When peace of mind matters most
PLANNING FOR A BRIGHT FUTURE
Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Dies Without A Will—Part 2 Last week in part one of this series (Part One) we discussed how Tony Hsieh became an Internet pioneer, starting two wildly successful companies, LinkExchange and Zappos, the latter of which he sold to Amazon for $1.2 billion. It was as CEO of the online shoe brand Zappos where Hsieh developed his vision for life and business: delivering happiness. A Double Life Hsieh outlined this mission in the 2010 book, Delivering Happiness: A Path To Profits, Passion and Purpose, which became a New York Times number-one bestseller. Yet while the
Former Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh Dies Without A Will—Part 1 On November 27th, nine days after being pulled unconscious from a house fire in a beachfront home in New London, Connecticut, Tony Hsieh, the former CEO of the online shoe retailer Zappos, died due to complications of smoke inhalation. Hsieh, who was single and had no children, was just 46. Although the cause of the fire is still under investigation, law enforcement ruled his death accidental. At the time of his death, Hsieh was worth an estimated $840 million, but in spite of his immense wealth, it seems he did
Questions to Consider Before Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer – Part 2 Last week we looked at two questions to ask before hiring an estate planning lawyer. Choosing a lawyer can be empowering if done right. Discussing these sensitive topics does not have to be morbid or intimidating. Here are three more questions to ask before hiring an estate planning lawyer. How will you proactively communicate with me on an ongoing basis? The sad truth is lawyers don’t always do a good job of staying in regular communication with their clients. Often, they don’t have their business systems set up
Questions to Consider Before Hiring an Estate Planning Lawyer – Part 1 You may think that hiring an estate planning lawyer may be intimidating or morbid because you will be topics like death and incapacity and other dire scenarios. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Instead, it can be the most empowering decision you ever make for yourself and your loved ones. The key to transforming the experience of hiring a lawyer from one that you dread into one that empowers you is to educate yourself first. This is the person who is going to be there for
Remarrying In Midlife? Avoid Accidently Disinheriting Your Loved Ones Today, roughly one in four divorces involve those over 50, and divorce rates for this demographic have doubled in the past 30 years, according to the study Gray Divorce Revolution. For those over age 65, divorce rates have tripled. Indeed, the trend of couples getting divorced after age 50 has grown so common, it’s even garnered its own nickname: “gray divorce.” With divorce coming later in life, the financial fallout can be quite devastating. Indeed, Bloomberg.com found that the standard of living for women who divorce after age 50 drops by
6 Things You Should NOT Include In Your Will A will is one of the most basic estate planning tools. While relying solely on a will is rarely a suitable option for most people, just about every estate plan includes this key document in one form or another. A will is used to designate how you want your assets distributed to your surviving loved ones upon your death. If you die without a will, state law governs how your assets are distributed, which may or may not be in line with your wishes. That said, not all assets can (or
Getting Divorced? Don’t Overlook These 4 Updates to Your Estate Plan—Part 2 Going through divorce can be an overwhelming experience that impacts nearly every facet of your life, including estate planning. Yet, with so much to deal with during the divorce process, many people forget to update their plan or put it off until it’s too late. Failing to update your plan before, during, and after your divorce can have a number of potentially tragic consequences, some of which you’ve likely not considered. If you are in the midst of a divorce, and your divorce lawyer has not brought up
Getting Divorced? Don’t Overlook These 4 Updates to Your Estate Plan—Part 1 Going through divorce can be an overwhelming experience that impacts nearly every facet of your life, including estate planning. Yet, with so much to deal with during the divorce process, many people forget to update their plan or put it off until it’s too late. Failing to update your plan for divorce can have a number of potentially tragic consequences, some of which you’ve likely not considered. If you are in the midst of a divorce, there are several things you need to consider. First off, you need
Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Without A Will – Part 2 On October 15th, nearly two months after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, filed documents with the Los Angeles probate court seeking to be named administrator of his estate. Earlier this year, Boseman and Ledward were married, and the marriage gives Ledward the right to any assets held in Boseman’s name at his death. Boseman died at age 43 on August 28th following a four-year battle with colon cancer, and based on the court documents, it seems the young actor died
Black Panther Star Chadwick Boseman Dies Without A Will On October 15th, nearly two months after the death of Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman, his wife, Taylor Simone Ledward, filed documents with the Los Angeles probate court seeking to be named administrator of his estate. Earlier this year, Boseman and Ledward were married, and the marriage gives Ledward the right to any assets held in Boseman’s name at his death. Boseman died at age 43 on August 28th following a four-year battle with colon cancer, and based on the court documents, it seems the young actor died without a will.
