HG.org Legal Resources

Estate Planning Law Articles

Articles written by lawyers and expert witnesses worldwide
explaining the different aspects of Estate Planning.

New Definition of “Lucky Dog”

There is such a thing as living a charmed life, and a lot of people will tell you that their dogs are doing just that. Indeed, many Americans...

Estate Tax: Where it Stops Nobody Knows

Avoiding asset erosion is one of the primary goals of estate planning, and the most powerful source of this erosion that must be reckoned with...

Is Permanent Estate Tax Repeal in Order?

Most people are not opposed to paying taxes that they feel are fair and properly used, but it is very difficult to accept levies that overstep...

Do-It-Yourself and Template Wills

There is a big DIY movement afoot in the United States these days, and for the most part this is a good thing. It can be a lot of fun to make...

Donor Advised Funds: Philanthropy for the Rest of Us

Not too long ago there was quite a buzz generated in financial circles by two of the highest profile and wealthiest businessmen in the world....

Take Advantage of Tax-Free Gifts

You have to love win-win situations, and that's what you get when you include tax-free gift giving in your inheritance plan. Essentially, when...

Estate Tax Relief Included in New Tax Measure

A brand new year is upon us, and as we brush ourselves off after the holiday reveling we are invariably ready to embrace the many changes that...

How Do I Donate My Body to Science?

Did you know that you can donate your body to science? If you wish to do so, it is important that you set those desires out in advance in an...

Understanding All the Estate Tax Buzz

There’s been a lot of hype about the estate tax recently that created a good deal of confusion. The estate tax is a tax that the IRS imposes on...

The Benefits of Planning Your Own Funeral

Planning a funeral for a loved one can be a heart-breaking process full of confusing, sometimes expensive choices. You can alleviate this burden...

Your Responsibilities as a Guardian

Have you been named as the guardian of a minor child or a mentally incapacitated adult? If so it is important to understand what your fiduciary...

What is the Greatest Estate Plan in the World?

The greatest estate plan you can make is to spend all of your assets or everything that you own. This is simple and easy to do as you can just...

Business Owners or Wealthy Benefit from Advance Estate Planning

Those in business or with significant wealth are concerned with protecting themselves and their assets in matters of tax, trust, and estate...

What Happens to Student Loan Debt after Death?

You’ve taken the time to plan out your estate, but what about student loan debts? According to a study conducted by SmartMoney, one out of three...

Essential Estate Planning Components for Female Entrepreneurs

As a woman, you have spent countless hours working to create a high net worth. Unfortunately, the last thing on your mind is planning for how...

Common Estate Planning Errors for All Americans

Common estate planning errors do not just apply to those who do their own estate plans. Even those who pay thousands of dollars to create an...

America’s Wealthy Have Outdated Estate Plans

According to a recent study, a majority of American families who are wealthy enough to have a full-time accountant and legal representatives on...

The Decline in Estate Planning

According to recent surveys, only 35 percent of Americans have completed their estate planning and only 21 percent have created a trust....

Transferring Your Business

You have worked years to establish your business and your livelihood. Upon your death you want to ensure that your business and the legacy...

General Power of Attorney Versus Health Care Power of Attorney

When you begin the estate planning process, you will be approached with the terms “General Power of Attorney” and “Health Care Power of...

Does My Family Need a Trust?

Just about every family out there can benefit from a Trust in some way. In fact, a Trust is not something designed specifically for the rich and...

Five Steps to Avoid and Minimize Probate and Trust Disputes

Litigators can be beneficial when there are disputes over probate and trust litigation. Probate and trust litigation can turn families into...

Home Equity Conversion Mortgages: An Overview

When you are engaged in the process of retirement planning, you are going to want to be apprised of all of your options. With this in mind we...

Ways to Keep Your Estate Plan Simple

You can’t take it with you. This is one of the simple, inalienable truths about dying, and, like it or not, your relatives know this. So if you...

