I can’t stand getting haircuts. It all started when I was in my mid-teens, and my mother took me to her hairdresser.  The gentleman took one look at the back of my head and called over his colleagues.  Within seconds, other hairdressers as well as shampooers, sweepers, cashiers, etc. came by to look at the…

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Choosing Your Personal Representative

One of the most important tasks in preparing your estate is choosing who will fulfill the responsibilities of carrying out the closure of your assets and liabilities.  Once appointed, your personal representative (or “agent”) will have the fiduciary duty to act in your estate’s best interests.  Violation of this or other duties could result in…

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