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Schools across the United States are preparing plans on the safest ways to welcome back students for the 2020-21 year. Elementary through High Schools are figuring out whether remote, in-person, or some hybrid makes the most sense for their districts. Meanwhile, some universities have begun to permit their students to move back to campus and for parents all around this can be a nerve-wracking time. Under “normal” circumstances for those of you who are parents of college students, you would likely...

With everyone spending significantly more time at home, many people have taken time to work on projects they had previously put off, learn new skills, and organize their living spaces. But, while cleaning your basement, learning how to give your dog a trim, or remodeling a room in your house are all beneficial, there are certain projects you should think twice before you try to "Do It Yourself." An estate plan you can try to create for yourself but it may...

We hope you are all staying safe in these challenging times. We want to assure you that we are open, working remotely, and can help. We believe estate planning involves more than choosing who inherits under your will or trust.  With a proactive and comprehensive plan, you are able to take advantage of protections you may not have otherwise thought or knew about.  During the ongoing health care crisis, you should have the following documents to help you and your loved...

Leap years occur almost every 4 years, so our calendars remain in sync with astronomical time. It takes the Earth 365.242 days to rotate around the sun and without leap years we would lose an average of 6 hours each year.[1] So, the extra day exists to keep our seasons aligned, but it can also be beneficial for you in other ways as well. The extra day can be time you spend catching up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. It can be...

Many people wait until February to start their “new year’s” resolutions and use January to develop a concrete plan instead. This includes gathering information and resources ahead of time, breaking up larger goals into smaller achievements, and mapping out different ways for everything to work together. Forming a plan for your goals can help you stick with them and with 80% of people stopping their resolutions by February, getting organized and ready may just lead to a greater likelihood of success.[i] One major goal you could work towards...

With the holidays fast approaching, giving is a topic on many minds, including considering what to gift to loved ones or finding a charity to donate to. Each year the IRS recognizes a gift tax exclusion. This is the amount an individual can gift to someone else or an entity without using any of their $11.4 million lifetime exemption amount, and without the necessity of filing a Form 709 Gift Tax Return. The annual gift tax exclusion amount for 2019 is $15,000. A spouse may join...

It is estimated that over 55 million Americans will kick off the holiday season by traveling to a family member’s or on a getaway this Thanksgiving.[1]  Holidays are a great time to see loved ones and learn about what everyone has been doing. And, with the hecticness it may seem easier to put off topics like estate planning until the new year, but the holidays are actually a great time to consider the matter. Traveling can prompt discussions to ensure you have a plan in place in...

As loved ones age, their physical and mental abilities change. They may not be as quick or sharp as they once were, they may have mood swings, and they may need more help taking care of themselves. But there is a difference between the general decline individuals can experience as they age and the decline someone can experience if living with dementia. The following are signs of dementia provided by the Alzheimer’s Association that caretakers may encounter: Memory loss – the kind that goes beyond occasionally forgetting a...

In September of 2008, Congressional leaders passed House Resolution 1499 declaring the third week in October as “National Estate Planning Awareness Week.” Resolution 1499 estimated over 120,000,000 Americans did not have up-to-date estate plans to protect themselves or their families in the event of sickness, accidents, or untimely death. More recently a 2019 survey, carried out by Caring.com, found 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or trust, despite the fact that 76% of the surveyed adults...

Car accidents have unfortunately become a common occurrence. According to Michigan State Police, there were 312,798 car accidents in 2018, which resulted in over 75,000 people being injured[1]. These injuries can lead to emergency room visits, extended hospitalizations, physical therapy, missed work, and they can also wreak havoc on your accounts and assets if you have not properly planned for your future. Lawsuits can be, and often are, filed over car accidents. These will likely result in the person who was injured being owed money from the person who...