How to Minimize the (Voluntary) Federal Estate Tax with Portability

Surprising to most people, the federal estate tax is a voluntary tax. Estate planning attorneys used to say, “You only pay if you don’t plan.” Now, portability of the federal estate tax exclusion provides both an alternative and a back up plan to lifetime tax...

Estate Planning Strategies to Protect Your Spouse

You have searched for and found the love of your life, maybe your first love, or maybe after a previous marriage. As you have built your life together, you have probably weathered your fair share of storms and grown stronger because of them. To prepare for the future...

American Heart Month: Who Should Be My Medical Agent?

February has been celebrated as American Heart Month since 1963 in an effort to urge Americans to join the fight against heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for both men and women. It is also a great opportunity to consider who is the best person to act...

Common Mistakes with DIY Estate Plans

The internet offers all the information and tools we need at our fingertips to create our own estate plan, right? For most people, this is simply not true. Several years ago, Consumer Reports®, an independent nonprofit consumer watchdog group, created wills using the...

How to Own Your Real Estate

Real estate is more than just your primary residence. It can include other real estate such as a vacation home or a rental property. Depending upon the type of real estate you own, the ideal form of ownership can vary. Below, we take a look at the different types of...

Estate Planning is Like Building a Snowman

Estate Planning is Like Building a Snowman A complete estate plan must include certain essential parts. In fact, it is similar to building a snowman in some respects. The traditional snowman has several critical components: bottom, middle, and top snowballs, as well...

New Year, New Estate Plan

Welcome to 2020! A new year is a time for optimism and new opportunities. It is a time to start fresh and make sure you are headed in the right direction. But making New Year’s resolutions is not enough: Take action now to ensure that you and your family or loved ones...

The SECURE Act: How Does It Affect Your Retirement Accounts?

The SECURE Act: How Does It Affect Your Retirement Accounts? On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act), which became effective on January 1, 2020. The Act is the most impactful legislation...

Preparing For Back-To-School: More Than Just The School Supplies

It is almost time to start thinking about what your children will need for school. It is also the perfect time to make sure that your children are protected – and that they will have the funds they need for the education you want them to have. Name That Guardian...