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Estate Planning

Common Estate Planning Mistakes

An approximately$30 trillion transfer of wealthis currently under way in the U.S. as aging baby boomers pass their assets to successive generations.  This transfer, together with the recent increase to the lifetime federal estate and gift tax exemption (to $11.18 million in 2018), has created a favorable situation for U.S. citizens and residents seeking to transfer wealth to their loved ones during lifetime and at death. Despite the encouraging estate planning horizon, we still see many who make common mistakes which can thwart their intentions. Dying without a will For individuals who are unfortunate enough to die intestate (without a will or living...

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Advanced Directives

I had a conversation with a potential client last week regarding the issue of Advanced Directives. Specifically, the potential client was telling me that he can make his intentions known through his Will, so my services would not be needed. As much as I tried to explain that it does not quite work like that, the potential client would not accept the reality of the situation. Then the Miami Hospital staff was confronted with a very unique circumstance when someone had tattooed their intentions on their chest!!  Unfortunately that is NOT the proper method of having Advanced Directives, and thus the...

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Complete and Truthful Disclosure

Something interesting happened this week while discussing an estate plan for a client with adult children. The conversation was focused on how to divide the estate and distribute to the children. The client began the conversation with the statement that all of his adult children and doing very well with well established careers and good earnings. About an hour into the conversation it became apparent that one child could not keep a job for more than 8 months and he does not earn enough to support his family. The point of relating this story is that when you sit with your...

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