Did you know that you can formally plan for the care of your pet in your estate planning? All U.S. states have enacted legislation authorizing the establishment of pet trusts. With a pet trust, a pet owner can designate an individual to care for a pet after his or her death and provide funding for the pet’s ongoing care.Read More
When it comes to estate planning, executing your will and other estate documents is only the first step. To help ensure that your estate plan stays in tune with your goals and needs, it’s important to review and update it on an ongoing basis. Working with your financial advisor and attorney, use this checklist as a starting point to keep your estate plan in good shape.Read More
Everyone needs an estate plan, no matter the size of the estate. Not only does this plan help carry out your wishes after your passing, but it benefits you while you’re living. A good estate plan includes a strategy to manage your financial affairs and health care decisions in the event that you cannot. It can prove invaluable in easing the administrative burden for your family and friends during a time of emotional distress.Read More
A will is a set of written directions to a probate judge explaining how the decedent would like the probate process to progress. It indicates whom the decedent wants to manage the estate and to whom he or she wants property distributed. Without a valid will, state statutes and local procedures dictate what happens, regardless of what the decedent wished.Read More
What are special needs?
You may have known since birth (or before) that your child has special needs. Or you may have realized it later, when your child didn't sit up at an appropriate age, or had problems learning to read. Children who have special needs have a wide range of conditions, both mild and severe, including chronic illnesses, emotional issues, developmental delays, disabling physical conditions, and learning disabilities.Read More
At a time when your career is reaching a peak and you are looking ahead to your own retirement, you may find yourself in the position of having to help your children with college expenses while at the same time looking after the needs of your aging parents. Squeezed in the middle, you've joined the ranks of the "sandwich generation."Read More
As the parent of a child with special needs, you face many of the same challenges that any parent faces. But you'll have to cope with some unique financial, medical, educational, and legal issues as well.
But where do you start?Read More
By presidential proclamation, November is National Family Caregivers Month. Each day, parents, children, siblings, and spouses selflessly sacrifice their time and energy to care for family members affected by illness, injury, or disability. Caregiving can exact an emotional, physical, and financial toll. It is important for caregivers to know that their labors of love are appreciated, and to recognize that they need care and support as well.Read More
A power of attorney (POA) is a document that designates an agent or attorney-in-fact to act on a person’s behalf regarding his or her financial affairs. Without a valid financial POA, a person’s loved ones would need to seek court approval for the authority to make any decisions involving the accounts. Although it seems like an obvious solution, there are both pros and cons to the POA decision, and it’s our job, as your trusted financial advisor, to help our clients determine the best solution.Read More
A will is often the cornerstone of an estate plan. Here are five things you can do with a will.
Wills enable you to leave your property at your death to a surviving spouse, a child, other relatives, friends, a trust, a charity, or anyone you choose. There are some limits, however, on how you can distribute property using a will. For instance, your spouse may have certain rights with respect to your property, regardless of the provisions of your will.Read More
It's human nature to put off complicated or emotionally heavy tasks. Talking with aging parents about their finances, health, and overall well-being might fall in this category. Many adult children would rather avoid this task, as it can create feelings of fear and loss on both sides. But this conversation — what could be the first of many — is too important to put off for long. The best time to start is when your parents are relatively healthy. Otherwise, you may find yourself making critical decisions on their behalf in the midst of a crisis without a roadmap.Read More
If you are the adult child of aging parents, you may find yourself in the position of someday having to assist them with handling their finances. Whether that time is in the near future or sometime further down the road, there are some steps you can take now to make the process a bit easier.
Mom and Dad, can we talk?
Your first step should be to get a handle on your parents' finances so you fully understand their current financial situation. The best time to do so is when your parents are relatively healthy and active. Otherwise, you may find yourself making critical decisions on their behalf in the midst of a crisis.Read More