Things You Should Never Put in Your Will

A will is a vital estate planning document, and allows you to distribute your assets and property according to your wishes. However, there are several items that should NOT be included in a will: Property held in a living trust or joint tenancy - property deeded to a living trust cannot be willed to someone else, and a will cannot change the right of survivorship in joint tenancy, which passes to the joint tenant by Read More

Estate Planning for the Blended Family

Balancing the needs of a multi-generational blended family with your own wishes can be a complicated task, especially when it comes to estate planning.  With a majority of Americans not only marrying once, but twice, three or even four times during their lives, it is a challenge that will come to many. Even when blended family members get along, estate planning can be complicated. The potential for acrimony among Read More

More About Your Estate Plan

The revocable living trust is the basic building block of most estate plans. It’s the tool that allows your estate to avoid the expense, delay, and uncertainty of probate court, and it is the tool that can hold just about any of your assets. While revocable living trusts are ubiquitous in the world of estate planning, it seems that many people are still confused about them, so we are going to clear up a few commonly Read More

Not The End, But A New Beginning

In the next two months, those words will ring out in high school graduation ceremonies all across the country. And if you have a high school senior in your home, then chances are that things are about to change dramatically, both for you and your high school senior. There are a few things that you need to take care of before sending your senior off to college. In essence, you need to really prepare your student for Read More

What If?

Most people start the process of estate planning to deal with “What If”. What If you died and your children were still too young to care for themselves? What If you were no longer physically able to care for yourself? What If you had very specific instructions for how your property should be passed on? Every person on the planet has an individual list of things they worry about.   And those worries are often what Read More

The Family Business Succession Plan – An Important Piece of the Estate Planning Puzzle

Do you own a family business? If so, you have plenty of company. More than 90% of U.S. businesses are family businesses. Out of the Fortune 500, 150 are family businesses. Now, would you like to hear some really startling statistics? Only 30% of family businesses will survive into the family’s second generation, 12% to the third generation and only 4% last to the fourth generation. Scary statistics, aren’t Read More

Saving Your Heirs From Themselves

You’ve worked hard for your money... You’ve made some good investments and lived well within your means... You want to leave as much as possible to your heirs but... That grandson has a serious snowboarding addiction... Or maybe your daughter is just crazy about her new husband and the guy hasn’t had a steady job since he mowed yards in eighth grade... You don’t want to disinherit them but how do you save them Read More

Interviewing Your Financial Planner

It’s a new year - time to get the financial house in order. But with all the bad news about crooked investment counselors and dishonest financial planners, you may be more than a little hesitant to trust someone with your life savings. If you want to hire a professional to handle your portfolio, you need to do what folks in the legal trade call “due diligence”. You need to do your homework and interview the Read More

What Business Owners Need To Know About The New Tax Law

After much twisting of arms and gnashing of teeth, Congress took action on the tax issue… On December 16, 2010, the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 was passed. As with any legislation there are hundreds of pages and thousands of words but, in a nutshell, this is how the legislation will affect you and your business: Tax Rates The current tax rates of 10, 25, 28, 33 Read More

The Straight Scoop on the New Tax Law and Your Estate Plan

Tax laws are confusing on a good day… What you can deduct… What you have to claim… And with all the recent changes to the laws, it’s almost impossible to know if you’re doing the right thing. We’re hoping this will help. Here’s the straight scoop on how the new federal tax law affects your estate plan (Important Note: these are changes to the federal tax laws – Massachusetts tax laws, including the Massachusetts Read More