Wealth Counselor

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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Getting Your Clients Ready for 2021

Posted by Robert L. Arone This year is quickly coming to a close. For many of us, December 31 cannot come soon enough, as 2020 has been anything but a walk in the park. The first quarter of 2020 brought a worldwide pandemic. Not only did this raise concerns about everyone’s health and safety, but it also fundamentally changed the way we all live. Many people found themselves either working from home or out of work. Additionally, the pandemic created market volatility that impacted many people’s investment and retirement accounts. Along with the pandemic, many areas of the country experienced severe natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and fires, leaving many without homes. Lastly, the 2020 presidential election proved to be just as unprecedented, with many states taking days after the election to count all of the votes. While there is reason to be optimistic that 2021 will bring a

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Election Update: Planning under the Biden Administration

Posted by Robert L. Arone After several days of counting ballots, Joe Biden has been declared the winner of the 2020 Presidential election by many major news outlets. Although we await the official certification of the election by each state, an official concession by President Trump, and the outcome of several pending lawsuits–which could take us into December or even January–the 2020 election and its aftermath promise significant changes in how our clients will be taxed. While it is unlikely that every proposal discussed during President-Elect Biden’s campaign will become the law of the land, we can still glean essential details from all the campaign rhetoric to help us prepare to weather these possible changes. Proposed Policy Adjustments under a Biden Presidency Here is what we know so far about some of President-Elect Biden’s key proposals that are most relevant to our clients’ estate planning: Estate, Gift, and Generation-Skipping Transfer

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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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