Estate Planning and the Types of Power of Attorney

There are many different types of power of attorney; in fact, there are so many that someone could be easily overwhelmed when trying to decipher...

Trust Can Play a Role in Pet Planning

Some people want to provide for minors or adults who are incapable of making their own decisions when they are making preparations for the...

An Explanation of Unified Gift/Estate Tax

levy that is imposed on gifts that you give to others if they exceed a certain amount. Every year you can give as much as $13,000 to any number...

Who Will Care for Your Pet After Your Passing?

Because of the fact that pets live relatively short life spans as compared to humans, you may think that it is not necessary to consider the...

T-Shirt Estate Plans

Have you ever purchased a one size fits all T-shirt? I'm not sure why companies make these things. They don't actually fit anyone. They are...

Claim Your Inheritances

Most people do just about everything they can legally do to get as much money as they possibly can. This makes it amazing when someone appears...

A Post for Men

Forgive me, ladies, but this is a post for the men in the audience. You can read it, but it is not for you. This post is for men who spend any...

Someone is Wrong on the Internet

There is an old Internet meme that shows a picture of a man looking at a computer while a woman stands in a doorway behind him The picture is...

What You Need to Have Together Before You See Your Estate Planning Attorney

An important question to ask before you see an estate planning attorney to make a will or living trust and all of your other planning documents...

How Do You Provide for Pets When Planning Estate?

If you were to get yourself a dog or cat as a senior citizen you may be taking a very positive step. It is not uncommon for elders to experience...

What A Common Law Marriage Does To Your Estate Plan

Common law marriage is still in practice in Alabama ,Colorado, The District of Columbia, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Rhode...

Digital Planning: Communicate Relevant Information

Estate planning in the digital age is going to require communicating relevant information to your executor or personal representative. These...

Pet Planning: Provide for Your Pooch

You must think everything all the way through when you are interested in being totally and comprehensively prepared for the inevitable. With...

SSA Requiring Benefit Recipients to Go Paperless

Many people within the elder law community are concerned about the future solvency of the Social Security program. Indeed, given the rapid aging...

Estate Plan Considerations for Those Who Are Expecting

Pregnancy is one of those significant life events that cause us to make a great many changes in our lives. One thing to which being pregnant...

Motivational Estate Plans

Perhaps some of your family members are not as motivated to make something out of their lives as you are. It is frustrating when that family...

Cancer Strikes When You Don't Expect It

I have an old friend that I only know through the Internet. I'm not sure how we met. It was a long time ago. It was probably through a mailing...

Financial Discussions When Mom and Dad Get Old

It can be very difficult for adult children with aging parents to accept that the people who raised them are now coming to the age where they...

Why Should I Use a Living Will Registry?

A living Will registry is a good idea. It’s like an insurance plan that covers your wishes instead of your property. Although the subject matter...

What Are Reverse Mortgages?

Older Americans often use reverse mortgages to buy long-term care insurance, pay for medical treatments, finance home improvements or supplement...

Why You Need a Will or Trust

State law governs the distribution of your estate if you do not have a will or trust in place. Did you know that your spouse may receive only...

Three Estate Planning Instruments You Need Right Now

Depending on your needs, estate planning may be a simple or complex process. We believe that these three instruments are essential to protecting...

Answering Unified Tax Questions

The estate tax and the gift tax are unified under the tax code. We would like to provide a basic explanation with regard to what exactly this...

Expanded Medicaid Might Impact Private Plans

There is no doubt that you have heard a great deal of information bandied about regarding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)...

Singapore Business Law - Protect Your Assets With Keyman Insurance

Have you ever considered whether or not your business could continue without you or your key employees? “Keyman Insurance” is an insurance...

Singapore Business Law - Refinancing (Money Saving Tip)

The recent economic downturn have resulted in many of us tightening our belts. For most of us, this means having to forgo our annual overseas...

