Add estate planning flexibility with a power of appointment

The best laid plans can go awry. After your death, events may transpire that you hadn’t anticipated or couldn’t have reasonably foreseen. There’s no way of predicting the future, but you may want to supplement your existing estate plan with a trust provision that gives a designated beneficiary a “power of appointment” over some or […]

A living will can help ensure your last medical wishes are carried out

According to a University of Pennsylvania report, approximately 37% of Americans have “advance directives,” which include living wills and power-of-attorney designations. These documents specify what should occur and who should make medical decisions should someone become seriously ill and unable to make these decisions for him- or herself. If you belong to the other 63% […]

Addressing adopted children or stepchildren in your estate plan

Families that have children who are adopted, or stepchildren who haven’t been legally adopted, may face unique estate planning challenges. Additional consideration must be taken when a family includes an unmarried couple in a long-term relationship and one person has biological or adopted children. If your family’s makeup is as such, it’s important to understand […]

Are you and your spouse considering “splitting” gifts?

Gift splitting can be a valuable estate planning tool, allowing you and your spouse to maximize the amount of wealth you can transfer tax-free. But in some cases, it can have undesirable consequences, so be sure that you understand the implications before making an election to split gifts. Gifts of separate property Gift splitting is […]

Opening up to SLAT opportunities

Estate tax planning can become complicated when multiple parties are involved. For example, you may be concerned about providing assets to a surviving spouse of a second marriage, while also providing for your children from your first marriage. Of course, you also want to take advantage of favorable estate tax provisions in the law. Fortunately, […]

Clarity counts when it comes to estate planning documents

Precise language is critical in wills, trusts and other estate planning documents. A lack of clarity may be an invitation to litigation. An example of this is the dispute that arose after Tom Petty’s death, between his widow and his two daughters from a previous marriage. (The two parties have since resolved their differences and […]