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Simmons & Schiavo, LLP
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Elderly people in the early stages of dementia would be well advised to take walks. Alzheimer's disease receives a lot of attention. However, that attention often comes at the cost of other forms of dementia. While treatments and cures for Alzheimer's are widely sought after and discussed, there is often... Continue reading
“Forget finances, you’ll never be ready to retire, unless you've thought through exactly what you want your next chapter to be like.” In the past, people usually retired when they reached 65. They stayed near their family homes and died after just a couple of years. We now see retirement... Continue reading
Most Americans pass away owing debt. What happens to that debt after they pass away? It is not a secret that most Americans owe money to someone. The people of the U.S. are used to buying things on credit and, as a consequence, they have debts. Most people would like... Continue reading
When you make a move out of state, be sure to review your estate plan with an estate planning at­torney in your new domicile, as trust and estate laws have some differences from state to state. In most states, the probate court will recognize a will from another state. But... Continue reading
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The dynamics of a blended family, defined as one where at least one spouse has at least one child from a prior marriage or relation­ship, can complicate financial and estate planning because no off-the-shelf plans apply. It’s important to contact your estate-planning lawyer to ensure complete review of all personal... Continue reading
Many wealthy people are torn between wanting to leave a large inheritance for their children and fears that their children will not be able to handle the wealth. Wealthy parents whose children do not get independently wealthy on their own, often fear that leaving those children a large inheritance would... Continue reading
There are many ways to leave a charitable legacy. One of the best is the increasingly popular donor advised fund. Giving to charity is not as simple as writing a check and sending it in the mail. Sure, it can be done like that, but if you want to make... Continue reading
President Trump has made an official proposal to repeal the estate tax entirely, as expected. That raises more questions than it answers. While campaigning for the Presidency, Donald Trump frequently said that, if elected, he would repeal the estate tax entirely. As with all political campaign promises, that did not... Continue reading
Studies continue to show that the how and when Americans would prefer to pass away, is not how they actually pass away. That needs to change. Most of the time, the medical profession treats its patients in keeping with what the patients want. If someone has a broken leg, for... Continue reading
When dealing with irrevocable trusts the ability to effect change can be difficult to understand, pre­senting more questions than answers. The correct answers often depend on a variety of factors, but a good starting point is state law and the trust document itself. When modification or termination of an irrevo­cable... Continue reading
A minor generally doesn’t have the right to man­age his or her assets, including any inheritance. But sometimes a minor child becomes the beneficiary of a sizable family inheri­tance. That can occur because a parent dies without a will or trust, leading to an unavoid­able direct inheritance by the child.... Continue reading
It is important to keep your will and other estate planning documents in a safe, secure location where they can be easily found, when needed. A safety deposit box in a bank is not one of those places. A will is only effective if it can be used after you... Continue reading
More and more elder Americans are choosing not to get married to their partners. Instead, they are just living together. The trend over the last few decades has been for people to get remarried late in life. This has created many issues for estate planning and the families of the... Continue reading
One of the biggest problems in estate planning is figuring out how to treat children fairly in circumstances when fairly does not necessarily mean equally. The default estate planning option for people with more than one child is to divide their estates equally between their children. That is the most... Continue reading
We received this testimonial from a satisfied client: “Ken Simmons has been excellent to work with on our estate planning. He’s extremely knowledgeable and helpful. He is easily accessible and always great with explaining the details of our plan and always happy to answer any of our questions. We have... Continue reading
With the release of President Trump's tax plan and Republican majorities in Congress, it seems inevitable that the estate tax will go away. That does not eliminate the need to do estate planning. A big part of modern estate planning is planning around the estate tax. Many estate planning instruments... Continue reading
After much anticipation, President Trump released his long awaited tax plan. While there is much for wealthy people to cheer in it, including eliminating the estate tax, no one will want to cheer too much or too soon. Since taking office, President Trump had been promising that he would reveal... Continue reading
A new podcast is a great opportunity to learn about some basic estate planning mistakes. Serial might be the most successful podcast of all time. Millions of people tuned in to hear the story of a murder and its aftermath. It was one of the first podcasts to receive mainstream... Continue reading
If you have ever wanted to watch a television drama about physician-assisted suicide, you now have your chance. A normal television show about a brilliant emergency room doctor who kills people in her off hours, would probably be a very dark drama about a serial killer, if there was such... Continue reading
A recent survey found that most Americans think they know how the Social Security program works. The same survey found that most actually have some important misunderstandings about the program. The Social Security program seems simple enough. When you reach retirement age, you can stop working and the government will... Continue reading
Sometimes when we hear about another person's estate plan, we may tend to get upset, if we think we are slighted in some way. It is a good idea to think about the plan from the other person's point of view. There is a very human tendency to get upset... Continue reading
It is easier to get wills today than it ever has been, since forms can be downloaded and filled out on your own. However, that ease has led to many people not understanding the potential dangers of wills. That everyone should have an estate plan is a principle which most... Continue reading
Slayer statutes are designed to prevent people from inheriting the assets of people they have killed, but they have their limitations. You have probably heard this plotline before. It is a common one that goes something like this: a younger relative of a wealthy person in need of money or... Continue reading
The first instinct for doctors and other health care workers, is to do everything possible to save the lives of their patients. That can be in conflict with the wishes of those patients, which is leading to lawsuits. Millions of Americans have completed advanced medical directives such as health care... Continue reading
Many people have fond memories of their vacation homes and would like to keep them in their families, after they pass away. That requires some considerations. For many people, the best memories they have of spending time with their families is at a family vacation home when their children were... Continue reading