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All too often, estate planning is viewed as a transaction: a will, a living trust, powers of attorney, etc. But the best planning happens when the professional can get to know the client on a deeper level, to uncover hopes, dreams and aspirations. It becomes more about family and values, and it becomes a process instead of a transaction. This process begins with having a plan for our lives. There is a certain power in
Estate Planning
Estate planning is creating a set of instructions that specify how property is handled after death, and how property and health care decisions are handled during a period of incapacity. Proper estate planning is important for everyone. But for unmarried partners–opposite sex or same sex–it is critical. Part One of this two-part article will address some issues for unmarried partners to consider for after-death estate planning. Avoid the State Default Plan In a way, everyone
Estate Planning
Most parents choose to leave their estates equally to their children. But sometimes, parents intentionally choose to not leave anything to a child. There may be what the parents consider to be a legitimate reason: one child has been more financially successful than the others; not wanting a special needs child to lose government benefits; or not wanting to leave an inheritance to an irresponsible or drug-dependent child. Sometimes a parent wants to disinherit a
Estate Planning
March 31, 2012 marked the seventh anniversary of the death of Terri Schiavo, the 41-year-old who succumbed after her feeding tube was removed as part of a very public legal battle between her husband and parents. As you may recall, Terri Schiavo was in a coma for nearly 15 years after she suffered cardiac arrest and sustained a brain injury. Her husband, Michael Schiavo, alleged that his wife would not want to live in her
Estate Planning
How to Leave Assets to Minor Children Every parent wants to make sure their children are provided for in the event something happens to them while the children are still minors. Grandparents, aunts, uncles and other relatives often want to leave some of their assets to young children, too. But good intentions and poor planning often have unintended results. For example, many parents think if they name a guardian for their minor children in their
Estate Planning

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