Websters Dictionary defines the term “Legacy” as: 1) a gift by will especially of money or other personal property, or 2) something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past. As an estate planning attorney, I see the term “legacy” most often associated with the transfer of money or some item of real or perceived worth. While that most certainly is an appropriate use of the term under the first definition above, it’s a use that greatly diminishes what a legacy can and perhaps should be.
You’ve probably heard the age-old African proverb that states, “it takes a village to raise a child.” When it comes to raising a special needs child, nothing could be farther from the truth.
“A fate worse than death….” We’ve all heard this saying before, and when it comes to planning for your future and the future well being of your loved ones, the saying often holds true.
As estate planners, most of our clients come to us seeking guidance as they plan for the end of their lives, focusing on how they are going to take care of those people and things they care about the most when they are gone. This is certainly a necessary endeavor, but planning for our timely or untimely deaths is only a part of comprehensive estate planning.
As an estate and special needs planning attorney, the great majority of people that I come into contact with, whether they be friends, clients, colleagues, or associates, have a charitable cause or belief that is very near and dear to their hearts.
With a prevelance rate of 1-in-110 children (1-in-70 boys), autism is one of the fastest growing disorders around the world. We at Assure Estate Planning know the financial, emotional and physical tolls this disorder takes on the individuals and families affected by its far reaching increase, and that is why we are honored and privilged to do our part to better the lives of autisitic individuals and their families.
One of the most rewarding aspects of being special needs estate planners is the opportunity we have to work with professionals from other disciplines in order to help those families of special needs children and adults. From insurance professionals, financials planners, accountants or clinicians and therapists, special needs planning allows us to work with people who are as dedicated as we are to helping families deal with their very unique, very special circumstances and challenges.
For those of you who have been following the news, you have probably noticed the jockeying that has been going on between the democrats and the republicans as each party makes their final push to pass their year-end legislative agendas. While this political posturing many times leads to legislative gridlock to the point where no meaningful legislation from either side of the aisle gets passed, this December may prove to be different.
Lately, the unknown future of the federal estate tax has taken the spotlight on the stage of estate planning issues. Will the government let the existing estate tax exemption phase out, thus making the exemption available only to those estates worth $1.5M or less?