CORONAVIRUS TAX CUTS. THE SILVER LINING. Is it really time to start thinking about filing your 2020 taxes? 2020 is a particularly important year to start planning. In 2020, we have to consider inflation. The Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act provides individual taxpayers several new tax breaks, most of which will only be available for the 2020 tax year. The sooner you know about the changes, the better your planning. Here are 6 ways your return may differ this year: Waived RMDs. If you’re 72 or older, you are generally required to take a required minimum distribution
ESTATE PLANNING FOR YOUNG ADULTS Why do young adults, as early as 18, need estate planning? And why should it be a priority for you and them? Here’s why: the minute a person turns 18, they become legal adults and you, the parent, no longer have the legal authority to make decisions for them. And you don’t have legal access to their financial accounts. With you no longer in charge, your young adult could become incredibly vulnerable. For example if they encounter an illness that renders them incapacitated, such as COVID-19, having a plan in place could literally save their
FOUND $$$ Rarely does a person work for a single employer for decades until retirement. Most people are likely to changes jobs multiple times during their lifetime. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers have held an average of 12 jobs by the time they reach their 50s. With so many job changes, it is easy to see you might lose track of an old 401(k) or retirement account, especially if you only worked in a position for a short time. In fact, forgetting plans is quite common: it’s estimated that roughly 900,000 workers lose track of their 401(k)
DO YOU NEED A “GO-BAG?” Go-bags originated with the US military which requires personnel to keep one on hand packed with essentials for survival. Over the past few weeks we’ve experienced deadly forest fires in California, Arizona and Colorado. The East and Gulf coasts have suffered hurricanes and tropical storms. The Midwest has endured tornados and floods. And on top of all of that, we are still amid the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s best to prepare for your family’s safety now. Here are some updated items that you may need in your 2020 go-bag. Your updated estate planning and healthcare documents
ARE WE THERE YET? ESTATE PLANNING FOR LGBTQ COUPLES There is a case pending before the US Supreme Court which is on the docket for October 2020. Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. A religious-based adoption agency had contracted with the City of Philadelphia and agreed to abide by its anti-discrimination laws. Regardless, the agency refused to license same-gender couples as foster parents. The City refused to renew their contract and the agency sued the City. The lower courts found that the City’s regulation was not a targeted attack on religion. Currently, 11 states allow state licensed adoption agencies to refuse
Avoid These 4 Mistakes When Naming Life Insurance Beneficiaries You may have life insurance as part of your estate plan. When naming your beneficiaries, there are mistakes you can make that could lead to potentially dire consequences for the very people you’re trying to protect and support. The following four mistakes are among the most common we see clients make when selecting life insurance beneficiaries. If you’ve made any of these errors, contact us right away, so we can amend your policy to ensure its proceeds provide the maximum benefit for those you love most. Failing to name a beneficiary.
