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Planning for Social Security

One of the great mysteries of our 60’s is when to claim your social security benefit. The dilemma is whether to start at the earliest opportunity (62), wait until full retirement age (66) or delay until 70 to receive the maximum benefit. The question is compounded when we are married and have the option to […]


How Lady Bird Deeds Work

This deed, with a colorful name, is a very handy tool. A lady bird deed transfers lifetime interest in your property to you making you the life tenant.  The deed names a remainder beneficiary who has a future interest in your property upon your death. Your remainder beneficiary can include multiple people, trusts, or organizations. […]


Estate Plan Documents: Where are they?

Imagine your loved ones not being able to locate the documents you had prepared to administer your estate? A stressful time just became more challenging. One of the most important things about your estate plan and associated documents is remembering where they are. Keeping Track There are three important questions to ask yourself. First, where […]

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Where are your important papers?

 Do you keep your documents in one spot and is everything up-to-date? These documents need updating; passports, estate planning papers, insurance policies, financial records, property deeds, and passwords, to name a few. Choose a day to review your documents. Do you have a new address or beneficiary to add to a life insurance policy? Want […]

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What About Crowdfunding?

Many people have ideas for a new business, but get discouraged by the financial requirements to make their idea a reality. Banks have become increasingly leery of new businesses. Due to increased regulatory oversight, securing a commercial loan for a startup is challenging at best. When a bank is willing to make a loan to […]

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When to Tell “What’s in the Will?”

Most parents are reluctant to discuss with their adult children what’s in their estate plan. For some it’s a reminder of our mortality, others are concerned it may create bickering about who is getting what. However, there can be significant advantages in an open discussion. One advantage is it can allow children to plan their […]

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“Lady Bird” or Beneficiary Deeds

Most clients seek to avoid having their assets at death pass through the supervision of probate court. They are concerned about fees imposed by the court, attorney’s fees and delays in distribution of assets. Fortunately, most of these concerns are exaggerated or unrealistic, but irregardless a direct transfer of assets on death is often the […]

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Powers of Attorney – Will They Work?

A recent New York Times article was titled, “Power of Attorney is Not Always a Solution.” It related the story of a woman who was given a power of attorney by her brother who was later afflicted by dementia. When she tried to use the power of attorney, banks were reluctant to accept her power […]

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Successor Trustee

SUCCESSOR TRUSTEE Many clients wonder who should be selected as their successor trustee, or if they have a will, the personal representative. The following assumes there is no person who is an appropriate choice and therefore they will be looking for a corporate trustee, typically a bank trust department. When looking for a corporate trustee, […]

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Prenuptials and Estate Planning

PRENUPTIALS AND ESTATE PLANNING Prenuptial agreements are often considered in the context of a potential divorce. However, they should also be considered as part of an estate plan. Prenuptials typically cover three areas: protection of separate property, division of property and inheritance rights. A prenuptial can protect pre-marital or inherited assets from becoming mixed with […]

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