Unified Exclusion Applies to Estate Plus Taxable Gifts

You may have heard the term "unified exclusion" if you have started to do any research into the field of estate planning as you look ahead...

Shedding Light on Unified Gift/Estate Tax

The taxes that are imposed on transfers of assets are something to take very seriously when you are interested in wealth preservation. These...

Protecting Your Assets from Expanding Nursing Home Costs

Nursing home costs are rising, which could be detrimental to your financial health should you find yourself in need of nursing home care, or...

Will Updates Can Require Care

It isn't uncommon for a new client to walk into an estate planning attorney's office and ask if the attorney can make a quick update to a Will....

What to Do With Personal Items in Your Estate Plan

Many times it is not the big assets such as the house or bank accounts that cause fights among family members when an estate is divided....

Pet Planning Solution: Pet Trusts

Estate planning involves making provisions for those that you care about, and with this in mind you must remember to include your pet. Yes, pet...

Trusts: An Alternative to Wills in Jamaica

Trusts are versatile, money saving instruments that are widely used to save on estate tax liability, ensure privacy, and provide for special...

Why Wills - The Problem of Intestacy in Jamaica

You must not avoid writing your will. In fact, it is your voice after you death. Your family and loved ones will be certain of your wishes. A...

The Gift Tax, the Estate Tax and Your Family's Future

It is important to be aggressive about tax planning in light of the heavy toll that the federal estate tax can take on your legacy. To be able...

Estate Planning for a Child That Provides Caretaking Responsibilities

When parents of get older and have multiple children, one child may provide caretaking responsibilities for the parent. These added duties...

Can Creditors Attack a Family Member's Inheritance?

It is a good idea to think things all the way through when you are engaged in the process of inheritance planning. Getting resources into the...

DIY Legal Documents Objectively Examined

Oklahoma City estate planning attorneys are licensed to provide legal services to their clients. They are bound by professional guidelines. That...

Don't Wait for an Estate Plan

The Jefferson’s was always one of the funniest television shows around. It's still funnier than most of the shows that have come afterwards....

Reverse Mortgages vs. A Line of Credit – Which is Right for You

For many elderly Americans, the golden years are fraught with concerns over money instead of spent sitting on the front porch sipping iced tea....

Deciding What Age a Minor Heir Will Receive Their Inheritance in an Estate Plan

Although it is difficult to think about your own mortality, if you have minor children under the age of eighteen then it is something that you...

Probate Avoidance Would Have Helped Hemsley

There are certain pitfalls that go along with this and you should be aware of them before making any final decisions. During probate anyone who...

Unification of Gift and Estate Tax

To be able to proceed intelligently when you are planning your estate you must have an understanding of the relevant tax laws. There are those...

Estate Planning When One Child is More Successful

Some families are blessed with a child that is extremely successful in terms of wealth. This condition can make planning an estate more...

Don't Wait Until After the Election

On our blog, we have recently been posting about the Presidential candidates proposals for changing the estate tax and investment taxes. The two...

Retiring Without Spending Everything

Many people have a very similar problem. They want to know how to save enough for their own retirement and still have money left over to leave...

Are All Conditional Gifts Valid?

There is nothing unusual about making an inheritance conditional on something else. Conditional gifts are as old as estate planning itself. For...

Lawyer Accused of Forging Power of Attorney, Murder in Dad's Death

An interesting case in Missouri has made headlines recently regarding the use of an alleged forged estate planning document resulting in...

How to Protect Against Identity Theft

In today’s digital age, identity theft is a serious concern for everyone. Not only is stealing an identity potentially easier in the electronic...

Should I Appoint Co-Trustees?

For many people, a comprehensive estate plan includes one or more trusts. Trusts offer numerous advantages such as flexibility, control and both...

Estate Planning and Former Spouse Beneficiaries

The process of divorce is extremely emotional and stressful for people, so, as a result, it is quite easy to overlook important details. One...

