What is a Beneficiary Designation?

There is a critical part of estate planning that is not part of the essential legal readiness documents such as Wills, Trusts, and Powers of Attorney. Having accurate and up to date beneficiary designations on certain financial accounts, life insurance policies, and life insurance policies can avoid unintended consequences when someone dies. Many people don’t […]

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Why Wednesdays Scare Me

Okay, I’ll admit it. Wednesdays scare me a bit, not because it’s Wednesday and not because it’s “Hump Day.” I have nothing against Wednesday the day. When I was growing up in New York, on TV commercials Wednesdays were called “Prince Spaghetti Day.” Not in my house, but it was a thing, I guess. It’s […]

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Firearms and Estate Planning

When we talk about estate planning, we often discuss the idea of passing our tangible personal property (also known as our “stuff,” or in the minds of many clients, their “treasures!”) to others when we pass away. One thing that we do not often talk about, but is certainly relevant to address in a plan, […]

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Expecting the Unexpected

“Your heart attack will be tomorrow.” Some of you may have seen the TV commercial where a man is handed a note telling him that he was scheduled for a heart attack the following day. While clearly a fictional event, if you were given a day’s notice of an impending heart attack, stroke, or serious […]

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Benefits of Trusts for Average Folks

During a recent client meeting I was discussing the relative merits of a Trust-based plan over a Will-based plan given the circumstances of these particular clients. The clients said something which I have heard a lot over the years in various versions—“we are not wealthy people like Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, we don’t need […]

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“Stuff,” Money, and Music

I think it is safe to say that for anyone who has spent time cleaning out someone’s house after a life changing event the words “I wish [Mom and Dad/Grandma/Aunt Mildred, etc.] had more stuff!” have never been uttered. I know those were not the exact words I have used during the clean-out process for […]

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How His, Hers, and Ours Accounts Can Really Cost You!

Many married couples make the decision to keep a bank or brokerage account in their own name without the other spouse having any access or visibility into the use of those accounts. Some folks call these “fun money” or “mad money” accounts and they are perfectly okay for married couples to have for purposes of […]

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