Loan, Gift, or Advancement: Why the Classification Matters

While we all want to provide financial help to our loved ones—whether they are family or close friends—it is important to understand that how the money is classified will directly affect your estate planning. Accordingly, the intent behind the transfer of the money is key when determining if it will be considered a loan, gift, or advancement. Understanding the Differences Loan If there is a…

Want a Greater Sense of Purpose? Plan Your Legacy

When you think about the legacy you’ll leave, what comes to mind? Perhaps it’s security for your family or a positive contribution to your community. It could also be a tribute to the arts. Whatever it is, you don’t have to wait until you pass on to actualize your legacy. Now is the time to begin planning and implementing your wishes.  It’s Not Too Soon…

How to Avoid a Disastrous Will or Trust Contest

A will or trust contest can derail your final wishes, rapidly deplete your estate, and tear your loved ones apart. But with proper planning, you can prevent that result. What is a Will or Trust Contest? A will or trust contest is a type of lawsuit that is filed to object to the validity of a will or trust. Who Can Contest a Will or…

Wondering Whether You Need to Update Your Estate Plan? Yes, You Do, and Here’s Why

Please allow us to be frank. It’s unrealistic to think that a piece of paper you draft, reflecting your life at a certain time, will work when your life has completely changed some years later. We’ll use the Kendrick family as an example. Meet the Kendricks Meet Bill and Karen Kendrick. They got their first estate plan in place when their daughter, Jessica, was born…

Your Personal Property Memorandum: 4 Tips for Success

What is a personal property memorandum? It is a frequently-used estate planning document that provides an opportunity to expand upon your will or trust. Many wills or trusts simply divide the whole of an estate equally between surviving family members.  But, what if you’d prefer a more detailed plan for particular items you want to leave to specific individuals? If you’d like to ensure that…

Dealing with Negative Online Reviews of Your Business

You’ve worked hard to build your small business. Nothing is more frustrating than negative online reviews, particularly if you feel they are unjustified or have been posted in bad faith. There are several steps that you can take to prevent your business’s reputation from being damaged by unfavorable reviews. Respond promptly and professionally. More and more potential customers are turning to internet review sites like…

How to Coordinate Your Retirement and Estate Plans

We often think of retirement accounts as monolithic resources. It is easy to see why – we spend our working years socking away money for our future. Unfortunately, though, the rising cost of healthcare can quickly deplete even the largest of retirement funds. Because retirement accounts tend to be the largest assets in a person’s estate, it is crucial that proper planning is done to…

Coordinate Retirement and Estate Planning For Improved Client Relationships

Retirement accounts are designed to help make the transition between working and retiring easier. They provide a steady stream of income for retirees who are suddenly without take-home pay for the first time in their lives. Unlike other assets your clients may have, these accounts require extra planning and consideration since retirement account distributions are subject to income tax for the account owner and the…

Cybersecurity: Protecting Your Business

Cybersecurity is a growing concern for businesses, and small businesses are not immune from the threats posed by cybercriminals. Don’t be complacent because your business is small: Almost half of all cyberattacks in the U.S. are directed at small businesses. In recognition of this serious problem, in August 2018, President Trump signed into law the NIST Small Business Cybersecurity Act, requiring the federal government to…

Breaking News: State Bills Introduced in Massachusetts to Change the Estate Tax

In an effort to provide you with the latest estate planning news – Two bills were introduced to the Massachusetts State Senate which, if enacted, will change the Massachusetts Estate Tax laws. The first bill, S.1631, entitled “An Act to Mitigate Snowbird Relocation”, would increase the state estate tax exemption from the current $1 million to $2 million. Additionally, the tax rates are to be…

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