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Today, April 16, 2019, our firm, along with other national, state and community organizations, is taking part in a massive effort to highlight the importance of advance healthcare decision-making — an effort that has culminated in the formal designation of April 16th as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD).  We have been supporting our clients’ healthcare wishes for more than ten years by providing comprehensive estate plans that include the healthcare directives that clients need in a medical emergency. These documents can...

The Law Office of Matthew A. Ferri would like to congratulate Nash on achieving his therapy certification. As a therapy dog Nash will be able to visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools, and other facilities to help people take the time to “paws awhile for love.” We are excited for him to meet our clients and friends. Here he is resting after the test! ...

After we now have passed Chinese New Year, it’s a great time to check in with yourself on how you are doing with your New Year’s resolutions. You would not be alone if you haven’t stuck with them as much as you would have liked to – studies have shown most individuals don’t keep their resolutions for the entire year, and some don’t make it past the beginning of February.  But before you say, “well there’s always next year” you can...

General Motors is currently offering buyouts to 18,000 salaried employees who have 12 or more years of experience. Employee buyout packages can come in the form of a one-time lump sum payment, which without proper planning, can have tax and estate implications. If you decide to take the buyout, there are a few things to consider. Where is the money going to be deposited? If you deposited the money into a bank account and were to pass away without designating beneficiaries, then...

Do you own property as joint tenants? Have you considered the planning pitfalls of this way of owning property? Ownership as joint tenants is so pervasive in our society that we don’t look at its downsides. In joint tenancy, each person owns the entire asset, not a part of the asset. This legal fiction of two or more people owning 100 percent of the same asset is derived from the full name given to joint tenancy: joint tenancy with right of...

Blended families by nature bring more people to the table.  The following are only a few of the big challenges we face when planning for a blended family. Your Ex-Spouse A major concern for most divorces is the need to disinherit your ex-spouse. While married to your ex-spouse, you most like designated him/her as the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, a pension plan, 401(K) plan, or similar retirement plan, which was provided by your employer.  If you fail to update your beneficiaries...

Many parents purchase life insurance, sign a will, or prepare a trust to ensure the well-being of their children. The majority of life insurance proceeds are left outright to children and other beneficiaries without a single word of instruction. This kind of planning is a travesty. Minor children cannot own property. Leaving life insurance proceeds or any other kind of property to minors is futile. Doing so leaves it directly to the probate court, under whose direction it will stay for...

The headline reads: Michigan mother-of-two 'stole $200,000 from life insurance policy her teen daughters received when their father died' The headline leaves us asking, “how did this happen and why would a mom do this?” After reading the story, we learn that the mother was divorced from the father and then the father passes away leaving his minor children as the beneficiary on the life insurance policy. Since minors cannot inherit until 18, a conservator was appointed to manage the money. In...