COVID-19 Highlights Critical Need for Advance Healthcare Directives—Part 2 In last week’s article, we discussed the vital importance of having updated advance directives in place in light of COVID-19. Here, we’ll look at several additional provisions you should consider adding to your directives to address potential contingencies related to the pandemic. The most crucial planning tools for this purpose are medical power of attorney and a living will, advance healthcare directives that work together to help describe your wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care should you become unable to express your own wishes. While all adults over age 18
COVID-19 Highlights Critical Need for Advance Healthcare Directives—Part 1 As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the country, doctors across the nation are joining lawyers in urging Americans to create the proper estate planning documents, so medical providers can better coordinate their care should they become hospitalized with the virus. The most critical planning tools for this purpose are medical power of attorney and a living will, advance healthcare directives that work together to help describe your wishes for medical treatment and end-of-life care in the event you’re unable to express your own wishes. In light of COVID-19, even those
I love you all the same. Inheritance Planning when unequal distribution may be appropriate. Your inclination is to treat all of your children equally when it comes to an inheritance. Truest Law knows that is not always the best choice for your family. Below are several reasons when you may want to make an unequal distribution: · Children of unequal wealth. If you have a children of varying levels of income, you may choose to leave more to the less financially advantaged child. If you choose this option, be sure to explain your values to them or write a letter
Does Your Trust Save You Taxes? Everyone wants to know. A revocable trust is not a separate entity from you for tax purposes. It is a separate entity for probate purposes meaning that it can take over if you are disabled or you die, without having to go to court. However, until your death it is invisible as far as taxes go. If you have an irrevocable trust, created either in life or when you die (your revocable trust becomes irrevocable), that trust has its own Tax Identification Number. It will pay taxes on any income earned by the trust
Money Talk: When to Talk to Your Kids About Money Do you talk to your kids about money? Or your parents? According to the Spectrem Millionaire Corner, a market research group, only 17% of affluent parents said they would disclose their income or net worth to their kids by the time they turned 18. A nearly equal amount, 18% said they would never disclose these numbers to their kids. 32% of the rich parents surveyed by Spectrem said “it’s none of their business” when asked why they would not talk to their kids about money. The amount of money generated
Should You (or Your Parents) Be in the Stock Market Now? Are you connected with the holdings in your retirement or other accounts? If you inherited accounts, do you follow them for growth and management? I heard this story from a colleague. After her grandmother died, the accounts went directly to her mom without incident due to proper estate planning. Great! No court. No conflict After that, her mom did not look at the accounts for over four years. When they did look, the learned that even though others were experiencing a bull market, the account was losing value to
Who Will Care for Your Children if You Cannot? The pandemic may have made you think about things that you should do, even if you have previously put them off. This brings to mine a story of a colleague. She left her kids with the babysitter to enjoy a night out with her husband. But she couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen to her kids if she and her husband were in an auto accident. What would happen? Even though she’s a lawyer and had nominated guardians for her kids, she still was uncomfortable. Her Will naming the guardians
FUNDING FOR YOUR FURRY FRIENDS How to Create a Pet Trust We love our pets! But the laws treat pets as property, so putting your pet in your Will won’t work! How do you protect your pets when you can no longer care for them? With a Pet Trust. When meeting with your Personal Family Lawyer, discuss your wishes for your pets so that your pet trust will be legally enforceable after you are gone. Here are some items to consider when establishing a pet trust: Before you name a trustee for your pets, discuss your intentions to ensure they
PARENT GUILT MUCH? If you’re a parent, you’re probably feeling guilty right now. You’re now trying to balance your full-time job and your childcare and your child’s (or children) education. That’s three jobs! Even before the virus you were probably feeling guilty because your full-time work obligations get in the way of being there for your kids. Is your guilt compounded by the additional responsibility that was piled onto you by the pandemic? Let’s alleviate that guilt. They don’t always acknowledge it, but your kids see how great you’re doing. They know you’re doing your best. Here are a few
