Estate Planning Misconceptions (What you don’t know can cost your heirs a lot in taxes)

Did you know that over one-half of all Americans do not have a basic estate plan which includes a will, living will, health care proxy and power of attorney? Many people put off doing any estate planning because they find the law to be so confusing.  In my estate planning practice, I have noticed that clients share certain common misunderstandings about the estate tax laws which could cost their heirs a lot in taxes….Read More »

John Steinbecks Estate Embroiled in Litigation: Sour Grapes of Wrath?

The author John Steinbeck died in 1968. For the last thirty-six years, his estate has been embroiled in litigation over disposition of his literary estate which is valued in the millions of dollars. This estate litigation could have been avoided with good estate planning….Read More »

Poor Estate Planning by James Brown Heirs

James Brown, known as the “Godfather of Soul,” died on Christmas day last year. During his lifetime, he was known as one of the hardest working entertainers in the recording industry. Unfortunately for James Brown’s children, their father did not spend a little more of his attention attending to his estate plan…..Read More »

Make Sure Your Estate Planning House is in Order

Making a good estate plan is analogous to building a house. Both the estate plan and the house must be built on a strong foundation. A solid home uses bricks and mortar to build the foundation. There are a variety of building materials used in making a good estate plan….Read More »

How Will Your Estate Pass When You Are Gone

You may not realize why it is so important to periodically review your estate plan. All too often I find that a client’s existing Will and other estate plan documents control the disposition of only a small fraction of their entire asset base. ….Read More »

Sometimes Estate Planning Is Nothing More Than a Sandwich

I have been a lawyer for over 22 years. During that time, I have met with thousands of clients to discuss their estate plans. They have run the gamut from clients worth millions of dollars to those trying to protect their modest savings from Medicaid. Some are owners of successful family owned businesses or executives of Fortune 500 companies, while others have been couples living on their pensions….Read More »

The Ultimate Diet Dr. Atkins’ Estate Loses Millions Due to Faulty Administration

You may recall a television show entitled “To be a Millionaire.” Each week an anonymous donor would give random individuals a $1 million gift. We would then watch how this gift changed the beneficiary’s life. As you would expect, the change was not always for the better…..Read More »