All tagged trusts

How much does a simple will cost?

The most common question that I get and that I see online in different forums where people can ask legal questions is, “How much does a simple will cost?” The answer to that is that there is no such thing as a simple will, at least at my office. We create plans that involve a variety of documents based on the client’s needs, and we plan for incapacity as well as death. Another way I could answer that question is to ask: “How much does a conservatorship cost?” or “How much does a probate costs?” or “What is the cost of doing things the wrong way?” These are all risks that you take by approaching estate planning with the attitude that your situation is simple and that your estate plan should be cheap. So if you ask yourself what the costs are of a conservatorship, probate, or worse, screwing up your plan, you’ll see that a “simple will” actually costs thousands of dollars, and maybe even your family’s well being and your own legacy.

How to Get Your Aging Parents to Talk about and Do Their Estate Planning

As a Gen X kid with Baby Boomer parents, I have found that our generations have very different ideas when it comes to talking about death and money. Boomers often seem averse to discussing these matters, for many reasons. Sometimes they think it’s crass for their kids to be asking them about what they’re “getting.” Sometimes they feel shame about discussing money and death. Sometimes they were just raised to believe that discussion about money and death (like religion and politics) is impolite. Whatever the reasons your aging parents might have for being tough to crack when it comes to these discussions, I have some tips on how to get them to talk and do their estate planning.

How to name guardians for your kids

A huge percentage of parents who haven’t done their estate planning yet are stuck on who to name as guardians for their kids. Here in Portland, Oregon, so many people have moved here from other places, and so they might not have any family in town, and they might have moved here to get away from a family or cultural dynamic that they don’t want their kids to be a part of. This makes choosing guardians difficult.

5 New Year's Resolutions for Parents

The Holidays are hectic, but it’s always a good idea to pause and make plans for the coming year. If you’re a parent, make 2019 the year that you get your legal and financial house in order.

If you are reading this, you probably feel similarly to the way that I do about parenting: It is serious business, and it is our responsibility to provide the best care possible for our kids and to make sure they are protected and that they have every opportunity to succeed in life. If we can toast to that, I want to share with you 5 New Year’s Resolutions for Parents that you should give to your family. If you have not given these to your family yet, there is no time like the New Year to get started.

You're Probably Going to Accidentally Disinherit Your Kids

I have a math problem for you: If 70% of Americans don’t have any estate planning done, and if 50% of marriages end in divorce, and if men statistically remarry 2 years after their spouse dies or they divorce, and if women statistically remarry 5 years after their spouse dies or they divorce, and if most married couples own their property jointly, how likely are parents to accidentally disinherit their kids? I don’t have an exact number for you, but the answer is: VERY likely.

Many parents consider the possibility of protecting their kids’ inheritance from evil family members, but few consider the possibility that their kids may lose their inheritance simply due to a lack of proper planning. In a word: A will is not enough.