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What You Can Learn from the Leno Conservatorship Proceedings

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Jun 14, 2024 | 0 Comments

The Leno Conservatorship Proceedings shed light on the complexities and challenges of navigating legal guardianship for a loved one. The case serves as a valuable learning opportunity for individuals seeking to understand the importance of proper estate planning, communication, and proactive decision-making to protect the interests and well-being of their family members. It highlights the significance of careful consideration and preparation in managing one's affairs to avoid potential legal battles and uncertainty in the future.

What Happens to an Adult Child Living at Home When Their Parents Pass Away?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | May 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog discusses the implications for adult children living at home when their parents pass away. It emphasizes the importance of updating estate plans to address potential legal issues, such as adding an adult child to the home title or gifting a family home. The blog highlights the need for careful planning to ensure the well-being of loved ones and minimize potential conflicts among siblings.

What You Need to Know About Self-Canceling Installment Notes

Posted by Mona O'Connor | May 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog provides information on self-canceling installment notes (SCINs) and how they can be used as a tool in estate planning to transfer valuable assets with minimal gift and estate tax consequences. The blog explains how SCINs work, including the self-cancellation clause and the implications for estate tax purposes. It also discusses key considerations such as determining the term of the SCIN, selecting the right interest rate, accounting for the risk of the seller's death, and when it might be appropriate to use a SCIN. The blog emphasizes the importance of consulting with a professional to ensure that SCINs are used effectively in estate planning.

What Does SECURE 2.0 Have to Do with 529 Plans?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | May 29, 2024 | 0 Comments

The SECURE 2.0 Act allows for unused funds from a 529 educational savings plan to be rolled over into a beneficiary's Roth IRA, tax-free and penalty-free. This presents a unique opportunity for young adults to save for retirement. This blog explains what 529 plans and Roth IRAs are, the limitations to the rollover, and why this move could be beneficial for you or your child. It also emphasizes the importance of working with a professional to understand any state tax consequences.

What Can I Not Do as Trustmaker and Trustee of a Revocable Living Trust?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | May 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog delves into the intricacies of managing a revocable living trust, highlighting its flexibility and functionality, particularly in incapacity planning. It distinguishes between the roles of trustmaker, trustee, and beneficiary, emphasizing the dual responsibilities often held by an individual. The post outlines what you can and cannot do in these roles, including the need for retitling assets and managing them as trustee, while also noting limitations such as not being able to protect assets from creditors or avoid taxes. It further explains the transition of trustee duties upon the trustmaker's death or incapacity, stressing the need for a successor trustee. The blog concludes by encouraging individuals to consult with an estate planning attorney to create a comprehensive estate plan tailored to their needs.

Qualified Domestic Trusts: Your Jumpstart to Protecting Your Noncitizen Spouse

Posted by Mona O'Connor | May 21, 2024 | 0 Comments

One of the many benefits of marriage in the United States is the marital deduction. It allows a married person to transfer unlimited money and property to their spouse during their lifetime and at their death with no estate or gift tax. However, if your spouse is not a US citizen, these taxes may be owed. Read this article to learn more about the crucial estate planning tools you need to protect your noncitizen spouse.

Are Pensions Treated the Same in Your Estate Plan as Other Retirement Accounts?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 25, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog discusses the importance of including pensions and retirement accounts in an estate plan. It explains the differences between defined benefit and defined contribution plans, as well as the rules and options for designating beneficiaries for these accounts. The blog also highlights the impact of the SECURE Act on inherited retirement accounts, and offers guidance on how to best provide for your family's future through estate planning. Contacting an estate planning attorney is recommended for assistance with retirement account beneficiaries.

Was Your Loved One a Book Lover? Think Twice Before You Throw Them Out

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 23, 2024 | 0 Comments

When a loved one passes away, their book collection may not be mentioned in their estate plan, leaving family members to decide what to do with them. While many books may have little monetary value, they may hold sentimental value or even contain hidden treasures. Assessing a book's value based on rarity, scarcity, and condition can help determine if it should be kept, sold, or donated. Personal items with personal significance should be included in an estate plan to avoid family conflicts. Ultimately, the decision of what to do with a loved one's book collection should consider both monetary and emotional value.

5 Essential Legal Documents You Need for Incapacity Planning

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 19, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog emphasizes the importance of incapacity planning and outlines the five essential legal documents needed for it: financial power of attorney, revocable living trust, medical power of attorney, advanced directive or living will, and HIPAA authorization. It also stresses the need to keep these documents up to date and accessible to loved ones and trusted helpers.

