End of Life Planning

Planning for Incapacity and Minimizing Allegations of Undue Influence

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If you have an aging loved one who is beginning to show signs of cognitive impairment, National Alzheimer’s Awareness Month is the perfect time to explore whether his/her estate planning documents are in order.

Each year at this time we like to remind our “more senior clients” and their family members how critical it is to ensure that one’s legal documents are up to date prior to the onset of cognitive decline.

Executing estate planning documents while one has full legal capacity ...

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The Holiday Turkey Is in the… Dishwasher? Top 10 Warning Signs Your Elders May Need Help

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Elderly parents often try to disguise cognitive decline. The Thanksgiving holiday provides an opportunity for families to spot signs of incapacity in aging parents.

Publix has the greatest holiday television commercials, doesn’t it?  They evoke love, warmth, family and wonderful meals. You can’t wait to visit home.

This year, get a feel for how your elderly loved ones really are doing.  They may be disguising fading capacity behind a cheerful façade.  You might not be privy to the results of Mom’s latest ...

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National Healthcare Decisions Day – A Platform to Have the Conversation

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Founded in 2008, National HealthCare Decisions Day (NHDD) is the day set aside to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers about the importance of advance healthcare decision-making.

Did you know that tomorrow is April 16th — National Healthcare Decisions Day?  Those of us who offer legal counsel, advisory services, or healthcare related services are particularly mindful of the day’s significance.  Founded in 2008, National HealthCare Decisions Day (NHDD) is the day set aside to inspire, educate and empower the public and providers ...

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Thanksgiving Holiday Provides Opportunity for Family Members to Spot Signs of Incapacity in Aging Parents

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Spotting signs of incapacity and early detection of cognitive decline enables professional advisors to more effectively address financial, legal and care-giving concerns.

More than 40 million Americans are expected to take to the roadways, railways and airways as they head home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Thanksgiving – one of the few occasions when multiple generations gather under one roof – is an opportune time for adult children to observe signs of incapacity or cognitive decline in aging loved ones.

My advice to ...

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Avoiding Probate Problems

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“Will my estate need to go through probate?” This is a question that we often hear in our office. Many people have had a bad experience with probate and worry about how their own heirs will be treated when their own estate is eventually probated. While probate administration typically takes a little longer and can be a bit more expensive than trust administration, it is not a terrible thing. Creditors get paid, heirs still receive their gifts, and property passes ...

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Seek an Attorney for Probate Planning

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Every attorney knows that he/she isn’t the most popular of professionals. Do you know of anyone who goes to see their attorney to say hello? No, attorneys are usually consulted in a moment of need and often only after all options have been exhausted.

By the same token, most people don’t relish the idea of going to court. Court processes are exhausting and slow (including probate court). Therefore, many people seek to avoid probate, especially in regard to their homestead.

I recently ...

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Fighting Over an Estate After a Death

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You probably own some items of real or sentimental value (jewelry, antiques, art, heirlooms, furniture, clothing, etc.) that you want a certain child, grandchild, special friend, relative, or organization to have after you die.

Or perhaps you simply want to provide an orderly way for your belongings to be divided among your heirs after you’re gone. We’ve all heard stories about fighting over Grandma’s piano or fine china. The damage is sometimes so deep that siblings don’t speak to each other ...

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Your Child and Their Inheritance: How to Share the Financials

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Most children are left in the dark regarding detailed information about their parents’ financials. Well-off parents may not want to tell their children for fear of them becoming dependent. Parents who struggle financially may not tell their children as a means to keep them from worrying. Both approaches are understandable, but in failing to speak to children about the family wealth, children may be unprepared for what will happen after their parents are gone.

As a group, baby boomers are heartened ...

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Poor Man’s Probate is Usually Poorly Planned

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People often ask what seems to be the usual recurring question, “Do I really need a will?” After I ask a few questions about their circumstances, I usually discover that they have already done something about their estate plan. Unfortunately, this generally means that a non-attorney gave them legal advice and misleading direction. They’ve engaged in a course of action in which some call a “Poor Man’s Probate”. The results, which they will probably never witness, are usually tragic and ...

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