AdobeStock_57199720-300x300By E. Jennifer Reale

It’s often said that art imitates life. If that’s true of the popular movie, I Care a Lot, life can get pretty scary in the world of conservators and conservatorship.

Conservatorship is designed to protect a person who has, for any number of reasons, become incapable of managing his or her financial and/or personal affairs. Most people create a Designation of Conservator as a standard part of their estate planning.

By Erin Duques

home-sweet-home-300x200For many of us, our home is our most valued possession. It’s usually one of the assets each of us is most interested in protecting, with the ultimate goal of being able to leave something to children or other family members after we’re gone.

With the goal of asset protection in mind, why wait until after death?  Why not simply gift the property to those beneficiaries during your lifetime?  One approach is to make a lifetime transfer while reserving a life estate. There are pros and cons to this approach.

Dollarphotoclub_69690745-300x212By Brendan Daly

The Senate recently introduced two bills that include proposed changes to the federal estate tax laws. The reason?  To raise revenue due to the pandemic relief and infrastructure packages. These bills will have a significant impact on future estate planning, and may also disrupt existing plans with the increased risk of estate tax exposure.

The two bills currently under consideration are:

Picture1-300x265Can you hear me now?

It’s an unkind stereotype—the aging person who is constantly saying, “Eh?” because they can’t hear what someone else is saying. While it might make for a funny bit on a TV show or in a movie, in real life, hearing loss is no joking matter. And of course, it’s not only older people who experience hearing loss, it can happen at any age.

Impaired hearing is not only inconvenient and a detriment to quality of life, it can also contribute to physical injury (the inner ear is critical to maintaining balance and avoiding falls) and depression (withdrawal from social situations due to embarrassment can lead to isolation).

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(Note: this post has been updated due to potential IRS changes)

Do you know about the new changes that could affect your retirement accounts? Some are positive, others may require you to make some new planning decisions.

Either way, the goal of this new legislation is to improve retirement security for many Americans. And that’s a good thing.

Ask-the-question-300x200Many a well-intentioned family member has taken on the responsibility of caring for an aging parent only to realize that they’ve committed to more than they can handle on their own.

And many more people will need to step into a caregiver role in the coming years.

The U.S. Census Bureau projects that the population of people 65 and older will grow by approximately 50% over the next 30 years!

New Car GiftWhen you die, someone is going to benefit from the use of your car. Wouldn’t it be nice to decide now exactly who that person should be?

You can do that today – it’s easy!  When registering a vehicle, you can designate a transfer-on-death (TOD) beneficiary, not unlike what you can do with a bank account.

How to designate a beneficiary

Simply complete the area reserved for this purpose on the reverse side of your registration certificate. If you do not have a registration certificate, or if you are registering a new vehicle, complete the Official Registration, Form H-13, and designate the Owner in Box 1 as “John Doe, Transfer on Death to Jane Doe.”

When you die, the transfer-on-death beneficiary need only bring a certified copy of your death certificate to the nearest Department of Vehicles office to have the registration transferred. Continue reading


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If you’re confused, or unfamiliar with trusts as part of an estate plan, you’re not alone! Some people need to have a trust, others do not.

Then there’s the probate process. Does having a trust impact the probate process? Should you have a trust to avoid the probate process?

To answer your questions about trusts and probate, read on!

home-sweet-home-300x200Over the past year, the  pandemic has definitively disproved the old adage, “you can’t go home again.”

For nearly 27 million young adults, going home again became the best survival option as colleges closed or transitioned to a remote model and employers laid off massive numbers of staff.

In fact, Pew Research reports that in July of last year 52% of young adults resided with one or both of their parents. (For comparison, that percentage is 4 points higher than the corresponding one recorded during the Great Depression.)

greeting-300x200The movie opens on a shot of a woman walking through a quaint village of cobbled alleys and charming shops. As she makes her way along the street, she is greeted by passersby and greets them in return.

She pauses to exchange a friendly word with a shopkeep who knows her name, inquires after her mother, and asks if she’d like her usual order. Her path intersects with the postman, who digs into his satchel to pull out her letters. A small boy on a bicycle nearly runs over her toes in his haste to catch up with his friends. He shouts an apology over his shoulder as she calls after him in good-natured exasperation.

It sounds idyllic, doesn’t it?

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