WHEN SOMEONE DIES

If you are consulting this post, then you have likely suffered a recent loss. Though I do not yet know you, I express to you my sincere condolences as I understand what you are facing. Grief is very real. It impacts each one of us uniquely, but it is not uncommon. And...

Death Tax Confusion

Everyone knows about income taxes.  Some of us are familiar with payroll taxes.  But few have a grip on the arcane world of estate and gift taxes. Fortunately, most of us can now continue to ignore this tax.  The federal exemption has been set at over $10 million...

Plan “B”

Clients come to me with clear ideas about how they expect things to unfold. They develop their estate plan around these expectations. For example, most husbands anticipate that their wife will outlive them. Most parents anticipate they will die before their children....

What To Expect

There are many hurdles to overcome in getting your Will and other estate planning documents done. One of the biggest is the uncertainty of what will occur and how much it will cost. Most people have not had to consult with a lawyer, or if they have, it may have been a...

Simple Wills and Lawyer Lingo

Most clients I meet with regarding their Will start the conversation saying something like: “This is really just a ‘simple Will’”. From that, I’m supposed to expect that everything in their estate will be “routine”. I can tell you from having met with many clients,...

Don’t Write On It!

Wills are often written once and forgotten for years. People seem to believe wills have a “shelf life”, after which they expire. It isn’t true. The last Will you wrote, even if it was 50 years ago, is still your Will and still governs your estate. It becomes awkward...

Probate

“Probate” has become a word mixed with mystery and distrust. As a consequence, one of the statements I hear most often from my clients is, “I/we want to avoid probate”. The fear of this word has led many people to invest in expensive, overly complicated trusts, change...

The Tsunami

A Harley-Davidson motorbike, washed out to sea by last year’s terrifying Tsunami, made an astonishing journey across the north Pacific from Japan, landing on a remote, Canadian beach this week. The miracle story, complete with a Tsunami-survivor owner, made headlines...