What Is a QTIP Trust?

A Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trust, or QTIP, is a trust allowing the person who makes the trust (the grantor) to provide for a surviving spouse while maintaining control of how the trust’s assets are distributed once the surviving spouse passes, as...

What Is the Purpose of a Guardianship?

The most frequently asked questions about guardianship concern when it’s needed, how the process works and is there a way to avoid it. The idea of guardianship may feel troubling if you’ve never known anyone who needed a guardian, says a recent article “Guardian...

Is Your Business Included in Estate Plan?

Forbes’ recent article entitled “The Importance of Estate Planning When Building Your Business” says that every business that’s expected to survive must have a clear answer to this question. The plan needs to be shared with the current owners and management as well as...

What’s a ‘Sprinkling Trust’?

A sprinkling trust (also known as a “pot trust”) is a type of trust that names the children as beneficiaries and the trustee is given discretion to decide how the trust assets should be spent. This trust lets the grantor create a single pool of assets to...

Retirement Feels Like Summer All Year Long

After a long and busy career, you’re getting ready to retire or you’ve just started retirement. It’s about to be summer all year long—the days are as busy or as easy as you choose. Your time, at last, is your own. Now would be a good time to get your estate planning...

Can You Gift Money on Your Deathbed?

A new case out of Tax Court centers on the question of when a “deathbed gift” is considered acceptable for estate and gift tax purposes. The powerful tax law provisions used to help many taxpayers avoid federal estate tax, or reduce it to a manageable size, makes this...

Creating a Legacy Through Charitable Giving

Thoughts on creating a legacy through charitable giving often begin later in life, when children are grown, with children of their own. Thoughts of charitable giving often coincide with grandchildren heading back to school when the pleasure of long summer visits come...

Legal Documents You Need When Your Kid Goes to College

The lists of supplies get longer ever year, from mini-fridge to gaming systems. But don’t neglect the legal documents your young adult will need when they turn 18 or go off to college. The thing is, when children turn 18, the law considers them to be adults. Once this...

Should I Use a Special Needs Trust?

A special needs trust is a legal arrangement and fiduciary relationship that lets a physically or mentally disabled or chronically ill person get income without reducing their eligibility for the public assistance disability benefits provided by Social Security,...

What If Your Spouse Refuses Estate Planning?

Blended families are quite common in the U.S. A married couple may have a small child—but one or both spouses may also have children from a prior relationship, and they may be concerned about assets and protecting those older children in estate planning. A spouse on a...