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April 16th is designated as National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD) to highlight the importance of advanced health care decision making. Making healthcare decisions *before* an actual medical emergency is critical. It means those taking care of you – both your loved ones and medical professionals – can make informed decisions about your care, following your guidance and wishes along the way. We have been supporting our clients’ healthcare wishes for more than ten years by providing comprehensive estate plans that include...

April 11th is National Pet Day. The animals in our lives are often considered to be part of our families. They provide companionship and comfort. They have their own unique likes, dislikes and traits and over the time we spend with them we learn how to best take care of them. One of the discussions that can come up with clients is who will take my dog/cat/animal when I am no longer able to? We leave detailed instructions for pet sitters when...

Saturday marks the beginning of Spring! A time to refresh, begin new projects, refocus on existing projects, and get organized. As the saying goes, “out with the old and in with the new” and that can apply to estate planning too. We focus on cleaning the house and getting everything in order before summer, but it is also a great time to assess your estate plan. While housekeeping, you can review your important papers (both financial and legal) to see what...

As we ring in a new year it is a common time to take stock on what was accomplished over the previous year. Looking back at 2020, it is definitely a year to focus on your “wins” and what you were able to make happen. Maybe you picked up new hobbies, learned new skills, or worked on projects that you previously put off. Hopefully, you were able to find a balance in your life and a way to remain connected...

As we continue the holiday season, and are in the spirit of gratitude, we would like to consider the gifts we give at the end of the year. Some gifts can be given tax-free and knowing the applicable tax exemptions before you give to loved ones and charities can be beneficial. Each year the IRS recognizes a gift tax exclusion. This is the amount an individual can gift to another person without incurring any tax. For 2020, the annual exclusion amount...

We would like to wrap up our season of gratitude by saying thank you. A big thank you to our clients for entrusting us with something as important as your estate plan. We are grateful for the opportunity to help you and your families plan for the future and protect what is important to you. We know the considerations that go into your plan can be difficult, and we appreciate you working with us to help make a plan...

As we focus on what we are grateful this time of year, we often look to cherished traditions and memories with loved ones – cooking holiday dinners, volunteering at charities together, and in general spending time together.  It is instances like these, among others, we can preserve and pass on to our loved ones along with our financial wealth. Did you know that you can include in your estate plan, stories and experiences or guideline and “guidelights”? What is referred to...

As we head towards the end of the year, many are undoubtedly stressed or anxious. The holiday season is about to start, and it will look different than most this year. However, it is important we take the time to look back, think about what we have accomplished and consider what we are grateful for. Maybe you were able to figure out how to work from home or you stepped in as a temporary teacher for your children. Perhaps you...

We'd like to end this week by discussing some of the common reasons individuals have not created a plan. "I don't have the time." We commonly hear this in our office. Individuals are interested in estate planning or it is something they have been trying to get to for a while but keep putting off as other things come up. Unfortunately, however, it is something you can only put off for so long. Our lives can, and do, change rapidly.  Having an estate...

Proper funding is an essential step in the estate planning process. Funding is designating beneficiaries on your accounts and policies, as well as transferring assets into the name of your trust.  Making sure you have your funding complete means your estate plan will work how you intend it to.  Naming beneficiaries on your account can help ensure who receives your assets. If you have no listed beneficiary, then the state controls who gains possession of your assets. For some, this would be...