Friday, January 11, 2013

Why Is Estate Planning Important?

Is Estate Planning Important? If So Why?

In a meeting yesterday, I was asked, "Why is estate planning important?" Instead of giving the typical knee-jerk reaction that most lawyers would give, the client who asked this question was willing to really explore the question.

While estate planning and doing your Will and Powers of Attorney is important in a general sense of being responsible and protecting yourself and family, that is not why estate planning is important. Those answers focus more on the benefits of doing your estate plan and there is no argument about the benefits.

On the other hand, is estate planning really important? Should it be at the top of everyone's list of New Year Resolutions? Is it worth talking about?

Here is what my client decided as we explored this question on deeper levels. Estate planning is important to each individual only if that individual cares about what happens. When you do "care" in the real sense of caring, then estate planning is not only important, it becomes one of the fundamental ways of expressing that caring.

By caring, you think about your circumstances, your goals and what it takes to get there. It is the caring, about your family, yourself and our world, that is the engine that drives anyone to do an estate plan.

As I thought about this client's view, I believe it is a very interesting way to look at my field of estate planning. So, if you ask yourself whether doing your estate plan or Will is actually important, why not start by asking what you care about. That will then get you to the answer about estate planning, as it did with my client yesterday.

What are your thoughts? Do you think estate planning is important? Let me know by commenting here or sending me an email.

Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

If you are seeking an estate planning attorney in Castle Rock, Douglas County, or for the South Denver Metro Area, contact Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.

Friday, January 4, 2013

The Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012

What is the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012?

This massive new tax legislation is probably mis-named and should be called the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2013! The legislation is the political compromise to avoid what was being called the fiscal cliff.

While this new tax law does not avoid the fiscal cliff entirely, it is a highly controversial and politicized tax bill and is very complicated.

Here is a recent article to review that summarizes the legislation:

Click here.

Take a look at this article and let me know if you have any questions about how this affects your estate planning.

Bernie Greenberg

4 Estate Planning Resolutions for 2013

It's another new year! Here are 4 resolutions for 2013 to make the year successful for your estate plan.

1. Start Your Plan

With all the recent publicity about estate planning, it is still shocking how many people have no plan at all. So your first resolution is to start your estate plan or Will.

2. Do a FDPOA and HCDPOA.

These are two types of durable powers of attorney. The first is the financial power of attorney and the second is the health care power of attorney. Both of these protect you if you are incapacitated.

3. Do a Living Will.

Your Living Will is your opportunity to describe how you wanted to be treated at the end of life if you are in a terminal coma. It is a vital element to your estate plan.

4. Synchronize titles and beneficiary designations with your plan.

Having an estate plan is step one, the second is to make sure that your property and beneficiary designations are coordinated with the plan. Failing to do so means that your plan will not work.

There you have them, four easy resolutions to follow to protect yourself, your family and your property. Please let me know if you have any questions about these resolutions, how to implement them or concerning your estate plan. Have a great year in 2013!

Please connect with me on G+ +Bernard Greenberg, on twitter @BHGreenberg, or visit Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.

Bernie Greenberg