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?
You’ve been putting it off for some time now, but you finally took the step and hired an attorney to prepare your estate plan and estate planning documents. Whew! Now you can sit back and relax knowing that your family will be taken care of should something happen to you, right? Well, not exactly.
You have spent your entire life building your company from the ground up. You have made the right decisions and, with a little help from lady luck, have created something that has provided for your and your family’s financial well being.
As an estate planning lawyer who focuses a large part of my practice on estate planning for special needs children and adults, and as the mother of a son with autism, it never ceases to impress me the number of caretakers, therapists, clinicians and other professionals who dedicate their time, energy and expertise to help special needs children (and their families) face the myriad of challenges they will face throughout their lives.
For many people, the bulk of their estates often times consist of their interests in real property. Whether it be a primary home, a vacation cottage, or an investment property, a great many people own real estate of some sort or another. And for many of those people, that real estate is located in a state different from the one in which they live.
The term “community property” is one of those terms that, although thrown around quite a bit in common, everyday conversation, has a very specific legal meaning. It is, as lawyers say, a “term of art.” For most common conversations, the term simply refers to those things that are owned jointly by a husband and wife as a result of their marriage.
For many couples, the most difficult part of planning their estate is deciding who will be responsible for their minor children if something should happen to both spouses at the same time. Even under the most amenable of circumstances, selecting a guardian for your children can be an emotionally exhaustive process.