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What is property?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

What is property?

It’s so much more than what many people think of when they hear that word. They may think it’s the house or their Tahoe time share or the motorcycle in the garage. Property is a legal term meaning anything one owns. In the law, traditionally, property falls into three categories: Real property which is buildings and land—you can pick up a brick or a clump of dirt—it’s “real”; Intangible personal property, which is cash and its equivalents. It’s sort of invisible (and, yes, it can easily disappear); and Tangible personal property: that’s anything you can touch, such as jewelry, artwork,...

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Take care of your loved ones by creating or updating your estate plan!

Posted by on Feb 11, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Take care of your loved ones by creating or updating your estate plan!

Harold made a trust-based estate plan 20 years ago after his wife died. The idea was to make sure that his house and any others assets would pass to his three middle-aged children without having them have to go through an expensive probate proceeding. In the last few years of his life, one of Harold’s sons, Bill, came to live with him and helped out a lot. A few years before he died, Harold wrote on a piece of lined note paper a list of which child should inherit the china, silverware and other family heirlooms and that he wanted son Bill to be able to continue living in the house as long as...

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Can the dead control the living?

Posted by on Jan 14, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Can the dead control the living?

Control. We have less of it than we think, and yet, we are creatures who want control. We want to control our own lives. Some of us want to control other people’s lives! Much about human relationships is a jockeying for who has control, how much, and over what. Parents often come in to do estate planning because they want to control when their children will inherit their wealth and who will take care of their children if they die before kids are grown up. Lots of parents are concerned about young adults inheriting a house and money before they’re equipped to handle it. They put property in...

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Getting ready for New Year’s resolutions.

Posted by on Dec 10, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Getting ready for New Year’s resolutions.

This time of year, the New Year’s resolutions begin. For some people that means 2014 will be the year that they finally embark on making an estate plan.  For those of you who already have your plan in place, you might suggest to your friends and relatives that they, too, get their affairs in order. I like to tell potential new clients about some things they should bring with them to an initial consultation. It helps clients to start to think about key issues and it’s helpful to me if people come prepared for a meeting. For starters, I ask people to bring a list of their assets so we can...

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Why wait until the holidays to plan your estate?

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

The holidays are coming and that tends to mean it’s “estate planning season.” Nothing official, just a trend I’ve noticed. I usually get more calls this time of year, and I have a few hypotheses about why. Here they are, not in any particular order. 1. Many people start the year with an intention and a resolution to take care of their financial affairs, including estate planning. A lot of these folks call around January 2nd to get started. Others put estate planning on their to-do lists and months and months go by. By November, it’s apparent that the to-do has not yet happened. And so, there...

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Who is the client?

Posted by on Oct 8, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

Who is the client?

The phone rings and I pick it up. “Hello, my name is John Simmons. You’ve worked with my mother Betty Simmons?” “Yes, that’s right,” I say. “Well, we need to change her Will. Now.” “Who’s ‘we’?” I ask. “We is me and my sister April. We need to change Mom’s Will. Now. “ “John, I’ve worked with your mother, and if she would like to change her trust, which we did a number of years ago, I’ll need to have her call me. She can come in and we can discuss the changes she’d like to make, and I’d be happy to work with her on that.” “Oh, well, she can’t really do that.” “Why not?” “Well, she can’t...

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