Online Wills? Should You?, Part 2 Are you thinking of doing an online Will? We’ve previously discussed how a poorly drafted will could cause your intended administrator to get a bond and may well land your family in court. Today, let’s consider your family dynamics and how they can be forever impacted by poor drafting. Imagine your family if you did your will and you omitted an important asset, say your family cabin. Could this lead to turmoil as your family tries to figure out what you wanted? The law will make an assignment for you and it may not
Do NOT Trust your Will. Below, we explain the difference between a Trust-based plan and a Will-based plan. This will help you make an educated decision for you and your family and you will know what is best for them. A Will-based plan does not include a Trust. In a Will-based estate plan, your assets will be held in your own name. With Truest Law, our Family Plan, which is a Will-based plan, your documents will include a Health Care Directive, Financial Power of Attorney, a Will and if you have minor children, a Kid’s Protection Plan. A Trust-based plan
Online Wills? Should You? Should you do your estate planning yourself, online? Maybe. Maybe not. If you decide to, you need to know about the pitfalls that could leave your family worse off than doing nothing at all. Online planning is a trap for the unwary. Today, we will deal with one pitfall of online planning. To decide whether online planning is for you, you must understand your family dynamics, your assets and what will happen to them if you do nothing. The state already has a plan for your assets if you die or become incapacitated. It includes taking
The Most Important Financial Decision to Make Right Now Last week we reviewed how crucial it is to have your medical affairs in order, now more than ever. This week I want to consider the implications and importance of financial decisions in these peculiar times. Getting your financial affairs in order is not just for the wealthy. Don’t be too hasty. This is for you too. All of us need to worry about making specific plans for our assets. Do you have a retirement account or 401(k)? Do you have jewelry, artwork, furniture? What about cryptocurrency? What happens with your
One of the Most Important Legal Actions to Take Right Now As you know, the COVID-19 pandemic means nothing is the same. Arizona has implemented a “stay-at-home” order to limit exposure. This means it is time for us to consider longer term precautions. Last week, we relayed a sad situation that emphasized the necessity of proper health care planning. This week, we must continue to emphasize the importance of this action. Earlier we discussed how families may be resistant to talking about important matters. The truth is it may feel pessimistic to plan for the worst during a scary situation.
Lack of Healthcare Directive Leaves Fiancée Without Answers This week I heard a tragic story from a colleague whose client recently lost her fiancé to COVID19. He was hospitalized and the hospital was on lockdown. She could not even enter the hospital. He was alone to fight the disease. Sadly, she wasn’t listed on the legal documents filed with the hospital (the fiancé’s healthcare directive and HIPAA waiver), so once he was taken to the hospital, no one would communicate with her. She called on Thursday last week and was informed that he was no longer in ICU – she
WHY D.I.Y. ESTATE PLANNING DOESN’T ALWAYS WORK Lawyers call it “poor man’s estate planning.” You may think it is easier to put your child on the deed of your house and avoid probate. Yet this poor estate planning often ends up, well, poorly, and costing a lot more for the people you love. Here’s why and what you can do to avoid ending up in the “poor house.” Risk of “Poor man’s Estate Planning.” If you put your child on the deed of your house (or any time there is more than one person on a deed and the parties
STILL FLOATING AROUND After making my checklist for planning and having Traice make hers, we realized we need to help our families get organized – even those resistant to making plans. Please start to discuss with your parents, even if they are resistant. Let your parents know that you are worried that if something happens to them, you will not know what to do unless you get into conversation about it. Notice that I’m not suggesting that you tell your parents (friends, family, clients) what to do or demanding anything from them. Instead, it’s about getting vulnerable with them to
Ready to talk with us about how you can keep your family out of court or out of conflict when something happens to you.
Or, maybe you are the family member or close friend of a loved one, and something has happened and now you need advice. If so, our hearts are with you, and we will do our best to help you keep things as easeful as possible.
There are three options for you to get our support. Choose the one that’s best for you:
- Schedule Free 15-Minute Phone Consultation
- Schedule 2-Hour Family Wealth Planning Session
- Schedule 2-Hours Existing Estate Plan Review