National Healthcare Decisions Day 2021

Each year on National Healthcare Decisions Day, I write about how having a Living Will and a Healthcare Power of Attorney at minimum is extremely important. And this was before Coronavirus changed our lives and continues to do so. Sadly people are still coming face-to-face with what happens if they or a loved one gets

Should You Name the Same Person Guardian and Trustee for Your Minor Children?

One of the hardest decisions parents make is who to appoint guardian of their minor children in case of their passing. And if that were not a hard enough decision, they will also need to evaluate who will control their family’s purse strings to be sure everyone is taken care of moving forward. That role

What Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Taught Us About Estate Planning

This week marked the one year anniversary of Kobe Bryant’s tragic death in a helicopter accident that also killed eight others, including his daughter Gianna. While the exact reason for the crash has yet to be officially announced (it’s scheduled February 9, 2021) the lawsuits have already started. Part of the litigation is a case

9 Reasons to Update Your Estate Plan, 2021 Edition

Examining and potentially updating your estate plan may be called for this year more than ever. Estate plans are a work in progress – you don’t just sign them and forget them. This is especially true in a volatile election year (like this one) when change is almost certain and the pandemic still has yet

Developing a COVID -19 Pet Plan: 3 Easy Steps

We’ve been focusing a lot on estate planning for people during the COVID-19 crisis and rightly so. With more than 50% of the population without estate planning documents, it seems necessary. But it is also important to have a plan when it comes to your pets, especially if you live alone. We’ve written about Pet

The Opioid Epidemic: Using Targeted Trusts

The Opiod Epidemic is back in the news, and is still far reaching in our communities across the country as ever. Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse. In 2016, more Americans died due to opioid overdoses than car

Why Unmarried Couples Need Estate Planning the Most

If you have ever watched Judge Judy on TV, you may have heard the iconic judge tell couples who have been living together “without the benefit of marriage” that courts are not designed to handle the legal ramifications of “setting up shop” together. Yet it is happening more and more. For many reasons, older couples

Protecting Beneficiaries with a Third Party Trust

We are seeing more and more that our nation is struggling with mental illness with the acknowledgment of maternal mental health issues and climbing suicide rates for all ages.  In 2020, “more than 87,000 Americans died of drug overdoses over the 12-month period that ended in September, according to preliminary federal data, eclipsing the toll

Why Advance Directives are Essential: NHDD

Next week (Tuesday the 16th) is National Healthcare Decisions Day (NHDD). Why is such a day necessary or even important you might be thinking? According to a 2003 article by the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Study: Less than 50 percent of the severely or terminally ill patients studied had an advance directive in their medical

Don’t Leave Your Health & Welfare Decisions in “Jeopardy”

When Alex Trebek announced his cancer diagnosis, my first thought was that I hoped he had taken care of his legacy planning so he could concentrate on beating his disease and spending quality time with his family.