Estate Planning

Estate Planning for Expecting Parents

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If the stork is on his way, add estate planning to your list of things to do as expectant parents. It may not be as fun as picking out nursery colors or planning the baby shower, but it’s much more important!

Estate and financial plans updated for a little one on the way will include:

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Talk to your child now about his future, potential, inheritance.

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What happens when a young adult inherits a sum of money, but money was not a topic of discussion in her family? If her parents are gone, whom will she talk to about her inheritance? Will she have a vision for her wealth? Will she know how to manage it, or where to look or to whom to turn for help? Or, will she blow through it without thought?

Silence about money is the norm for many of my solid middle-class clients. They were not ...

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Steps for the Personal Representative

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It can be overwhelming when a loved one passes away. The following steps are written as a guide for the next of kin or personal representative of the decedent. Although they are ordered, many of these tasks can be undertaken at the same time. For example, the first steps in administrative tasks can be taken the same day as the first steps in funeral arrangements.

Immediate tasks

  1. Lock the decedent’s real estate premises to keep contents secure.
  2. Prepare a team to help you ...
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It’s National Data Privacy Day. Take a moment to think about your private data after you “get on the bus”

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The kerfuffle about Facebook using and sharing our data is one reason why we have a national – and international – Data Privacy Day. Last year on Data Privacy Day, LinkedIn live-streamed a ‘bootcamp’, and leading social media gurus and Silicon Valley players discussed how they support data privacy – even though it seems they continue to find new and exciting ways to sell our information. Privacy safeguards seem to arise after digital and social innovations, so it may surprise ...

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The Neighbor is Herding Your Cats

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What happens without a will or trust for your pets, or plans for them?

I was on vacation a little while ago when I received a call from Orange County Animal Services, notifying me that I had come into possession of four cats. I like cats. But I’m allergic to them. And after that thought, my next thought was, is this a new thing that shelters are trying out, their own version of Publisher’s Clearing House awards? How am I so ...

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A Will or Trust? It’s Not About the Size of Your Estate

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When I use the word “trust” in a consultation, people often quickly tell me that they don’t have enough money or assets to require a trust. This is a common misconception, that a trust requires a vast estate. Perhaps we owe that to the word “trust” conjuring up visions of large philanthropic organizations that operate exclusively out of a trust, or “trust fund babies.”

In fact, a trust can often cost much less in administrative fees, on the back end, to ...

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Financial Education Resources for National Financial Awareness Day

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Financial Education Resources for National Financial Awareness Day
Posted on: August 14, 2018
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq., CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

One of my passions is financial education. As a CPA and estate planning attorney, I believe financial education is one of the most important parts of education. It literally can change your life.

A Chinese proverb pertains to financial planning. “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” No matter where ...

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Effect of Divorce on Your Will, Trust, and Beneficiary Forms

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Posted on: June 19, 2018
By Hallie L. Zobel, Esq.
Effect of Divorce on Estate Planning Documents (Adopted from a 2018 presentation to the National Association of Divorce Professionals)

Are you going through a divorce, or have gone through one recently?

If you’ve ever had the passing thought that your ex-spouse is still named in your will or trust, and cringed, thinking that you have to get that changed before you accidentally hand over your accounts to someone whom you don’t even ...

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Vietnam Veterans: You and your spouse may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits

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Vietnam Veterans: You and your spouse may be eligible for VA Aid and Attendance Benefits
Posted on: April 5, 2018
By Mary Merrell Bailey, Esq., CPA MBA MSTax MSAccounting

The 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War will be commemorated in Orlando, Florida on April 5, 2018.

My husband is a Vietnam veteran. As we remember his service and thank him and other veterans for their sacrifices, I want to highlight a relatively unknown Veteran’s Administration benefit ...

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