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Andover Estate Planning Blog

A valuable surprise present from a memorable birthday party

Estate planning attorneys revel in fun and gaiety just as much as other persons do, which means -- for purposes of this blog post -- that they are far from immune from the excitement that gifts, laughter and camaraderie engender at birthday parties.

Such festivities can also serve as much more than mere enticements to fun, though, as a recent article on estate administration stresses. That piece makes an important ancillary point, which many estate planning professionals would not hesitate to pass along to readers, even as those individuals are happily mingling with friends and families while commemorating a milestone in life.

Help your parents comfortably transition into assisted living

You love your parents very much. It can be difficult to watch them age. You may be faced with tough decisions. In some cases, your parents may have a plan in place and make their wishes clear. Other times, you may have to have hard conversations with them to think through options. Either way, moving your parents into an assisted living facility can be difficult. Financing can be tough. You know that it is the best solution. You know they will get the care they need. It may be helpful to encourage them to make the best of the situation. You can help them make their new home more comfortable.

Assist them in personalizing their room.

You're online, right? Someday your executor may need to be.

Here's a quick query regarding the so-called digital universe that exists online: How many accounts do you think an "average" Internet user has?

One can almost hear the wheels spinning for readers seeking to come up with a quick calculation.

Craft it, forget about it; not an optimal recipe for estate planning

It is certainly as important as the act of initially creating a sound and tailored estate plan to take an occasional peek at it thereafter and make tweaks as necessary.

Because those tweaks -- and, sometimes, major revisions -- will become necessary. Life has a habit of rendering any "immutable and forever" plan, well, mutable.

The legal battle continues between Alan Thicke's sons, widow

The death of actor Alan Thicke last year was unfortunately more than just another surprising celebrity passing. It has sparked a family feud of sorts. Thicke’s sons, Brennan and Robin are one side, and his wife, Tanya, is on the other. Both sides are embroiled in a dispute over how Thicke’s estate should be divided.

The sons, who are co-trustees of Thicke’s estate, accuse Tanya of trying to “strong-arm” them into giving her a larger portion of the estate. They claim that Thicke’s prenuptial agreement controls, which they claim “generously provides” for Thicke’s third wife by providing 25 percent of Thicke’s personal effects, all of the furnishings from the California ranch they shared, death benefits from Thicke’s pensions and union memberships, and a $500,000 life insurance policy, among other things. 

Caring for a special needs child, now and after you're gone

Loving parents in Massachusetts and elsewhere worry about their children with physical and/or mental disabilities, and understandably so. Caregivers wish they could live forever, standing resolutely beside their loved ones and helping them face and conquer every challenge.

That is simply not meant to be the case, of course. Parents do ultimately pass, most often with their children having many years of life still ahead of them.

Focus on elder law: broader, more nuanced than many people think

Although elder law considerations in estate planning are many and varied, a prevailing and widely held view concerning the topic has long stressed that administration in this discrete area centers almost solely on safeguarding elderly loved ones from financial ruin in old age, mostly due to high medical costs.

Indeed, one recent media focus on the strong utility of estate planning for seniors states that, "Elder law grew out of protecting the middle class from high nursing home costs."

Three overlooked estate planning elements

When it comes to their estate plan, some people only think about their will. It's true that a will is a key component of your estate plan. Just because you have a will in place doesn't mean that your estate plan is complete.

There are a number of considerations that are forgotten about when people put together their estate plan. Here are three commonly overlooked estate planning components you may want in your plan.

Is a will the way to solidify your estate plan?

We all have heard the adage “where there’s a will, there’s a way.” We follow that adage with all of our estate plans because we believe that people should have their wishes honored as they pass on. However, we also understand that many people do not see the usefulness of a will. Through this post, we will explain the importance of having a will, and provide some helpful details about what they can (and cannot) do.

Essentially, you can make a personal (and permanent) declaration about how you want to dispose of your property at death. Contrary to popular belief, it does not matter how much personal property you have. You can make your intentions known through a will if whether you have only a few personal items to your name or if you have $20 million in assets.

Admonitory planning stories: no dearth of these frightful tales

Some of the stories related in a recent estate planning piece might reasonably be termed as "outlier" tales stressing truly dire ramifications that can ensue when a planner fails to take some requisite action that promotes certainty regarding a future outcome.

Alternatively, they might be denoted as "the worst that could happen" tales.

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