Your Role in the Trust Funding Process

For many clients, a revocable living trust is a valuable tool to ensure that the client’s finances are well managed during periods of incapacity and that the client’s loved ones are financially secure upon the client’s death. However, signing the trust agreement doesn’t end the estate planning process. The team (client, attorney, financial advisor, insurance agent, etc.) must take a final, crucial step–funding the trust.…

Retirement Account Basics for 2020 – Some Changes

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to volatile markets, and your retirement account may have a much smaller balance than only a few short months ago. In response to the economic fallout stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), which was signed into law on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act was primarily aimed at providing quick…

COVID Pandemic Preparation: 6 Estate Planning Essentials for Every Adult

With the number of COVID-19 cases in America increasing exponentially, people across the country are preparing themselves for every possible scenario. As a result, many estate planning attorneys are being inundated with calls and emails about how to plan for this type of pandemic. While the following six tools are essential for estate planning at any time, they are especially important during a time of…

Your Divorce Decree: The First Step in Estate Planning

You have recently divorced your spouse and the judge has signed the divorce decree. Now what? Although you may feel as though you have spent enough time and money on lawyers, there is one last attorney you need to talk to: an estate planning attorney. If you and your former spouse had estate planning done together previously, it is necessary for you to come in…

Preparing older and sick loved ones for flu and coronavirus

Here at Bernstein Law Group, PC, we are following the news about Coronavirus and a second burst of the traditional flu that’s impacting people in our community. While we don’t believe that anyone should panic, we do want to encourage anyone with older or immuno-compromised loved ones to be prepared. The CDC is encouraging everyone to have extra food and supplies on hand, in the event…

No Clawbacks Allowed: What Does This Mean for You and How to Take Advantage of This Gift

The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the gift and estate tax exclusion amount—i.e., the amount that can either be excluded from your estate when determining if your estate will owe any taxes when you pass away or the amount you can gift to individuals during your lifetime without owing any taxes—which had previously been $5 million (adjusted each year for inflation) per individual.…

E-state Planning Alert: SECURE Act: Problem or Opportunity?

On December 20, 2019, President Trump signed the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act). The SECURE Act, which is effective January 1, 2020, is the most impactful retirement legislation of the past decade. It increases the age for required minimum distributions from retirement accounts from 70 ½ to 72 years of age. However, among the many provisions in the new law…

Steps to Take When a Loved One Dies

As your estate planning attorneys, we are here to help you when your family member or loved one dies.  If you are simply too overwhelmed to call us during the first couple of weeks after your loved one passes away, it is important to keep in mind that there are several practical and legal considerations that the person named as the executor of the estate…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Why Does Estate Planning Matter to Your Clients?

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

Estate Planning Awareness Week: Having a Conversation with Your Family About Their Estate Plan

In 2008, Congress recognized the need for the public to understand the importance and benefits of estate planning by passing House Resolution 1499, which designated the third week of October as National Estate Planning Awareness Week. Nevertheless, according to a 2019 survey carried out by Caring.com, 57% of adults in the United States have not prepared any estate planning documents such as a will or…

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