Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Wonder of Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday because it is diverse--it means so many different things to different people. What does it mean to you?

As an estate planning attorney working with clients for the last 38 years on their wills and trusts Thanksgiving is often a motivator to many to accomplish their plans. Do you know why this is?

In my experience the holidays motiviate us to think about our families and being thankful for family is often a feature of the holidays.

As clients think about their family they are motivated to protect them. This motivation is the top reason that clients seek to have a will, trust and estate plan. In fact, here are the top reasons cited by clients for doing their estate planning:

1. Protection of family members such as spouse, children and grandchildren.

2. Protection of oneself. Many clients seek to protect against illness and disability and this is considered in every estate plan.

3. Protection of property, money or wealth. This is always an interesting factor since the amount of what someone has is irrelevant. While the current definition of a taxable estate for 2016 is $5,450,000 and for 2017 $5,490,000 many people do not have estates that large. What amount would you have to make you want to protect it? Many clients seek to protect the property they have regardless of the amount.

Whatever your reason for doing your will, trust and estate plan your reason is the best for you. I always recommend that clients consider the three areas listed above as they decide what is important to them and what to protect in their plan. As has been stated for generations, estate planning is one of the best gifts you can leave for your loved ones. Estate planning is never about how much you have, and always about how much you care for those you care for.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for my family, my friends, my law firm and the wonderful town I live in. I wish to you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Bernie Greenberg

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Are You One?

It is alarming to learn just how few adults in America have done anything about their estate plans, no wills, trusts, powers of attorney--nothing!

In this recent article in Wealth Management, this issue is explored:

Less than 50% of Americans have an Estate Plan

 This statistic is shocking for several reasons:
  1. The large number of unprotected families.
  2. That so many have failed to plan even in the face of constant publicity.
  3. That so many fail to plan when it is easier than ever to provide a plan for your family.
Since protecting family and then property and assets are the reasons for estate planning, what do you believe are the reasons so many families are not protected?

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below. Your comments could be useful in helping others move forward with their estate plan.

Bernie Greenberg

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Estate Planning for Children with Disabilities

Having a child with disabilities creates enormous challenges and rewards for parents. An important aspect of caring for a child with these challenges is what to say in your will, trust and estate plan for your child.

As discussed in the article below, there are numerous issues when planning for a child with disabilities and in learning how to address these in your estate planning. Here is the article:

Estate Planning for Children with Disabilities - :

A frequently used planning technique that helps parents plan for a disabled child is known as a Special Needs Trust. Please consider this type of trust to protect your child.

For more information on this type of trust or to discuss planning your estate to protect a child with disabilities, please contact our office with your questions at: 303-688-3535.

Bernie Greenberg