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Choosing a Guardian and Trustee for Minor Child

Posted on: August 13th, 2018
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How often do you need to update your estate plan? As often as your Resume?

Posted on: July 15th, 2016
A resume is a 'snapshot' of your experience, skill set, and education which provides prospective employers insight into who you are and how you will perform. Imagine not updating that resume for 5, 10, or even 15 years. Would it accurately reflect who you are? Would it do what you want it to do? Likely not. Estate plans are similar in that they need to be updated on a regular basis to reflect changes in your life - and to do what you want them to do. ...

The importance of funding your revocable living trust - the Michael Jackson Issue

Posted on: May 14th, 2016
While Jackson created a trust to care for his children and other family and friends, he never actually funded it. The result? Embarrassing and seemingly endless probate court battles between family members, the executors, and the IRS....

2016 Estate Planning Update -- Trust Wills and Tax

Posted on: December 15th, 2015
The Internal Revenue Service has released the official inflation adjustments that will affect 2016 federal reporting for estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping transfer taxes, and estate and trust income taxes. These changes will affect the way your accountant and your attorney help you plan as 2015 comes to an end....

Current Estate Planning Framework

Posted on: September 25th, 2015
state planning has truly evolved over the past 20 years. In fact, today's estate planning is more complicated than ever before....

3 Common Myths and Misconceptions about Estate Plans

Posted on: June 30th, 2015
Like any other complex subject, estate planning has its share of myths and misconceptions. Understanding the top three estate planning myths will help you to create and maintain a plan that will work the way you expect it to work when it's needed. Estate Planning Myth #1 - You Don't Need an Estate Plan Because Your Spouse Will Inherit Everything Estate Planning Myth #2 - You Don't Need an Estate Plan Because Your Family Knows Your Final Wishes Estate Planning Myth #3 - Once You've Created Your Estate Plan, It's Done ...

Three Estate Planning Mistakes Farmers and Ranchers Make

Posted on: May 26th, 2015
Farming or ranching is more than a means of livelihood - it is about preserving a legacy and unique way of life. Unfortunately, many farmers and ranchers fail to make an estate plan. The farm or ranch that has been passed down for generations then ends up being sold and converted into non-agricultural use, cutting the legacy short and ending the family's unique lifestyle choice....

Is a Revocable Living Trust right for you?

Posted on: April 28th, 2015
Revocable Living Trusts instead of Wills have become the basic building block of estate plans for people of all ages, personal backgrounds, and financial situations. But for some, a Revocable Living Trust may not be necessary to achieve their estate planning goals or may even be detrimental to achieving those goals....

Some Issues to Consider when Naming a Successor Trustee

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015
Today many estate plans contain irrevocable trusts that will continue for the benefit of a surviving spouse's lifetime and then for the benefit of the next generation. Since these trusts are designed to span multiple decades, it is crucial to choose the right succession of trustees....

Should Updating Your Estate Plan Be a 2015 New Year's Resolution?

Posted on: December 29th, 2014
With 2015 right around the corner, it's time to start thinking about your new year's resolutions. It doesn't matter whether you have an estate plan or don't, one important item to add to your list is getting an estate plan checkup. Don't Have an Estate Plan? If you don't already have an estate plan, then getting one in place should be at the top of your 2015 new year's resolutions. If you do have an estate plan, then reviewing said plan might need to be at the top of your 2015 new year's resolutions. ...

Periodically Review Beneficiary Designations

Posted on: November 24th, 2014
It is critically important to review your beneficiary designations as your life changes because your beneficiary designations may overrule or conflict with the plan you have established in your will or trust. ...

Estate Planning: Do you have an AB Trust Plan?

Posted on: October 15th, 2014
If you're married and you haven't had your estate plan reviewed since before January 2, 2013, by an experienced estate planning lawyer, then pull your documents out of the drawer, dust them off, and take a closer look at their trust provisions. Do they contain terms such as 'Marital Trust,' 'QTIP Trust,' 'Spousal Trust,' 'A Trust,' 'Family Trust,' 'Credit Shelter Trust,' or 'B Trust'?...

Why probate takes so long.

Posted on: August 7th, 2014
Probate can be easily avoided, but most estates are dragged through the process. Why? Many people fail to create an estate plan, so probate is required. And - others plan with just a Will, so probate is required. In Montana, the probate process is fairly streamlined, and should not necessarily be avoided. However, the process does take time and can drag on for months - or even years. Here are some of the most common reasons why probate takes so long:...

Estate Administration - Probate and Trust Administration

Posted on: March 19th, 2014
If estate planning is the process of designing a playbook, estate administration occurs when the playbook is put into action. The process begins with an event that triggers a provision in your estate plan, such as incapacity or death. The plan becomes 'executory', meaning that the individuals you designated in your plan documents must step into action and execute according to your instructions. This estate administration is often in the form of a trust administration of a trust or probate of a will. ...

Family Estate Planning Meeting

Posted on: December 30th, 2013
You've made the hard decisions, your documents are signed, your trust is funded, a business succession plan is in place. Congratulations, you've finished your estate planning. But have you, really? Have you explained your planning to your family?...

Estate Planning for Unmarried Partners

Posted on: July 1st, 2013
Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners--opposite sex or same sex--it is critical. This article will address some issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning. ...

Estate Planning -- The Most Important Love Letters You'll Ever Write?

Posted on: June 20th, 2013
Many Americans have the misperception that estate planning is simply preparing for one's death and is only necessary for the affluent. To the contrary, estate planning is as much about passing values to loved ones as it is about passing material possessions....

The Value of Having a “Plan” in Estate Planning

Posted on: June 6th, 2013
All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction....

Which is Better for Me a Will or a Trust

Posted on: April 23rd, 2013
Some factors to consider when choosing between a will and a trust. ...

Which is Better -- Trust or Will

Posted on: April 17th, 2013
Which is better Trust or Wills...