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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...

Happy Groundhog's Day! When you think of Groundhog's Day you may think of Punxsutawney Phil who checks for his shadow each year to forecast changes of the season. Or you may think of Bill Murray reliving the same day over and over. For some of us, there may be moments in our lives where we also feel like we are stuck reliving the same day (hello 2020).  However, the truth is, change happens. And some changes in our lives trigger the need...

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...

Last week we looked at how you can leave lasting memories and lessons in your estate plan to help future generations. This week we're delving into how you can share and experience thankfulness, even during a global pandemic.  Making it Possible to Come Together, Even from a Safe Distance:  We understand the holidays might look different for you this year. Big meals with your entire extended family under the same roof or meeting up with those you haven't seen in a while...

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...

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...