Helping Clients Create an Up-to-Date Inventory

Posted by Robert L. Arone If your client has already done estate planning by creating a will or trust, then the client has taken a very important step toward ensuring that if the client becomes incapacitated or dies, the client’s loved ones will know how to help manage the client’s financial and legal affairs. However, simply having a will or a trust and related estate planning documents is often not enough. An inventory of all of the client’s accounts and property is crucial for helping the client’s loved ones manage the client’s affairs effectively. Most estate planning attorneys have received calls from distressed children who know that a deceased parent had a will or a trust, but have no idea what accounts, insurance policies, or items of real and personal property the parent owned. If an inventory was never prepared and shared with the parent’s attorney, the child likely had

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Is Your Client’s Estate Plan Incapacity Proof?

Posted by Robert L. Arone For most people, it is perfectly natural to think about estate planning only in terms of planning for death. While it is certainly important for clients to make a plan for their eventual death, if that is all they plan for, their planning will be woefully inadequate. As medical knowledge and technology have improved over the decades, so too has modern medicine’s ability to keep people alive for much longer. It is no accident that in many areas of the country, long-term care facilities such as assisted living centers and nursing homes are being built at record pace.[1] At first blush, staying alive longer would seem to be a good thing. And for many people, it is. However, simply living longer does not necessarily result in ideal circumstances. Longevity coupled with incapacity can be extremely challenging if a client has failed to make arrangements for

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Helping Couples Plan for Their Future

Posted by Robert L. Arone October is one of the most popular months for couples to tie the knot in the United States. While wedding planning most often includes tuxedos, dresses, rehearsal dinners, guest lists, and the honeymoon, an overlooked part of pending nuptials is estate planning. For younger couples beginning a life together and getting married for the first time, estate planning may not be a terribly complicated endeavor. With minimal property and savings, simple wills, financial powers of attorney, and healthcare directives may be sufficient and prudent planning for the first years of marriage. The age at which couples are getting married for the first time continues to creep upward, however. It is therefore common for individuals to accumulate significant amounts of property, savings, and investments during their single years. When couples with property beyond the most simple items marry, estate planning becomes much more urgent. It is

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5 Key Questions to Answer When Creating Your Will

By Eric P. Rothenberg, Esq. If you don’t want important decisions to be left up to the state when you’re gone, you need a will. If the idea of creating a will feels like you’re tempting fate, think of it as a road map you’re leaving your family, so they don’t have to stress over making the right decisions on your behalf. First, you need to understand the differences between a living will and a last will and testament, usually referred to as a will. These are two different documents that serve different purposes. A living will allows you to state your wishes in the event you cannot communicate and is only effective if you are alive. This is a legal document which outlines which life support services you approve or disapprove of in certain situations and removes the difficulty of such decisions from your children or other heirs. It

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Helping Clients Create Positivity with Their Estate Plan

Posted by Robert L. Arone Many scientific studies have established that there is a wide range of benefits flowing from a positive attitude and positive thinking. At a time when many are focused on worst-case scenarios and gloomy predictions, help your clients resist the pull of negativity and embrace the beneficial results of positivity. This is not just an attempt to make them (or ourselves) feel better in spite of reality, but rather to take full advantage of the proven benefits of optimism. We can develop stronger relationships with our clients by helping them to incorporate positivity into their estate planning: They can increase not only their own wellbeing but also that of their children or other beneficiaries by creating an estate plan designed to promote their loved ones’ happiness, which in turn, will enable them to live healthier and more successful lives. Fortunately for those to whom it does

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