Gifting

I often have older clients come in and ask if they can give assets to their loved ones. These clients often are concerned about the Medicaid and tax ramifications of these potential gifts. If the clients are in relatively good health, it is perfectly acceptable to make large gifts; however,
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Mediation Can Help

Have your feelings of contentment disappeared along with the Valentine’s Day candy and flowers?  Is there a nagging dispute with a family member (or ex-family member) that you need to resolve?  Our mediation services may be right for you.  Mediation isn’t just for divorce.  It can be helpful in solving
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Happy Valentine’s Day

Flowers? Chocolates? Nah… How about documents? Now, hear me out. By providing your spouse with the appropriate estate planning documents, really what you are doing is providing peace of mind. Doesn’t every spouse want peace of mind? Get your power-of-attorney documents organized and your will or trust updated or drafted
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The Guardianship Process

Often we have clients contact our office when one of their parents, siblings, adult children or even a spouse has had an unfortunate turn of events and cannot make financial or healthcare decisions for themselves, and do not have any advance planning documents in place. We assure them not to
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Blended Families

In last week’s column, Attorney Pruitt discussed the possible financial disasters that can result from lack of planning with a second marriage. But financial issues aren’t the only types of problems that can arise when your situation involves a stepparent or blended family. When a new person is added to
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Potential Second Marriage Disaster

You need to clean up your documents after your second marriage begins. This could include removing the prior spouse from beneficiary lines on homes, bank accounts, and life insurance. If your home is in your name only and you are re-married with children from a prior marriage, then potential disaster
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Changes to your Retirement Accounts?

Before the end of last year, a new law, called the SECURE ACT, was enacted by Congress and signed into law by President Trump that substantially changed the rules regarding your retirement accounts. First, the Act changed the age year from which you must take your first required minimum distribution
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What are my Divorce Options?

When considering filing for divorce, you should be aware of the options for representation.  A traditional divorce involves an attorney representing each party. The attorneys negotiate and hammer out a potential settlement.  In some cases, only one party has an attorney and the other party is “pro se”.  One attorney
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Happy New Year!!

If you are one of the estimated 60% of Americans that lack the proper estate planning, you should schedule a meeting with your lawyer in the new year. All competent adults over the age of eighteen should at least have power of attorney documents, and give serious consideration to having
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The Holiday Season: Bliss or Stress?

The holiday season should be a time of joy and happiness.  Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or the Winter Solstice, we wish you all the best of the holiday season.  But let’s face it, our regular day-to-day cares and worries do not disappear for two weeks at the
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Before You Travel…

Many of my clients travel as a source of enjoyment. Before venturing too far from home, however, it is important to have all of your documents completed and updated. Of utmost importance to travelers is the Health Care Power of Attorney and the General and Durable Power of Attorney. If
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The Non-Probate Transfer of Assets

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the non-probate transfer of real property, and how important of a tool the Transfer on Death Deed has become for estate planners such as myself for clients who would like to avoid probate. What about avoiding probate for assets that are not the
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