Articles Tagged with Madison Estate Planning Attorney

investment-3247252_640-300x200“Most Americans enter retirement age with access to Social Security benefits. Many people also have Individual Retirement Accounts, including those that were funded by transferring money from workplace 401(k) plans.”

One trick to a successful retirement is to make your Social Security benefits coordinate optimally with your Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs), says AZ Central in the article “Retirement planning: Connecting the dots between Social Security and IRAs.”

Not everyone takes a step back to think this way.  However, it is a smart thing to do. With proper planning, your retirement could lead to better results for your investments and a better decision on when to take Social Security benefits. Continue reading

accounting-calulator-paper-tape-1241883-640x480-300x225The Queen of Soul did not have an estate plan, a will or a trust when she died from pancreatic cancer recently, according to news reports. That’s especially surprising, said Investment News in the article “Aretha Franklin estate echoes planning problems of Prince,” since her estate has already been valued at as much as $80 million.

Franklin was not married, so the estate will pass to her four children. It’s similar to the situation that occurred when Prince died unmarried and without a will in 2016.

Had she been married her estate would have passed tax-free to a spouse and there would have been planning opportunities available at that time. Continue reading

pexels-photo-1128317-300x251No one likes to consider the prospect of tragedy striking, especially when children are young, but according to this article in the Lodi News Sentinel, “Planning for what comes last,” estate planning is especially important for families just starting out. When the children grow up, estate planning is important to protect the children, making their lives easier, when the time comes to pass assets along.

Think of an estate plan as a gift for the next generation, as is making funeral plans in advance. You can’t assume that your adult children will know what you want for your funeral and you don’t want them to have to make decisions during a time of great sadness. Continue reading

hands-walking-stick-elderly-old-person-300x200When you don’t have kids or close family members, making decisions about an assisted living facility can be lonely and daunting, often leading people to delay planning. For many people, says Financial Planning in a recent article “Planning challenge: aging clients, no kids, assisted living required,” just the thought of moving into an assisted living facility, means they are entering a dark tunnel or, as some say, heading into God’s waiting room.

The challenge is often the same for people whose adult children live far away or those who are not involved with their family. In coming decades, more Americans will find themselves in a similar situation, according to a 2013 study by AARP’s Public Policy Institute. Continue reading

dependent-dementia-woman-old-70578-300x225A Jamaica man was charged with tricking his 101-year-old neighbor into handing over the deed to his house last week. A trio of Maspeth thieves pleaded guilty to posing as grandchildren and even recruiting kids to rob senior citizens’ homes in July. In Flushing, a man allegedly begged an elderly victim to wire him $41,000 to post non-existent bail in the Dominican Republic. These are just three out of many elder abuse cases that have made their way to the Queens (New York) County Criminal Court in recent weeks, reports the Queens Daily Eagle in its article “Nuanced Directives, Power of Attorney Can Stem Elder Abuse.” These cases of elder abuse, fraud, and predation are reflective of a far larger problem. Continue reading

pexels-photo-534204-300x166Eight attorneys representing individuals and organizations connected to the late artist Robert Indiana, creator of the iconic “LOVE” sculpture, are asking that future hearings be held in closed sessions to protect people’s privacy and the value of some of his works of art, reports Press Herald in a recent article titled “Attorneys want hearings on the value of Robert Indiana’s estate held behind closed doors.”

Atty. James Brannan, who represents Indiana’s estate, is requesting information in a testimonial hearing to better determine the estate’s value. Continue reading

pexels-photo-300x205Retirement planning is not easy for couples or individuals, or the people who counsel them, according to a recent article in Wicked Local (Topsfield) titled “Your Financial Views: How your retirement can be the ‘golden years’.”

A conference on planning discussed a Harvard Business Review study called “The Crisis in Retirement Planning” that challenged how consumers and the financial industry look at retirement. The author said that the process is broken, which is why many families are not enjoying their “golden years.” The article presents five key risks and some solutions. Continue reading

pexels-photo-1305302-300x200A research assistant tested and placed sensors in the studio apartment of a 75-year-old Portland, OR resident one June morning. The man was basically allowing his house to be reconfigured, reported The Wall Street Journal in the article “A Tech Test to Keep Seniors in Their Homes Longer.”  The man was taking part in a large national study called CART–Collaborative Aging (In Place) Research Using Technology Initiative.

The study will allow researchers to monitor his daily activities by using sensors and other technology placed throughout his home. Continue reading

pexels-photo-326576-300x175Finding an estate planning attorney who can help you create an estate plan that works for your family, is an important first step in creating an estate plan. You’ll want someone you are comfortable with, who is respected by other professionals and will be able to help your loved ones during emotional times. An article from The Balance, “Tips for Finding an Estate Planning Attorney,” offers some useful pointers.

Ask your accountant. Many estate planning attorneys work closely with accountants to address tax issues. Your accountant should know a few estate planning attorneys that they work on a regular basis. They are likely to need to coordinate some issues, so a good working relationship between the two is a plus.

Ask another attorney. If you have retained attorneys in setting up a business, buying a home or reviewing a contract, ask that attorney who they use for estate planning. You should also ask about client referrals. Attorneys in other practice areas recognize that their knowledge about business law or real estate law, does not give them the same training and skill set of an estate planning attorney. Continue reading

pexels-photo-1193603-300x200Ensuring that your property is appropriately managed and disbursed upon your incapacity or death, is no longer limited to physical or financial property. Your estate plan now needs to include digital assets, the online accounts that are in your name, says the Journal of Financial Planning in the article “Don’t Forget Digital Assets in Estate Planning.”

If your will or trust hasn’t been updated in the past few years, chances are good it has no provision for your digital assets. This could create a larger problem than you’d think. Bank accounts, investment accounts and small business records stored in the cloud may not be accessible to heirs. That doesn’t even include sentimental items: treasured photos and videos that never made it to paper or your computer’s hard drive. Continue reading