Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Do Newlyweds Need Estate Planning? Yes!

For those who are newly married, one topic that is often ignored is estate planning and wills and trusts. Should newlyweds even consider estate planning? The answer is a resounding yes!

In this article, the author discusses the five most important reasons that ALL newlyweds must consider and do an estate plan.

Article on Estate Planning for Newlyweds

Newlyweds, especially with blended families have unique estate planning requirements and needs. For wills and trusts lawyers, these situations must involve sensitivity to the newness of the marriage and also what may appear to be competing family concerns.

Think about this: if you were injured or got sick, wouldn't you want your new spouse in the hospital room with you? Without appropriate HIPAA documents and releases, they could be prevented from even visiting you. Please pay attention to these five reasons and share them with everyone you know.

What are your thoughts? Please share this this article freely and help those who are newlyweds to protect themselves and their families.

Thank you.
Bernie Greenberg

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

5 Epic Hollywood Estate Planning Failures

For some reason we all seem to enjoy the never ending train wreck that is Hollywood. The fails for the stars are chronicled daily on TMZ.

Well Hollywood also fails spectacularly at estate planning. In the article below some of the most epic Hollywood estate planning disasters are revealed.

Article on Hollywood EP Failures

What are your thoughts as you read about the estate planning mistakes of Hollywood? Do these provide clues to you about what not to do in your will or trust?

There is real value to your family in doing things the right way with a qualified wills and trusts attorney. Please review the past articles here about how to select a qualified estate planning specialist.

Please join our conversation and let us know your thoughts about these stories. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Friday, March 13, 2015

Why Estate Planning for Blended Families is Critical

Estate Planning for Blended Families: Why wills and trusts are so important!

Society today looks different from our parent's day or even just several years ago. Society is mobile, fluid and changing faster than some might like. Today, being a wills and trust attorney is more interesting than ever before.

In my parents' generation, the phrase "blended family" didn't exist. While there were blended families, they were far fewer than today. Add same sex marriages to the mix and it's a whole new world of estate planning.

Learning how to address issues of blended or any non-traditional family is a vital element in many estate plans, wills and trusts. In the article below, you will find an excellent discussion of these issues and there is no reason to repeat them here.

Article on planning for blended families

Let me know your thoughts after reviewing this and the mentioned article. Are you part of a blended or non-traditional family? How do you feel about these issues? Please join our conversation and send me an email with your thoughts.

Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Estate Planning at Any Age? Yes!

While wills and trusts may be unpleasant topics for many, far too few have considered what basic estate planning arrangements are necessary just because someone is age 18 or older.

Wills and trusts attorneys like me are constantly amazed how few people have even considered basic estate planning issues and taken the most basic steps to protect themselves.

In this article, these basic steps are discussed in clear and plain English as well as the right age to start. That age is 18. Here is the article:

The Article

As you read, you will learn that the right age to begin with the estate planning basics is age 18. The reason for this is HIPAA, that federally imposed system dealing with keeping health information private.

Imagine a student of 18 or 19 who is injured or becomes ill. Who does the hospital or clinic contact? Who can visit that student? With the HIPAA laws, if the student has no power of attorney or HIPAA release, getting access to the student will be challenging.

Read the article and let me know your thoughts. Please share this article with everyone you know to help in the educational process about estate planning.

Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Should You Tell Adult Children About Your Estate-Plan?

Who you should tell about your estate plan has been an interesting issue in my estate planning practice for the last 36+ years. As an estate planning attorney, I have my thoughts about transparency with children, but those are not universally shared.

Where I advise estate planning clients to be transparent, there are those who believe in the opposite approach which is, "my kids will know about my estate after I'm dead".

Which of these approaches is correct? The answer depends on the age of the children, the family dynamic and each client's individual situation.

First, here is a recent article which discusses issues of informing your adult children about your estate plan:

Article: Should You Tell Your Children

After you read this article, then consider this advice given to all of my estate planning clients:

1. Be transparent. If you are going to disclose to adult children details of your estate plan, then be transparent and DO NOT use the conversation as a means to control or manipulate.

2. As the picture above shows, disclose only to adult children, like those in the picture below, who are mature enough to understand the importance of estate planning.

3. Make the conversation about love of family and the family reasons for your estate planning. Of course you may have tax reasons, but remember that we don't let the tax tail wag the family dog. Estate planning is always about family first and foremost.

4. Understand your estate plan first before discussing with your children. Be clear why you are informing them and be sensitive to the reality that all children are uncomfortable with discussing their parents mortality.

Please let me know your thoughts on the article and your thoughts about these issues.

Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Digital Estate Planning: Why You Care

What and why you need to know about digital estate planning:

Digital estate planning is being called the wave of the future and this article discusses several issues you need to know about estate planning:

Article on Digital Estate Planning

You may have noticed that facebook recently launched their legacy feature designed to allow you to pass on your facebook page. As our world becomes more digital and more virtual, understanding which parts of you may be digital is important.

As an estate planning attorney, we learn daily about how estate planning changes with our changing times. If you have any digital accounts or media, blog or music account, learning about these for yourself is fundamental to your estate planning.

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Thank you.

Bernie Greenberg