8 Legal House-Keeping Musts Before 1/1/14

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It's not unusual to spend the build up to New Year in reflection on the year that's past. Sure there's a lot of frivolity to be seen, especially on TV or the internet... but year-end traditions can also be serious. For your clients, December holds legal implications that might need attention. Here's a list of things that should be considered before the ball drops on New Year's Eve: Charitable donations — It's the season of giving, we know. What a perfect time to spend that last chunk of … [Read more...]

6 Easy Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

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In most cases, it is rare for an estate plan of high-net-worth families to be straightforward. The typical parameters of a well thought-out plan may not apply and, without proper attention, inconsistencies can arise over time. It can become a tangled web if you don’t watch out for certain factors.   Here are six common inconsistencies that plague many estate plans: POWER OF ATTORNEY The absence of properly designating the reach of what an appointed agent can do within a power … [Read more...]

Artwork – Like Any Other Financial Asset

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In the case of a woman who sold a bequeathed artwork to an art dealer, a lesson can be learned about the importance of due diligence when managing assets. After her mother's passing she sold a painting from her mother's estate to a local dealer, for $400,000. The painting had never been insured, as the family wanted to avoid shelling out cash for taxes. At the request of her accountant who asked about the money as the tax season approached, they contacted David Sleeman, to appraise the … [Read more...]

The Case of the Living Dead

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In a strange series of events, Donald Eugene Miller asked Judge Allen Davis in the probate court in Hancock County, Ohio, to recognize that he is alive. More bizarrely, the court denied his request based on the ruling they had declared  two decades ago, saying now that Mr. Miller was and still is dead. Donald had fled his home back in 1986, leaving his wife and two minor daughters. Since then, he had not sent any child support payments, income tax returns, nor had any contact with anyone in … [Read more...]

Financial Caregivers: Rules to Follow

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There is a certain challenge for those people who are helping out their parents or elderly relatives with their financial planning. As someone who has been given power of attorney or has been appointed as a fiduciary, especially of a close relative or parent, there lies an emotional hardship due to the relationship that was already there before the appointment; not to mention the responsibility of doing what is right and in the best interest of the person who you are going to make decisions for. … [Read more...]

Tips for Navigating through Estate Planning for Modern Families

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Modern Family, ABC’s popular TV show, makes us laugh as they show us the interactions between nontraditional families. The show does well to make us laugh as well as she some light on the evolution of families in the U.S. We see second marriages, same-sex couples, and adopted children. With the evolution of family must also come the evolution of estate planning. Here are a few tips for families looking to take on this new way estate planning: Tips for Blended Families: -          Decide … [Read more...]

Power of Attorney Power

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All aspects of estate planning have their individual importance and work together to create a solid plan, but none of them share the significance of the power of attorney. This simple document hugely protects you and your assets in the event that you are unable to manage the things on your own. Anyone who fails to name one will not have access to their assets unless they go through a guardianship proceeding with the courts. This is something you definitely want to avoid because, having to … [Read more...]

Send Your Student Off to College Prepared

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Sending your little baby (who’s not quite so little and no longer a baby) off to college is definitely a bittersweet moment. Your scholar is officially an adult, even if you can’t accept it. While you are sure to be there to encourage and support your child, there are things you won’t be allowed to do – legally – unless your college student adds estate planning to their college prep list. So, before you send your child off to school, establish a power of attorney so that you can be there for you … [Read more...]