Estate Planning Tip – Check the Privacy of Your Estate Plan

With the end of the year fast approaching, now is the time to fine tune your estate plan before you get caught up in the chaos of the holiday season. One area of planning that many people overlook is ensuring that their final wishes remain private. Will Your Final Wishes Become a Public Court Record? […]


Aligning Insurance Products With Estate Planning

We use a variety of insurance products to manage risk in different areas of our lives in order to protect our wealth from losses that can come from property damage, businesses we own, disability, retirement and death. Instead of considering these products as separate items, make them part of an integrated, overall risk management plan […]


Asset Protection: Avoiding Losses from Liability Exposure

Understanding Losses: Liability Exposure We live in a litigious society. Lawsuits abound, whether deserved or not. If you own property or stock that was purchased at a low price and has had high appreciation, it is at risk to litigation and creditors—even if you are not in a high-risk profession. Others may be in a […]


Helping Families Deal With the Financial and Emotional Costs of Dementia

This post will discuss a debilitating condition that many Americans eventually face as they age:  dementia.  First, we will describe what dementia is and what it isn’t.  Then we will turn our focus to its costs to the individual, the family and our nation.  As Elder Law attorneys we are specially situated to help find solutions […]


3 Asset Protection Tips You Can Use Now 1

A common misconception is that only wealthy families and people in high risk professions need to put together an asset protection plan.  But in reality, anyone can be sued.  A car accident, foreclosure, unpaid medical bills, or an injured tenant can result in a monetary judgment that will decimate your finances.  Below are three tips […]


AB (Marital/Family/Bypass) Trusts Planning – Do You Need to Get Rid of Yours?

Are you married and is the last time you and your spouse updated your estate plan more than a few years ago?  Then chances are your estate plan contains good old “AB Trust” planning (also called “Marital and Family Trusts” or “QTIP” and “Bypass Trusts”) which, up until 2011, was the only way for married […]


The Problem With Life Estate Deeds

Many individuals use life estate deeds in an effort to avoid probate and eliminate the need to hire an attorney to prepare a last will and testament, or a trust.  Unfortunately, when someone uses a life estate deed, they lose control over the distribution of their property when things turn out differently than expected. What […]


How to Protect Inherited IRAs After the Clark v. Rameker Decision 1

A couple of weeks ago, we talked about the landmark, unanimous 9-0 decision handed down on June 12, 2014, in which the United States Supreme Court held that inherited IRAs are not “retirement funds” within the meaning of federal bankruptcy law. This means they are therefore available to satisfy creditors’ claims.  (See Clark, et ux v. […]


Medicaid Study Released by GAO: Methods Used to Reduce Assets to Qualify for Medicaid

On Monday of this week, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released its report “Financial Characteristics of Approved Applicants and Methods Used to Reduce Assets to Qualify for Medicaid.”  This report was requested by several members of Congress, including:  Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Richard Burr (R-NC) and Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Trey Gowdy (R-SC). […]