In the News – Planning for Digital Assets

October 26, 2014

“Protecting Your Afterlife in the Digital Realm” Once again the discussion about planning for your digital assets received national attention on CBS Sunday Morning.  The segment features various companies* that are helping individuals protect their digital assets and leave a digital legacy, such as Cirrus Legacy, If I Die, and LifeNaut. Additionally, it shares some […]

Death with Dignity

October 15, 2014

Brittany Maynard, an Oregon resident, selected the date November 1, 2014 as the day she will end her life. Brittany is 29 years old, and was recently diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. She is plagued with seizures and increasing pain and her most recent diagnosis gave her only six more months to live. Instead of […]

A New Development in Euthanasia

July 1, 2014

Earlier this year, the law making body in Belgium passed a law removing the age restriction on the country’s euthanasia law.  Belgium has allowed euthanasia since 2002.

In the News – Be Inspired By La Crosse, WI

April 29, 2014

On CBS Sunday Morning this past Sunday, the whole program was dedicated to life and death. One particular story that stood out was on La Crosse, WI. In La Crosse, WI, “…96 percent of the people who passed away here had created advance directives. That’s the highest percentage of end-of-life planning in a nation where […]

Estate Planning Myth #4: Anyone can write a simple will

April 16, 2014

This is somewhat correct: I clearly remember reading anomalous cases in law school about concepts like Holographic Wills and whether something as simple as “I leave everything to my wife” is a Will. A gentle reminder: I was reading these stories in a case book, which means these were matters that wound up being litigated. […]

Trust Mills and Bad Estate Planning

February 13, 2014

I recently read this article about a so-called “living-trust mill” that is being sued by the Minnesota Attorney General. According to the article, the Minnesota Attorney General is alleging that clients of Heritage Partners were sold “boilerplate documents” assembled by a gentleman in Arizona who is not licensed to practice law in Minnesota and paid a […]

In the News – MLK Jr., Paul Walker, & More

February 8, 2014

Here are some recent reports of estate planning battles, mistakes and funerals… Martin Luther King Jr.’s children are fighting over Mr. King’s Bible and Noble Peace Price. The children have been battling each other often since their mother, Coretta Scott King, died in 2006. One of the contributing factors to the family disputes is the […]

In the News – IRS Extension for Filing

January 30, 2014

Some estates may now be able to obtain an automatic extension of time to make the election to claim the estate tax portability exclusion. The IRS announced a procedure under which estates of decedents dying before January 1, 2014, that fall below the dollar threshold for having to file an estate tax return, yet want to elect […]

In the News – Health Care Directives

January 18, 2014

In the past few weeks, there have been two stories that have caught our attention regarding the issue of incapacity and the need for advanced health care directives. The first news story unfortunately involved a minor child, who had been declared brain-dead by her doctors following complications from tonsil surgery. Her parents however wished to […]

Say What – A New Tax on you in 2013?

January 14, 2014

Yup – there is a new tax in town for 2013 and it can add up quick.  You can get hit in two ways:  (1) additional Medicare payroll tax and/or (2) new Medicare contribution tax on unearned income.  Let’s take a look at the taxes individually.