Achieve Three Objectives With Alaska Trusts

It is nice to be able to achieve multiple objectives through a single action and in many cases this can be done in the financial planning field....

Recent NBER Findings Can Provide Motivation

Sometimes you can be motivated by the difficulties that others have experienced and avoid the pitfalls that led them into unenviable positions....

Types of Probate Property

What does it mean when an attorney tells you that something is probate property? What about non-probate property? If you don’t know, then you...

Hidden Assets That Warrant an Estate Plan

One of the most common reasons people give for not creating a comprehensive estate plan is that they do not believe they have enough assets to...

Do Not Underestimate the Size of Your Estate When Making an Estate Plan

Making an estate plan is an important step in taking control of your financial life, but you must have an accurate and complete picture of your...

Will Writing to be Regulated in the United Kingdom

Why regulation of will writing in the UK is a good thing. Good news. In the UK will writing is going to be regulated by approved regulators....

The Dangers of Estate Plan of Jointly Titling Bank Accounts with a Child

When one is coming up with an estate plan there is a common practice that some people engage in. That practice is putting their name on a bank...

Legal Professors Examine DIY Last Wills

When you are looking for the facts with regard to products and services a highly respected go-to resource is Consumer Reports. Their website and...

Celebrity Estate Planning News: Hemsley Will Contested

We like to pass along news about the estate planning successes and failures of celebrities from time to time and there is an interesting...

Will Your Funeral Be What You Wanted It to Be?

For many of us, how our funeral is handled when we die is important. You may have very specific ideas about what type of service you want and...

Consumer Reports: Don't Go DIY Route with Last Wills

When websites that offer do-it-yourself estate planning documents started to appear and advertise aggressively licensed attorneys began...

Legal Professors: Do-It Yourself Notions Not a Viable Substitute

Consumer Reports magazine tackled a subject that is near and dear to estate planning attorneys recently and we would like to pass along the...

Challenge to Actor's Will Demonstrates Probate Pitfall

People sometimes choose to take steps to enable the future transfer of their assets to their loved ones outside of the probate process. When you...

Sharing Information With Your Estate Planning Attorney

When you finally decide that it is time to make your estate plan you will have to schedule a meeting with an estate planning attorney. There...

Trusted Source: Do-It-Yourself Last Wills Are Not a Good Choice

Estate planning attorneys will tell you to take pause before assuming that you can simply and easily execute your own estate plan using...

When You Need to Update Your Will, Use Caution

If you have created a last Will and testament you know that it took some time and effort to create a document that served your individual...

Scratch Below the Surface before Using Joint Accounts

There are times when you may hear someone make the case for a simple solution to a complex problem and find yourself buying into this...

Co-Ownership of Property and Avoiding Probate – 3 Questions

Question 1: Are There Different Types Of Co-Ownership of Property? Yes, and not all types of property co-ownership avoid probate. The different...

3 Tips for Vacation Planning and Your Estate Plan

The average American probably spends a lot more time planning for a vacation than they do planning their estate. If you haven't already done so,...

Honoring Your Last Wishes – Are You Sure Your Family Will Do So?

When it comes to honoring your last wishes regarding your funeral and burial, are you sure that your family will do so? What if you want to be...

Help Relatives Now, Reduce Future Tax Burden

Success is the name of the game, but unfortunately the fruition of your financial goals can present some tax challenges. If your assets exceed a...

Early Action Leads to Comfortable Retirement

When you are a young adult you have a unique opportunity. You can make the choice to begin saving for retirement early on during your career. If...

A Grandfather's Privacy

A client recently shared a story with me. He explained that when he was a young child, he used to spend a lot of time at his grandparents'...

Choosing the Estate Plan You Want or the Estate Plan You Need

There comes a time when you must decide what your estate plan will ultimately look like. Plans for your estate come in many different forms, but...

Joint Accounts? It's Not That Easy

There are those who decide that opening a joint account or accounts is a substitute for a properly constructed estate plan. After all they...


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