financial advisers

Helping Clients Responsibly Leave Wealth to Grandchildren

Posted by Robert L. Arone Estate planning attorneys frequently hear from their clients, “I’d like to leave something to my grandchildren. What’s the best way to do that?” Naturally, grandparents love their grandchildren and want them to succeed in life. And when grandparents are in the twilight of their lives, their hearts often turn to the younger generation with a desire to give them whatever advantages they can, especially if they were unable to give their own children those same advantages when their children were younger. For most grandparents, the best way to provide for their grandchildren is to leave their accounts and property to the grandchildren’s parents to ensure the financial stability of that family unit, thereby indirectly benefiting the grandchildren. In fact, default inheritance laws in nearly every state reflect this common desire to provide first for children and then for the grandchildren in the event that an

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President Biden’s First One Hundred Days: Looking Back and Planning Ahead

Posted by Robert L. Arone This year has been unprecedented from a political perspective in many ways. President Joe Biden stepped into office facing huge obstacles related to the COVID-19 pandemic, an economy battered by the pandemic, a crumbling national infrastructure in dire need of repair, an ongoing immigration crisis at our southern border, and deep political and social divisions in this country, among other challenges. As Biden entered office, he named the following issues as his top priorities: Getting past the COVID-19 pandemic through masking, vaccinations, and opening schools Addressing climate change and alternative energy solutions Financial regulation and student debt Anticompetition practices among the leading companies in Big Tech Revitalizing the economy and employment to recover from the pandemic Improving international relations Immigration Race, gender, and social issues With these issues at the top of Biden’s priority list, it may appear that no real changes are coming down

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Powers of Appointment: A Handy Tool in Your Client’s Toolbox

Posted by Robert L. Arone An often misunderstood but prevalent estate planning tool that often appears in estate planning documents is the power of appointment. Not to be confused with a power of attorney (the document that allows a living person to delegate certain powers to an agent to act on their behalf), a power of appointment can be an incredibly useful tool if used properly and knowledgeably. A well-considered power of appointment allows a client to maintain significant flexibility in their estate plan now and in the future, even when that estate plan is otherwise considered irrevocable under the law. Though hundreds of pages of books, scholarly articles, court decisions, and tax regulations have been written on the topic of powers of appointment, this newsletter can help you counsel your clients intelligently and confidently on the topic. It can also help you recognize and identify the existence of powers

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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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