The Power of Purpose: Unveiling the Impact of Charitable Giving

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 17, 2024 | 0 Comments

This blog explores the impact of charitable giving in the United States, discussing statistics on donations, the types of charities Americans donate to, and the tax benefits of giving. It also provides advice on how to choose reputable charities, ensure tax deductions, and budget your donations responsibly. It emphasizes the importance of estate planning and seeking professional advice before making significant charitable gifts.

Intrafamily Loans and How They Work

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 12, 2024 | 0 Comments

Intrafamily loans enable family members to lend money for various purposes like buying a home or funding a business. This blog highlights their benefits for estate planning, flexible interest rates, and the importance of proper documentation and tax considerations when deciding between gifting and lending.

Demystifying Probate and the Executor’s Role

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 03, 2024 | 0 Comments

The article explains the importance of selecting the right executor for a last will and testament to navigate the probate process effectively. It outlines the responsibilities of the executor, situations where discretion may be needed, and how beneficiaries can adjust asset distribution through nonjudicial settlement agreements. Legal guidance is recommended to minimize conflict and ensure the testator's wishes are carried out smoothly.

Who Should Be the Trustee of a Third-Party Special Needs Trust?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Apr 01, 2024 | 0 Comments

This article emphasizes the importance of choosing the right trustee for a third-party special needs trust to ensure a loved one with a disability is cared for after the trustmaker's passing. It is crucial to select a trustee with experience in special needs trusts to avoid mistakes that could jeopardize benefits. Hiring a professional trustee or seeking assistance from a special needs attorney can help fulfill the trustee's duties and maximize the trust's benefits.

Myths & FAQs - Helping Clients Give Away Their Money and Property

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Mar 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

This document debunks the myths that one does not have enough assets for an estate plan and that estate planning is unaffordable. It highlights the importance of having a will to determine the distribution of assets and guardianship of minor children, as well as the potential consequences of dying without a will. Additionally, it explains the differences between wills and trusts, emphasizing the flexibility and control trusts offer in managing inheritances. The document concludes by stressing the necessity of estate planning for all adults, regardless of income level, and the value of investing in a comprehensive estate plan to secure one's legacy and provide guidance for loved ones.

Estate Administration Details that TV and Movies Get Wrong

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Mar 20, 2024 | 0 Comments

While television and movies provide great entertainment, they are not always factual. Even shows based on real events are not entirely accurate. Creators of television programs and movies will often alter details of a story or situation to provide an enjoyable experience. Because of these widespread embellishments, people often develop misconceptions about many industries and professions, including attorneys and estate planning.

Beware of Nonlawyers Acting Like Lawyers

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Mar 15, 2024 | 0 Comments

Estate planning involves more than just filling out forms; it is a legally binding way for individuals to manage their affairs in case of incapacity or death. It is important to seek legal advice from qualified professionals, as relying on non-lawyers can pose risks.

Inspiring Action: The Guide to Creating or Updating Your Estate Plan

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Mar 08, 2024 | 0 Comments

Creating or revising an estate plan can feel overwhelming, causing many people to procrastinate. But the longer you put it off, the more potential there is to be caught unprepared in an emergency. So how can you motivate yourself and your loved ones to begin the process? Here are some strategies to help you overcome some of the negative feelings associated with this process and meet the challenge head on.

What Is the Difference Between a Probate and Trust Administration Attorney and an Estate Planning Attorney?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 28, 2024 | 0 Comments

Estate planning attorneys and probate and trust administration attorneys play crucial but distinct roles in the legal processes involving legacy planning, asset distribution, and wealth preservation. As part of the estate planning process, you should discuss with your attorney the role they will play during your lifetime and whether they can also assist your loved ones with estate and trust administration when you pass away.

What Happens to Real Estate With a Mortgage When I Die?

Posted by Mona O'Connor | Feb 22, 2024 | 0 Comments

Your mortgage, like the rest of your debt, does not simply disappear when you die. If you leave your home that has an outstanding loan to a beneficiary in your will or trust, your beneficiary will inherit not only the property but also the outstanding debt. They may have the right to take over the mortgage and keep the home, or they may choose to sell it and keep the proceeds. A few different scenarios can unfold, however, depending on the mortgage terms and the estate plan instructions.

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