When We Think We Know Our Family

Estate Planning is often challenging because there are so many issues to consider. We are often distracted by our fears of death, loss, and conflict. For more about what we are planning for, please see The Mystery of Estate Planning Revealed. This post is more about the assumptions we make about our own family members,Continue reading “When We Think We Know Our Family”

What is Your Trust Made of?

Once your estate planning documents are completed, there is still work to do. The word of art “Funding” describes the process of completing forms to change the title of asset ownership from your personal name to the name of your trust. This is not usually a taxable transfer as at this stage the tax identificationContinue reading “What is Your Trust Made of?”

What Happens When You Become “Incapacitated”?

For some, Incapacity is scarier than Death. Having worked with over 100 families, I can tell you that incapacity is unique to each individual. Here is an example to help you think about how you might like to prepare for your own incapacity. As always, I recommend that you discuss your concerns and feelings withContinue reading “What Happens When You Become “Incapacitated”?”

“You will always be the Trustor of your own Trust, but not always the Trustee”

Once having created a Trust of your own (with the help of a qualified estate planning attorney, of course) you become the “Trustor”, or Creator/Settlor/Grantor of that Trust. If you are married, you and your spouse are both Trustors. You may also be the first Trustee of your Trust, but this role is quite different.Continue reading ““You will always be the Trustor of your own Trust, but not always the Trustee””

Property Ownership and Estate Planning

Rental income is a powerful way to build wealth. What will happen to all you have built if you were to become incapacitated, chose to resign, or died? Your estate plan will allow you to maintain control and avoid expensive chaos. You handle the details of your business in your own way, and you likelyContinue reading “Property Ownership and Estate Planning”

What Scares People Most About Planning Ahead?

Having spoken with hundreds of people on the topic of estate planning, I have learned that many people are afraid of the estate planning process for various reasons. We will explore some of those reasons and make some suggestions to let go of the fear, which is quite natural, considering some of the topics involvedContinue reading “What Scares People Most About Planning Ahead?”

How To Use Estate Planning to Move Your Life Forward

There are so many great self-help books out there. Many have great ideas on how to move your life forward, but when it comes to actually putting those ideas into practice, many of us let ourselves down. The Estate Planning process allows each of us to assess what we own, who we love, and theContinue reading “How To Use Estate Planning to Move Your Life Forward”

Get Ready to Meet the Estate Planning Attorney

What does your attorney need to see? Here is a list typically requested (I have asked many of my attorney colleagues to contribute, and your attorney may ask for other items, that’s ok). Current statements – bank, brokerage, retirement accounts – the values are just part of the information needed, so complete copies of theseContinue reading “Get Ready to Meet the Estate Planning Attorney”