There are several websites that offer customized, do-it-yourself wills and other estate planning documents. These computer-based services appear to offer the consumer a cost-effective and convenient alternative to visiting an Estate Planning or Elder Law attorney. Or do they? Is online estate planning worth the convenience and initial savings? How do the documents created compare to those that a qualified attorney would produce? [Read more…]
On February 23, 2010, the US Bankruptcy Court in Massachusetts finally did what the Massachusetts state legislature has been unable to do for years: the court ruled that the Massachusetts Homestead Exemption is applicable to an owner whose property is in a revocable trust. Since this decision, In re Rodrigues, Bankr. D. Mass. Case No. 09-11960-JNF, the legislature has been working to pass a new statute that will replace Massachusetts General Laws, chapter 188, the statute concerning homesteads. The legislature is very close to passing a new law. Today we will review the Rodrigues decision, the pending Massachusetts legislation, and how it may be beneficial to you. [Read more…]
It’s estimated that two-thirds of American households currently have at least one pet, a number that has steadily increased in the last 60 years. With more pets comes a growing industry devoted to helping Americans better care for, and even indulge, their pets, has developed. Businesses that provide pet day care, pet sitters, grooming, spa services, and even pet cemeteries have become common.
Many even consider pets part of their family, a sort of child, brother, sister, or at the very least, friend. Since so much love and attention is given to these fury and feathery companions, many wish to provide for their animals in the event that they become incapacitated or die before their pet. With family greed, skepticism, and fraud on the rise, many seek a better solution than hoping Junior will “do the right thing.” As a matter of fact, owner death and/or disability is one of the top reasons that animals end up in Shelters across the country. [Read more…]
The following is a repost of a blog recently written by Attorney Dale Krause of Krause Financial Services. Attorney Krause is also a fellow member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).
An Irrevocable Trust can offer a grantor lifetime control over his or her assets of the trust is established with the following provisions:
- All taxable income shall be disbursed to the grantor;
- The grantor shall have the right to direct how the trust assets are held or reinvested; and
- The grantor shall have a limited power of appointment over the final distributions of the trust; this power shall be in favor of a limited class of beneficiaries, consisting of the grantor’s children and grandchildren; the disbursements do not have to be in equal amounts or shares. [Read more…]
Resolutions abound as the New Year quickly approaches. Each year we make a pact with ourselves to make lifestyle changes for the better. Whether it is to exercise more, skip the daily fast-food lunch breaks, or give up bad reality television, the intentions are always good, though often we do not follow through. How many times have we seen the new year rush at the local gym, but notice the crowds slowly dwindle come the beginning of February? [Read more…]
The media has been covering Michael Jackson’s death quite extensively and many regularly scheduled programs will not air tomorrow as his memorial service is broadcast live around the world. News outlets are digging, trying to answer many questions surrounding his untimely passing, including estate and guardianship issues involving his children. However distasteful, it isn’t surprising that Michael Jackson’s Will was made available for anyone to see online within hours of it being filed with a Los Angeles Probate Court. [Read more…]