Basic Strategies

These are descriptions and discussions of foundational tools and ancillary documents that should be part of most estate plans.

Distrust as a Distraction to Planning (Part II)

Last week, we discussed how our skepticism for institutions and each other can deter us from moving forward with estate planning.  This was exemplified by a Washington Post story describing a life insurance company earning more in interest than they were paying out to a family suffering the loss of their military son in action. …

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Powers of Attorney and Advance Medical Directives

In addition to drafting a will or trust, it is also essential to plan for any time when you would be unable to make decisions for yourself.  This can be done through either documenting your wishes in advance or to delegate your decision-making to another trusted individual.  The primary instruments used today to accomplish these…

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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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Do Your Advance Medical Directives Consider HIPAA?

The HIPAA Privacy Rule — Remember all those new forms you had to fill out at your doctors’ offices starting several years ago? The Privacy Rule of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (hereinafter “HIPAA”) was passed by Congress in 2003, and it provides distinct regulations about the privacy of your Protected Health Information…

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“I Just Need a Simple Will”

Many who decide to take the leap of setting up an estate plan approach the issue by seeking the least expensive, yet still effective strategy. This is especially true during a recession.  While this may be appropriate for some, let’s examine some situations where your will may not end up being so simple:  Read more...

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Distrust as a Distraction to Planning (Part I)

While we seem to have ever-increasing access and insight over our government, corporations, professionals and even the press, the general level of mistrust in these institutions and the individuals that support them have also arguably arisen exponentially.  However, in terms of personal financial and estate planning, these widespread suspicions can be relegated to attractive, yet…

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